World Druidry Data Deluge!

This week, I have been doing a bit of preliminary data-review for the World Druidry Survey, to get an idea of how many responses have come in so far, in which formats and languages, and to think about how to best organize the data for analysis. I am pleased to report that the response to the survey has been overwhelmingly positive.

As of this writing, 855 people have requested links to the SurveyMonkey questionnaire, or submitted completed PDF forms.  Of these, 620 people have completed the survey in its entirety. On average, people have been spending 50-60 minutes or more, responding to the questions. And, rather than doing so grudgingly, respondents have expressed their gratitude for the writing prompts and the suggestion (implicit in the survey questions) that they take the time to deeply reflect upon their personal Druidry practices, and the reasons (or lack thereof) behind their choices. A sampling of what people have written regarding the survey as a reflective process include:

“Larisa, this questionnaire is huge! I think I never looked so much in detail and in depth upon what I did and what influenced me etc. in the past decades and actually: Thank you for giving me that opportunity! I think it will take me a bit of time to complete it, but my answer will come.”

“[The survey] has sparked me on to doing some more with the druidry, as your questions provoke options in me that I had not seen. Thanks for the asking. I am going to now create an excel spreadsheet to observe the seasonal changes that I am noticing as I progress through the wheel of the year.”

“I have received the link […] and am looking forward to the reflective process completing this survey will be. Thanks for all your thoughtful work that’s gone into it. It’s really helpful to have the PDF version to get an overview. […] What a wonderful opportunity to reflect on my evolving journey.”

The responses also indicate that word about the Survey has been very widely disseminated, and has reached people in all corners of the world. As of this writing, I can report that we have responses from Druids living and practicing in the following 30 nations:

USA (320)
British Islands (122 – see breakdown, below)
Canada (36)
Australia (35)
Netherlands (26)
Germany (22)
Ireland (11)
France (8)
New Zealand (Aotearoa) (6)
Belgium (5)
Austria (4)
South Africa (3)
Brazil (2)
Czech Republic (2)
Denmark (2)
Switzerland (2)
Europe – undefined (1)
Gibraltar (1)
India (1)
Italy (1)
Japan (1)
Malaysia (1)
Mexico (1)
Norway (1)
Salish-Kootenai Nation (North American First Nation) (1)
Saudi Arabia (1)
Spain (1)
St. Lucia, West Indies (1)
Sweden (1)
Uruguay (1)

For those reporting from the British Islands, the breakdown of reported “nations of current residence” is as follows: British Isles (1), England (57), Great Britain (10), Jersey (1), Scotland (7), United Kingdom (35), Wales (11).

The responses that have been submitted to date also offer a wide variety of “flavors” of Druidry, which will enable the analysis to say something meaningful about the similarities and differences among the Druids of the world. As of this writing, the 136 “Druidry group affiliations” reported by survey respondents include:

OBOD (316)
None/Solitary (136)
ADF (79)
AODA (41)
BDO (31)
The Druid Network (23)
NOD (15)
Anglesey Druid Order (8)
Order of the Yew (7)
Reformed Druids of Gaia (7)
A Local Group (6)
Henge of Keltria (5)
Sylvan Grove (5)
Green Mountain Druid Order (4)
Pagan Federation (4)
RDNA (4)
Anderida Gorsedd (3)
Discover Druidry (3)
Druid Clan of Dana (3)
Druid College (3)
Druids Down Under (3)
Flame and Well Grove (3)
Isle of Wight Order of Druids (3)
Keepers of Dragon Knowledge (3)
Mystic River Grove, Boston (3)
Sisterhood of Avalon (3)
Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn (2)
East Bay Druids (2)
Fellowship of Druids Aotearoa (2)
Fellowship of Isis (2)
Mountains of Bran Beith Seed Group (2)
Peaceful Earth Druid Grove (2)
Setantii Grove (2)
Solas An Iarthair (2)
Ancient Way Druidic Association (1)
Artio Seedgroup (1)
Awenydd Tradition (1)
Bardic Banter & Druidic Drivel (1)
Bitter Root Grove (1)
Black Oak Grove (1)
Blidworth Druids Grove of the Corieltauvi (1)
Can y Gwynt Grove (1)
Cascade Sunstone Seed Group (1)
Charter Oak Grove (1)
Chiltern Nemeton Grove (1)
Circle of Three Trees (1)
Clann Bhride (1)
Clareira Druídica da Borda do Campo (1)
Collège International d’Études Celto-Druidiques (CIDECD) (1)
Coventia Seed Group (1)
Coventry Earth Spirit (1)
CUUPS (1)
Dancing Waters Protogrove (1)
Daughters of the Morrigu (1)
Dobunni Grove (1)
Doire Bhrigihid Seed Group (1)
Dolmen Arch (1)
Draegons (1)
Draoï (1)
Druid Grove of Brighid (1)
Druids Defence Pagan Network (1)
Druids Welt der Linden e. V. (1)
Duinroos Grove (The Hague) (1)
Eclectic Light Fellowship (1)
Forest Druids of the Cascades (1)
Free Foresters (1)
Free Gardeners (1)
Gnostic Celtic Church (1)
Greylock Shadow Protogrove (1)
Grove de Stenencirkel (1)
Grove Gort (1)
Grove of Red Cedar (1)
Grove of the Poplar Cross (1)
Grove of the Summer Stars (1)
Grove of the Tuatha de Dannan (1)
Hazelwood Grove (1)
Hearthstone Grove (1)
Hel’s Gate Heathen Kindred (1)
House of Blackthorn (1)
Irmandade Druídica Galaica (1)
Keltia (1)
Keltoi Tradition (1)
L’Assemblée Druidique du Chêne et du Sanglier (ADCS) (1)
l’Ordre des enfants de la Terre (France) (1)
L’Ordre Druidique de Dahut (1)
Lake Agassiz Seed Group (1)
Luna Circa (1)
Macademia Grove (1)
Modern Druidry (1)
Moor Cottage Stone Circle (1)
My family (1)
Nemeton broceliande Seedgroup: witte raven (1)
Nemeton Cruciniacum Seedgroup (1)
Nemeton of the Ways (1)
Nigheanan Brìghde Order of Brighidine Flametenders (1)
Northern Rivers Grove (1)
Northern Roots Grove (1)
Nos Coryn Seed Group (1)
Oakdale Grove (1)
Oaken Heart Grove (1)
Oddfellows (1)
One Tree Gathering (1)
Ord Bridheach (1)
Order of Celtic Wolves (1)
Order of Christian Druids (1)
Order of Maine Druidry (1)
Order of the Oak (1)
Order of the Stone Circle (1)
Order of the White Oak (1)
Parisi Seed Group (1)
Prairie Sky Protogrove (1)
Protogrove of the Valley Oak (1)
QOBOD (1)
Red Maple Grove (1)
Roaming Ravens (1)
Roharn’s Grove (1)
Seedgroup of the Wild Moor (1)
Seedgroup: Droai (Noord-Nederland) (1)
Silver Branch Seed Group (1)
Silvereyes Seed Group (1)
Summerlands Druid Seminary (1)
Sylvan Celtic Fellowship (1)
The Celtic Golden Dawn (1)
The Forest Tradition Druidic Fellowship of the Green Path (1)
The Heathen Federation (1)
The Keltio Olde Stone Grove (1)
Three Cranes Grove (1)
Tuatha de Bridget (1)
United Heathens and Pagans South Africa (1)
Wayist Druid (1)
Well of Segais (1)
Welt der Linden (1)
Wexford Ireland Seed Group (1)
White Dragon Seed Group (1)
Wild Hunt Druid Order (1)
World Fellowship of Druids (1)

If you glance through the lists of nations and Druidry organizations, above, and notice that your part of the world, or a Druidry group to which you belong is not as well represented as you feel it should be, please get out there and spread the word! The more of us chatting up the survey, the more complete and informative the results will be, once the study is complete.

Data collection is still ongoing, but:

The World Druidry Survey will officially close on 1 May 2019.

So, if you have intended to participate in the World Druidry Survey, but have not yet begun the process, or if you have started but not yet completed your survey, please go ahead and do it! Your voice and perspective are so important to this work, and I really do want all practicing Druids (of any variety of Druidic path, or level of experience) to have an opportunity to have their story heard.

Until next time…

Yours, under the California Coast Live Oaks,
Larisa

World Druidry Survey – Announcement

Calling all Druids!

You are formally invited
(and strongly encouraged)
to participate in…

“The World Druidry Survey”

Contemporary Druidry is relatively new as a religious/spiritual path, and is still in the process of defining itself as a global movement. Several books have been written about the history of contemporary Druidry, but there is not much research, yet, focused on what it really means to be a Druid in the modern age.

The World Druidry Survey explores the ways in which Druidry, as a globalizing path of nature spirituality, is evolving both in the traditional lands of the ancient Druids, and elsewhere, as it spreads and takes root in other countries and cultures of the world. As we, the practicing Druids of the world, learn and grow and develop our personal paths of Druidry, what do we continue to hold in common? In what ways do our practices and beliefs diversify? What, if anything, forms the spiritual, common core of contemporary World Druidry?

Whether you are just beginning your journey on the Path of Druidry, or whether you have been a practicing Druid for decades, your experiences and perspective are important to this work. I hope you will share a bit of your story!

I am undertaking this study as an independent scholar and educator, with over 25 years’ experience using mixed research methods to shed light on the ways in which people learn, grow, and change, under the influence of changing educational contexts and cultures. I am also a fellow Druid, supported by a grant from the OBOD’s Mt. Haemus Awards program. The research findings from this study are to be published as part of the OBOD’s Mt. Haemus Award program, at Beltane 2021, and presented at Mt. Haemus Day 2024, in addition to other publications and venues yet to be determined.

For more information about the study, and for links to the questionnaire (available in multiple languages, in both web-based and pdf versions), please visit:

https://coast-range-druid.com/world-druidry-survey/

Please, spread the word!

Yours, under the California Coast Live Oaks,
Larisa White M.S.Ed., Ph.D.

It Takes a Global Village

The questions for the World Druidry Survey were finalized. The survey-data-gathering technologies had been mastered (both the web-based, SurveyMonkey software, and Adobe’s software for creating beautiful, fillable PDF forms). I was eager to begin collecting data. But the questionnaire is to be administered internationally, and it is important that versions of the questionnaire be prepared for all major world languages, so that respondents can read and respond to the questions in the language with which they are most familiar. Unfortunately, I do not speak all the languages of the world. I therefore needed help.

I created computer-translations of the survey form, from English into French, German, Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese using the highly respected DeepL translation software, but even the best computers will make mistakes, and it was important to me that the questions — which ask people to think about and express their ideas about very personal issues — would be clearly and politely formulated. I therefore posted a request on the OBOD and AODA forums for translation advisors who could read the English version of the survey side-by-side with another language, and help me correct any linguistic or cultural errors.

And the Global Village of Druids came through for me, in magnificent style! As of today, I have complete, beautifully translated versions of the survey available in all six languages.

This survey research project could not have been undertaken without the generous, careful, and thoughtful work of a wonderful international team of volunteer translators. My thanks go out to:

  • Uta Frieling of Germany (for German translations, for asking me the hard, cross-cultural questions that I did not know I needed to ask, and for troubleshooting the technology, and helping me figure out how to get SurveyMonkey to do a multilingual survey)
  • Eva Leenknegt of Belgium (for Dutch/Flemish translations)
  • David Olivier Creuze of France (for French translations)
  • Rebecca Trinidad of the United States (for Spanish translations)
  • Atilio Baroni Filho of Brazil – (for Portuguese translations)

Evolution of a Questionnaire

After several months of reading, and conducting lengthy e-mail and phone conversations with the leaders of several of the larger Druidry groups and orders, the questionnaire for the World Druidry Survey Project has finally reached its final form.  At least, the English version has reached its final form.

Though there seemed to be no shortage of books in the “how to” category pertaining to Druidry, I was surprised at how little scholarship currently exists pertaining to the history and sociology of contemporary World Druidry.  Books I found particularly helpful in framing the first draft of my survey included:

  • “Blood and Mistletoe,” by Ronald Hutton
  • “Contemporary Druidry,” by Michael T. Cooper
  • “A Legacy of Druids,” by Ellen Evert Hopman
  • “Australian Druidry,” by Julie Brett
  • “The Druidry Handbook” by J.M. Greer

I also reviewed Druidry curriculum materials used by the Druidry groups:

  • Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA)
  • Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD)
  • British Druid Order (BDO), and
  • Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF).

I recognize that this does not cover all bases.  Not by a long shot.  But the approaches to Druidry described in these books, and the curriculum materials of these four Orders were sufficiently distinct from one another to help me begin to see the range of possibilities to be considered in framing my survey questions.  Once I had completed a first draft of the questionnaire, knowing that it would be biased by my own narrow experience of Druidry, I sent discussion copies to the heads of (or governing bodies of) several Druidry groups, and engaged in some lengthy phone conversations and e-mail exchanges with them, in order to answer the following questions:

1) Have I omitted asking about any major/important aspects of modern Druidry that you believe are likely to change or vary with the physical and cultural environment in which a person’s Druidry is practiced?

2) Have I included or omitted or worded something in a manner that you think is likely to be taken as having mistreated or neglected someone’s (or some Druidry organization’s) central beliefs or practices?

3) Which countries of the world do you believe to currently have an active Druid population that should be invited to participate in the study?

I am very grateful for the helpful feedback provided to me by:

  • Geoff Boswell, and Aurora Stone, Trustees of The Druid Network (TDN)
  • Gordon Cooper, Grand Archdruid of The Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA)
  • Philip Carr-Gomm, Chief of The Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD)
  • Philip Shallcrass (a.k.a. “Greywolf”), and the Circle of Elders of The British Druid Order (BDO)
  • Rev. Jean Pagano (a.k.a. “Drum”), Archdruid of Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF)
  • Malcolm Brown, of the newly founded Isle of Wight Order of Druids
  • and the members of the World Fellowship of Druids.

The English questionnaire is now live on SurveyMonkey, and also available as a pdf file for off-line reading and responding.  However, before officially launching and announcing the survey abroad, I will be working with a wonderful team of volunteer translators, creating versions of the survey in other world languages, so that the Druids of the world can choose to participate, using the language most comfortable and familiar to them.

We are currently working to translate the survey into German, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Portuguese.  If you, or anyone you know, is a Druid fluent in both English and either Italian, Polish, or another world language, and would be willing to volunteer a bit of time to help bring the survey to Druids in other languages and countries, please contact me, and let me know.  We are Druids, engaged in a labor of love, in order to understand ourselves more fully.  Your participation will be warmly welcomed!

World Druidry: A Globalizing Path of Nature Spirituality

The proposal for my current research project was accepted by the Mount Haemus Awards program, organized and funded by the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, in April 2018. The results are to be published at Beltane 2021, and presented at Mt. Haemus Day 2024. A synopsis of the proposed project is as follows:

Larisa A. White, M.S.Ed., Ph.D., is an educator and independent scholar with over 25 years’ experience using mixed research methods to shed light on the ways in which people learn, grow, and change, under the influence of changing educational contexts. She is also a global nomad, fascinated with the ways in which intercultural mobility affects people, habits, and beliefs. She now turns the focus of her academic research on discerning the ways in which Druidry, as a globalizing path of nature spirituality, has evolved as it spread beyond the traditional Druid lands of its origins and took root in other countries and cultures. As practicing Druids around the world learn and grow and develop their personal paths of Druidry, what do they continue to hold in common? In what ways do their practices and beliefs diversify? What, if anything, forms the spiritual “common-core” of contemporary World Druidry that is able to transcend local culture? This paper will present the findings of an extensive survey-research project designed to answer those questions.

The complete proposal can be viewed here: World Druidry: A Globalizing Path of Nature Spirituality, proposal by Larisa A. White.

I am very much looking forward to learning more about what my fellow Druids, around the world are doing with their practices! Now, on to developing the survey questionnaire.