Who may join?
The Ancient Order of Druids in America welcomes applications for membership from men and women of all spiritual, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, age 18 or older, who wish to create and follow a personal path of nature spirituality in the traditions of the Druid Revival.
What happens when I join?
New members begin as Candidates, receive the Candidate initiation, and work with the First Degree training program for a minimum of one year. The Candidate initiation may be received from an AODA Grove or Study Group or a qualified member, if there's one in your area which or who offers that opportunity, or performed as a ritual self-initiation. The curriculum is designed for self-directed study, and detailed information about the practices and teachings of the First Degree has been published in book form as The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer. Please note: the curriculum given in the appendix of The Druidry Handbook is no longer accurate, and should not be used; the curriculum given here on the website is correct.
What does membership cost?
To simplify matters and avoid the clerical costs of collecting annual dues, the AODA charges a one-time lifetime membership fee for each level. For membership and enrollment as a Candidate, the fee is US$50.
Are fees waived in cases of financial hardship?
We have set the membership fee at a very modest level, and made it a one-time-only payment, in order to put membership within reach of anyone who wants to join. Since all income received from fees goes to support present and future AODA programs to benefit all members - the officers of the Grand Grove receive no income from the Order, and in fact for many years paid its expenses out of their own pockets - we feel it's unfair to the rest of the membership to allow people to join without making the same contribution we ask of everyone else.
Do you have a prison ministry or accept prisoners into membership?
No. Our curriculum isn't suited to the limitations of prison life.
What's beyond the Candidate level?
After a minimum of one year as a Candidate and the completion of the First Degree training program, Candidates may apply for initiation into the First Degree, the degree of Druid Apprentice. After two more years and the completion of the more extensive Second Degree course of study, Druid Apprentices may apply for initiation into the Second Degree, the degree of Druid Companion. A minimum of three years of membership as a Druid Companion and the completion of an individually designed program of advanced Druid training and practice is normally required before a member may be proposed for the Third Degree, the degree of Druid Adept.
What do these higher degrees cost?
The lifetime membership fee for the First Degree is US$100. For the Second Degree, the fee is US$100, and for the Third Degree, US$50. There is no additional fee for the clergy training program.
Does the AODA ordain priests and priestesses, and at what level of initiation?
Members of AODA who have received the First Degree may enroll in our clergy training program, which is managed by the Order’s sister organization, the Gnostic Celtic Church (GCC) Those who complete the training program and also qualify for initiation to the Second Degree will be ordained to the priesthood and priestesshood, and may then enter a further and more demanding training program, which will qualify them for consecration as bishops in the GCC.
Please note that the GCC program is not primarily designed for those who are seeking ordination to perform weddings and the like. It is intended for those who choose to devote their lives to the inner dimensions of Druid nature spirituality. For further information, please visit the GCC pages on this site.
I've studied Druidry extensively in another Druid organization. Do I still have to start over at the beginning in the AODA?
That depends. If you can document completion of a study program equivalent to ours in another Druid order, it is possible under some conditions to receive initiation into the First or Second Degree of AODA on that basis. See our Transfer Credit page if you would like to pursue this option.
I used to be a member of the AODA years ago. What's my status now?
During the recent period of inactivity, the AODA Grand Grove lost contact with a large number of its initiates. If you have been a member in the past, and haven't formally resigned, you're still a member, and whatever degrees you received from AODA are still fully valid. Please contact Grand Archdruid John Michael Greer via the contact page if you would like to renew your involvement in the Order.
How do I join?
Send a letter of application to AODA, P.O Box 1002, Indiana, PA 15701 USA. The letter should include your legal name, Druid name (if you have one), postal and email addresses, date of birth, an outline of your previous Druid studies, and anything you may want to say about why you wish to join AODA and what you hope to get out of it. Please note: your application must be complete and must include payment in order to be processed. Include a check or money order for US$50, payable to AODA.
Please send a letter of application via email by way of the Contact page. The email should include your legal name, Druid name (if you have one), postal and email addresses, date of birth, an outline of your previous Druid studies, and anything you may want to say about why you wish to join AODA and what you hope to get out of it. Please note: your application must be complete and must include payment in order to be processed. Your membership fee of US$50 may be paid via PayPal; please have payment made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whichever way you choose to apply, payment must accompany your application and your application must be complete. Applications received without payment will not be processed or accepted until the applicant has also paid the $50 fee. Applications which are incomplete must be completed before we can process or accept them. If you are concerned about whether you qualify for membership, please email us and ask before you apply, and then apply with payment after you receive our affirmative response.