The Oak and Eagle is a Druid group affiliated with the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD); an international spiritual order headquartered in the United Kingdom that celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2014. Oak and Eagle began in the spring of 2011 and has grown rapidly since. We are an active group celebrating the four solar holidays, four fire festivals, and a number of other local and regional events scattered throughout the year. Many of our events include excellent food and drink, nature walks, meditation, shenanigans, and Eisteddfods (competitions celebrating the Bardic Arts). We are headed by a group of organizers who operate as a working board of directors, and we actively support the regional pagan community.
OBOD Druidry is not dogmatic and does not embrace a specific pantheon or system of belief. As such, it compliments many other spiritual paths. We welcome, embrace, and defend diversity in all forms, and strive to create a safe, welcoming, and nurturing environment within which to explore our relationship with the natural world.
Oak and Eagle
The Oak and Eagle embraces diversity, and is tolerant and accepting of all practices and beliefs that are not hateful or abusive. We do not have a list of rules, but instead operate on two core principles that establish the behavioral expectations of our members and protect the spiritual experience for all. These two principles are Respect and Privacy.
“…the greatest characteristic of most modern-day Druids lies in their tolerance of diversity.”
Our group contains a diverse set of individuals from different backgrounds, and is part of a larger Pagan community even more diverse. Tolerance of the many beliefs and practices present, and respect of each member of the community, is crucial to the successes of the group and of the greater whole. Insults or defamation, regardless of medium or venue, are not acceptable.
Ritual, and spiritual practice in general, involves a degree of emotional intimacy and mutual support that can only develop to its fullest in an environment of trust. It is trust that enables an environment of understanding, a path of healing, and a place of peace. Members will not violate that trust by repeating the private matters that others choose to share in ritual space—or at other times when a reasonable expectation of privacy exists. Each of us can expect the same consideration in return. By the same measure, members should not abuse the environment of trust to behave inappropriately, or to share subjects that would be better suited to a discussion with a professional counselor.
A failure to uphold our principles of Respect and Confidentiality will be grounds for removal from the group.
With the blessings of earth, sea, and sky,
Seed Group of the Oak and Eagle
Solar Festivals: The summer and winter solstices, and the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (respectively, Alban Hefin, Alban Arthan, Alban Eiler, and Alban Elfed) are open events and typically include both pot lucks and Eisteddfods (see below).
Fire Festivals: The four ‘midpoints’ between the Solar Holidays (Imbolc in midwinter, Belteinne in the spring, Lughnasadh in summer, and Samhuinn in fall) typically are pot lucks and Eisteddfods, except Samhuinn, which is “closed” (group members only) and may or may not have an Eisteddfod.
Pot Lucks: The intent is to provide a well-rounded, hot meal to share with the group. We understand schedule changes and conflicts sometimes arise that require a quick grocery-stop, but this should be the exception, not the rule. The organizers will almost always prepare a hot, gluten-free protein dish.
Eisteddfods: Eisteddfods are celebrations of the Bardic Arts: Poetry, the written word, song, performance, artwork, or craft. A light-hearted competition is encouraged, with the previous winner serving as ‘judge’ to award the laurel to a new winner, who will add a trinket or bobble to the laurel for the next Eisteddfod.
Other Events: Many other events occurring throughout the year will be added to the schedule on a case-by-case basis. They include Festivals, camping trips, Renaissance Fairs, community events such as Pagan Pride Day, and other gatherings as they occur. While typically “OPEN” events, details will vary and be announced on the calendar event notice.
Druidry honors the full cycle of life. We welcome families into our tribe, and persons under the age of 18 are welcome to attend group events with a parent or guardian. Children may attend as ‘Guests’ (outlined above), or—with parental approval—children of an appropriate age who have been formally initiated into a Pagan practice may also apply for group membership.
The appropriate age for group membership, and ritual participation for younger children, will be determined collaboratively between the parents and the organizers; but minors must still attend with a parent or guardian due to the mature and personal nature of many themes inherent in pagan practice, as well as the presence of alcohol at many group events.
For the consideration of all attendees, please understand that parents are responsible for their children at all times. Given the varied venues and circumstances for group events, venues cannot be expected to be ‘child-proofed’ and childcare will not be provided.
All registered OBOD members are eligible to apply for membership in the Seed Group of the Oak and Eagle. The criteria for acceptance are: to honor our Seed Group by committing to our core principles of Respect and Privacy, to uphold OBOD’s druidic traditions (www.druidry.org), and to be unanimously approved by the Organizer team.
To protect the privacy of our members (some events are held in private homes), we use a two-step application process:
Please copy the application questions below into an email and send your answers to all four questions to email@example.com. Oak and Eagle’s Organizer team will review your written application as soon as we can. If the team has follow-up questions or does not approve your written application, our Communicator will notify you.Oak and Eagle Application Questions
If the Organizer team approves your written application, our Communicator will put you in contact with our Member Advocate, who will schedule a face-to-face meeting (usually at a coffeehouse) for you and 2–3 Organizers. Please bring proof of your OBOD membership to this meeting (preferably a copy of Gwers 1 of your current Grade). After the face-to-face meeting, the Organizer team will vote on your application. Based on the results of that vote, the Member Advocate will either invite you to the next group event or inform you that your membership has not been approved.
New Members are asked to pledge that they will:
Most of our local events are held in the Metro DC area of Northern Virginia. You do not need to live in this area to join Oak and Eagle, but if participating in our events would require more than an hour’s travel, we encourage you to consider founding your own Seed Group closer to home. Based on the number of inquiries we receive, we believe that Virginia and Maryland have more than enough OBOD members to sustain multiple Seed Groups. OBOD has guidelines for Seed Groups at http://www.druidry.org/community/groves-groups/treasures-tribe-guidelines-obod-seed-groups-groves, and our Organizers would be happy to share our experiences with the logistics of running a Seed Group—contact any Organizer or send a note to Organizer@oakandeagle.org.
Date: September 30, 2017, 10 am to 5 pm
Location: Alan and Sally Merten Hall Lawn, George Mason University
Event type: Community Event, free and open to the public
Pagan Pride Day is free event held in many cities and areas worldwide, with the goal of bringing non-pagans together with pagans to educate people about paganism in hopes of reducing prejudice against our culture. It also aims to bring together pagans with other pagans in the area to strengthen our community.Northern Virginia Pagan Pride Day will include a public Autumn Equinox ritual, free workshops, and vendor booths.
For more information: http://www.nova-ppd.org/
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017, 7:00 to 9:30 pm
Location: Alexandria, VA (private home, see your email invitation for details)
Event type: Members and family
Come celebrate the Autumn Equinox with ritual, potluck, and Eisteddfod. The Druid name for this festival is Alban Elfed, which means “The Light of the Water.” Alban Elfed marks the balance of day and night before the darkness overtakes the light. It is also the time of the second harvest, usually of the fruit that has stayed on the trees and plants that have ripened under the summer sun.
To RSVP: Send a Reply to your email event invitation. Lost that in your inbox already? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids is a worldwide group dedicated to practicing, teaching, and developing Druidry as a valuable and inspiring spirituality.
The Order was founded in Britain over 50 years ago by the historian and poet Ross Nichols, aided by the writer and founder of the Tolkien Society Vera Chapman, and fellow members of the Ancient Druid Order, which developed during the early years of the last century out of the Druid Revival which began about three hundred years ago.
The Order is essentially a Mystery School and community, and the term ‘order’ is derived from the tradition of magical orders rather than from the tradition of religious orders. Neither the Order nor Druidry is a cult. A cult revolves around a personality, a charismatic leader, or a particular deity or saint. The Order and Druidry have none of these characteristics.
Both the Feminine and the Masculine principles are celebrated and represented in the Order’s teachings and membership. The Order is not patriarchal or biased in favor of men – many women are in leadership roles and over half the membership is female.
Membership of the Order is open to followers of all faiths and none, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or ethnic origin, and there are currently over seventeen thousand members in fifty countries.
Although most members practice Druidry on their own, there are over 130 groups around the world that offer the opportunity for members to meet and celebrate together. In addition individual members and groups organize gatherings, retreats, camps, conferences and workshops. See the Community section on this website for more information.
The Order offers comprehensive training in Druidry in seven languages through its distance learning course, which includes a personal mentorship program, camps and gatherings in many countries, a monthly magazine, and members' internet forums. In addition, the Order promotes a Sacred Grove Planting Program and a Campaign for Ecological Responsibility, and supports three tree-planting charities: Trees for Life, Tree Aid, and The Woodland Trust.
The Order also offers training in celebrancy (the art of leading weddings and funerals and other rites of passage) to members, and educational materials in the form of books, audios, retreats and workshops to people who are interested in the Druid tradition and would like to incorporate some of its ideas into their lives, as well as to those who would like to follow a training program in Druidry.
Eisteddfods are celebrations of the Bardic Arts: Poetry, the written word, song, performance, artwork, or craft. A light-hearted competition is encouraged, with the previous winner serving as ‘judge’ to award the laurel to a new winner, who will add a trinket or bobble to the laurel for the next Eisteddfod.
Past Eisteddfod Winners
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