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BDO Courses

Ovate Booklet 6 cover"... the most intelligent and erudite sequential introduction to modern Druidry available." Professor Ronald Hutton, author of Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles, The Triumph of the Moon, The Druids, Blood & Mistletoe, Pagan Britain, &c..

"... brilliant." Robin Williamson, founder of the Incredible String Band and Britain's leading exponent of the traditional bardic arts.

"... real nuts and bolts Druidry." One of our students.

Our courses are built around the traditional threefold division of Druidry into the equal and complementary roles of Bard, Ovate and Druid, focusing strongly on the skills ascribed to them by classical writers: Bards are creative artists, performers and keepers of tradition; Ovates are seers, healers and natural philosophers; Druids are teachers, ritualists and walkers between worlds. Within each course, we aim to provide all the tools needed to actively pursue the path and become a skilled practitioner. We achieve this by weaving together all the available threads of information about Druidry, from archaeology, classical writers, the Medieval literature of Britain and Ireland, folk lore and folk custom, previous generations of Druid revivalists, contemporary Druid practice and our own intuition and inspiration.

Bardic Course Booklet 16: A Bardic History of Druidry

Courses are written by a team of bards, ovates and Druids with a couple of centuries of practical experience between them. They are edited by Greywolf (Philip Shallcrass), who is also a major contributor, drawing on his own 40 years as a Druid. Speaking of drawing, our courses include hundreds of full-colour illustrations. They are designed to be accessible to an intelligent teenager coming to Druidry for the first time whilst containing enough depth and originality to appeal to those who already have extensive knowledge and experience. Students with 30 or more years' experience in Pagan traditions have said they are gaining fresh insight and inspiration from our courses. The Bardic, Ovate and Druid courses each offer their own path to enlightenment, while the three together provide a comprehensive guide to all aspects of the Druid path. Students may take as much time as they need to complete each course. Learning support is offered by our trusty group of volunteer tutors via e-mail or surface post. Transition between the three is by rite of passage. We trust that they will prove a valuable resource for the Druid community worldwide.

Each course consists of six packages, each containing four booklets, available bi-monthly via the Paypal payment system. Courses are offered in the form of downloadable pdf files. This format allows for interactive content to be included in the course booklets while reducing administration, printing and postage costs.

Greywolf with 900-year-old yew treeWe are frequently asked how our courses differ from those of other groups such as OBOD (The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids). People who are familiar with other courses tell us that ours differ greatly from any of them. Our approach to Druidry has been described as visionary and 'shamanic,' viewing it very much as a native European spirituality akin to other indigenous traditions, closely linking us with the spirits of land and ancestry, though open to folk of any land seeking ways of relating spiritually to the world around us. Originating in Europe, Druidry naturally appeals to folk of European origins seeking such a way of relating without the necessity of adopting local ways that may not be culturally appropriate. So, for example, we work with Native American friends without in any sense becoming 'Wannabee Indians.' OBOD's Chosen Chief, Philip Carr-Gomm has been complimentary about our courses. Ronald Hutton has said that students could usefully take OBOD's courses and then move on to ours, which are compatible whilst taking a very different approach, going into greater detail in many areas and placing more emphasis on others.