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The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids (OBOD) is a neo-druidic organization headquartered in England, but with an international membership.

Based on the Gorsedd of Wales, the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids was founded in 1964 after splitting off of the Ancient Druid Order, and now has members in more than fifty countries.

Ross Nichols, a Cambridge academic, poet, artist, and historian, is acknowledged as the founder of the Order. He wrote extensively on Druidism and Celtic mythology, reviving interest in Celtic neopaganism, although his central work on the subject, The Book of Druidry, was published posthumously in 1990. Prior to leaving that organization to found the OBOD, Nichols as a member and chairman of the Ancient Druid Order.

More than a decade after the death of Nichols, Philip Carr-Gomm was appointed as head of the Order. Carr-Gomm, a psychologist, became a student of Nichols when he was eleven, joining the Order at the age of eighteen. He is an author of books on psychology and Druidry, and the founder of the Esoteric Society in London.

Under the leadership of Carr-Gomm, the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids incorporated elements of Wicca into its practice of Druidry, creating a practice he called Druidcraft. In his writings, however, he acknowledges that Wicca and Druidry evolved separately, although they have common characteristics.

The teachings of the Order holds to the neodruid belief in the sanctity of nature, and in a belief in the Otherworld, which is a concept of a historical Indo-European religion that has been reconstructed for academic purposes. The Otherworld involves various religious, mythological, and metaphysical concepts, including a realm of supernatural beings, and spirits that are believed to be able to travel between worlds.

The OBOD incorporates ideas from Celtic literature and other sources, but it also blends concepts from modern psychology and the Human Potential movement.

The official teachings of the Order are presented as a spiritual philosophy that is compatible with several other religious beliefs, and membership is open to people who retain memberships in other religions. Many OBOD Druids identify as Pagan, but others consider themselves to be Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, or as other religions. Others consider the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids to be their only spiritual path.

Although pre-Christian Druids in Britain met together to share wisdom and for the performance of rituals, many members of the OBOD are solitary. During the leadership of Carr-Gomm, the teachings of the Order were made available through distance learning and online, although there is a network of tutors, and members meet at workshops or assemblies held in various parts of the world. There is also a network of groves and seed groups.

The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids is the focus of topics in this category. Appropriate topics may include sites representing the international Order, or any of its national, regional, or local affiliates, as well as associated organizations, or publications. Purely informational sites may also be submitted to this category if their focus is on the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids.

 

 

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