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!

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