The full name of our organization is Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, Inc. The first part, pronounced arn REEokht fane, is modern Irish for “Our Own Druidism” (or “Druidry” or “Magic”) and that’s what we are — an independent tradition (denomination) of Neopagan Druidism. Since many people have trouble pronouncing and spelling our Irish name, we usually just say “ADF.”
ADF is working to combine in-depth scholarship with the inspiration of artistry and spiritual practice to create a powerful modern Paganism. We’re researching and interpreting sound modern scholarship (rather than romantic fantasies) about the ancient Indo-European Pagans — the Celts, Norse, Slavs, Balts, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Vedics, and others. Upon these cultural foundations we are working to build a religion that these ancient people would appreciate and understand yet one which has depth and power for modern people. We’re developing genuine skills in composition and presentation in the musical, dramatic, graphic, textile and other arts. We’re bringing together people trained in ritual, psychic skills and applied mythology to bring the remnants of the old ways to life. We’re creating a nonsexist, non-racist, organic, flexible and publicly available religion to practice as a way of life and to hand on to future generations.
Since our founding in 1983, we have succeeded in building the foundations of this vision’s reality. We have local congregations, called groves, in many cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, along with a handful in other countries. Within those groves we are designing powerful magical and religious ceremonies to bring the blessings of the gods and goddesses to our world. Our groves offer regular public worship of the old gods, serving as centers of Pagan organizing in many localities. We offer our people the full range of religious and social activities including weddings, funerals, child blessings etc. — along with ways of enriching the soul.
We’ve created a system of training designed to work for Druidic Pagans whether solitary or participating in a Grove, so that all can participate in our work and benefit from communion with the gods and spirits. ADF has long worked to build a solid, professional training program for Pagan clergy; in addition we’re building a system of guilds, bodies of teachers and students devoted to traditional spiritual, physical and artistic skills. Together we are striving to make our training system the most complete and effective in the Pagan movement.
We’re holding regional festivals to help our members meet, study, pray and play together. We’re building temples and holy places on the land, places where the Otherworld and our common world can draw nearer. We’re actively preparing for the day when Pagan religions will be part of the mainstream global culture.
How is ADF Organized?
ADF is a membership organization. Membership is open to all sincere people, regardless of heritage. While we welcome the curious, leadership in ADF is open only to those who describe Pagan Druidry as their primary religious path. A board of directors, known as the ‘Mother Grove’, manages our organization. The major offices on this board are the Archdruid, the Vice-Archdruid, Secretary, Treasurer, the Chief of the Council of Regional Druids (geographic representatives), the Chief of the Council of Senior Druids (grove leaders), multiple Non-Officer Directors (NOD), and a Members’ Advocate (ombudsperson). Elections for many of these positions are held yearly for staggered terms, to preserve knowledge.
Our local groves are semi-autonomous, each having its own local traditions, customs, and forms of our rites. At the same time, these groves are all part of our international organization, sharing the basic order of ritual and following the guidelines set forth by the Mother Grove.
Not every aspect of ADF is Grove-based. We have varied subgroups concerned with skills training (Guilds), hearth cultures (Kins), initiatory work (Orders) and less constrained Special Interest Groups. Many of these groups offer online participation to serve all members.
Archdruid Emeritus Isaac Bonewits, known in the Pagan community as an author, editor, polytheologian and activist founded ADF In 1983. After long serving his folk, Isaac resigned from his post in 1996, leading to the selection of our first elected Archdruid. Isaac passed away in 2010, but his work and ideas continue to be foundations of our vision.
What Can You Do As a Member of ADF?
As a member of Our Druidry, you will be part of a network of hundreds of others interested in Druidism. If you choose to you’ll receive our quarterly magazine, Oak Leaves , filled with articles on Pagan ways, rituals, meditations and organizational information. You’ll also receive our Dedicant Path text, with a simple, systematic program that you can follow to focus and develop your spiritual life in the way of Pagan Druidry. After completing the foundation of our training by documenting your Dedicant Path studies, you can opt to join our focused study programs offered by subgroups such as the Clergy Council or our Guilds. Within the study programs you can receive training in the skills of Druidry – ritual, divination, magic, bardry, healing and other arts and sciences.
If you are near a local grove, you can share in their work and ritual, and in service to your community, or not, you might consider finding a few like-minded friends and forming a grove yourself. Our Grove Coordinating Committee will help you get started.
We’re looking for people who want to pitch in to build Paganism’s future, not just one person at a time, but also by building solid institutions that can carry the Work from this generation to those following. We’re looking for People who are inspired and fascinated by the old religions, who want to make them real again in our time. We’re looking for teachers and students, newcomers and long time Pagans looking for a home. If you are a newcomer to paganism we can help you build your personal spiritual Work. If you have been Pagan for a while, we hope that our vision excites you, and that you might be interested in our unique ritual forms, our symbolic structure and the chance to work at reconstructing the old ways for modern people.
If you are interested in joining, please see our membership form online.