The Higher Orders

The names of the Higher Order were taken predominantly from Gaulish Paleo-Paganism, plus two Welsh names and one Irish. All are from Celtic cultures, but with vast differences between them! I, myself, think it would have been interesting if they had made an Order of the Buddha. Further details on the deities can be found in most dictionaries of Celtic Folklore and encyclopedias of mythology and god/desses. It is generally up to the individual member to determine whether the names of the Higher Order are full-fledged Gods and Goddesses or whether they are Jungian archetypes. Or they may be something else entirely.

The Higher Orders were established in the spring of 1964 as an encourage the Third Order to do further study and/or to encourage spiritual inquiry. They are intended to honor achievement rather than tenure. As such, the Higher Orders are equal in the sense that none shall be considered a prerequisite for the other. Admittance to a Higher Order is the prerogative of the acting Patriarch or Matriarch of that Order.

The Patriarch or Matriarch of each Higher Order designs the symbol or vestment of that Order. Thus the Eight, Ninth and Tenth Orders have no special symbols, because they have no Matriarch or Patriarch yet. Some more information on the higher orders can be found in the Interview with David Frangquist or Richard Shelton. Within the ARDA, look at the Ordination rites, their historiographies, the Book of Customs, and the debates in the Apocrypha. The following table gives the names, origins, symbol, patronage and Order of each of the eight orders involved (though it is important to note that the order of listing the orders in no way implies any ranking between either the deities or of the orders they are patron to).

So what?

The Original Ten Orders of Reformed Druidism

Order

First

Second

Third

Name

(NONE) (NONE) Dalon ap Landu

Patron of

(NONE) (NONE) Groves

Symbols

Red & White ribbons

Origin

Fourth

Grannos

Springs

Green chalice & ribbon

Gaul

Fifth

Braciaca

Malt

yellow wrist maniple

Gaul/Brit.

Sixth

Belenos

Sun

yellow neck ribbon

Gaul

Seventh

Sirona

Rivers

Sky blue w/ wavy

Gaul

Eighth

Llyr

Lightning

(Hammer?)

Wales

Ninth

Taranis

Oceans

(Seagreen?)

Gaul

Tenth

Danu

Fertility

(Brown?)

Ireland

Special Orders:

In addition to the original Higher Orders there are Special Orders or "New Orders" that have been established since 1974. Unlike the Higher Orders, most of these orders are less oriented towards Nature and more towards human skills or traits. The Order of Myrddin was established by Isaac Bonewits between 1974-6, the Order of Oberon by Mr. Geller between 1974-6, the Order of Diancecht (and its two subsets of Airmed and Miach) in 1976, the Order of Lugh by Carleton's very own Katya Luomala, the Order of Angus was created in 1979 for children before puberty (the 1st Order in Berkeley was only enterable after puberty in the NRDNA). The creation of New Orders rebegan in the 1990s with Michael Scharding, who created the Order of Puck in 1994, the Order of Suzuki in 1996, and the Order of Bambi in 1996. Many of these rites are in Section Three of the Liturgies. It is noteworthy that three of them have Patrons of non-Celtic origin (Puck, Suzuki & Bambi).

The Special Orders

Order

Name

Patron of

Symbol of Office

Origins

Oberon

Oberon

Bards

Dark Blue ribbon

Britain

Merddyn

Merrddyn

Magic

A Wand or staff

Wales

Diancecht

Diancecht

Healing

Green stole/ Red wavy

Ireland

(Airmed)

(a subset)

Doctors

gold border ribbon

Ireland

(Miach)

(a subset)

Counselors

silver border ribbon

Ireland

Lugh

Lugh

Crafts

(none)

Everywhere

Angus

Angus

Children

Orange ribbon

Ireland

Puck

Puck

Mischief

Hockey Puck on ribbon

England

Suzuki

Suzuki

Meditation

cord w/ paper pendants

Japan

Bambi

Bambi

Outdooring

Brown with '"hitr "pata^

"In accordance with Druid practice, certain vestments may be worn by Second Order and higher Druids during a meeting. Also, however, in accordance with Reformed Druid practice, it should be stressed that vestments are only permitted, not required." (David Frangquist) While the custom of dressing up for rituals has generally fallen out of practice at Carleton, occasionally it is revived. Other Groves in the Reform have generally adopted some individual customs of dressing, as is their right, most still choosing to use the traditional bedsheets.

Several systems of vesting have been suggested over the years. With the exception of some of the Higher Orders, these usually break down into matters of robes and ribbons. Usually Second Order Druids, or higher, by dint of their enthusiasm, usually wear white robes (kind of like the ancient Druids). We strictly caution those people who live in the Southern US that they should not wear hoods, as this may be misconstrued by the locals and we recommend a non-white color robe for those regions. Unfortunately, according to Larson, the Klan has also adopted the use of colored robes

The Third Order Druids usually wear white robes with their red or white ribbons of office around their neck, depending on if it's the Summer Half of the Year (wear Red) or the Winter Half of the Year (wear white). If a grove has other officers (such as a bard) they, of course, can be designated to wear distinctive symbols or ribbons.

IF you have a really gung-ho and rich grove you can, of course, choose to have seasonal robes for your Arch-Druid and/or grove members. Some of Isaac's & Frangquist's suggestions are listed here: Throughout the season of Geimredh, the robe is black with white facing. During Earrach, the robe is black with white and red facings. At the point of the Beltane service at which the sacrifice is accepted, a change to or addition of a red robe is made. Through out Samradh, the color is red or green. At Summer Solstice and Lughnasadh, the robe is green. The Samhain service begins in green, until the sacrifice is rejected, at which point a black robe is put on and over it a white facing or robe. As for the other High Days, at Winter Solstice he suggests a solid white robe and at Oimelc black with a white facing or overgrown, to which red may be added during the service. No suggestions are made for spring equinox or fall equinox. For those of you who are poor, or who think this whole thing is silly, he suggest a simple black robe with white facings for the Winter Half of the Year and red facings for the Summer Half of the Year

The use of plain white robes, with variously colored ribbons, is really much simpler and cheaper. The following traditions seem to have developed: The ribbons are usually at least two yards in length, (purchased, if at all possible, at the Ben Franklin Dime Store in Northfield Minn.) with their raw ends either sewn, painted with clear nail polish, or taped with Scotch (or Irish) tape to prevent raveling. See Records of the Council of Dalon ap Landu for rule governing ribbons-of-office. There is a great deal of room here for invention, if you should so choose.

Among the Hassidic Druids, now disbanded, two other pieces of vestment were worn. The first was a special skullcap, usually of a knitted or crocheted of variegated green yarn, called an acorncap; while the second was a green and white prayershawl called a tellit, which (unlike the acorncap) is usually worn only at services or daily prayers.

If a Druid is interacting with Wiccans, one should be careful that one's Druidic ribbons or robes of office do not impinge with the system being used by the Wiccans.

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