Frequently Asked Questions
- What exactly is fraternal druidism and how does it differ from other types of druidism? In 1717, the Ancient Order of Druids formed as the first fraternal druid organization and since then many other fraternal druid revivalist groups have formed. These groups use druid symbolism in their rites and ceremonies and often act as fraternal and charitable groups, similar to the Masons and other fraternal orders. Traditionally these groups have been all male, though some have had women's auxilliary groups. There is no religious or magickal prerequesite for joining a fraternal druid group, as these organizations frequently focus as much on fraternal brotherhood as they do on druid symbolism. Other common types of druidism include reconstructionist druidism and neo-pagan druidism. Reconstructionist druids attempt to recreate ancient Celtic religion and druidism as accurately as possible based upon the historical documentation of the druid era. Neo-pagan druids are usually polytheistic and base their spiritual beliefs on the Celtic pantheon of gods, goddesses, ancestors, and nature spirits. Sometimes they merge Wicca and other Neo-pagan paths with their Celtic beliefs.
- If I'm a reconstructionist, neo-pagan, or other type of druid, can I join OSC or start a chapter. That's the great thing about our open source system. We're open to druids of all types and backgrounds. You can also be of some other tradition, religion, or philosophy and just feel drawn to druid symbolism. There's also room for individuals and groups who are more interested in the fraternal aspects of OSC.
- Aren't you guys a secret society? Why have you all of a sudden started being so open about everything? Yes, we have acted as a secret society in the past, and that is still an option individual chapters may choose. The thing is in the 21st Century with the internet and easy access to information it's hard to keep anything secret. Rather than fight it, we've decided to embrace the open source nature of the information age.
- As a traditionally male fraternal organization, can women join? We've decided to let individual chapters determine how to structure themselves. There's room for brotherhoods, sisterhoods, coed groups, and even triads of three. Women are welcome to join. We're also open to individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, politics, or sexual orientation.
- I belong to a currently existing chapter of OSC. How can I reconnect and how can I ensure people know where to find my group? Send us an e-mail letting us know who and where you are.
- Can I become a solitary member? Yes. If there is no existing chapter or grove of OSC in your area or if you prefer solitary membership, solitary membership is an option. Solitary members must take an oath, undergo a self-initiation rite, and pay any required dues directly to OSC Chapter One. You can still participate in OSC online through our online groups and forums and by contributing your knowledge and expertise to our blog and other projects.
- How can I help out? If you're a good writer, consider being a contributing author to our blog. If you're good at research, consider contributing material to our online library by helping us locate public domain materials to include there. If you've got advanced computer skills, help us develop our online ritual space. If you're good with organizing people, consider starting a chapter. If you have some other skill or knowledge that would be useful, then please by all means let us know. That's another thing about the open source system; it works best when people apply their knowledge and skills for the benefit of all.