New Curriculum is Released!

We are proud to announce the AODA’s Revised 2021 curriculum is now released. Our curriculum redesign was a multi-year process that included working with feedback from our members through Member Outreach, degree exams, and discussions with our membership. Our curriculum is not extensively redesigned, but rather, we’ve made changes based on the needs of our members.

For those who are already working on a degree—you can choose which curriculum you use. If you want to stay under the curriculum you came in with, that is your choice. If you want to shift to the new curriculum, that is also your choice. Just let us know when you are ready for your end-of-degree reflection.

Overall Goals of the AODA Curriculum and Curriculum Overview

The AODA curriculum provides druids with a path into deep nature spirituality, allowing individuals to craft a practice rooted in their local ecology and personal beliefs while also recognizing that spiritual work transforms our everyday lives. Our curriculum is structured in the following way:

· First Degree: The first degree offers druids a set of tools (nature observation, meditation, lifestyle changes), practices and rituals (seasonal observation, the Sphere of Protection), nature knowledge (tree planting, experience, and learning) and an exploration into one or more of bardic, ovate, or druid studies. As this is a path of nature spirituality, our focus in the first degree is on nature herself and in deeply connecting to nature rather than just what nature does for us. For those who are sufficiently trained in these practices from another druid order, the AODA offers transfer credit.

· Second Degree: The second degree deepens the druid’s practice through an exploration into connecting humans and nature in harmony; through understanding larger patterns in the druid tradition; and within their specific area of interest in bardic, ovate, and/or druid studies. Second Degree work includes readings in druid philosophy, ecology, and ecologically restorative practices (including permaculture, organic gardening, regenerative and urban agriculture, and Green Wizardry); a deepening of practices and rituals (writing and performing seasonal rituals, performing grove rituals, meditations, and nature observation); and sharing knowledge and skills with others (mentoring, initiation practice). It also encourages individuals to establish a regular bardic, ovate, or druid practice.

· Third Degree: The druid tradition is still very much an evolving tradition. Individuals who have reached this point are ready to help shape our tradition. The third degree encourages you to move beyond the established patterns and knowledge and create an original bardic, ovate, or druid project while also contributing some of that knowledge to the broader community.

These three degrees align with our Seven Core Principles for AODA, found here: A Vision for AODA Druidry: Seven Core Principles of AODA – Ancient Order of Druids in America.

Based on the above, here are the changes to each degree:

First Degree: Most of the first degree curriculum has not changed. We’ve kept the Sun, Moon, and Earth paths and the Bardic, Ovate, and Druid Studies, so all of these are exactly as they were in the previous version. In the First Degree Curriculum, the changes are primarily based on recognizing the needs of our members for flexibility in certain areas such as tree planting and adaptations for differently abled persons.

  • We recognize that more members are transient, thus, we offer options for those who are unable to plant trees, including developing a relationship with a piece of land
  • We have more clear adaptations for those who are differently abled
  • We’ve changed the wording of “exam” to “reflection”, which is a better fit for what our candidates engage in at the end of their degree
  • We’ve added a tremendous amount of new content to our New Candidate Guide, expanding it by 20%. This includes aligning the New Candidate Guide in line with our AODA Vision statement, adding new graphics and material in each chapter, including adding a section on developing relationships with nature/land.

Second Degree Curriculum

The second degree curriculum had more substantial changes based on the feedback of our members—mostly making the degree more adaptable and flexible, and also building in a clearer human-nature relationship. As the first degree focuses on nature, the second degree now more firmly roots itself in human-nature reciprocal relationships. While the Earth, Sun, and Moon paths and Bard, Ovate, and Druid studies are all still included, we’ve made changes to make these paths more accessible.

  • For the Earth Path, we now ask that readers choose a book that allows them to live as a human aligned with the Earth’s cycles, allowing them to more fully explore how they can become a force of good with regards to the living earth
  • For the Sun Path, we’ve expanded the option to design an original set of activities. Under the previous curriculum, these were meant to be ritually-oriented. We now have expanded them to allow for Bardic, Ovate, or Druid expressions.
  • For the Moon Path, if you haven’t learned discursive meditation in the first degree, you learn it as part of the second degree. We also ask that you adapt the Sphere of Protection to your own setting, ecology, and practice (if you did not already do this in the first degree).
  • For the Core Curriculum in Druid Philosophy, we’ve expanded the options for a book in ecology and have also allowed you more choice in the books that you explore.
  • The Cumulating Work on the Druid Path now allows you many more options than an essay. We’ve expanded this requirement to include creative works, projects, or an essay.

The AODA’s Apprentice Guide book has been substantially revised and is now available as a print copy. Apprentices, Companions, and Adepts who want a print copy can fill out this form by October 15th, 2021 to receive a complimentary copy of the printed 2nd edition of the guide:

Third Degree Curriculum

The Third Degree Curriculum has not changed, although we have clarified doing third degree projects in more than one branch (Bard, Ovate, and Druid) and have added a specific set of proposal guidelines for those working on proposals (guidelines are here: http://aoda.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/ThirdDegreeProposal.docx). We are planning on creating a AODA Companion Guide in 2022, and will be reaching out to those who are working on and/or who have completed projects.

We welcome questions or discussion of the changes. Blessings to everyone!

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Hi, is there a link to the form for requesting the updated Apprentice Guide? I may just be overlooking it, but the only links I see are for the third degree and the seven core principles.

TIA,
/|\
Steve

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Oops, never mind! I got my terms confused. I’m still a candidate, and I see that there is another thread explaining how to order the new new candidate guide.

Cheers,
Steve
/|\

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Awesome! Can I find the new curriculum on the website? I’m still a candidate (I misunderstood some things about the plan but am getting back on track now).

Thanks to everyone who did the work to make these changes!

Hey! I don’t seem to be able to access the new candidate curriculum PDF - is it possible that I don’t have the right forum permissions?

Pamiitchel: Yes, ask @timothy.wolf or @carmiac for help! :slight_smile:

@myaamiadawn : Yes. The new curriculum is here: The AODA Curriculum Overview – Ancient Order of Druids in America

We also have an archive of the previous curriculum here: Curriculum Archive – Ancient Order of Druids in America

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I guess I sent my request for membership in at the right time. I just finished, on audiobook, the revised Druidry Handbook. New curriculum for a new start. Feeling excited to get started.

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Yes! Your timing was fantastic :).

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