The Guardians of the Grove: The Founders
We are organized as a body of three founders, the Guardians of the Grove, along with our elder counselor, the Grove Mother. The Guardians of the Grove:
- Organize the calendar
- Plan and guide rituals, discussions, and other events (Grove members also take on these roles as they feel called)
- Guard and maintain the vision of the grove: its purposes, values, and practices
- Assist in resolving conflicts and disputes, if necessary
- Humbly reach out for advisement and council, in cases of confusion or conflict, to the Grove Mother, OBOD mentors, and the OBOD Office
The Druids of the Grove: Membership
The Grove of the Wild Wood, because its core practices involve deep work, such as journeying, working with the spirits and gods, unscripted ritual, and shadow-work, seeks to maintain a small membership that is strongly committed to daily individual and regular collective practice. The Grove is a lay monastic group, not a church; all members are priests in their own right. We exist to support one another in our OBOD coursework; working on self-discovery and self-actualization; devotional work toward the spirits and gods; and growing in our ecological knowledge and service. To build a Grove in which our members can feel vulnerable with one another in order to do this work, we:
- Have an unspecified, extended period in which interested newcomers may be invited to public events and gradually get to know one or more Guardians of the Grove before they are invited to semi-private events (held at members’ homes). All Druids and those on nature spirituality paths are welcome to our public events.
- Have an unspecified, extended period in which potential members may be invited to semi-private events and more deeply get to know all the Guardians of the Grove and our members before they are offered membership. Not all people who regularly attend these events are expected to become members.
- Only offer membership by invitation by consensus of all Guardians of the Grove, and with discussion with members of the Grove, after an extended time of knowing someone very well.
- Ask that those who are offered membership take an extensive period (at least several weeks, but as long as they need) to hold vigil and, through meditation and prayer, determine that this Grove is the best place for their practice as Druids, and that they can and will commit themselves to regular individual and collective spiritual practice (including growing in their capacities as ritualists and teachers in their own right).
- Ask that as part of this vigil, those who are offered membership deeply reflect on their gifts and their soul’s work in the world, and seek guidance from their personal spirits and deities to determine what their unique contribution to the Grove and its mission will be. All our members are priests in their own right, dedicated to serving their gods and the mission of the Grove. Each of them has a unique calling within the Grove’s mission and functioning. In this way, the Grove does not function as a clergy-laity model. We are instead a group of priests who come together to seek collective inspiration from the gods and spirits, to support one another in deepening our own devotional practice, and to manifest the Grove’s mission and values in the world.