About Us

Avalonian 'Faery' Druidry
        The First Ancestors (the 'Braithion' or 'Fae') of the Isles and Western Europe believed that the soul journeys to a primal place of healing and spiritual renewal between lives.  This place had many names, but it is remembered in later Celtic literature as "the Otherworld" or "Ynys Afallon" (Avalon; "The Isle of Apples").  Druidry is a native European spiritual philosophy common to these, and later peoples, which regards all life as sacred, and our bodies and planet as vessels of the sacred.  Druids strive to live sustainably in harmony with Nature, and in peace with all other beings.

         We are 'Avalonian' by lineage, and by virtue of the fact that the teachings and practices associated with Avalon define our spiritual tradition; 'Faery' by virtue of the fact that ours is an ancestral spirituality; and Druid by virtue of the fact that native Druid philosophy defines our worldview.

"Torre de Glastonbury-Interior" 2008 by Josep Renalias  (cropped GIF with grey overlay)

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Origins & Evolution

History ​​

        The Avalon Druid Order (ADO) began in 2001 as an e-list of former Council members of the Sisterhood of Avalon, whose spiritual studies had drawn them beyond the beliefs and practices of the single Celtic Sisterhood site to which the SOA was then devoted, and into those of Avalon's nine original, regional Tribal centres.  Although initially we resisted forming our own organization, we were eventually persuaded to offer some structure for training the Seekers coming to us.  The need to preserve more of the Tradition, and to protect ourselves from groups seeking to control access to the Tradition by establishing themselves as Avalon's 'Mother Church', was also evident.  Incorporating as a religious nonprofit charity enabled us to establish legal precedents for the autonomy of all modern Avalonian groups by reasserting Tradition precedents against the institution of any centralized governing authority.  The new Order was charged with:

  • Protecting our right to work and practise as Avalonian Druids, and to ordain our own Druid clergy;
  • Facilitating and coordinating training and services for ADO Gatherings and other events; and
  • Fundraising for ADO dedicated lands, community education, events, and Member resources.

          In December 2004, we were granted religious nonprofit status, followed by confirmation of charitable/tax exempt status in May 2006.  At about this time, Morgaine and Myrddin also began studying and collaborating with new mentors in the native Braithion/Fairy Druid Branch of the Avalon Mystery Tradition; teachings which now form the basis for ADO spiritual practice.  Once held by a handful of scattered mentors, they have now been reintegrated into a complete Avalonian metaphysical system and documented in a series of books which are held in trust exclusively by our Order.  The only blemishes on the ancestral patina are certain stories which survive as summaries, rather than as complete story cycles, and the native Braithion form of self-defence, which (so far as we know) survives only as a description --and since the ancestral bequest includes a sound method for reclaiming 'lost' ancestral lore, even these wisdoms can never be truly lost to us.

          The Great Work of healing the Wasteland, which lies at the heart of Avalonian Tradition, is not for solitary practitioners, or for one generation, or for the cloistered inhabitants of a Druid College, but for each generation of members working collaboratively through spiritual community. Hence, though we serve as mentors, the ADO is not a Druid School or College; we are a community of actively collaborating spiritual kindred who begin as Aspirants, seeking the Way of Truth, and evolve into Fosterlings of the Tribes (members of the ADO spiritual community) who have found the Way, and are now embarked upon becoming the Wise Elders and Druids of the future. Together, we work to fulfil the Call to Serve.

​​Spiritual Kindred: Reclaiming Authentic Community
          
          For most of human history, communities have been mutually supportive extended families and friends who actively collaborated to survive, thrive, and maintain their shared way of life.  Community members helped and supported each other, because they knew they would receive help and support in return.  Thus, real communities are places of nurture, which inspire real pride; qualities which could not be further removed from the Wasteland of corporate municipalities being passed off as communities today.  Governments and employers have redefined personal and group identity in service to their own interests; effectively undermining the relationships necessary for authentic community, and the ability to recognize and respond to individual, as well as collective needs.  The sprawling, impersonal, human warehouses now called 'communities' are naturally alienating to many, and in the absence of any obvious, realistic alternative it is tempting to respond by spurning other people and worrying only about oneself.  However, as human beings we depend upon groups for our survival; we cannot afford to turn our backs on community life.  This paradox leaves many feeling angry and disempowered.  But it doesn't have to be this way.

         
As followers of a self-empowering Tradition, we are committed to restoring these cornerstone relationships by reinstating their original, ancestral forms and definitions.  The ancestors held foster and blood kin in the same high regard, and their system of fosterage extended the bonds of kinship far beyond the limits of their own hearthfires.  Family, Friend/Ally, and Fosterage relationships defined their communities, binding them together through love and loyalty.  Why should our communities not do the same?  Avalonian Druids in the Isles are already reclaiming authentic community by choosing to behave and interact as if mainstream society had already reclaimed it; choosing internal societal forms and systems of governance which correspond to their particular metaphysics and spiritual practices.  Our members are similarly engaged in preparing the way for ADO communities, where we may better share the journey and teach the Tradition to new generations of members.​​
​​The Three Circles:  Community Structure​​

          ADO community and spiritual practice derive from a template established by Avalon's First Ancestors (the Braithion), whose societies were designed to mirror the patterns observed in Nature as manifest in the Three Realms.  These Realms and their respective founding Houses are clearly reflected in the interaction of the ancestors' Three Community Circles:

  • Women's Mysteries;
  • Men's Mysteries; and
  • Mysteries of Union.

Here, generations of ancestors discovered their authentic personal and Tribal identities, and their common worldview, history, and culture, and honed the skills necessary for survival and spiritual evolution. It is only natural, then, that formal Druid Wisdom Circles should evolve from these working groups. We know them as:

  • Hearth (the Druid Sisterhood);
  • Henge (the Druid Brotherhood); and
  • Grove (the place where the two unite).
  1. Women's Mysteries: Hearth
    +
    Women's Mysteries: Hearth
  2. Men's Mysteries: Henge
    +
    Men's Mysteries: Henge
  3. Mysteries of Union: Grove
    +
    Mysteries of Union: Grove
​​​​​The Wisdom Circles extend the teachings and practices of the Community Circles deeper into the realms of metaphysics; realms defined and regulated by the Universal Laws of Nature, and experienced and interpreted through the microcosmic lens of worldview.​​

          Worldview defines the assumptions which underlie a culture's shared reality; providing a context for mutual understanding, and informing people's individual and collective relationships with the world around them.  Adopting the ancestral worldview allows us to understand ancestral teachings, and lore, as the ancestors intended them to be understood, rather than as modern, mainstream convention would have us understand them.  It is the ancestral worldview which makes our Druid Way authentic and powerful; through our ancestral roots the Tradition endures.

          Like the far ancestors, we believe that harmonious societies mirror the Great Pattern of Being, which serves as the blueprint for reality.  In Faery Druid natural philosophy, it manifests through the interplay of Three Realms (Land, Sea, and Sky), each of which expresses through three Elemental Forces. In Braithion and early Celtic Sacred Stories, these Realms are embodied by Three Royal (or 'Noble') Houses, while their respective Elements are embodied by Nine Archetypal Tribes; making the First Ancestors forces of Nature, whose 'lineages' of creatures, plants, and peoples, reflect their essential natures and reveal their correspondences. These are the Mighty Ancestors whose powers surpass our own, but who remain responsive to our feeling and thought.  We are 'kin' by virtue of our common origins as consciously aware, ensouled emanations of the Sacred Wellspring or Source.  Even today, within the wider Tradition no Avalonian Order is considered complete until all Three Houses and Nine Tribes are represented within it.

          Tradition tells us that the first archetypal Avalonian Order consisted of Hunter-Gatherers and Pastoralists following the movements of the wild herds.  The more people there are to feed, the more prey are hunted, and the greater the area needed to sustain the whole system.  As populations grew, representative members of each Tribe 'hived off' from the original Order to start new settlements elsewhere; eventually establishing new Avalonian Orders in Western Europe, and some say, Northeastern America.  Nine being the 'number of completion', multiples of nine were considered fortuitous, and tended to define any population limits or goals set during a population explosion driven by improving conditions and the growing reputation of Avalon's Mystery Schools.  This Avalonian population 'boom' peaks with the advent of farming, in the days before the coming of warrior tribes from the East.

          These three original Avalonian Orders define a kind of 'Golden Age' of Avalonian Faery Druid spirituality, society, and culture.  Thriving in one Order or another for over twenty millennia (in astronomical terms, nearly half of a Great Year), this time of origins or 'Dreamtime' is remembered in our Branch of Avalonian Tradition as 'the Age of the Mothers'.  It is the collective spiritual beliefs, customs, practices, and philosophies of this formative period which informs the ADO's spiritual beliefs, teachings, and practices today.​​

​​Bloodlines & Fosterage:  Spiritual Lineage and The Path to Membership

          Avalonian Spiritual Lineages spring from two sources:  Bloodlines, and Motherlines.  Bloodlines are verified family lineages, preserving and passing down the worldviews and spiritual practices of their specific Avalonian Ages and Archetypes (or 'Tradition Branches') from one generation to the next.  Motherlines are approved teaching lineages, which pass the Tradition down from teacher to student; a feature common to most native spiritual/healing traditions and religions, including Buddhism and Reiki.  (See also, Levels of Attainment, below.)  The importance of lineage lies neither in venerability nor in status, but in ancestry.

          The ancestors recognized three ways to 'join' a Braithion Avalonian Order:  by (1) Lineage; (2) 'Marriage'; or (3) Fosterage (the latter two being the ancestral equivalents of 'adoption').  Since for millennia Tribes members shared exactly the same worldview, there was no reason not to accept these as valid credentials for community membership. Today, mainstream beliefs and values inform most people's attitudes, expectations, and behaviour.  Since the mainstream worldview is often diametrically opposed to our own, inherited membership has become practically impossible. Thus, Fosterage (i.e. 'Aspirancy') has become the usual path to Lifetime Membership for adults, with Tutor(s) sponsoring or advocating for their Aspirants at Council when they are ready to join.  Lineage is established later through Druid training (the ADO's Motherline).  A limited provisional Youth Membership is available for eligible children* of members, with the possibility of Lifetime Membership when they reach adulthood. Thus, every ADO member is first and foremost a fosterling of the Tribes.

          Being spiritual kin redefines membership as a mutual (reciprocal) lifetime commitment.  We commit to train you and to nurture your spiritual development for as long as you remain a member-in-good-standing, and you commit to demonstrably live your ADO spiritual practice as an active community member, to preserve and protect the Tradition as received from the ADO Founders, and to help 'grow' the Order  by assisting with educational outreach, events, tutoring, and Grove work.


          Unlike many larger (and most 'cyber') groups, our members have direct access to all Core Members of the Order. There is no 'inner circle' from which most of the membership is excluded.  Advancement is based upon merit (demonstrable knowledge, experience, ability, and skill of the Tradition), in areas including:  spiritual ablutions; Healing Cycle work; Sacred Story/Star/Landscape lore; contemplative (Dreaming) and ritual practices; tutoring; and service and participation at all levels of ADO spiritual community.  Generally, the pace of your advancement will correspond to the amount of time and energy you regularly commit to study/verification, personal and group spiritual practice, mentoring, and active service at community Gatherings and events.  We become Druids through mastery of a spiritual discipline (or 'Calling'), which defines our service to the membership community (the modern 'Tribes').

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YOUTH ELIGIBILITY:  The candidate's parents/legal guardians must be ADO Lifetime Members and the candidate must demonstrate: a genuine, personal interest in the Tradition; an affinity for our community environment; and the necessary focus, concentration, and self-discipline to learn and follow ADO teachings and practices within a Traditional community setting.  Current, signed consent(s) from all parents/legal guardians are also required for each candidate and Youth Member each year until they come of legal age as adults.
  RESTRICTIONS: Youth Memberships are provisional (i.e. generally subject to the same restrictions and requirements as apply to paid, adult Aspirants), and are approved by the ADO Elder Council, or its chosen representative, based upon our spiritual guidance, direct observation, and community input.
  CAVEATS:  Lessons may include some adult material.  Therefore, as a condition for Youth Members to attend, parents/legal guardians agree to:  (1) Provide direct, personal supervision during each lesson; and (2) Use their own discretion with regard to which lessons are appropriate for their child(ren) to attend. (Regrets, but we cannot tailor group lessons to accommodate individual attendees.)

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Traditional Training

          Apart from providing a basic cultural/historical context and guidance on verification, ADO mentoring offers no 'answers' and involves none of the trappings of conventional education.  Learning is primarily experiential and exploration is based upon 'the Hunt'; a process of directed self-discovery, in which a facilitator uses a series of related questions to guide Seekers ('hounds') through the Sacred Stories along paths where various Tradition-appropriate 'answers' may be found.  Each Hunt builds upon the last, and leads to the next, and each year's hunting adds new layers of realization and insight, bringing one deeper into the ancestral worldview.

          Though study and training proceed on a presumption of truth, nothing is taken for granted. We are required to verify the veracity of Tradition teachings and the results of our spiritual studies and work using data or evidence from at least three authoritative academic/scientific, literary/mythological, and folkloric sources, before finally accepting them as 'fact'.  Verification teaches us why our teachings, and the 'answers' they reveal to us, are true and valid.  It enables us to trust Traditional mindsets and approaches and the results they yield, dispelling the crippling doubts which can undermine real spiritual development and progress. The same process of verification, discernment, practise, and mastery, can eventually afford intuitive work and oral tradition teachings a standing equal to that of deductive reasoning. 

          Study is largely collaborative, self-directed, and self-paced.  It is also non-linear, and in consequence lacks the usual signposts for identifying one's progress.  Just as our limited view of the horizon makes a curved surface appear flat, so our limited perspective makes Traditional teaching methods appear linear or aimless when in actuality they spiral backwards and forwards, inwards and outwards through different spheres of reality, like a helically coiled, interdimensional Ouroboros.  Progress may initially be difficult to chart, but with time one's own journals reveal the speed and depth of one's progress.  For those who enjoy, and who persevere in discovering their own Truths and sharing the journey with other members, Traditional training has the potential to yield far greater results than can be enjoyed through any conventional educational method.

Levels of Attainment (Titles, Recognition & Advancement)

          At present there are two basic levels of attainment and membership:  (1) Tribes members, who know and follow Cycle, and who meet the minimum requirements for a member of the Order; and (2) ordained Druids, who have successfully completed (and maintain) advanced spiritual study and practice, and who make an ongoing, demonstrable commitment of service to the Order.  Of the two, only ordained ADO Druids inherit the ADO Motherline.

          ADO's Motherline flows from our Founder (Morgaine, and her Braithion Avalonian mentors) to the ADO Druids whom she ordains, and thence to their ordained Initiates, in a continuing line from generation to generation. Lineage is conferred through intensive training, and through a series of signature vibrational attunements culminating in  Ordination, where spiritual titles and authority are officially recognized and conferred by the Gods and Mighty Ancestors, the ADO Elder Council, and the Tribes (the ADO membership community).  While our Druids earn their titles and authority through years of intensive study, practise, and ADO community service, they must continue to fulfil their oaths, meet their community obligations, and demonstrate their worthiness to hold office, or their spiritual status and authority may be revoked.  This Traditional 'meritocracy' sets the ADO apart from groups whose titles are generally inherited or conferred for life or until an individual chooses to relinquish them.

          While formal titles and manners are observed in ceremony, and in public settings where people are unfamiliar with the Tradition and the Order, it is important to remind ourselves that here, regardless of one's attainments, all people are equal, and that we are not a collection of strangers, but individuals and families who are bound together in spiritual kinship, and in common belief and purpose.  Thus, around the hearthfire, we refer to each other as 'Sisters' or 'Brothers', or simply by Tradition name.​​

Relationships with Past Members

     The Order is on cordial terms with most past members, but while we welcome their return, such requests do raise some concerns.  People generally leave us because their beliefs or spiritual goals take them elsewhere, or because they fail to maintain our Member Requirements.  Therefore, as a condition for re-enrolment, we ask returning Members to:

  • Offer some explanation which might account for your changed perspective;
  • Resolve any lingering issues (e.g. debts, disagreements, disciplinary actions) from your prior membership before re-enrolling as an ADO Aspirant; and
  • Provide insight into exactly how your return would benefit this community.

It is important that your return be based on real and profound changes in your life, goals, and/or beliefs, which make your membership tenable, and not on nostalgia or temporary disappointments in finding other groups with whom to work.  When the Elder Council is satisfied that your return would be mutually beneficial, your request to re-enrol will be honoured.

The Future

          Though at present we are but a handful of individuals, we are already approaching fulfilment in ancestral terms.  We are seeking not 'more' members, but the right members for our spiritual community; those who will be made happiest by living the Tradition within our modern Groves and membership community as it was handed down to us by our Founder. The decline of standard media outlets and genuinely social functions, coupled with the isolating nature of modern life, demands that we find new ways to reach out to Seekers --and that Seekers find new ways to quest, discover us, and fulfil their membership vows.  Answers must be found if the Tradition and the Order are to endure.  Some of these answers may come from you.

          If you what you see here speaks to your heart, if you long for a sense of meaning and purpose, and you are ready and able to dedicate yourself to your own spiritual evolution and that of your foster community, then we invite you to consider making this journey with us.  Discover whether the ADO is right for you.  Introduce yourself and meet our community at our Members Forum .  (You can post as a Guest without registering until the Elder Council approves your application and confirms your enrolment as an Aspirant.)  If, after meeting us, you feel comfortable and eager to begin your journey in earnest, then, visit the " Join ADO " page and submit your paid application/enrolment as an Aspirant and candidate for Lifetime Membership.

We look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Foundation

Law & Custom:
Bylaws & Codes

Vision for the Order

Place in Avalonian Tradition

     Our purpose in founding The ADO is to:
  • Live and teach the tools of Self-empowerment leading to true Sovereignty;
  • Offer members an authentic, ancestral Path to Mindful Spiritual Evolution and an experience of Oneness with the Source or Wellspring of Life;
  • Provide a safe, nurturing community supporting us in fully living our beliefs;
  • Safeguard the integrity of the Tradition's Root Wisdoms;
  • Protect our right to practice and teach Braithion Avalonian Faery Druid Tradition, and to ordain our own Avalonian Druid clergy;
  • Defend the rights of other Avalonians to establish autonomous Avalonian groups, and ordain their own Avalonian clergy; and
  • Ensure the Order's survival by teaching the Tradition to new generations of community members.
     As a self-empowered and Sovereign spiritual tradition, Avalon has no central Church authority or 'Mother Church'. Avalonian groups are independent of, and legally unaffiliated with each other, though we share a common Wellspring of Wisdom, Ancestors, Stories, and Sacred Landscape.

     The modern Tradition has several 'denominations' or 'Branches', each of which centres on different Avalonian Ages and Archetypes, and Celestial (or Zodiac) Ages.  Since these Celestial Ages repeat, and since no one Avalonian group or Branch can embody all of Avalon's Wisdom, every group and Branch is vital to the Tradition's survival.

     We are Guardians of the Tradition's taproot (the 'Root Wisdoms' and practices of Avalon's First Ancestors). We keep the Tradition anchored to its authentic identity and roots.
     As a registered nonprofit religious charity, The Order is bound by secular law, by the  Bylaws or Charter under which we incorporated (link above), and to certain administrative requirements and regulations intended to ensure fiscal accountability, as well as Traditional Law and Custom.

     All ADO members are required to abide by Traditional (Tribal) and secular law, and IRS rules and regulations for as long as we retain our nonprofit  status.

     While every effort has been made to harmonize the needs of Tradition with those of the nonprofit, the latter inevitably reflects the structure and worldview of the government which defines and regulates it. The Elder Council periodically reviews the impact of the nonprofit on life in the Order; should it become an impediment to living our beliefs authentically, the nonprofit would be dissolved.

The Great Council: Administration & Oversight

Founding Elder Dreamer
Sr. Clare-Morgaine:  [ E ducation/Training]  SUNY Empire (B.A.1990, Rochester, NY); École Internationale de Théâtre de Mouvement Jacques Lecoq (M.A./Prof. Cert. 1990, Paris, France); Shakespeare & Company (June Intensive Workshop1987, Lenox, MA); and Usui/Tibetan Reiki Master (1997 to 2000; Rev. Susan 'Emelyn' Kelsey, RM-T).  [ Avalonian Druid Mentors & Influences thru Direct Study/Distance Collaborations]:  SOA (1997-2000); Brighid's Academy of Healing Arts (Cert. in Celtic Herbalism & Fall Immersion, Uisneach, Ireland, 2001; Ard Bandruí Gina McGarry); Ailean Ó Brânáin, Roselyn Cleri, Eleri Rhys, Nicholas R. Mann, and others who cannot be named out of respect for their safety and privacy (1997 to 2012).
Elder Council (CoE)
Sr. Morgaine & Br. Myrddin (Elder Dreamers/Merlins), Sr. Da'jeena (Novice Starling-Dreamer), Sr. Refthi-Tiard Meliaska (Novice Mockingbird-Singer).
           Provide spiritual guidance for the Order, and have final say on any policies or procedures which may impact Tradition teachings or practices, or the quality of life in our community.  Positions are by appointment of the Elder Council based upon demonstrable spiritual attainment and willingness to serve.  The current Council Elders are ADO Druids and Druid Novices who have each been with the Order for over ten years.

Band of Guardians (BoG)
Sr. Da'jeenaBr. Myrddin, and Br. Cal (apprentice).
          Oversee the Order's finances as required by the IRS/US laws governing nonprofit organizations.  BoG members are elected by the membership. Nominees are approved by the Great Council (the CoE & BoG) based upon their qualifications (see Bylaws), reliability, and willingness to serve the Order.  [BoG members and apprentices may be removed from their positions should they fail to fulfil their legal responsibilities and duty to the Order. Vacancies are filled by ADO Elders and/or Core Members until positions can be filled.]

Administrative Officers (required by the IRS):
Chieftain: Sr. Refthi-Tiard; Midwife: Sr. Morgaine;  Pursewarden: Sr. Da'jeena

Note on Traditional, Consensus-Based Community:

          The Braithion Tribes were able to govern by community consensus only because all community members shared and lived the same culture, values, and worldview, and were bound together in common belief and purpose. Today, Seekers, Aspirants, and new members arrive living mainstream values and worldviews that are incompatible with our own.  Consequently,  we cannot adopt a fully Braithion form of governance until the ancestral worldview which informs it has become second nature to all, or nearly all ADO members, and such members are sufficient for the community to withstand the pressure of mainstream values and worldviews still held and espoused by newcomers.  Until these conditions are met, the ADO Elder Council (CoE) must remain the governing body, with the administrative support of the Band of Guardians (BoG) and Officers of the Order, and input from the membership community or 'Tribes'.
"The value of the Well is not known until it runs dry."