The Origins of the Celtic Traditionalist Order of Druids

Copyright © 1999, 2005 c.e., Vickie & Howard Meith


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 Order”s 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 ADF”s 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 clan”s body of knowledge. The Order”s growth has been steady, including members from all lifestyles around the world. Many of the Order”s 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 it”s 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 world.

Health: The 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.

Hearth: The 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, and transportation.

History: The 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.

Creativity: 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.

Compassion: 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.

Communication: 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, and astrology.

Musecraft: The 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.

Management: 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.

Copyright © 1999, 2005 c.e., Vickie & Howard Meith. This text file may not be freely distributed on the Net.

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