Vermont Druid Training
Develop awareness, earth wisdom, healing & community.
We cordially invite you to join us for the 2015 Druid Training at the Green Mountain School of Druidry based in Worcester, Vermont. The training starts in May and if you choose to become a student, you will be initiated into the Mysteries, experienced as a magical gateway into the Heart of Nature. From that time on, your focus will be on healing yourself and the land, increasing your levels of life force, and deepening your relationship with the Sacred.
You will petition the spiritual forces of nature to be your guides on a magical journey through your inner and outer landscapes. The 2015 class will enter this magical adventure as a committed group of Bards, and your playground will be the beautiful and majestic, green, rolling Vermont mountainscapes. You will learn how to develop and express your intuitive, creative and magical powers, and build an intimate, caring relationship with the area of land upon which you live.
Be very clear: Druidry is a way of life, not a type of behavior you can switch on and off at will. It is experiential and transformational, not purely intellectual. Your intellect will be needed to understand the concepts and instructions you will receive, yet you will be called to put all you are taught into practice in your everyday life. In other words, you will be called to let go of old outmoded habits and attitudes, and replace them with a higher energy, more positive way of being.
This training is not an excuse to enjoy a few weekends in the year with a bunch of good people in a beautiful place. It is this, but is so much more: it is primarily an opportunity to work hard on yourself over a period of three years, supported by experienced and qualified teachers, to become the person of your dreams, aligned and partnered with the Spirit of Nature.
Finally, Druidry is a balanced way of life, and is both serious… and very irreverent. Cultivating a healthy sense of humor is beneficial – actually, essential – on your journey of transformation! We at the GMSD exercise an interesting and hands-on balance between reverence and irreverence.
Druids in Training
Each spring the Green Mountain School of Druidry starts a new Druid training program in Vermont. It covers a wide range of basic Druid knowledge, and is designed to create a good foundation for further specialized development. The Druid training lasts three years and incorporates initiations into the three Grades of Druidry: the Bard, the Ovate, and the Druid. Students are required to commit to the training one grade at a time.
As a Bard, you will access and explore the foundations of Druid magic and liberate the creativity within, through various forms of your choosing, such as voice, music, art, dance, or imagination. You will learn the principles of healthy communication, and gain confidence in this art by practicing with your fellow students. You will learn the skills of shamanic journeying and explore your inner landscapes. Your imagination will become a sacred tool for consciously creating the world you live in – your reality of choice – and you will be encouraged to play: both individually, and with the other magical children with whom you are studying.
As an Ovate, you will journey deep within and discover the secrets of Druid magic, divination, and healing (“Doctor – heal thyself”). You will learn the skills of the Hunter: stalking and acquiring the extra energy you need to transform yourself. You will get to know the awesome, archetypal role model Druids call the Spiritual Warrior and embody his/her qualities into your life. Ovates are challenged by both their teachers and their own inner processes to break through the obstacles confronting them, resulting in their healing and empowerment. Thru this journey of transformation the ovate connects deeply with the wisdom of the forest and trees. They will be working with Ogham, wands and tree essences. This second year of training comprises a series of initiations that will lead you from one empowered state to another, leading you gently yet firmly through the transformations necessary to become a Druid.
Druids interface between the spiritual and physical worlds and practice the arts they have learned in the Bardic and Ovate grades, in order to lead lives of purpose and authenticity. Having successfully overcome the challenges of the Ovate grade, having experienced the shamanic death, and performing the impossible (walking on fire), you will integrate your new powers into your everyday life. Taking responsibility for yourself and your impact on this Earth, physically, emotionally and energetically, is a cornerstone of a Druid’s training, for this awareness qualifies you to work with power. With your new levels of life force, you will learn how to embody your new wisdom, and share it effectively with others.
Graduate Druids often become teachers, healers, officiant at rites of passage and spiritual leaders; they also become role models for the younger members of their communities, helping to resolve conflict and upholding the principles of justice. Others lead their lives without exposing themselves as Druids, quietly following their internal guidance and doing good works.
As a Druid, your life will become impregnated with the Sacred (in your own unique, individual way), you will become a skilled communicator and energy worker with and for nature thru the application of Geomancy, and you will be called upon at any time to be of service to others and the land. An empowered and practicing Druid is called a Caretaker of the Earth.
The final process of becoming a qualified Druid in the Green Mountain Druid Order is to journey to the UK with your group – also known as your clan – where you will make pilgrimage to important sacred sites, meeting wise and powerful people on the way. The Spirit of Druidry impregnates the sacred lands of Albion (the old name for the UK) and it is very auspicious to build relationship with, and receive blessings from, the Old Country. Towards the end of the trip, you will perform a graduation ceremony, with the other members of your group, inside the magical temple of Stonehenge. There you will perform the final act needed to become an empowered Druid: marrying the Land.
The GMDO encourages graduates to become long-term, active members of their spiritual community, meeting regularly in sacred Groves, where you can weave good, healing, caring webs of magic and transformation into yourselves, your communities, and the world.
We encourage our graduate students to remain in contact with each other after the completion of their formal training, in order to facilitate our growing spiritual community in Vermont. We are all aware that the times of great change are already among us and the time of the lone wolf is over: the way forward now is through community and mutual support. Our prayer is that we will all recognize the skills and wisdom we have as a group, and pool it in order to create a strong and healthy organism that will thrive in the days and years ahead.
Daily Spiritual Practice
Students are required to observe a daily spiritual practice of between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on their grade, which will be given by the GMSD teachers. Homework (affectionally called Gnomework) will also be given and must be completed before the next weekend.
Code of Conduct
Students are asked to read the GMDO Code of Conduct and sign the agreement to abide with the Code, to be handed in before initiation.
A Review of the Training
To complete each grade, students will need to write a Review about their experiences, growth and insights through their studies. The teachers will read it and assess whether the student has completed the grade sufficiently to graduate to the next. What we are looking for is whether the student has grasped the basic concepts, has maintained a daily spiritual practice, has done most of the exercises, ceremonies and readings for each grade, and has begun to integrate these into her daily life. If we consider that more is needed to graduate, we will help guide that process for the student.
At the end of July we hold our annual Druid Camp, which is an extended period of communal living at Dreamland, from Thursday afternoon on the 30th July until Sunday afternoon on August 2nd, a period of 3.5 days. The camp is full of workshops, Druid activities, ceremony, fun games and lots of Bardic expression!
The camp is optional for all students. Kids, family members and Home Study students are welcome for the entire period, and guests from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon. Pre-registration is required, in order to plan accordingly. During the camp we will all enjoy the realities and delights of Druid community, learning to work, play, dream, eat and sleep together in the beautiful Vermont hills.
Before accepting students for a new class, we ask for an interview. This is simply to make sure that applicants realize the implications of the training and the commitment we need, and also to get to know one another face-to face, rather than by phone or email. We look forward to meeting you! There are some forms we will ask you to fill out as well.
All three grades of students (Bard, Ovate and Druid) will be present at each weekend. Graduate Druids will assist Ivan facilitate lessons throughout the year. Some classes will be shared, for example sharing circles, music sessions and some ceremonies, while others will be specifically designed for each individual grade.
We meet one weekend every month over a period of six months, starting in May. Our weekends begin at 9am on Saturday and last until 4-5 pm on Sunday. The actual dates are: May 9-10, June 13-14, July 11-12, Aug 15-16, Sept 12-13, ands Oct 10-11. The Druid Camp dates are July 30-August 2. Please note that the Druid Training dates fall on the second weekend of each month from May to October 2015, with one exception: the 3rd weekend in August.
Food is extra. Each student prepares a meal, or part of a meal, at home and brings it to share. Those preparing each meal will also wash up.
Meals will be planned on the weekend session before they are to be made. Please note that only a short time will be available to prepare meals between lessons. Therefore they need to be salads, buffet-style, or able to be quickly warmed up before eating.
Students camp out in tents or in their cars; our tipi can also be used for sleeping. Our 3-season classroom is under construction; as soon as it is ready, it will provide a comfortable indoor space for sleeping.
Is $1200 per year, if paid in full by February 1, 2015.
Is $1300 per year, if paid in full by the start of the training.
Is $166 per month over 6 months PLUS a nonrefundable down payment of $400, paid before the start of the training – totaling $1400 per year.
Limited special arrangements for work exchange may be available upon request. (first come, first served)
If more than one person/partner from a given household is signing up, the second registrant gets the course for half price.
For further information and registration details, contact:
Green Mountain Druid Order at www.greenmountaindruidorder.org
Ivan at: firstname.lastname@example.org
and explore his website at: www.ivanmcbeth.com