About Us

Founding Elder Dreamer
          Sr. Clare-Morgaine:   Born in the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York State, educated at SUNY Empire (Rochester, NY), École Internationale de Théâtre de Mouvement Jacques Lecoq (Paris, France), Brighid's Academy of Healing Arts (Uisneach, Ireland), and Shakespeare & Company (Lenox, MA).  Relevant Avalonian mentors or influences through direct study in the Isles and/or distance collaborations, include: Archdruidess Gina McGarry, Ailean Ó Brânáin, Roselyn Cleri, Eleri Rhys, Iago Orgill, Nicholas R. Mann, and others who cannot be named out of respect for their safety and privacy.

Elder Council (CoE)
          Sr. Morgaine & Br. Myrddin (Elder Dreamers/Merlin), Sr. Da'jeena (Novice Dreamer/Starling), Sr. Refthi-Tiard Meliaska (Novice Singer/Mockingbird).
           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 Council based upon demonstrable spiritual attainment and willingness to serve.  Those currently serving are ADO Druid Elders and Druid Novices who have each been with the Order for over ten years.

Band of Guardians (BoG)
         Srs. Refthi-Tiard, and Da'jeena; Br. Myrddin.
          Oversee the business of the Order as required by the IRS and laws governing nonprofit religious institutions in the United States.   BoG members are elected by the membership. Nominees are approved by the Great Council (the CoE & BoG) based upon the candidates' demonstrable grasp of the Braithion worldview, Tribal Law and Custom, mainstream religious nonprofit requirements, and their willingness to serve the membership community.  [Apprentices may be removed from their positions should they fail to fulfil their legal responsibilities and duty to the Order. ADO Elders and/or Core Members fill vacancies until new Lifetime Members are prepared to apprentice and serve. ]
          Midwife:  Sr. Morgaine; Pursewarden:  Sr. Da'jeena

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

Bylaws; Codes of Ethics & Conduct​

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, inspiring, and nurturing community environment in which we may support each other in fully living our beliefs;
  • Add new chapters to the ancestral story, illustrating the triumphs and challenges of the present time;
  • Safeguard the honour and integrity of the Tradition's Root Wisdoms; and
  • Ensure its survival by passing the Tradition down to new generations of community members.
     The Avalon Mystery Tradition (or 'Avalonian Tradition') is the modern name for a native ancestral spirituality of the Isles and Western Europe.       As a self-empowered and self-governing (i.e. '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, and Sacred Landscape.

     The Tradition has evolved several 'denominations' or 'Branches' over time.  We are Guardians of the Tradition's taproot or 'Root Wisdoms'.  As 'Faery' Druids, we follow the teachings and practices of Avalon's First Ancestors; the egalitarian, matrilineal, matrifocal, pre/proto-Celtic peoples of the Isles and Western Europe, later called Fae  or People of the Sidhe, whom we call , the Braithion.
     As a registered nonprofit religious charity, The Order is required to publish the  Bylaws or Charter under which we incorporated (see links, above), and to observe certain administrative requirements and regulations intended to ensure fiscal accountability.  All ADO members are required to know, and to abide by both IRS rules, and Traditional (Tribal) Law and Custom , for as long as we retain our nonprofit  status.

     While we have worked to bring our Bylaws into harmony with our Tradition, they inevitably reflect the linear, hierarchical structure of the mainstream government which defines and regulates them.  The Council periodically reviews the impact of these regulations on our membership community.  Should it become an impediment to living our beliefs authentically, the nonprofit will be dissolved.

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 they fail to meet our Member Requirements or because their beliefs or spiritual goals are incompatible with our own.  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 seeking to re-enrol 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 satisifed that your return would serve the highest good, your request to re-enrol will be approved.

About the Order


History 

        The Avalon Druid Order (ADO) began in 2001 as an e-list of former members of the Council of Nine of the Sisterhood of Avalon (SOA), who felt constrained limiting their studies exclusively to one Celtic Sisterhood site out of nine original pre-Celtic and Celtic regional Tribal centres.  Rather than create a competing focus for SOA members, and friction with its founder, we left to found an e-list to continue our studies independently.  Although initially we resisted forming our own organisation, eventually it became necessary to offer some structure for training people.  A desire for dedicated lands and a scholarship fund, and the need to protect ourselves from existing Avalonian groups vying to assume the role of 'Mother Church', persuaded us to incorporate as an Avalonian Order; establishing legal precedents for the autonomy of modern Avalonian groups by reasserting Tradition precedents against the institution of any centralised governing authority.

          Thus, after careful consideration, our Core Members (i.e. the senior e-list members providing most of the group's training and services) took the decision to incorporate as a religious nonprofit charity, charged with:

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

It took almost three years to prepare and submit the necessary paperwork to the government, and raise money to cover the related legal fees; a tedious transition, during which a number of members grew impatient and left.  But in December 2004, we were granted religious nonprofit status, followed by charitable/exempt status in May 2006.  At about this time, Morgaine and Myrddin also found new mentors (some of whom are named above) working in the pre-Celtic or 'Braithion' Branch of Avalonian Tradition.  While this was good news for the newly established Order, the move would have unforeseen consequences.  Many e-list members who had remained in hopes of inventing their own versions of Avalonian spirituality, or who hoped to be credentialed as 'Ladies of Avalon' to preside over groups of their own, left when they discovered that the Order would be rooted in the non-hierarchical, egalitarian Branch of an existing ancestral Tradition which could not be altered to suit modern tastes.

          This exodus left us with just twenty Core Members, some of whom would also move on in the days to come. We took heart from the fact that those who remained were also those likeliest to continue working to grow the community, and those best prepared to make the transition from modern Celtic-Arthurian to native Braithion Avalonianism quickly and efficiently.  The faster we completed this transformation back to "Faery Druidry", the sooner we could begin training new Aspirants and Lifetime Members.  That we did not fully appreciate the magnitude of the challenge which lay before us was soon evident.  Every assumption had to be re-evaluated, re-assessed, and re-verified within the context of the Braithion worldview before any teachings could be conveyed.  Men's Mysteries had to be reincorporated without reverting to linear hierarchy or undermining or devaluing Women's Mysteries. Concepts of childrearing, and the relationships between Tribes and Druids, had to be re-established based upon egalitarian Braithion, rather than patriarchal Celtic or modern principles, if we were to succeed in establishing a community and Order based upon Avalon's Root Wisdoms.

          This transition has taken ten years, but the collection of teachings once preserved piecemeal by a handful of Tradition mentors in the Isles and Europe has now been reintegrated as a complete Avalonian metaphysical system.  The only blemishes on the ancestral patina are a handful of stories which survive as summaries, rather than as complete tales, and the native Braithion form of self-defense, which survives only as a description.  Since we possess a sound ancestral method for reclaiming 'lost' ancestral lore, even these wisdoms can never be truly lost to us.  The rest of the teachings and examples of verification have now been recorded in a series of study books which are held in trust exclusively by our Order.  This level of completeness is extraordinary for a native European spirituality.

          As inheritors of the Tradition and the Order, we are charged with providing the wisdom and guidance needed to restore balance and heal our world.  This is not a task for solitary practitioners or for one generation, but for each generation of members working collaboratively through spiritual community.  Therefore, the ADO is not a 'Druid College', but a gathering building a spiritual community through which Braithion Avalonian Tradition may be experienced and passed down to future generations of members.  Each generation begins as a group of Aspirants who seek the Way of Truth, and evolves into Fosterlings of the Tribes who have found the Way, and are now embarked upon becoming the Wise Elders of the future.  Together, we collaborate to fulfil our respective Callings to Serve.​​


About the Community

Spiritual Kindred: Reclaiming Authentic Community
          
          Authentic community is based upon authentic identity: our relationships with family, friends, allies, the ancestors, and the land itself.  For most of human history, communities have been extended families actively collaborating to survive, thrive, and maintain their shared way of life.  Their members are mutually supportive, care about each other, actively promote each other's success, and extend themselves to help each other, because they know they will receive help in return.  Real communities are places of nurture, which inspire real pride.  But these qualities could not be further removed from the Wasteland of 'corporate municipalities' being passed off as 'communities' today.  Living in warehouses for human workers (or 'units') naturally leaves people feeling cynical and alienated.

          But we are not obliged to live in this dystopia.  If we have the will, and a sustainable plan, then we have the power to change our world.  The ancestors placed a value on foster kin which rivalled that of blood kin; why should we not do the same with our kindred of choice?  Avalonians in the Isles are already reclaiming authentic community by choosing to behave and interact as if society has already attained it. Where they are able to establish 'intentional communities', they choose social systems which correspond to the metaphysics and practices of their particular Avalonian Ages and Archetypes.  Ours is the Age of the Mothers and the pre-Celtic, egalitarian, 'Braithion' Archetype, whose spiritual kin-groups are organised as Groves and settlements, where resources are shared equally in exchange for equal shares of labour towards community upkeep and goals.  Here we teach the Tradition to new generations of members.

​​Community Structure:  The Three Circles​​

          ADO community and spiritual practice derive from a template established by Avalon's First Ancestors; the pre-Celtic peoples we call "the Braithion".  Braithion tribal society closely mirrored the patterns observed in the cycles of Nature, which express through the body of the land, the stars, and the lives of human beings; lives lived in community through the interaction of Three Community Circles:

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

Here, each generation discover their authentic personal and Tribal identities, learn their common worldview, history, and shared culture, and hone the skills necessary for survival and spiritual evolution. It is only natural, then, that formal Druid Circles should evolve from these working groups.  We know these Circles as:

  • Hearth (the 'Sisterhood');
  • Henge (the '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
​​​​
These Three Wisdom Circles extend the teachings and practices of the community's working groups deeper into the realms of metaphysics; realms defined and regulated by the Laws of Nature, and interpreted through the lens of worldview.​​

          Worldview defines the assumptions underlying a culture's shared reality, and their individual and collective relationships with the world around them.  The ancestral worldview preserves a way to rediscover one's authentic personal and group identity.  It allows us to understand ancestral stories, teachings, and lore, as the ancestors intended them to be understood, rather than simply re-interpret or reinvent them to suit modern, mainstream convenience.  It is our ancestral roots which make our Druid Way authentic and powerful, and it is through them that the Tradition endures. For this reason, every ADO member is first and foremost a Tribes member; we become Druids through our service to the Tribes (i.e. the membership community), and not by serving ourselves.

          The ancestors believed (as we believe) that to remain prosperous and harmonious, the structure of human society must mirror that of the Great Pattern of Being which serves as a blueprint for reality.  It is a belief common to most native peoples.  In Druid natural philosophy, this Pattern manifests through the interplay of Three Realms (Land, Sea, and Sky), each of which expresses through three Elemental Forces. In Braithon and Celtic Sacred Stories, these Realms are embodied by Three Royal (or 'Noble') Houses, while their respective Elements are embodied by Nine Tribes of First Ancestors; making the First Ancestors forces of Nature, whose 'lineages' of creatures and plants offer clues to their underlying natures and correspondences. These are the Mighty Ancestors whose powers surpass our own, but who remain responsive to our feeling and thought. Thus, the ancestral concept of 'kindred' is defined by our common origins and relationships as consciously aware, ensouled emanations of the Sacred Wellspring or Source.  Our 'Sacred Wood' is the Order (our members and spiritual ancestors).  Even today, 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 was comprised of Hunter-Gatherers and Pastoralists following the movements of the herds.  But the more people there are to feed, the more prey are hunted, and the greater the area needed to sustain the 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 eastern North America.  Nine being the 'number of completion' in Traditional Sacred Numerology, multiples of nine were seen as being 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.

          Taken together, these three original Avalonian Orders define a kind of 'Golden Age' of Avalonian Faery Druid spiritality, society, and culture.  Thriving in one Order or another for over twenty millennia (in astrological terms, nearly an entire 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 inform the ADO's spiritual beliefs, teachings, and practices today.
​​


 The Hidden Ways

Bloodlines & Fosterage

          Anciently, there were three ways to 'join' an Avalonian Order:  by (1) Lineage; (2) 'Marriage'; or (3) Fosterage (the ancestral equivalent to 'adoption').  The former are based upon Bloodlines (inheritance), and the latter upon Avalon's Motherlines (teaching lineages).  Since for millennia only the Braithion Avalonian Age and Archetype existed, Tribes members shared exactly the same worldview, so there was no reason not to recognise housemates ('Marriage') and children (Lineage) as community members automatically.  Today, mainstream mindsets inform most people's attitudes, expectations, and behaviour, and since mainstream beliefs and values are often diametrically opposed to our own, immediate membership through Lineage and Marriage is now practically impossible.  Thus, Fosterage ('Aspirancy') has become the usual path to Lifetime Membership for adults, with your Tutor(s) 'sponsoring' or advocating for you at Council when you are ready to join.  A provisional Youth Membership is available for eligible children* of members, with the possibility of Lifetime Membership when they reach adulthood.

          As fosterlings of the Tribes we are all spiritual kin, and membership is intended to be a mutual (reciprocal) lifetime commitment.  We commit to train and nurture you 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 community through educational outreach, events, tutoring, and Grove work.  Unlike many larger groups, and most 'cyber' groups, our members have direct access to all Core Members (senior members of the Order). There is no 'inner circle' from which most of the membership is excluded.  Advancement is based upon eligibility, and upon  demonstrable, Traditional knowledge, ability, and skill , in areas including:  spiritual ablutions; Healing Cycle work; Sacred Story, Star, and Landscape lore; Dreaming and ritual practices; tutoring; participation; and service/contribution to the community.  Generally, the pace of your advancement will correspond to the amount of time and energy you regularly commit to study/verification, practice, and active participation.

          Though we are, at present, but a handful of individuals, more than half of the ancestral Tribes are already represented within our community.  The Order continues to grow slowly, carefully, and mindfully, towards completion, walking in the footsteps of Avalon's far ancestors.  We are not looking for 'more' people; we are looking for the right people to complete our spiritual community; those who will be made happiest by living the Tradition as it has been handed down to us, within the context of modern, Traditional community. We invite you to contemplate the unique gifts you might bring to the Order, and whether it would serve your spiritual growth to join us and begin your journey as an Aspirant, today.


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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 until they come of legal age.

DETERMINATIONS OF ELIGIBILITY & 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 and historical context, and engaging in a certain amount of basic research for the purpose of 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 guided self-discovery, in which a facilitator uses a series of related questions to lead 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 realisation and insight, bringing one deeper into the ancestral worldview.

          Though our studies initially proceed on a presumption of truth, nothing is taken for granted. Tradition requires us to verify the veracity of our teachings and the results of our work in at least three authoritative academic/scientific sources, as well as Traditional and comparative sources (e.g. native folklore, folk practice), before finally accepting them as 'fact'. Because we know how we arrived at, and verified the information, we know we can trust it.  The same process affords oral tradition teachings (and eventually, intuition) a standing equal to that of deductive reasoning, by honing discernment and developing mastery.  Verification teaches us why our teachings, and the 'answers' they reveal to us, are valid.  It enables us to trust the process and the results it yields, dispelling the crippling doubts which can undermine real spiritual development and progress.

          Study is largely collaborative, self-directed, and self-paced.  It is also nonlinear, 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 cyclical, when in actuality they spirals backwards and forwards, inwards and outwards, like a coiled, multi-dimensional ouroboros.  Progress may initially be difficult to chart, but with time one's own journals reveal the speed and depth of one's accomplishments.  For those who enjoy discovering their own Truths and sharing the journey with others, Traditional training has the potential to yield much greater results than can be enjoyed through any conventional method of education.

Attainment & Recognition

         While our Druids earn their titles and authority through years of intensive study, practice, and service within the community, they must continue to fulfil their oaths, meet their obligations to the community, and demonstrate their worthiness to hold office, or their status may be revoked.  This is true even of those claming descent from esteemed Druid lineages. This 'meritocracy' also sets the ADO apart from groups whose titles are generally inherited or conferred for life or until an individual chooses to relinquish them.  Thus, to derive satisfaction from a Tradition such as ours requires a real and constant commitment to self-actualisation, steadfast service to a spiritual community, and the assumption of responsibility for manifesting change mindfully, instead of hoping for a 'saviour' to put things right.

The Future

         The decline of standard media outlets and genuinely social functions, coupled with the isolating nature of social media, demand that Seekers find new ways to discover us.  Answers must be found if the Tradition, and the community, are to survive and thrive.  Some of these answers may come from you.  If you feel destined to serve, want to make a difference, and are ready to commit time and energy to your spiritual evolution with other like-minded people in community, then we invite you to consider making this journey with us.  Head over to the " Join ADO " page and submit your paid application and enrolment as an Aspirant and candidate for Lifetime Membership; then visit our Member Forum  and introduce yourself (you can register as a Forum member once the Elder Council approves your application and confirms your enrolment as an Aspirant).  We look forward to sharing the journey with you.
"The value of the Well is not known until it runs dry."