The Celtic Traditionalist Order of Druids (CTOD) is a teaching Order, dedicated
to the preservation and rebirth of the worship of the ancient
Gods and Goddesses, primarily those of the Celtic Nations
Cymru (Wales), Éire (Ireland), Kernow
(Cornwall), Bretagne (Brittany), Alba (Scotland), Albion, Basque
(Northern Spain), Gaul/Galica (France) as well as other related
lands and peoples.
The name of the Celtic Traditionalist Order
of Druids was born in the year 1986 c.e., or the Druidic year
7,103 as we reckon it, to encompass a group of thoughts and practices
that had been growing for some time. At that time, the practices,
and indeed many of the thoughts themselves, of the Order were
sketchy and just beginning to take shape. The Order first became
a living entity in 1987 c.e.
The original founders were all of one family,
but the group expanded quickly. This quick expansion was a problem,
perhaps the biggest problem of the early days. Yet as a group,
they grew stronger and learned from the Gods and nature, and
from each other. Things worked well for a time: some members
came and went, but there was a continuing spirit of growth within
the group. The high point of these years was played out in a
beautiful spring day, with many others in attendance: a beautiful
ritual of Spring and the dance of sovereignty. After the success
of the Orders first major public ritual, the speed of growth
and change increased exponentially, with disastrous consequences
for the Order. The public attention and sudden popularity of
the group spurred an internal power struggle within the organization;
ultimately the original founders left the central grove
which then quickly dissolved.
Most of the founding members scattered and lost contact.
Others joined other organizations. The primary founders joined
a Wiccan coven of British Traditional/Green Circle lineage. Some
of the lessons learned there found their way into the structure
of what would again become the Order.
Eventually, many of the members of that coven
went their separate ways, as many covens do. The founders of
the Order chose at that time to stay solitary in their practice.
It was the encouragement of another Druid, which made the rebirth
of the Order a reality.
His was of a Gaulist family line, yet he and
his wife were the elders of a Wiccan coven. Their continued support
and encouragement helped urge the founders along the path. Yet
another group of Druids would contribute more incentives. Still
fighting against what may have been the will of the Gods, the
principal founder became a local grove organizer for the organization
Ár nDraíocht Féin.
It was the prodding and encouragement from ADFs founder
Isaac Bonewits that spurred her involvement, which eventually
progressed to her election to the post of Vice-Archdruid of the
organization. Even so, the Celtic Traditionalist Order of Druids
remained near to her heart. Eventually, this call became too
strong to resist any longer. Request from other remaining members
for the former leadership to retake control of the order were
finally acknowledged, and the Celtic Traditionalist Order of
Druids re-emerged onto the public Pagan Community.
The Order draws upon several sources, continually
learning and passing on that learning to those with the desire
to learn. Its history is not yet a long one, but it grows as
each member contributes to the clans body of knowledge.
The Orders growth has been steady, including members from
all lifestyles around the world. Many of the Orders documents
are currently available on line, while more are in progress.
We do not consider ourselves to be Celtic Reconstructionalists,
however we do consider ourselves to be following a path laid
down for us by our long ago ancestors.
The CTOD Study Program
The Program of Study proposed and implemented
by the Order seeks to promote the well-rounded education of its
members, both in the skills and practice of the faith and in
those mundane skills which permit the harmonious
existence with the natural world. This study program is an evolving
work in progress. As a work in progress, we understand that not
every contingency has been addressed. Through these nine branches,
we seek to renew and maintain the wisdom of our predecessors,
as well as their reverence of and connectedness to the natural
Branch of Health promotes both personal and community health.
Topics include First Aid and CPR training, Medicinal uses of
herbs and other plants, map reading/orienteering and other wilderness
skills, human sexuality and human development.
Branch of Hearth promotes the development of homeskills
and other talents used to empower the basic building block of
community. Topics include nutrition, menu planning & cooking,
gardening and wildcrafting, basic home repairs, campsite skills,
Branch of History promotes the development of the current community
by learning from the past. Topics include the history of paganism,
cultural and clan histories, and the history of Druidism.
The Branch of Creativity seeks to promote and develop the creative
spirit within the individual and the community. Topics covered
include graphic arts, computer sciences, movement awareness and
discipline, and other artistic pursuits.
The Branch of Compassion promotes the healing and leadership
abilities essential for ministering to the spiritual self, and
those related to researching the beliefs and practices of our
predecessors. Topics covered include counseling, psychology,
philosophy, and anthropology.
The Branch of Communication develops skills in both interpersonal
and group communications. Effective speaking as well as effective
writing plays important roles in the acceptance of our religion.
Topics include basic communication skills, media communications,
telephone courtesy, and foreign language skills.
Magic: The Branch
of Magic promotes learning of the magical skills associated with
Druidism and the Neo-Pagan movement in general. Topics covered
include the principles of magic, ritual construction, divination,
Branch of Musecraft has the goal of training the skills of the
muse/ bardcraft. Although some of these topics also appear in
the Branch of Creativity, it is under Musecraft that these abilities
take on a deeper context of spirituality. Topics include poetry,
storytelling, instrumental and vocal music, and drama.
The Branch of Management undertakes the most daunting task, which
is that of managing a group of individuals dedicated to a higher
purpose. Whether this group is a family, a congregation, or a
network of smaller groups, these skills are the foundation for
organized and effective leadership. Topics include small business
management, accounting principles, public relations, advertising,
and leadership dynamics.
Membership in the Celtic Traditionalist Order
of Druids brings with it the opportunity to grow and learn with
other like-minded individuals pursing the Old Ways in many different
locations and forms. We are a growing Order. While there are
fewer members of CTOD than some other Druid groups, we feel that
we are building a strong family and community as a tribute to
the Gods whom our people revere. The Program of Study is formatted
to permit great variety in individual study a truly self-paced program. National and international
functions are in future plans, to provide additional activities
for our international members.