First Degree Curriculum
The following requirements have been established by the Grand Grove for AODA Candidates wishing to advance to the First Degree of AODA, the Degree of Apprentice.
Overview of First Degree Requirements:
- Spend 15 minutes or more, per week, in direct contact with the natural world.
- Read at least 9 books on the natural history or ecology of region in which you live.
- Make three changes in your lifestyle in order to take less from the Earth and give more back.
- Plant at least one tree.
- Celebrate a cycle of Druid Holy Days (solstices and equinoxes, at a minimum).
- Practice some form of meditation, regularly, working up to a daily practice by the year’s end.
- Learn and practice the Sphere of Protection Ritual, on a daily basis.
Ovate, Bardic, OR Druid Exploration
- Choose and carry out an activity that introduces you to a new (to you) ovate, bardic, OR druid practice. This exploration should entail at least 20 hours of work.
- Keep a running account of the work you do in each of the three Paths and your Ovate, Bard, or Druid Exploration, for use as a reference during your First Degree examination.
Second Degree Curriculum
The following requirements have been established by the Grand Grove for AODA Apprentices wishing to advance to the Second Degree of AODA, the Degree of Companion.
Overview of Second Degree Requirements
- Continue to spend 15 minutes or more, per week, in direct contact with the natural world.
- Continue to make changes in your lifestyle in order to take less from the Earth and give more back.
- Continue to celebrate the Druid Holy Days (solstices and equinoxes, at a minimum).
- Continue your daily meditation practice some form of meditation, regularly, working up to a daily practice by the year’s end.
- Continue your daily practice the Sphere of Protection Ritual, on a daily basis.
Core Curriculum in Druid Philosophy
- Read the following books:
- Ralph and Mildred Buchsbaum, Basic Ecology
- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
- Three Initiates, The Kybalion
- Anonymous, The Mabinogion
- Ross Nichols, The Book of Druidry
- John Michael Greer, ed., The Druid Revival Reader
- Ancient Order of Druids in America, The AODA Grove Handbook
- Write a 5000-7000 word essay on one or more themes, drawn from one or more of these books.
Bardic, Ovate, or Druid Work
Choose one (or more, if so desired) of the three branches of druidry: Bardic, Ovate, or Druid Work. Complete a body of work in your chosen branch, involving steady work over the course of at least two years, according to one of the following two options:
Option 1 – Complete all of the following requirements:
- Establish a personal practice as a Bard, Ovate, or Druid.
- Study, practice, and memorize the AODA Solitary Grove opening and closing ceremony.
- Study, practice, and memorize the AODA Candidate initiation ceremony.
- Design an original set of activities for a yearly cycle of Druid holy days.
- Spend at least 20 hours helping other people with their spiritual development in a Druid context.
***Please note that this first option is REQUIRED if you intend to apply for a study group charter once you have been initiated as a Companion, and if you intend to apply for a grove charter once you have become an Adept.
Design a personal curriculum in Bardic, Ovate, or Druid study and practice, involving at least two years of steady work. Submit a work proposal to the Grand Grove, and have it approved before commencing work.
Those who intend to pursue more than one of the three branches of the Druid path may do one of them by way of the first option, and any others by way of the second option, and qualify in this way for a study group charter. The requirement is that the first option be done at least once by any prospective study group or grove chief.
Third Degree Curriculum
The following requirements have been established by the Grand Grove for AODA Companions wishing to advance to the Third Degree of AODA, the Degree of Adept.
This degree has no fixed curriculum, as each aspirant to this Degree must design, propose, and complete a major project in a field relevant to the work of an Ovate, Bard, or Druid. This project should take several years of hard work, require professional levels of skill and competence, and push your talents and personal vision to their limits. The effect of your project should be to convince the Grand Grove that you are an Ovate, Bard, or Druid Adept already, and the conferring of the Third Degree by our Order is merely a formality.
Your project must be approved by the Grand Grove before you begin work, and it must be submitted to the Grand Grove for final approval when you are finished.
Special Requirements for the title of “Ollave”
Should you desire to receive the Third Degree in more than one branch of the Order, you may do so, but a different project must be presented for each branch. To become an Ovate Adept, a Bard Adept, and a Druid Adept thus requires the approval and completion of three separate projects, each of which measures up to the same high standards.
Those who do qualify for initiation as Adepts in all three branches shall receive the additional title of Ollave.