Hedge Riding: The Art of the Hedge Witch

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Big News - Druid College UK is born!

Life has its up and downs, its moments of excitement and most importantly of all - change. Nothing in life is ever the same, and opportunities abound if we have the courage to take the steps down the path towards our goals.  It is with this in mind that I am so excited to say that Druid College UK is born, and to share this wonderful news with all of you.

After months of planning and preparation with Kevin Emmons (otherwise known as Snowhawke) from our sister college in Maine USA, the Druid College is pleased to announce its opening, dedicated to Earth-centered spirituality, to the integrity of our natural home, and to the crafting of sacred relationship. In short, The Druid College devotes its presence—and it is its sole intent—to prepare priests of Nature.

Foundations for this life-long journey are established by a three-year, intensive study. Unlike contemporary universities, Druid studies are furthered not only by personal reflection but primarily by ongoing personal connection and spiritual guidance of (i.e., apprenticeship to) a Druid Priest. In the UK as of 2015, those people are Joanna van der Hoeven and Robin Herne.

Being a priest of nature does not mean being an intermediary, but instead living a life in service, crafting a sacred relationship with the land, the ancestors and the gods. It requires service to the community as well as the land, wherein the priest acts as guide, witness or celebrant to a journey or journeys of crafting sacred relationship.

There are many Druid Orders and other pagan and earth-based organizations that offer solid training within their respective traditions. The Druid College is for those who wish to journey further. We wish to work with those who want to be ‘carriers’ of Nature-based spirituality – as compared to ‘followers’. We saw a need for a programme for people who desire to go deeper, for those who wish to be in service, to fill the role of priest for their community and the land they dwell in.

The College accepts as first-year apprentices people of all walks and intent. The focus for the first year is on the fundamentals of Druidry and reweaving our personal connection to Earth and to our ancestors and heritage. Commitment to the full programme is not required in order to join in the first year of training.

Our second year training is reserved for those who desire to continue their journey into the priesthood, to step into the role of priests of Nature, to serve the land and its people. Our programme is one of preparing people to be in service, such as prison ministry, working with the dying, or being a priest of the land, offering healing where there is desecration.

The nature of year three is that of being in the role as priests. We envision this year as one of walking the path and sharing those activities with the staff and other apprentices, learning from each other, acknowledging the work, declaring your “Chair” and manifesting it locally.

The Druid College is not an accredited college and offers no degree programme.

For full information, see the Druid College website HERE.

Programme overview:

Year One of the Apprenticeship

“Reweaving the Broken Connection to the Land”

Year one studies include:

Core principles and teachings of Druidry, Living with Honour, Grounding, Working with the Ancestors, Animism and the Spirits of Place, Listening and Druid meditation, Awen and the cycle of creativity, Working with the Nemeton, Developing Authentic Relationship, Inspiration and the Poetic arts, Storytelling and cultural heritage, The Cycle of Life and the “Wheel of the Year”, Working with the Gods/Deity, Anarchism and the end of Submission, Emotions and “riding the energies”

Year Two of the Apprenticeship

“Training in the Crafts of Shapeshifting, Healing, and in the Arts of Transformation”

Year two studies include:

The Awakened Life; Ritual Trance Induction, Crafting Sacred Ritual; Healing; Prophecy and the Seer; Defining what is meant by Applied Inspiration in Service; Ethical Leadership; Bridge-building as Peacework; Justice and Permaculture; Philosophy; Nature and Relationship to Consumption; Preparations for Declaring your “Chair”

Year Three: Practicum

Declaring your “Chair” and manifesting it locally

Purposeful Sharing in Community

Applied Trancing as Priestly Evolution

Training to Lead Ecstatic Ritual

Two large gatherings of the entire College

Possible ritual of Ordination

Last modified on
  Joanna van der Hoeven is a Hedge Witch, Druid, and a best-selling author. She has been working in Pagan traditions for over 20 years. She is the Director of Druid College UK, helping to re-weave the connection to the land and teaching a modern interpretation of the ancient Celtic religion.  

Comments

  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Friday, 06 February 2015

    How exciting! Congratulations to you and Robin, and brightest blessings on this new endeavor. By the way, you'll want to make an addition to your website page where you describe the Training; at present it states that classes are only offered in Maine and New York City. Get your Suffolk, UK location added!

  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven Saturday, 07 February 2015

    Thanks Ted! On what page exactly do you see that? I can't find it, please help! xoxo

  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Saturday, 07 February 2015

    OK, let's see. On the Home page for the Druid College United Kingdom, go down to where it says Training Program, and click on Overview. You should get a page titled Druid College - Acolyte to Priest. The first paragraph reads as follows:

    The Druid College offers a three-year program in crafting sacred relationship. Our course is a path of awakened celebration and service to the land, the people, and the Divine; by which we hope to guide the apprentice to be a priest of Nature. Our program is not a distance learning program. It is six exploratory weekends over the course of a year. Courses are offered in Maine and in New York City. Personal study is required between gatherings and additional mentoring is available between weekends.

  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven Sunday, 08 February 2015

    Ah - I see it now! Thanking you! xoxo

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