Governing Documents of the Avalon Druid Order (ADO)

          The following documents represent the IRS administrative regulations, member requirements, and Traditional Law and Custom governing the operation of The Avalon Druid Order (ADO), the ethics and conduct required of its members, and the Covenant governing participation and access to ADO resources within and through our cyber community, including the ADO chatrooms and Members Forum.  All ADO members are required to know, and to abide by these rules and requirements as a condition of membership and continued access to ADO resources.

          Therefore, before submitting your Application for Enrolment in the Aspirant Course or membership in the Order, please take whatever time you need to examine the information below and be sure that you are willing and able to agree to all regulations, terms, and conditions set out herein, as you will be legally rsponsible to follow them once you have enrolled and joined.  While rules and regulations may not make for fascinating reading, knowing them will make your experiences here safer and more rewarding.  Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
"Vipera Berus" (2005) by Malene Thyssen 


Definitions of Terms & Directory
​ 

Following are the Traditional titles of ADO Administrators and Officers, and their corporate equivalents:
The Council of Elders (or Elder Council or 'CoE') / Church Council
     Morgaine Bergman (Morgaine)
     F. Frank Bergman (Myrddin)
     M. Prettyman (Refthi-Tiard Meliaska)
​     L. Paige (Da'jeena)

The Band of Guardians (or 'BoG') / Board of Trustees or Directors
     Da'jeena, Myrddin, [Vacant]

Chieftain, Pursewarden, Midwife & Voice for the Council, Tanaiste (Welsh, Olynydd) / Officers
     Refthi-Tiard, Da'jeena, Morgaine, [Tanaiste/Olynydd:  Vacant]

Voices of Justice / Disciplinary Board
     Refthi-Tiard, Da'jeena, Myrddin

Merlins / Outside Liaisons
     Morgaine & Myrddin

Members Registrar
     Morgaine

Member Liaison
     Myrddin

Event Coordinator
     C. Havlicek

e-Journal Editor(s)
     Da'jeena, Morgaine

Web Mistress/Master & Forum Moderator
     Morgaine

Other Traditional Titles & Terms:
     Aspirant / Provisional Member
     Dedicant / Clergy or Craftspeople working in service to a
          particular diety
     'Tribes' or Lifetime Member / Congregant
     Scribe / Secretarial or Clerical Assistant
     Warden / Asst. Treasurer or Grove Treasurer
     Novice, Apprentice Levels of Druid Novitiate
     Druid Dreamers, Singers, Pathwalkers / Clergy

Bylaws of Avalon Druid Order, Inc.
a Florida Not-for-Profit Corporation

[As submitted to the Florida Dept. of State in 2004]

Article One
Offices

          Section One.  Principle Office.  The principle office of Avalon Druid Order, Inc. (sometimes referred to as "ADO") in the State of Florida shall be located at PO Box 62151, Ft. Myers, FL 33906, in the city of Ft. Myers, County of Lee.
          Section Two.  Other Offices.  The Order may have other offices, either within or without the State of Florida or the United States of America, as the Band of Guardians determines.

Article Two
​Membership

          Section One.  Classes of Membership.  The Order shall have more than one class of members, but no more than one membership may be held by any one person.
               (a)  Individual Membership.  Individual membership is available to those persons who understand the principles of Avalonian Druidism as taught, practised, and followed by the Order, who have made application and have been accepted by the Band of Guardians or its delegated authority.
               (b)  Family Membership.  A household within which two or more individual members reside at the same address shall be eligible for a family membership.  Each individual adult member within such household shall be entitled to one vote.
               (c)  Honorary Life Membership.  Any individual, in recognition of achievements or services performed in the advancement of the teachings and purposes of the Order, may be elected an Honorary Life Member by a 2/3 vote of the members present at any regular meeting of the members.  Honorary Life Members shall not be eligible to hold positions within the Order except by the appointment of the Council of Elders as herein specified.  Honorary members who pay regular membership dues shall be entitled to one vote.
               (d)  Youth Membership.  Children between the ages of thirteen years and eighteen years of age, inclusive, may join the Order as Youth Members upon the filing of a membership application which shall include a release form signed by the parents or guardian or guardians of such youth, and such signatures shall be acknowledged before a duly qualified notary public or similar officer duly authorized to administer acknowledgements and oaths.  Youth members shall not have the ability to vote, nor to hold office or be listed in the membership directory.

          Confidentiality.  As a condition precedent to admission as a member of the Order, each applicant shall agree to keep confidential the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and places of employment of all members of the Order, unless prior to the dissemination of such information written permission is granted by the member or members whose confidential information is proposed to be published.

          Section Two.  Qualifications.  Any individual who, or organization which professes a sound understanding and support of the principles of Avalonian Druidism as taught and advanced by the Order and which agrees to be bound by the Articles of Incorporation of this Order, by these Bylaws, and by any rules and regulations adopted by the Guardians, is eligible for membership in this Order.  All members other than Honorary Life Members shall be required to pay annual dues in order to maintain active membership.  Honorary Life Members shall not be required to pay dues.  As a condition to membership, each applicant must have read and understood the Statement of Belief and the Codes of Ethics and Conduct of the Avalon Druid Order as defined by the Council of Elders in the ADO Grove Book, as same may exist from time to time, and any other statement or proclamation as may from time to time be required of members in general.

          Section Three.  Admission to Membership.  The Guardians shall prescribe the form and manner in which application may be made for membership.

          Section Four.  Membership Termination.  Any member determined by the Council of Elders, or its designated authority, to have violated the Codes of Ethics and Conduct of the Order or who otherwise brings dishonour to the ADO, its members, and/or the Pagan or Druid community at large may be terminated and removed as a member of the Order by action of the Council of Elders.  Any such termination may be appealed in writing and delivered to the Midwife of the Order within thirty (30) days of such termination.  The Midwife of the Order shall advise the Council of Elders of its receipt of the notice of appeal within ten (10) days of receipt.  The Council of Elders or its designated authority the Voices of Justice, shall within forty-five (45) days of the filing of a Notice of Appeal by a terminated member, convene in session wherein both accusers and the terminated member may confront one another and present such testimony or other evidence in support of their respective cases, following which the Council of Elders, or its designated authority, shall either confirm the membership termination or reinstate the membership to its prior status.

          Section Five.  Liability of Members.  No member of this Order shall be personally liable for any of its debts, liabilities, or obligations, nor shall any member be subject to any assessment.

          Section Six.  Property Rights.  No member shall have any right, title, or interest in any of the property or assets, including any earnings or investment income of this Corporation, nor shall any of the Order's property or assets be distributed to any member on its dissolution or winding up.

          Section Seven.  Transfer, Termination, and Reinstatement.  Membership in this Order is non-transferrable.  Memberships may be terminated by the Council of Elders in the manner herein stated and shall also terminate upon the resignation or death of a member, or upon a member's failure to pay dues within sixty (60) days after same becomes payable or upon the renunciation of the principles or values of Avalonian Druidism as advocated and followed by the Order.  A member whose membership has been terminated may apply for reinstatement in the same manner as application is made for initial membership, provided that all open cases of disciplinary actions from any former membership have been cleared and resolved to the satisfaction of the Council of Elders or its designated authority.

Article Three
​Certificates of Membership

          Section One.  Certificate of Membership.  The Band of Guardians may provide for the issuance of certificates evidencing membership in the Order, in a form to be determined by the Board.  The certificates shall be sent via electronic media and shall be signed by the Chieftain or the Midwife or an Assistant Scribe, and shall be sealed with the Seal of the Corporation.  All certificates evidencing membership shall be consecutively numbered.  The name and address of each member and the date of issuance of the certificate shall  be entered in the records of the Order.  If any certificate becomes lost, mutilated, or destroyed, a new certificate may be issued to replace it on terms and conditions determined by the Band of Guardians.

          Section Two.  Issuance of Certificates.  If the Band of Guardians has provided for the issuance of certificates of membership under the provisions of Section One of this Article, then, when a person has been elected to membership, a certificate shall be issued on the name of and delivered to the new member by the Midwife or her or his designated authority.

Article Four
​Meetings of Members

          Section One.  Annual Meeting.  An annual meeting of members shall be held on the first day in November of each year, beginning in the year 2005, via electronic media or at the principle office of the Order or at such place or places designated by resolution of the Band of Guardians.  Appropriate for consideration at annual meetings shall be the election of Guardians and Officers, and any other corporate business which comes before the meeting.  If the day fixed for the annual meeting is a legal holiday in the State of Florida, the meeting shall be held on the succeeding day.  If the election of Guardians or Officers is not held on the date designated for an annual meeting, or at the adjournment of the annual meeting, the Band of Guardians shall cause the election to be held at a special meeting of members conducted as soon as may be convenient.

          Section Two.  Special Meetings.  Special meetings of members may be called by the Chieftain, by the Midwife, or by any two Guardians at any time then acting, or by any ten members of the Order.  The request for a special meeting of members shall be filed, in writing, with the Chieftain.  The Band of Guardians shall set the date and location of such special meeting which shall be held within six weeks from the filing of the written request for a special meeting with the Chieftain.

          Section Three.  Place of Meeting.  The Band of Guardians may designate any place within or without the State of Florida or the United States of America, as the place of meeting for any annual special meeting of members.  If not designation is made, the place of meeting shall be via electronic media.  However, if all members meet at any time and place, and consent to the holding of a meeting, the meeting shall be valid without call or notice, and any corporate action may be taken.

          Section Four.  Notice of Meeting.  Written or electronic notice of all meetings of the membership shall be given by such Officer or Officers of the Order designated by the Band of Guardians to each member no less than four week and no more than six weeks prior to the date and time for such meeting.

          Section Five.  Quorum.  Members holding five percent (5%) of the total votes which may be cast at any meeting shall constitute a quorum at a meeting of members.  If a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the members represented and entitled to vote on the subject matter shall be the act of the members, unless otherwise provided by law.  If a quorum is not present at any meeting of members, a majority of those present may adjourn the meeting without further notice.

          Section Six.  Proxies.  At any meeting of members, a member entitled to vote may vote by proxy executed in writing by the member or by the member's duly authorized attorney in fact.  No proxy is valid after eleven (11) months from its date of execution unless otherwise provided in the proxy.
 
          Section Seven.  Mail and Electronic Voting.  At any meeting of members, a member may cast her or his vote by the postal service generally available at the site of such member at the time for effecting such vote or by such electronic media as may then be in use by the Officers of the Order in the conduct of the Order's business.

          Section Eight.  Voting Rights.  Each member having voting rights shall be entitled to one vote.

Article Eight
​Council of Elders

          Section One.  Council of Elders (CoE).  All thealogical direction for Avalon Druid Order (ADO) shall be from the Council of Elders.  The Council of Elders supercedes and overrides all secular offices and Officers in matters deemed by Council Elders to be of a spiritual nature or which may inappropriately impact the beliefs and philosophies of Avalon Druid Order.  Elders shall be defined as:
               1.  Active members who have completed all formal Traditional training, have a minimum of nine years of experience serving the greater Avalonian spiritual community, and upon whom the title of Elder has been conferred by the Council.  A simple majority of affirmation from the total Elder membership is required for appointment to be carried.  Abstention of a vote does not apply to the majority of assent needed for election.  The duration of appointment is five (5) years.  There is no limit to the number of consecutive appointments.  The Council of Elders is empowered to remove any member from the membership roles for cause as stated by these Bylaws.
               2.  The Council of Elders shall consist of between three (3) and nine (9) members.  The number of Council members shall be based upon the number of eligible Elders in the ADO.  The number, election, and appointment process to the Council of Elders shall be prescribed by the Council's working documents.  The initial Council of Elders shall serve a term of five (5) years.  Subsequent Councils shall be shall be instated according to the process prescribed in the Council's working documents.
               3.  The primary authoritative spokesperson for the thealogical direction of the Avalon Druid Order shall be known as the Elder Speaker.  The Elder Speaker shall be selected from the Council of Elders by the Council of Elders and shall hold the position for as long as she or he remains on the Council or until such time as she or he may resign or be found unfit to hold the position.  The Elder Speaker shall act as liaison between the Council and the Band of Guardians, and shall preside, as representative of the Council majority opinion, over meetings of the individual, their Grove, and/or the ADO.
               4.  The Council of Elders may, on a case-by-case basis, approve waivers to requirements for Levels of Achievement when it believes that such a waiver is in the best interests of the individual, their Grove, and/or the ADO.
               5.  The Council of Elders shall appoint from among the active or honorary membership an Outside Liaison to facilitate communications and relations between the Corporation and other spiritual and secular organizations.  The Council may remove a Liaison for cause at its discretion.  Vacancies may be filled by appointment of the Council at its next meeting.  A consensus of the Council of Elders shall serve to confirm all such appointments.
               6.  The Council of Elders shall have oversight of all schools and tuitioned training programs of the Avalon Druid Order, and shall retain the right to audit program curricula for the purposes of certifying them as official teachings of the ADO, as defined in the Council's working papers.

Article Six
​Officers

          Section One.  Designation of Officers.  The Officers of the Order shall be a Chieftain, a Midwife, a Pursewarden, and any other Officers elected in accordance with the provisions of this article.  The Band of Guardians may elect or appoint any other Officers, including one or more Tanaistes (Welsh, Olynydd), one or more Assistant Scribes, and one or more Assistant Wardens, as it deems desirable and these Officers will have the authority and perform the duties prescribed by the Band of Guardians.  Any two or more offices may be held by the same person, except the offices of Chieftain and Midwife.

          Section Two.  Initial Officers.  The Officers named in the Articles of Incorporation as the initial Officers shall hold office until the expiration of such Officer's term as set forth in the Articles of Incorporation.

          Section Three.  Election and Term of Office of Chieftain and Midwife.  The initial Officers of the Order shall hold office until the annual meeting of members occurring within the fiscal year during which the Officer's term expires, at which time an election of the Chieftain and Midwife shall be held.  Upon expiration of an initial Officer's term of office, her or his replacement shall hold office for a term of three (3) years.  Accordingly, beginning with the third annual meeting of members and at all subsequent times, the Chieftain shall hold office until the third (3rd) annual meeting of members next occurring, at which time an election for the office of Chieftain shall be held.  Similarly, an election for the office of Midwife shall be held during the fourth (4th) annual meeting of members and the person so elected, and her or his successors, shall hold office for a term of three (3) years.  No person shall hold the office of Chieftain or Midwife for more than two (2) consecutive terms.  If the election of Chieftain or Midwife is not held at the annual meeting of members as scheduled, an election shall be held as soon thereafter as may be convenient.

          Section Four.  Election and Term of Office of Pursewarden.  The initial Pursewarden named in the Articles of Incorporation shall hold office until her term, as set forth in the Articles of Incorporation, expires and her successor has been duly elected and has qualified.  Beginning with the semi-annual meeting of Guardians occurring immediately following the expiration of the initial Pursewarden's term, the Band of Guardians shall elect the Pursewarden who shall hold the office for a term of five (5) years.  The number of five (5) year terms for which a person may serve as Pursewarden shall not be limited.

          Section Five.  Election and Term of Office for Other Officers.  Offices other than Chieftain, Midwife, and Pursewarden may be created and filled at any meeting of the Band of Guardians.  The Officer(s) for such newly created offices shall hold office until her or his successor has been duly elected by the Band of Guardians and has qualified.

          Section Six.  Removal.  An Officer elected by the members who is found to be acting in a manner that is detrimental to the Order and its mission may be removed by members holding a majority of the total votes which may be cast at a special meeting called for such purpose at which a quorum of members is present.  An Officer elected or appointed by the Band of Guardians may be removed by the Band of Guardians whenever in its judgement the interests of the Order would  be best served.  Any removal of an Officer shall be without prejudice to the contract rights, if any, of the Officer removed.

          Section Seven.  Vacancies.  A vacancy in any office, whether due to death, resignation, removal, disqualification, or otherwise, may be filled by the Band of Guardians for the unexpired portion of the term.

          Section Eight.  Chieftain.  The Chieftain shall be the chief executive officer of the Order, and shall exercise general supervision and control over all activities of the Order.
The Chieftain:
               (a)  Shall preside at all meetings of members and of the Guardians;
               (b)  May sign, with the Midwife or other Officer duly authorized by the Band of Guardians, any deeds, mortgages, bonds, contracts, or other instruments the execution of which has been authorized by the Band of Guardians, except in cases where the signing and execution of the instruments has been expressly delegated by the Band of Guardians, by these Bylaws, or to some other Officer or agent of the Order by law; and
               (c)  Shall perform all other duties generally incident to the office of Chieftain and any other duties prescribed by the Band of Guardians.

          Section Nine.  Tanaistes (Welsh, Olynydd).  The Band of Guardians, where circumstances shall justify such addition, may appoint one or more Tanaistes (W. Olynydd), who, in the absence of the Chieftain or in the event of the Chieftain's inability or refusal to act, shall, in the order of their election, perform the duties of the Chieftain and be subject to all the restrictions on the Chieftain.  Any Tanaiste (W. Olynydd) shall perform additional duties assigned to her or him by the Chieftain or by the Band of Guardians.

          Section Ten.  Pursewarden.  If required to do so by the Band of Guardians, the Pursewarden shall:
               (a)  Give a bond for the faithful discharge of the Pursewarden's duties in a sum and with surety or sureties deemed appropriate by the Band of Guardians;
               (b)  Have charge or custody of, and be responsible for, all funds and securities of the Order;
               (c)  Receive and give receipts for monies due and payable to the Order from any source and deposit all monies in the name of the Order in banks, trust companies, or other depositories selected by the Band of Guardians; and
               (d)  Perform all duties generally incidental to the office of Pursewarden and any other duties assigned to the Pursewarden by the Chieftain or the Band of Guardians.

          Section Eleven.  Midwife.  The Midwife shall:
               (a)  Keep minutes of meetings of members and the Band of Guardians, in one or more books provided for that purpose;
               (b)  See that all notices are duly given in accordance with these Bylaws or as required by law;
               (c)  Be custodian of the corporate records and of the seal of the Order;
               (d)  Keep a membership book containing the names and addresses of all members and Guardians of the Order, and with respect to any membership which has been terminated, record that fact together with the date of termination; and
               (e)  Exhibit to any Guardian of the Order, or to a Guardian's agent, or to any person or agency authorized by law to inspect them, at all reasonable times and on demand, these Bylaws, the Articles of Incorporation, the membership book, the minutes of any meeting, and the other records of the Order.

          Section Twelve.  Assistant Wardens and Assistant Scribes.  The Assistant Wardens and Assistant Scribes, in general, shall perform duties assigned to them by the Band of Guardians, the Chieftain, the Pursewarden, or the Midwife of the Corporation.  If required by the Band of Guardians, the Assistant Warden(s) shall give bond(s) for the faithful discharge of their duties in sums and with sureties deemed appropriate by the Band of Guardians.




Article Seven
Circles

          Section One.  Executive Circles.  By majority vote of the Guardians in office, the Band of Guardians may, by resolution duly adopted, establish one or more Circles each of which shall consist of one or more Guardians, which Circles, to the extent provided by resolution, shall have and exercise the authority of the Band of Guardians in the management of the business of the Order:  provided, however, that the designation of any delegation of authority to Circles shall not relieve the Band of Guardians, or any Guardian individually, of any responsibility imposed on the Band of Guardians or any individual Guardian by these Bylaws, or by law.

          Section Two.  Purse (Finance) Circle.  The matter of controlling, managing, investing,  and disposing of the property of the Order for the purpose of earning income, as distinguished from applying property and funds in support of the Order's church functions, shall be exclusively vested in a Purse Circle which shall consist of not less than one Guardian who shall be elected by majority vote of the Band of Guardians.

          Section Three.  Other Circles.  Other Circles not having and exercising the managerial authority of the Band of Guardians, may be established by resolution duly adopted by a majority vote of the Band of Guardians.  Except as provided by resolution, members of Circles shall be members of the Order, and shall be appointed by the Chieftain.  Any member may be removed, when, in the judgement of the Chieftain, the interests of the Order would best be served by removal.

          Section Four.  Terms of Office.  Each member of a Circle shall continue as a member of the Circle until the next annual meeting of members of the Order, and until her or his successor is appointed, unless the Circle shall sooner abolish, or unless the member is removed or ceases to qualify as a member of the Circle.

          Section Five.  Chair.  One member of each Circle shall be appointed Chair by the person or persons authorized to appoint the members of the Circle.

          Section Six.  Vacancies.  Vacancies in the membership of any Circle shall be filled by appointments made in the same manner as provided in the case of original appointments, and any member elected in this manner shall be elected for the unexpired term of her or his predecessor.

          Section Seven.  Quorum.  Unless otherwise provided in a Circle's establishing resolution, a majority of the whole Circle shall constitute a quorum, and the act of a majority of members present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be an act of the Circle.

          Section Eight.  Rules.  Each Circle may adopt rules and regulations for its meetings and the conduct of its activities which it deems appropriate; provided, however, that the rules and regulations are consistent with these Bylaws, and provided further that regular minutes of all proceedings are kept.

Article Five
​Guardians

          Section One.  Number.  The number of Guardians to be elected by the members of the Order shall be three.  The Chieftain of the Order, or in her or his absence, the Midwife of the Order, shall be an ex-officio member of the Band of Guardians and shall have the ability to vote on all matters coming before the Band for its consideration.  The number of Guardians may be changed by a Bylaws duly adopted pursuant to these Bylaws provided that the minimum of Guardians shall in  no event be less than three.

          Section Two.  Qualification of Guardians.  Guardians must be members of the Order in good standing and must have demonstrated substantial attendance and participation in the Order's activities and functions.  To be eligible for election as a Guardian of the Order, a member must possess the following minimum criteria (any of which may be waived by the Council of Elders due to extenuating circumstances):
               (a)  Successfully completed Level I, II, and III Training or substantially equivalent instructional programs acceptable to the Council of Elders; and 
               (b)  Devoted at least three years of voluntary service to the Order, one of which is spent as Chair of a Circle; and
               (c)  Performed consistent and active participation in the life of the ADO spiritual community.

          Section Three.  Term of Office.  The Guardians named in the Articles of Incorporation as the first Band of Guardians shall hold office until the first annual meeting of the members occurring during the fiscal year during which her or his term expires as set forth in the Articles of Incorporation.  At the annual meeting of members at which the term of a member of the Band of Guardians expires an election of Guardians shall be held.  The term of office of each Guardians thereafter shall be three (3) years, until the third annual meeting of members following such Guardian's election and until the qualification of a successor in office.

          Section Four.  Powers.  Except as otherwise provided in the Articles of Incorporation, these Bylaws or by law, the powers of this Order shall be exercised, its properties controlled, and its affairs conducted by the Band of Guardians, which may, however, delegate the performance of any duties or exercise of any powers to Officers and agents designated by resolution of the Band of Guardians.

          Section Five.  Replacement of Guardians.
               (a)  Whenever a vacancy exists on the Band of Guardians, whether by death, resignation, or otherwise, the vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the remaining members of the Band of Guardians at a regular meeting or a special meeting of the Band.  Any person appointed or elected to fill the vacancy of a Guardian must have the same qualifications as were required of the Guardian whose office was vacated. 
               (b)  Any person elected to fill a vacancy in the Band of Guardians shall hold office for the unexpired term of her or his predecessor in office.

          Section Six.  Compensation.  No member of the Band of Guardians shall receive compensation from the Order.

          Section Seven.  Meetings.
               (a)  Meetings shall be held at any place or places designated by resolution of the Band of Guardians; orin the absence of designation, via electronic media.
               (b)  Regular meetings of the Band of Guardians shall be held biannually, on the first day of each November, and on the first day of each May, unless the designated day falls on a legal holiday, in which case the meeting shall be held as prescribed by the Band of Guardians.  No notice other than this provision of these Bylaws need be given to any Guardian with respect to any regular meeting of the Band of Guardians.
               (c)  The Chieftain, any two other Officers of the Order, or a majority of the members of the Band of Guardians, may call a special meeting of the Band.  In this event, ten (10) days written notice to each Guardian shall be given by the Midwife, which notice shall be deemed sufficient.  Notice may be given in writing or via electronic media.
               (d)  A majority of the Band of Guardians shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Band.  However, if less than a majority of the Guardians are present at any meeting, a majority of the Guardians present may adjourn the meeting without further notice.
               (e)  Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, or in the Articles of Incorporation of this Corporation, or by law, the act of a majority of Guardians present at any meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Band of Guardians.

          Section Eight.  Action Without Meeting.  An action required to be taken at a meeting of the Band of Guardians, or any action that may be taken at a meeting of the Band of Guardians or one of its Circles, may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing or via electronic media, setting forth the action to be taken is agreed to via email, or signed and approved electronically by all Guardians, or all the members of the Circle, as the case may be, and is filed in the minutes of the proceedings of the Band or of the Circle.  The consent shall have the same effect as a unanimous vote.

          Section Nine.  Removal of Guardians.  The Guardians may remove any member of the Band of Guardians who is found to be acting in a manner that is detrimental to the Order and its mission.  The affirmative vote of two-third (2/3) of the total members of the Band of Guardians shall be required for the removal of a Guardian and such removal must be confirmed by members holding a majority of the total votes which may be cast at a special meeting called for such purpose at which a quorum of members is present.

          Section Ten.  Liability of Guardians.  The Guardians of this Order shall not be personally liable for its debts, liabilities, or other obligations.

Article Nine
The Groves

          Section One.  Founder's Grove.  The Founder shall remain an ex-officio member and faculty emerita of, and counsel to, Avalon Druid Order (ADO) even should she retire from active service.  The Founder's Grove shall be called Rhosyn Ddraig.

          Section Two.  Other Groves.  Each Grove within the Avalonian system is for the most part autonomous.  Groves are comprised of a Women's Circle (Hearth), a Men's Circle (Henge), and a Community Circle (Tribe), wherever possible.  Hearths, Henges, and Tribes may operate singly as defined in The Grove Book, until sufficient members exist to form the remaining Circles.  Hearths, Henges, and Tribes are subject to all Grove rules and regulations.
               (a)  Because Groves must abide by the ADO's beliefs, ethics, Bylaws and customs, new Groves must designate at least one member to learn and teach foundation level, face-to-face training from ADO-approved sources.
               (b)  Groves must demonstrate steady progress in preparing their members for lives as Avalonian Druids.  Grove status is elevated by the Council of Elders in accordance with the provision of these Bylaws, the Council's working documents, and the official Grove Book.

          Section Three.  Types of Groves.  There shall be two types of Groves:
               (a)  Teachings Groves:  Teaching Groves shall comprise those ADO Maiden or Mother Groves which serve as primary regional training centres for the Corporation.  In consideration of the substantial duties and time required to provide such training, Teaching Groves shall be exempt from minimum membership requirements, provided that all records requirements are met, and excused from community ritual observances except as resources and ADO training schedules allow.
                         (i)  There shall be no less than one (1) Teaching Grove within ADO at any given time.  There are presently two
                                    (2) Teachings Groves in ADO:  Rhosyn Ddraig Mother Grove (the Founder's Grove), NY, and Rhosyn
                                    Rhuddgoch Mother Grove, FL.
                         (ii)  Training Groves shall teach only Levels of Attainment that are prerequisite to that of their own
                                    membership's average level of attainment.
                         (iii)  Training provided by Teaching Groves shall be in accordance with Traditional teachings as prescribed
                                    by the Council of Elders through official ADO training.
               (b)  Worship Groves:  Worship Groves shall be those Groves the majority of whose members are engaged in obtaining a general knoweldge and proficiency in Avalonian spirituality leading to personal and communal worship.  Training provided by Worship Groves shall be prescribed by the Council of Elders, and as published in The Grove Book.

          Section Four.  Grove Levels.  Groves shall be divided into three levels:
               (a)  "Novice":  New Groves in which the majority of members are engaged in learning the fundamental principles, cosmology, and skills of Avalonian Druidry;
               (b)  "Maiden":  Groves led by one or more ADO Elders, the majority of whose members have attained an intermediate understanding and skill level in Avalonian Druidry; and
               (c)  "Mother":  Groves led by one or more invoking ADO Elders, the majority of whose members have attained advanced understanding and skill levels in Avalonian Druidry as defined in these Bylaws, The Grove Book, and other member publications.

          Section Five.  Grove Charters.  All Groves are encouraged to gather and interact with other Groves in their area and the membership at large.  Groves must apply to the Band of Guardians and be granted Charter by the Band of Guardians pursuant to a recommendation of the Council of Elders.
               (a)  Such application will include identification of a designated individual who will bear the major responsibilities of Grove administration and who will act as contact and liaison to the ADO.  Such persons shall be known as the Hearth Mother, Henge Father, or Grove Head(s).
               (b)  Such application shall also include the names of at least two other active members.  The Grove Head along with the other two members shall also be designated as Grove Chief (president), Scribe (secretary), and Warden (treasurer).
The Grove, when Charter is first granted, will be Chartered as a "Novice" Grove, based upon definitions established by the Council of Elders in The Grove Book, and elsewhere in these Bylaws.  The Grove's official name must be approved and recorded by the Office of the Midwife.

          Section Six.  Chapter Definitions.  All Groves must submit quarterly financial statements to the Pursewarden of the Corporation.
               (a)  A Novice Grove's Charter automatically lapses one year after its last submitted quarterly statement.  Other Groves which fail to submit a quarterly statement for over one year will revert to Novice Grove status at the determination of the Band of Guardians.
               (b)  All Groves must submit an annual "State of the Grove" report to the ADO indicating the current Officers of the Grove, the location of the Grove meetings (city and state), training status and complete contact information.  This report must be suitable for publication in the member newsletter or e-journal.
               (c)  Groves of any type shall not have the power to incur debt in the name of Avalon Druid Order.
               (d)  All Groves must register annually with the ADO and certify their actions and activities in order to maintain or increase in status.  The Band of Guardians, pursuant to a recommendation of the Council of Elders, may remove the "Novice" designation or increase or decrease Grove stature during the review of the annual registration report.
               (e)  All Groves Chartered by the Band of Guardians shall be legally subordinate organizations of the Avalon Druid Order (ADO) as incorporated and are eligible to be covered by any appropriate Church Group Exemptions.
               (f)  A Grove may be disbanded by written notification of the Grove Head indicating that the Grove intends to disband.  The records of the Grove will go to the Corporation's office where they will be inactive.
               (g)  A Grove's Charter may be suspended pending an investigation of problems brought to the attention of the Band of Guardians.  A Grove's Charter may also be suspended based upon the Grove's quarterly or annual reports or lack thereof.
               (h)  A Grove's Charter may be suspended if the Band of Guardians has reason to believe that the Grove is not functioning as a viable organizational unit of the Avalon Druid Order.
               (i)  A suspended Grove of any type may be reinstated provided that the Grove's problems may be resolved within one year of suspension to the satisfaction of the Band of Guardians, pursuant to the recommendation of the Council of Elders.
               (j)  A Grove's Charter may be revoked by the Council of Elders upon religious thealogical issues.
               (k)  A Grove's Charter may be revoked by the Band of Guardians based on secular issues.  These issues include, but are not limited to the following:  Conduct found to be incompatible with the purpose of Avalon Druid Order or contrary to the laws of the state or country in which the Grove is located; and conduct or statements of the Grove in its meetings that discredit Avalon Druid Order, its purposes or members.
               (l)  A Grove's Charter may be revoked by the Band of Guardians if three months after suspension, it has not made adequate corrections to the issues involved which were the cause of the suspension.

          Section Seven.  Sacred Year.  The Groves shall, wherever possible, hold community celebrations of Avalon's Traditional Sacred Year as prescribed by the Council of Elders in The Grove Book, and as published annually in the Community Calendar.  Free copies may be obtained by request from the Midwife, and will be shipped via email attachement.

          Section Eight.  Grove Initiation.  All Grove initiations shall be conducted as prescribed by the Council of Elders in The Grove Book and other member publications.

Article Ten
Contracts, Checks, Deposits, and Funds

          Section One.  Contracts.  The Band of Guardians may, by resolution duly adopted, authorize any Officer of Officers, agent or agents of the Order, in addition to the Officers authorized by these Bylaws, to enter into any contract or to execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the Order.  This authorization may be general, or confined to specific instances.

          Section Two.  Gifts and Contributions.  The Band of Guardians or an Executive Circle may:
               (a)  Accept on behalf of the Order any contribution, gift, bequest, or devise of any type of property ("donations"), for the general and specific charitable purposes of the Order, terms approved by the Band or Circle;
               (b)  Hold funds or property in the name of the Order or of nominee or nominees appointed by the Band or Circle;
               (c)  Collect and receive the income from funds and property;
               (d)  Devote the principle or income from donations to benevolent and charitable purposes designated by the Band or Circle; and
               (e)  Enter into agreement with any donor to continue to devote the principle or income from the donation to a particular purpose designated by the donor and after approval or the agreement of the Band or Circle devote the principle or income from that donation according to the agreement.

          Section Three.  Deposits.  All funds of the Order shall be deposited to the credit of the Order in banks, trust companies, or other depositaries selected by the Band of Guardians.

          Section Four.  Checks, Drafts, Orders for Payment.  All checks, drafts, or order for payment of money, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the Order shall be signed by an Officer or Officers, agent or agents of the Order and in the manner determined by resolution of the Band of Guardians.  In the absence of this determination, the instruments shall be signed by the Pursewarden or an Assistant Warden, and countersigned by the Chieftain, or a Tanaiste (W. Olynydd) (where such has been appointed), of the Order.

Article Eleven
Miscellaneous

          Section One.  Books and Records.  The Order shall prepare and maintain complete and correct books and records of account and shall also keep minutes of the meetings of the members, Band of Guardians, and Circles, and shall keep at the registered or principle office a membership book giving the names and addresses of members entitled to vote.  All books and records of the Order may be inspected by any Guardian, or member, or the agent or attorney of either, or any proper person, at any reasonable time.

          Section Two.  Fiscal Year.  The fiscal year of the Order shall begin on the first day of November and end on the last day of October in each year.

          Section Three.  Corporate Seal.  The Band of Guardians shall provide a Corporate Seal as follows:












          Section Four.  Waiver of Notice.  Whenever any notice is required to be given under the provisions of the Florida Not-for-Profit Corporation Act or under the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation or the Bylaws of this Order, a written waiver approved via email or signed by each person or persons entitled to notice, whether before or after the time stated, shall be deemed equivalent to the giving of notice.

Article Twelve
​Amendments

          Section One.  Power of Members to Amend Bylaws.  Subject to the limitations of the Articles of Incorporation, these Bylaws, and the Florida Not-for-Profit Corporation Act, concerning corporate actions that must be authorized or approved by the members of the Order, the Bylaws of this Order may be amended, repealed, or added to, or new Bylaws may be adopted pursuant to the following procedure:
               (a)  The proposed amendment shall be submitted in writing to the ADO Midwife at least ninety (90) days prior to the date of any annual or special meeting of members at which meeting the proposal shall be considered.
               (b)  The Midwife shall notify the Officers, members of the Council of Elders, and the Band of Guardians of the proposed amendment within ten (10) days of receiving same.  The Chieftain will provide to the proponent or proponents of the proposed amendment written acknowledgement of the Order's recept of the proposal.
               (c)  The Council of Elders will review the proposed amendment to ensure that its substance would not weaken the thealogical foundations of the Avalon Druid Order.  The Council of Elders shall provide a written statement of its comments and recommendations concerning the proposed amendments to the Band of Guardians.
               (d)  The Band of Guardians shall then review the proposed amendment and may refuse submitting the proposed amendment to consideration by the membership at large if the proposed amendment is determined to be inappropriate or undesirable.  The Band of Guardians shall have forty-five (45) days within which to consider amendment and submit its findings and recommendations, in writing, to the Midwife.  The Midwife shall inform the proponents of the proposed amendment of the Band's decision.  In the event the Band of Guardians rejects the proposed amendment, the proponents of the amendment shall, upon written request, have the opportunity to address the Band concerning the proposal.
               (e)  If the Council of Elders and the Band of Guardians both recommend the adoption of the proposed amendments, the Midwife shall provide written notice to the membership of the proposed amendment and the membership shall consider the proposed amendment and may adopt such amendment upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present at a meeting at which a quorum of members is present.

Midwife (Secretary):  Lilyane (C. Morin)
Pursewarden (Treasurer):  Millisa Bell
Chieftain (President):  Meris (M. Morgan)
Members Registrar:  Everildis (S. Wibberley)
Members Liaison: Dani Oatfield
Merlins (Outside Liaisons):  Morgaine Bergman & Myrddin (G. F. Bergman)


[Formally adopted on 4 December 2004 by unanimous vote of the ADO Elder Council & ADO Membership.  Officers and Groves named within these Bylaws are original to the document as submitted to the Florida Department of State.  Please see the Directory at the top of this page for current administrators, and the Groves page of this site for currently active Groves.]

Codes of Ethics & Conduct

[Formally adopted on 4 December 2004 by unanimous vote of the ADO Elder Council & ADO Membership]


ADO Code of Ethics

          1.  Avalon Druid Order (ADO) is an egalitarian Order within the Druid Branch of the Avalon Mystery Tradition and, as such, strives to encourage active participation by men, women, and families in our membership, administration, and communities wherever possible.  Avalon Druid Order (ADO) shall not discriminate on the basis of age, race, colour, national origin, sex or sexual preference, except where Traditional/historical precedent exists for individual Circles with a 'same-sex or sect' focus (such as Hearths, Henges, or historical sects such as the Keepers of Brighid's Flame, in Kildare).  As ADO spirituality is based on direct teachings and ancestral mythology, and as precedent exists for same-sex or single-focus worship in ancient society, so individual Circles may be exclusionary in support of specific focuses, so long as the Order as a whole maintains balance to the extent that current membership allows.  Such Circles may be exclusionary on the basis of sex only, with periodic review and approval of the Council of Elders.  Groves shall not use such custom to justify discrimination on the basis of race, colour, or national origin.

          2.  Avalon Druid Order is based on principles of Love, Wisdom, Harmony, and Healing and as such neither condones nor participates in inflicting abuse or harm on any sentient creature for the purposes of our religious practices.

          3.  Every member of Avalon Druid Order (ADO) shall keep confidential all ADO-specific teachings, and the contact information of other members as required by the ADO Bylaws, except where express written permission has been granted in advance by the Council of Elders [who shall be responsible to obtain written permission from the individuals whose information is to be published].
4.  We hold our ordained and lay clergy to a standard of conduct equal to or surpassing that of other professionals.  ADO clergy are expected to be honest, respectful, courteous, compassionate, professional, to abide by the laws of Avalon as well as the laws of the l      and (except in cases of self-defense, certain "victimless crimes" or civil disobedience), to honour the rights and privacy of others, and to respect certain mainstream, societal sexual taboos placed upon virtually all professionals for the protection of the Member or client.

5.  It is our custom for all Grove Members to work in appropriate garb, as defined by our Grove Book.

6.  Members shall not bring firearms or explosives to official ADO rituals or functions.

7.  It is customary within Avalonian Tradition to induce altered states of consciousness through meditation, chant, dance, etc.  While historical evidence exists for the use of psychoactive substances by traditional societies, only legal substances are allowed in Avalonian Faery Druid ritual.  Mind altering substances shall NOT be used in the presence of minors.

          8.  We will not tolerate bigotry, slander, perjory, or other forms of harassment levelled against our Members or against members of the spiritual community at large.

          9.  Members of Avalon Druid Order (ADO) shall abide by their membership and initiatory oaths and shall respect the confidentiality of any private material from either our Tradition or another.  Members shall not, under any circumstances, share ADO-specific information, teachings, and/or material with non-members without the prior written permission of the Council of Elders.

ADO Code of Conduct

          As representatives of the Greater Avalon Mystery Tradition, of Avalonian Druidry, and of The Avalon Druid Order (ADO), each Member is seen as an ambassador for Avalon in the world.  Thus, each Member bears responsibility to behave in accordance with ADO beliefs, ethics, and values, in relationships and dealings.  To this end, all Members of The Avalon Druid Order (ADO) must:

1.  Honour and acknowledge that each religion/faith/Tradition provides a valid Path to spiritual communion, and that each individual retains the right to choose which Path is right for them.

2.  Follow the beliefs, values, Codes of Ethics and Conduct set forth by the Order in this and other documents, teachings, and practises.

3.  Honour and remember our ancestors, for only  by understanding their stories may we safeguard their wisdoms without reliving their mistakes.

4.  Be good stewards of our world and all its creatures.

5.  Be good guardians to ourselves, so that we may help others when they are in need.

6.  Live and work from a basis of Self-Empowerment, rather than through seeking to exercise power over others.

7.  Know ourselves; face our fears; maintain the inner balance.

8.  Recognise in our anger a call for justice, and temper our justice with compassion.

9.  In times of conflict, seek to learn how balance may be lost and how it may best be restored for the highest good of all.
10.  Be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

11.  Serve Truth in all times and situations.

12.  Harm none, except in self-defence or on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves.

13.  Recognise and take responsibility for our own choices and the consequences of our actions, and seek to make reparation when our actions (intentionally or unintentionally) cause harm to others.

14.  Seek first, wherever possible, to resolve differences through peaceable means of conflict resolution.

15.  Act and speak with respect for all other beings, regardless of whether their choices or views agree with our own.

16.  Trust that there is a higher purpose manifesting for the highest good of all.

17.  Contemplate our intentions and motivations before taking action, that we may not only demand trust, but be trustworthy.

18.  In all endeavours, seek the path which offers the greatest potential for healing and well-being for ourselves and others.

19.  As the power of Avalon derives from Love, so the Love of Avalon comes through self-actualisation, and the attainment of Sovereignty; thus, 'Love' in inseparable from Truth, self-respect, self-knowledge, and inner balance.

          It is these qualities that we seek to attain and which are ultimately our gifts to the world.

The Nine Measures

These "Measures" were the yardstick by which Braithion and Celtic Avalonians assessed individual character, and upon which one's reputation was founded.  The same is true in ADO today; therefore all ADO Members should strive to exemplify these qualities.
  • Honour.  To keep one's good reputation (save face).  People or things under one's protection were described as being 'on' or 'under your face'; one who has lost face can no longer extend protection to others.  Closely connected to personal power; without honour, one cannot hope to influence others.
Loyalty.  Inherently and consistently trustworthy; absolutely, unquestionably dependable in every situation and circumstance.  A necessary aspect of honour.
- Duty.  Acceptance of personal responsibility to others and ourselves; actions arising therefrom.  "Keeping our worldly duty always before us" as "one of the highest causes of any true human being".  A necessary aspect of honour.
  • Hospitality.  Provision of food, shelter, and entertainment to visitors and travellers (see "Guest Laws").
  • ​Honesty.  To be clear, open, without deceit, in right-relationship with ourselves and correct balance within.  Honesty is the foundation of Truth; and from Truth all integrity and authority.  Closely aligned with Honour.
  • Skill.  Striving for excellence: Upholding our own values even even among those who envy, scorn, or resent us.
  • Tribe.  The central Hearth for individual and family, without which we cannot exist; it protects and nurtures our skills and gifts.  Authentic community is our extended family by blood and fosterage; an integral part of individual and collective identity.
  • Justice.  A universal, indisputable 'rightness' against which human behaviour is measured and towards which it must ever strive.  A process through which we discern how balance has been lost in order to learn how it might be restored.
  • Courage.  Not the absence of fear, but the ability to transcend one's natural terror, see the inner truth of the situation, and then take effective action in the moment.
  • Love.  Divine Love:  the wild, relentless, uncontrollable animating force that flows through all life; 'The Love of the Gods', unconditional, but not undiscerning.  It neither condones our weaknesses and errors nor nurses our bruised egos.  It is uncompromising.  It asks everything, but gives more in return.
  • Passion.  Rekindling the fierce joy of Being; a reflection of the Source energy itself.  Intense desire, and the will to pursue it to its ends.
​​
These qualities define good character in individuals, Tribes, nations, and worlds, and which we strive to cultivate and nurture in ourselves and each other.  Honour, Loyalty, Duty, and Honesty, are the pillars of Integrity, without which there can be no enduring trust.
Braithion Tribal Law & Custom
          The following is a summary of Traditional Braithion Law and Custom which governed life in Avalon's ancestral Tribes.  The same philosophy informs all Traditional laws, customs, rules, and requirements; each is a different way of stating the same beliefs, values, ethics, and morals.  The ancestors did not codify their laws as we do, today; they were bestowed alike with the inalienable, eternal authority of the First Ancestors who created them.  The only real distinction was in regard to enforcement.

          Law was interpreted and enforced by the Tribes' Druids, and was not punitive, but sought to restore balance where balance had been lost as a means of ensuring harmony and prosperity.  The Braithion did not believe in property owndership; thus, they had need of fewer laws than Celtic and later peoples.  The same philosophy informs all Braithion regulations and guidelines; once you begin to see and understand these underlying philosophies, it will be easy to remember the rules, because they simply restate the same ideas for different situations.
Tribal Law

[ Please Note:  State and Federal laws take precedence in most of these offenses; however, justice must still be served within our community as defined by ancestral Law to the fullest extent allowable under law.]

Offenses Against Persons and Property
  • Public Wrongs [the breaking of taboos, public insult, theft, assault, incest, 'adultery', abuse, and offenses of omission, e.g. neglect of care or of one's responsibilites to the community]:  Settled by hearing before Druid (for infringements of sacred laws and sacrilege) or Tribal Councils (for all other matters), including all community  members who have completed Coming of Age Rites and Dreams of Calling, with an object of reaching consensus on what should be done to restore balance within the community.  The entire process is a public affair.
  • Private Wrongs [personal disagreements, and individual contract disputes]:  Settled between individuals and/or families, occasionally with the help of a mediator.  Decisions are based upon religious and kinship systems, with the elder-grandmothers (or their successors) on both sides holding the final say as to how decisions will be implemented.  [Today, in the absence of a fully functioning Tribal community, we use a mediator.]   Private wrongs become Public as soon as they are announced by word or action to other members of the community.
Breaches of Sacred Law
  • Sacrilege & Desecration [intrusion into sacred space or ceremony, defilement of sacred objects]:  Certain sacred objects, places, and ceremonies are off-limits to non-initiates, and intrusion into these restricted areas is considered sacrilege and/or desecration.  Punishments for these transgressions are administered by Druids and are often strenuous.
  • Wrongs Committed By or Against Druids [infringements of sacred laws, perversion of Druid teachings or practices, sacrilege, oathbreaking, treason, treachery (e.g. acts intended to undermine or discredit the Druid Order)]:  Settled by hearing before Druid Councils with input from Tribal Elders.  In cases where the wrongs committed affect the entire community, opinions are solicited from all community members before the Druids retire behind closed doors to deliberate.
  • Scope of Councils:  Both types of Councils (Tribal and Druid) are authorised to 'deputise' ten-person search parties comprised mainly of Hunters and Pathwalkers, charged with apprehending offenders who obsconded or who reside outside the community, bringing them back to stand before the Council.  Offenders are considered neither guilty nor innocent until a verdict is rendered, and are treated with as much respect as their own conduct merits.  The primary focus of Braithion Avalonian Law is not on determining fault (i.e. intention, motive, recklessness, negligence, etc.), but on direct and indirect actions.  In other words, the Law does not care why you transgressed or allowed a crime to occur, it only cares whether you were responsible for it.
Primary Responsibility of the Law
  • The Law's primary duty, and that of each community member, is to the collective, rather than the individual.
  • Because most Members are only just learning the Ways of the Tribes, this is the form of Council we use in all three situations to ensure that decisions are properly informed by the ancestral worldview.
Types of Decisions (chosen according to the impact the offense is considered to have on the victim, their family, and the community)
  • Reparation.  Requires offenders and their families to perform services for the injured parties until the wrong is considered to have been repaid.  The nature and duration of service is set by the Druids and/or Tribal Elders, and depends upon the nature of the offense.
  • Sanction.  Imposed restrictions on the offender and their family, and often involve being barred from public ceremonies.
  • Ridicule,  Satire &  Shaming.  Imposed in response to Offenses of Omission.  Ridicule and Satire are imposed by Druids, while Shaming involves the whole community.
  • Shunning.  Condemns the offener to a 'living death' in which the entire community refuses to acknowledge or support their existence.
  • Banishment.  Compels the offender to leave the area and never come back.
  • Exile.  Resembles modern 'restraining orders' imposed on offenders and their families.
  • Death.  Imposed only for the worst offenses, including rape, murder, torture, and serial offenses resulting in the death or maiming of community members.  The method of execution (drowning, hanging, burning, or some combination thereof) generally corresponded to the method employed in the crime.  [*Obviously, the Order does not possess the secular authority to put Members to death, but like everything else, the Order's position on capital punishment must conform to the ancestral worldview.  Serial aggression is not tolerated in native societies, and Hunter-Gatherer societies in particular produce little surplus, and so cannot afford to feed and house criminals indefinitely.  Threats to the survival of the community must be eliminated if they cannot reliably be reformed or changed, and if banishment fails to keep offenders away, then other measures must be implemented to ensure community safety.  While all life is sacred, and the taking of a life may offend us, saving one life only to put other lives at risk is no less offensive.  Eating is 'barbaric', since it either kills other life forms or robs them of life force, but we have to do it to survive.  In the end, our decision would have to be based upon what best served the community's survival.]
Land and Property
  • Personal Affects & Community Property.  Tribes Members found to be in possession of another's personal property (personal clothing, grooming and ritual tools) are compelled to return it to the rightful owner, along with their own personal effects, and are prohibited from taking retribution for such loss, since it results from their own conduct.  All Tribes Members are responsible for the care and maintenance of communally held tools, buildings, and resources.  Neglect or abuse of these resources may result in shunning, banishment, exile, or in extreme cases, a sentence of death*.
  • Springs, Wells & Other Water Sources.  Orifices of the Great Mother.  Dreamers set aside the areas dedicated to the gods and their rites, where none but initiates may enter on pain of death.  They also designate water to be used for washing, watering beasts, and other chores.  All Tribes Members are responsible to ensure that water resources are kept free of pollutants and clutter, and are maintained as sacred, pure, clean, and safe.  Certain springs and wells were served by Druid Maidens (Novices, later remembered as 'Voices of the Wells' or 'Well Maidens'), who acted as stewards, provided for the needs of visitors, and performed certain oracular and ceremonial duties, in exchange for which services they were provided with a small cottage and a share of community provisions.  To defile or pollute a spring or well results in shaming, banishment, or a sentence of death*, depending upon the severity of the transgression.
  • Surrounding Lands.  Soul Shrine of the Great Mother.  Dreamers, Singers, and Pathwalkers collaborated to determine the use of Tribal lands, allotting areas for family dwellings, for Houses of Maidens and Youths, Council and Gorsedd mounds, food storage, pastures, middens, burial sites, waste and refuse disposal, skinning and tanning, spinning/weaving/dyeing, kilns for pottery making, hearths for cooking and remedy making, and other necessary crafts.  As a community resource, land could not be used in ways which might alter its signature energy, reduce its inherent power, or limit its use by others.  Designated uses corresponded to the greatest extent possible to the inherent energies of place, and with the Spirit of Place.  To compromise the integrity of the land or its usefulness to the community results in shaming, banishment, or a sentence of death*, depending upon the severity of the transgression.
  • Woods.  Home of the Mighty Ancestors.  The trees of the Sacred Wood are considered to be the souls of Mighty Ancestors, whose greatness bridges Heaven and Earth, and special rites and offerings govern their harvest.  To fell a tree without the Druids' consent was punishable by death*.  The Braithion preferred the fens and moors skirting the edge of woodlands to living in the woods themselves, and liked best of all the places where woodland, meadow, and water meet.  In addition to their liminal qualities, such places afford a greater variety of plants and game, and a ready supply of water and building materials.
  • Currency.  All oral traditions are predicated on the assumption that their keepers are people of skill, honour, and integrity; holding in their hands the beating heart and spiritual identity of their people, without which no culture can exist and endure.  The primary currency of such people is honour; "our word is our bond", and s/he who is without honour has no place within our community.
  • Lost Property.  Since most things were held community, whatever was found generally became community property.  Only later, with the expansion of concepts of personal property, were finder and keeper's fees adopted.  The same rules applied to swarms of kept bees; their new landlords (or later, owners), whom the bees had chosen, were entitled to receive a share of their produce.
Contract Law
The first contracts were verbal agreements with exchange of obligations between parties which covered arrangements beyond one's share of common lands, goods, and provisions.  As people began to acquire more goods (and thus, more items for trade), Druids were sometimes asked to witness the terms of contracts to ensure their fairness and make them binding.  Most contracts concerned agreements with other peoples or Tribes where each party rendered consideration to the other as obligation, and were subject to the approval of kin-groups.  When made between related Tribes, they were regulated by Druids, because Druids were bound to serve the Naohm of Tribes (all the Tribes collectively) and not one Tribe only.  When made with other peoples, contracts were regulated by limiting each party's sureties to what they could reasonably be expected to commit.  As concepts of ownership became more elaborate, certain set requirements developed:
  • Witnesses.  A Singer is appointed to remember precisely the terms of the contract.
  • Sureties.  Given to ensure the enforcement of a contract; originally, a vow to forfeit one's titles and/or rank if an oath or contract was broken.  In cases of contracts between unrelated parties, the contract is bound upon the promise of vital resources belonging to the debtor's kin-group (hence, the need for group approval).  Payment is then enforced by the kin-group or, if the matter  became a public concern, the Druids.
- Enforced Surety.  An honour promise that should the debtor default on their contract their kin will make good the debt from their own resources.
- Paid Surety.  Guarantee that in the event of default by both debtor and kin, the debt will be paid by the debtor's Tribe (or in our case, the local Circle or general membership; an arrangement forbidden by the ADO Bylaws); and
- Hostage Surety.  A valued member of the debtor's family or kin is sent to live with the creditor with the understanding that in the case of default the 'hostage' would remain with the aggrieved party until the debt was worked off.
  • Fair Exchange.  A tithe of services and provisions owed to Druids for their service to the community as healers, ritualists, teachers, geomancers, ethno-astronomers, dowsers, engineers, and designers/architects.
  • Fosterage.  A legal contract of fixed length binding birth parents to compensate foster parents for rearing and educating their child with due consideration for their destined role or station, in situations where the community cannot assume responsibility for assisting with this burden.
  • Neighbours.  As concepts of personal ownership become widespread, other community members cease to be seen as family, and are viewed instead as separate, but interdependent householders with whom pledges are exchanged to cover damage caused by pets and livestock that are housed or driven along shared drives or footpaths.  Pledges are returned if the agreements expire without incident.  [In communities modelled on the early Braithion template, either the community makes reparation or it compels the person who caused the damage to make reparation.]
  • Bride Price & Dowry.  Suitors pay a 'bride price' in goods and services of which the bride receives a portion.  The bride contributes a dowry of her own, which may or may not be equivalent to the value of the suitor's share.  [This custom is still observed in the Isles.]
Oaths
  • Formulae & Binding.  Contracts between Tribes are governed by Traditional formulae, and are sealed and bound formally in public ceremony.  Oaths are spoken whilst imbibing the ritual herb skullcap (used to bind oaths from life to life) in the Sharing Cup of the host Tribe.  Approval of the Naohm or the Great Council is required for all inter-tribal agreements.  [In the absence of physical Tribal communities, the modern equivalent would be agreements between Avalonian Orders or between different ADO Groves.]
  • Time.  Days begin at sunset, and moons begin at moondark.  Each contracting party is allowed a day's grace period during which the contract may be annulled without penalty.  At sunset, the contract becomes binding unless some defect can be found to justify rescission.
  • Invalid Contracts.  Contracts made under duress, in fear, or in drunkenness, by ineligible individuals, or where an earlier contract takes precedence, may be disallowed by the witnessing Druid, who can also rescind or adjust the contract if s/he judges that the disadvantaged party could not reasonably be expected to notice a contract flaw.
  • Pledges.  A valuable personal object delivered into another's custody by its owner for a fixed period of time to attest the owner's willingness to make good a claim by the appointed time or (where disputed) to submit the case to the Council for arbitration.  [For example, a Guardian might pledge her hunting bow, a Druid her staff, a farmer his scythe, and so on.]  Personal pledges are often exchanged amongst friends or neighbours as acts of goodwill intended to prevent future disputes.
Offenses Against the Person
Some offenses were considered direct assaults on the indwelling spirit, and were therefore considered equivalent to killing or secret killing, depending upon the circumstances.  These offenses include:
- Defilement or desecration of a designated or Traditional sacred or ritual area.
- Needless destruction of life and/or the ability to channel Nwyffre (life force).
- Destruction of the ensouled Spirit of a person, creature, object, or place.
  • Killing (unpremeditated; similar to the modern charge of 2nd Degree Murder).  Where it is deemed unlikely that the crime would be repeated, offenders are permitted to atone for their crimes through restitution.  Repeat offenders face banishment or, where deemed to represent a continuing threat to the community, death*.
  • Secret Killing (premeditated; similar to the modern charge of 1st Degree Murder).  By the very nature of their crimes and their efforts to escape accountability for them, offenders prove themselves untrustworthy to abide by a more lenient sentence; a death sentence* is nearly always invoked.  Sentence is executed in a public ceremony including libations, prayers, and offerings in appeasement for the necessity of taking a life, with emphasis on the grief at the impacts such acts must have not only on the Tribes, but in the world.
  • Kin-slaying.  Except in cases of self-defense, the usual sentence is shunning and banishment.  Offenders and their kin were struck from the memory and lore of the Tribe as if they had never existed.  Flaunting a sentence of banishment may call down a death sentence*.
  • Lawful Killing.  Killings resulting from accidents, building, games, self-defense, hunting, or other activities involving similar risks, are not punishable under ancient Law.
  • Injury.  Compensation based upon the severity of the harm wrought.  There is no set 'fee schedule'; each situation is considered unique and judgements are made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Lawful Injury.  Bloodshed resulting from surgery, childbirth, children at play (in the absence of malice), or by opponents in single contest is not compensated under ancient Law.
  • Rape.  Punishable by death* as a soul-offence and direct assault on Sovereignty.  Resulting children are considered wards of the Tribe and reared as its fosterlings in hopes of clearing the blight left by the crime.  The sentence for the rape of a Druid Priest/ess is the Dreamer's Death*.
  • Sexual Harassment.  Victims are empowered to act in their own defense by whatever means necessary.  Disputes which cannot be resolved privately or which involve more than one victim are settled by the Tribal Council on a case-by-case basis.
  • Satire.  Effecting physical changes in objects or beings through the use of sound and resonance, causing sickness or even death; used mainly to persuade influential people to obey the Law and to act honourably.  A formidable deterrent, forms of satire include:  verbal assaults, the coining of nicknames, and composition of repeating satires.  Banned from the Celtic period forward, amongst the Braithion there was no penalty for casting a satire unless it was done unfairly.  The penalty for casting a satire for personal spite or gain was commensurate with the actual harm done.
  • Refusal of Hospitality.  Demands compensation appropriate to the station of the injured party.  Offenders and their kin and Tribe were ridiculed or shunned until they showed sincere regret and made amends for their actions.  Should another person's action cause one to refuse hospitality, the person at cause was required to make compensation on behalf of the embarrassed host.
  • Violation of Protection.  Druids might offer protection to craftspeople, labourers, and strangers, and heads of household to their families and guests.  To kill or injure a person under protection demands that the offender make restitution, in addition to any other compensation the Council might elect to impose.  Restitution for such violations is decided by the person against whom the offense was committed.  Appeals are brought before the Council, whose decisions are final.
Remedies:
  • Restitution.  Requires the offender and/or her or his kin, to support the victim's family by whatever means, and to whatever extent, the Council chooses.  Offenders are usually banished and their kin made to compensate the victim's kin through free service for what was lost by the victim's incapacitation or death.  In the absence of a direct correspondence, the offender's skilled kin (blacksmiths, healers, etc.) are required to serve the victim's family for free.  If none is skilled, then all provide general service to the victim's  household.  Failure to render such service reliably, courteously, and unobtrusively may call down additional judgements from the Council.  The period of restitution was generally from one to nine generations.
  • Sick Maintenance.  Should a victim of injury not be recovered within nine (9) days, the offender must provide for their needs until cured.  The victim and her or his retinue are provided for and tended within the Tribe's Greathouse (the settlement's central dwelling), under the direction of a Druid Healer.  If, after nine (9) days, the Healer determines that the victim will die, a greater compensation will be set.  Compliance with this restitution frees the offender from any further obligation, whether the victim dies or recovers.  [In most cases today, the victim would be provided for and tended at their own home or the home of a relative.]
Offenses Against Property
  • Trespass.  The ancestors recognised the need to protect the lands under their stewardship from irreparable damage.  Damages are assessed according to the nature and level of their impact on the land's usefulness and yield at the time of the offense, and by the impact upon the land's inherent energy and the Spirit of Place.  Tribes Members are required to keep common areas and walkways free of refuse and litter, and to keep livestock under control and out of common stores and resources.  Damage or neglect arising from malice or negligence requires greater restitution; and trespass by night (for its apparent sneakiness) incurs twice the compensation of trespass by day.
Offenses Against Buildings
Most buildings were community property, and so any damage to them was assessed by the Council, based upon the impact of the damage upon the Tribe.  Judgements usually required offenders and their families to make any necessary repairs and reparation.  Individuals could not build, alter, or add to existing buildings without prior Council approval.  Private spaces were compensated according to the number of people affected, the season in which the infraction occurred, and any resulting injuries to natural resources, people, and/or animals.
  • Damage to Moveable Property.  Moveable property included one's mount and hound, clothing, personal jewellery, and items dedicated to the gods, but theft or damage to these was considered a serious offence.  [Today, most people have tremendous amounts of moveable property, and all of it qualifies under this provision.  However, it should be noted that the ancestors would not have approved of mainstream consumer society, and if we are to live their worldview, we should work to reduce the amount of material possessions we acquire.]  Damages are assessed on two levels:  damage to the owner; and damage to the community, with penalties commensurate with the damages assessed.  (see "Theft")
  • Theft.  Damage resulting from theft of property is assessed according to the actual impact on the owner.  [e.g. Stealing a Singer's harp, a dedicated instrument of office, is held to be a greater offense than stealing a householder's harp.]  Theft of a third party object incurs repayments to both the owner, and the pledge-holder.  Theft by stealth is addressed more leniently than theft by violence.  In general, the further from the owner's room or dwelling the act is committed, the less serious the offense because the crime is less invasive.  Trade of stolen goods is forbidden and implicates all parties in the misdeed.  Thus, a thief bringing stolen goods into his host's home must their host, as well as the owner.  Thieves carrying stolen goods across a border must compensate the owner(s) of the goods, the community, and the person to whom the goods were sold, for the offense to their honour.  Habitual thieves are shunned or banished.
Reduced Liability for Offenses
  • Accidents.  No compensation is granted for getting too close to an artisan at work, or too close to livestock, or for knowing and wilful exposure to dangerous situtions.  Sick maintenance may be afforded to victims of hunting accidents or competitive games by the offender's kin pursuant to Council decision.
  • Ignorance.  Being unaware that an offense has been committed may reduce or cancel action under certain circumstances; it may also extend the grace period for action.  [e.g. Eating stolen food is only a crime if one has reason to believe the food has been stolen.]  The injured party is responsible to take appropriate action within a fixed period or allow the case to 'die of negligence'.
  • Negligence.  The failure to take reasonable precautions to avoid threaten or harm to another's safety, where such risks are the foreseeable outcome of acting in a particular manner.  Sentence corresponds to the motive, the seriousness of the offence, and the actual damage done.
  • Stress or Necessity.  Sentence for an offence can be cancelled if committed under mental or physical duress.
  • Intoxication & Insanity.  No extra leniency is afforded on the basis of voluntary intoxication.  Appointed guardians are held responsible for the deeds of the insane.
Liability of Onlookers and Accessories
Witnesses to crimes and misdeeds are responsible to intercede or make immediate report to an Elder, or to the authorities.  Failure to do so may result in their being subject to the same sentence imposed upon offender(s).  Persons providing hospitality to criminals may also be considered accessories.
Liability after death
A Tribe Members offenses normally die with him; however, if he died committing an offense, his heirs are liable for it.  Heirs are responsible for any unpaid debts to the 4th generation.
Legal Procedure
  • Distraint.  In most cases, wronged parties are required to satisfy the letter of the Law themselves, with a witness.  In the case of contracts, the claimant declares the offender's pledge forfeit, thereby forcing the offender to lose honour or to settle the claims before the Council.  In cases where no pledges have been given and the offender refuses to fulfil the claims of the claimant, a Pathwalker's help may be enlisted to ensure the offender's appearance at the hearing.  Once the claimant has given notice of intent to distrain, a grace period of one to five days is allowed for the obligation to the fulfilled or for a pledge to be given signifying the offender's readiness to come to terms.  Where the offender fails to respond, the claimant (with a witness) may take personal property equivalent to the value of the claim under dispute; securing and maintaining it in good condition.  Five additional days are allowed for the offender to settle the claim and have the confiscated property returned; property begins to be forfeit from the end of the second day onwards, progressing from least to most valuable until none remain.  Offenders may settle claims at any point by paying the amount of the claim, plus the claimant's expenses, after which the remaining property is returned.  If the offender has nothing of equal worth, then a kinsman (or surety) can be distrained in their stead, provided the claimant doubles the period of notification, and informs the surety of the claim being distained.  (Sureties are allowed to demand twice what was distrained plus their own value from the offender, and could distrain her or him themselves, if necessary.)
​[Distraint of a Druid or Elder follows a different procedure, called, Fasting, in which is made outside the offender's home from sunset to sunrise for a specified period to force offenders to appoint a surety or give a pledge.  If the offender eats during the fast, s/he must pay twice the amount of the claim.  To  hold out against a justified and properly conducted Fast is to lose all honour, status, and Traditional rights.
  • Restrictions on/Illegal Distraint.  Under certain circumstances such as the death of a family member, distraint can be postponed.  Animals which had just calved or foaled cannot be distrained.  Claimants who do not respect legal postponements, who distrain ineligible animals, who distrain on Feast Days or in defiance of an order of protection are guilty of illegal distraint.
Council Procedure
  • The Council becomes involved whenever a dispute begins to affect the whole community.  Hearing procedures are simple:  The claimant, victim, or surviving kin publicly declares the offence committed, and the action to be taken.  Once declared, the Council convenes at an auspicious date and time, and all parties and witnesses are called to appear before it.  The accused is required to make a pledge to attend.  (If they fail to appear, they are tracked down and brought before the Council.)  The disputing parties are each allotted equal time to make statements (or 'plead' their cases), and the Council is given time to question each party.  Witnesses are called and questioned, and their statements heard by the Council, and any physical evidence is presented.  A community discussion follows, after which a decision is made or (in the case of Druid Councils) the Council retires to consider, debate, and conclude.  There are Five (5) Paths of Judgement: (1) Truth (Perjury/Fraud: Ordeal with Pledges); (2) Enforcement (Contractual Agreements: Surety); (3) Justice (Unfair Contracts: Surety with Pledges); (4) Propriety (Relationships/Inheritance: Surety); and (5) Proper Enquiry (All Other Cases: Surety).  When a decision is reached, the claimant(s), defendant(s), witnesses, and community are recalled and the decision is publicly declared; such decisions, once proclaimed, are final.  Should the Council choose the wrong Path or change it mid-hearing, they are required to compensate both parties.  Hearings conclude ceremoniously, and judgements go into effect immediately.  [In the case of Tribal Councils, an effort to bring the concerned parties into agreement that justice has been served, now ensues.]
The Word of the Otherworld in Deciding Undecidable Cases
The Otherworld may be called upon to bear witness in cases where the Council is unable to reach concensus based upon the physical evidence and witness testimony alone.   A variety of ancestral devices survive, and are attested in ancestral myth and lore, by which to elicit and interpret such guidance.  Once the intuitive information has been obtained, the Singers are called upon to review the legal precedents before a decision is finalised, and Pathwalkers are enlited to ensure there will be no further trouble.
Recovery of Legal Rights
The ancestors did not withdraw legal rights lightly; except in cases where the accused was later proved innocent, they were reluctant to restore them once withdrawn.  Such reversals required hard evidence from the kin-group and other witnesses, and the unanimous agreement of the Council.

Tribal Custom: The Guest Laws

Guests​​
  • Respect the needs and privacy of members of the household.  (Never wander about or rummage in people's cupboards or belongings.  Be mindful of noise levels that could disturb neighbours.)
  • Show gratitude for what is offered.  (Making your Host feel like you've never been better hosted is part of your job as a guest. Enthusiastically praise their efforts on your behalf, and scrupulously observe old-fashioned, common courtesies like removing your shoes in the house and using coasters for drinks without having to be asked, so your Host can relax and enjoy your visit.)
  • If you are loaned something, return it before you leave (or at a mutually agreed upon time), and in the same condition you found it.  (Never make your Host chase you down to get their belongings back.  Return things on time, and in as good or better condition than you received them.)
  • Tidy up after yourself and pitch in without being asked, following your Host's guidance.  (Ask how appliances and gadgets work before trying to use them, ask which cleaners to use on which surfaces, and find out where dishes, utensils, and tableware are stored when putting things away so that your host doesn't have to hunt for them later.)
  • Show proper courtesy, consideration, and respect to your Host.  (Be fascinated by your Host's stories, laugh at their jokes, and be generally congenial.  Never exploit your Host's obligation to grant your requests and to refuse compensation for any damages you or your family or guests might cause.  Refrain from borrowing or asking for that which has not been freely offered, and always compensate your host for any accidental damage you, your family, or your guests  might cause.)
Hosts
  • Provide food, drink, and companionable shelter gladly.  (You are personally responsible for the safety and comfort of your Guests while they are at your home.  Courtesy obliges them to demur when asked about their needs and preferences, but it obliges you to accommodate them anyway.  Adjust menus, remove pets and clean thoroughly to avoid aggravating respiratory issues, and plan your gatherings to minimise the impact of young children on older Guests who tire more quickly.)
  • Give of your best without resentment or regret.  (See Caveat, below)
  • Loan what you can, when asked, without question.  (Although it is bad form for Guests to ask to borrow things that are not offered to them first, many do, and some make it hard to retrieve the things you've loaned.  Therefore, refrain from loaning anything you need or use all the time, or which you cannot afford to replace.)
  • Provide guidance/express gratitide for assistance offered and gifts received.  (Making your guests feel cherished and special is part of your job as a host.  Seeing the sparkle in people's eyes when they feel genuinely appreciated is a gift in itself.)
  • Honour each Guest as befits her or his station.  (Our Druids and Elders do receive special consideration, and as ambassadors of Avalon we should also observe proper etiquette when interacting with people outside of our community.  Always seat Druids, dignitaries, and Elders first, and in locations which are considerate of their special needs, and allow them to precede younger community members and Guests into spaces, processional, or queues. Address people by their titles in formal or public settings, and in mixed company.)
Caveats
  • The Guest Laws evolved to support trade and travel at a time when both were slow, difficult, and sometimes dangerous occupations.  They made it possible for travellers to find safe shelter, and for local people to obtain exotic goods and news of the world.  They are predicated on the assumption that since all people share these needs, the laws would be enforced locally.  That assumption is no longer true.
  • A growing number of people are using the Guest Laws to exploit their Hosts; allowing them to do as they please, and take what they want.  As self-empowered people, we cannot allow ourselves to be exploited.  Those who abuse the Guest Laws forfeit their right to the protections they offer.   Do not be held hostage in your own home.  Our homes are literally sanctuaries; those who are unwilling or unable to treat them with care, consideration, and respect, are undeserving of your hospitality.  If they refuse to amend their behaviour, then politely but firmly send them home.
  • When setting boundaries, strive to preserve a sense of dignity, decorum, and courtesy.  When dealing with confrontational Guests, avoid debates and arguments which could drag you down to the antagonist's level. When they've gone, remember to put them on your "do not invite" list for the future, and other Guests not to bring them along.


Community Covenant:
Site Policy & User Agreement
 

          All communities have consensus agreements defining individual and collective roles, providing guidelines for ethics and conduct, outlining shared values and beliefs, and establishing protocols for expelling those unwilling or unable to abide by them. Sometimes these "community contracts" are conveyed as stories, sometimes as laws, and occasionally as both. Ours is a Traditional, egalitarian, matrifocal community immersed in modern, hierarchical, patriarchal societies. Our Guests and Members are people drawn to ancestral traditions, but who are products of mainstream societies whose values and ethics are often incompatible with our own. Therefore, our community contract or 'Covenant' must address both environments. 
          Together with the requirements of law and Tradition (as set forth above), this Covenant completes the rules and requirements governing all Guests and Members.  Together, they provide a comprehensive guideline for life in, and interaction with (and via) ADO resources and/or community, in whatever form these may take.  Please familiarize yourself with every aspect of these guidelines (via the link above) before proceeding further.  Again, while this may seem like a lot of rules, in actuality they merely illustrate how the same precepts apply in different situations.   Learn the worldview, and you will know the precepts.   Know the precepts, and you will be able to anticipate how they apply in whatever situation or circumstance in which you might find yourself.



Thank you for your time and consideration...