Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Druid College restricted to only people who follow the Druid path?
Absolutely not. You may follow any path you choose. Even among druids, there are different paths. A Druid is by nature anarchistic: that is, submits to no one. Therefore, great emphasis is placed on personal awakening, the development of authentic relationship, the building of personal consciousness and a wakeful, ethical integrity, howsoever you discern that. We as teachers aren't concerned with titles, labels or doctrines. We are interested in working with people who are sincere in learning to become a priest of Nature. We feel this programme would be of great interest and benefit to anyone who walks a Nature-based spiritual path. Our teachings are based in our own native Celtic stories, history and archaeology, but they are transferable to any path.
2. What is the difference between a Druid Apprentice and a Student of Druidry?
The college makes this distinction because we understand there to be two different intentions. A student is anyone who is interested in the subject of Druidry, its history, its philosophy, its differing schools, and the values of its presence in society. Students may study it as any student pursues a subject matter without making a personal commitment to Druidry as their spiritual path. The Druid College has such resources to assist students. An apprentice, on the other hand, is anyone who chooses to learn to do what Druid priests of Nature do, to work more closely with us, to learn our rituals, to become colleagues on this spiritual path, and to establish themselves on this lifelong path of listening, inspiration and service. The Druid College has a primary focus on its Apprentices and the evolving of priests of Nature.
3. Do I need to commit to three years before signing up for the programme?
No. We expect that each year inaugurates a new commitment. Even if you complete only the first year, you will have sufficient growth to branch out in another way, if you choose. However, for those who really do intend to become priests of Nature, and who want to apprentice to one of us to learn the craft, we highly recommend you consider the commitment and at least seriously entertain the possibility of working all three years. The course will last you all of your life. You can, of course, always choose differently down the line.
4. Why now? Why do we need "priests of Nature"?
A priest of Nature, even in the best of circumstances, would be devoted to the well being of their local, natural world. However, the earth is in critical condition and needs attending to by people who care about it enough to say so. Druids were always priests of nature, having been woven into the cycles of life and inspiration from birth. It was their birthright. The brokenness, the separation of the peoples from nature, from consciousness of the cycles of life and of inspiration are so pervasive a set of qualities in our culture that the College thinks it necessary to name us as “priests of nature” as one act of restoration of an essential connection has been lost. We are needed. The College is aware of this task as a responsibility towards our natural home.
5. Why the heavy emphasis on being in service?
Druids are by nature in relationship. We seek it, we work with it, we explore our ethical boundaries with it. We are deepening all our relationships. And it follows, it is an ethical and awakened state that contributes to the health of those relationships. To take but not balance by giving back, is an entirely unethical path for anyone calling themselves a druid. We use the word service to mean any way by which you would endeavor to use your focused energy on behalf of the earth, the ancestors or your local community. Indeed, the highest achievement, the one thing by which druids are known by that name, is the dedication to some form of service, be it caring for a local park, teaching, singing to people, telling stories, becoming an artist, learning permaculture to enrich the well-being of your family and friends, or any of the many other things that emerge from being inspired. One way that is easily available with modern computers is to establish your own blog site, wherein you share your path as a druid. This keeps you in relationship with very many people, even if they do not live nearby. In some cases, service to the well being of the earth can be served by joining a website of similarly, ecologically minded people. However, we would caution you not to substitute this for getting out and actually engaging one on one with the physical reality of the world. Service is engagement with intention for betterment.
6. Do you have facilities? Where can I stay?
We at Druid College are pleased to work with the small village of Messing, Essex, in the use of their delightful and eco-friendly community hall. With beautiful woodlands a 10 minute walk away, magical ponds and paths through the trees to enchant the soul, we are also glad for the amenities that the hall provides, such as screens for presentations to provide a visual element to classes. Messing Village Hall is also near mainline London train stations and the A12, for ease of access.
7. What if I need to miss one of the scheduled gatherings?
It happens. We will find a way. Just let us know ahead of time so that we can work it out.
8. What if I have something I need help with in between the gatherings?
Half of the Apprenticeship equation is our commitment to you. Reach out to one of us for help and we will respond. We have an active online group for discussion outside of the weekends, where we can share further thoughts, files, links to websites and online material, and more.
9. What if I find this programme isn't for me. Can I get my tuition money back?
We won't be able to refund people who drop out of the course, as we have committed to paying for a venue for the year, as well as having booked external tutors for herbal workshops, permaculture and wild-foraging. Once the course has started, we will not be able to have another apprentice take your place, as they won't be able to catch up on the previous work and get on with the current workload. If you cancel a month prior to the first session, we can refund you the course fee minus the deposit, which is not refundable.
10. Are there age restrictions for your programme?
We do not accept any Apprentice under the age of 18 without express written consent of a parent or legal guardian. Other than that, restrictions are determined by your ability to independently handle the course materials, do the work, show up, and follow up on your commitment.
11. How much time for study and practice do I need to commit between weekends?
If you are fully intent on being an apprentice, then daily attending to your altar, meditations and exercises is essential for making progress. Commitment to being a conscious awakened person requires as much time as you will give it. For some of us, this accompanies everything we do. We make choices to pursue this path, sacrificing some things to grow in our Nature-based spiritual path, and then make ethical choices that reflect our commitment. This will be discussed in depth during the course of study.
12. Is Druid College an accredited college?
No. The word “college” is used here as in an earlier sense, as an institution of tertiary education, which is a course of studies that teaches specific capacities of higher learning and leads to some kind of vocational preparation. Such a college includes individuals, teachers, administrators that has its own traditions and rituals that set it apart from other colleges. Accreditation, on the other hand, refers to gaining degrees or other credentials that are recognized by national accreditation associations. Druidry is not a theological program as are other theological schools. What we offer is a life commitment. For anyone who completes the three year apprenticeship, we will have a ritual of transition. There are theological seminaries that do accept and give professional degrees to enrolling pagans. If that is what you are seeking, one of us can give you some suggestions of where to gain more information about them.