I’ve been keenly interested in druidry and all things related since my mid teens (about 25 years to date). In most of that time I’ve focused on solitary study as time and interests permit, much of which is documented on this site. Over the years I’ve also found occasion to be involved with a couple of groups including a couple of druid groups with groves in the Houston area and a Wiccan coven (two covens technically, but who’s counting?). I’ve also had several incidental contacts and relationships with other pagan groups over the years too numerous to really count.
My involvements with those group situations really never worked out, mostly because I didn’t jive with the other group members (most pagans are either full of crap or fruitier than jello salad) or because their study material was either non existent or lacking. I have met a few rare pagans that I really clicked with though and we started forming our own druidic tradition and grove (see order of prismatic druidry), but honestly i never really wanted to be in a position where I was running a grove and the folks I was collaborating with at the time moved out of the area. So, that was a bust.
While I don’t click with a lot of pagans I really do dig the group energy dynamic that develops from working with others in ritual. I’ve mentored a few folks over the years and that’s always a rewarding experience in itself, but I’ve also wanted to be a part of a larger organization… ideally somewhere where I could grow and be enriched and also give back / share and teach what I’ve learned over the years.
I’ve looked into various druid organizations over the years such as OBOD, Keltria and the ADF. They all look interesting but OBOD and Keltria don’t have local chapters / groves in my area. There was an ADF group on the north side of Houston for a while, but they fell apart before I could bring myself to go meet and greet them (I’m an introvert after all, it takes me a while to work up to that). Of the three groups the ADF seemed to take their study material the most seriously, which I love. They also have organized guilds centered around many topics i’m very interested in such as herbalism, home brewing and the like.
For a while I seriously considered stating a ADF grove, but one of the major draw backs for the ADF has always been that their rituals are required to be public. I’m not exactly kosher with that on a personal level. I absolutely understand and appreciate that approach and don’t mind participating in public rituals, but I’m not a fan of leading a serious ritual that’s open to public scrutiny. Starting my own ADF grove didn’t’ seem like a viable option for me personally. I want to be involved with one, but not run / lead it.
A few months ago I was googleing around for other pagans in my area and saw that there was a new ADF grove just south of me called Nine Waves (see also Nine Waves FB group). I stalked them on FB for a while and talked quite a bit with their leader, who very much seemed to have her head on straight. Eventually I got hooked up with one of their members to make a ritual robe for a handfasting I was leading so I got to meet someone from the grove itself. She also seemed to have her head on straight and was very sweet and approachable so I figured i’d give going to an actual grove meeting a shot.
I’m glad I did. The group seems serious about what they’re doing, but not stuffy. They’ve got a good leader who seems genuinely dedicated to her group and growing in a positive direction. After a meeting or two I decided I wanted to look seriously at being a part of ADF itself even if it didn’t work out with 9 Waves (9W hereafter) so I joined the national ADF membership.
I’m going to continue involvement with 9W and get more engaged with them. I’m also interested in working through the ADF’s Dedicant Path program, which is their entry level druidry study program (should be relatively easy from what I’ve ready) and I look forward to getting involved with their herbalism and brewing guilds in the future. The Dedicant Path requires a weekly blog for 11 months along with a couple of essays and book reports so I plan on recording that work here on the site