The Druid Network
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (November 2011)|
|Tax ID No.||1138265|
|Founder(s)||Emma Restall Orr|
|Area served||Officially an English and Welsh charity but with worldwide membership and interests.|
|Mission||"To provide information on the principles and practice of Druidry for the benefit of all and to inspire and facilitate that practice for those who have committed themselves to this spiritual path."|
|Motto||Informing, Inspiring and Facilitating Druidry as a Religion|
The Druid Network is a British druidic (neo-pagan) organisation providing a source of information and inspiration about modern Druidic traditions, practices and their histories. It was founded in February 2003 by Emma Restall Orr, a leading voice in British Druidry.
The Druid Network was created to act as an internet framework making tangible the spirit-web that is the global community of the Druid tradition and other natural philosophies and Paganisms. Like a sacred well, the Network aims to offer a blend of inspiration and information, yet not only from words presented as articles and ideas. In the spirit of the oral tradition of our ancestors and our heritage, the power of the Druid Network is in the encounters it enables between individuals, soul to soul, mind to mind : people walking together upon the same road.
A major project of The Druid Network is called Honouring the Ancient Dead, a programme developed in cooperation with the Manchester Museum (U.K.) for the proper and dignified treatment of human remains at ancient archaeological sites in the United Kingdom. The programme has been reported on in "British Archaeology" (Issue 77, July 2004) and "The New Statesman," (6 November 2006.)
The structure of the Network is based on Druidic and pagan tenets. It therefore claims no hierarchy, but for administrative purposes numerous categories of membership are constitutionally defined, as are lines of communication. The governing Committee consists of selected Staff Members, chosen by the previous Committee from all applicants.
The Network comprises working project areas on four continents as well as its British home: Europe, North America, South America, and Oceania. The Network does not, however, simply focus on members. They work for the wider Druid community and the world at large through teaching and programmes in areas of ethics, ecology, and spirituality. The website offers members and non-members alike a large variety of options for active engagement.
The heart of The Druid Network is the Druid Order of the Yew, a community of Druid Priests bound together by their pledges of Commitment to their Communities across the several continents of the Network.
Across the globe many Druid Groves and other Druidic organisations are affiliated with The Druid Network. The Druid Network Across North America is composed of sixteen Regions, most headed by Regional Coordinators. Its purpose is to assist Druid Groups and individuals in the practice of Druid spirituality, to seek to define what Druidry means in North America, and to identify and coordinate programs for social action and ethical awareness. Similar manifestations of the Network can be found in Spain, the Netherlands, France, Brazil, and Oceania.
The Druid Network organises the Lammas Games an annual bardic festival of sports, songs and storytelling. The Druid Network also has a collection of "expressions" of Druidry that contains services to aid its community with inspiration regarding current issues, environmental ideas, ethical living choices, a tradition named PaganDASH and a pagan prison minister service.
In September 2010, the Charity Commission for England and Wales agreed to register The Network as a charity. Right-wing tabloid columnist Melanie Phillips reacted by writing in the Daily Mail as the decision being "a joke". In response a 4,000 strong petition was taken to the newspaper and the press complaints commission.
- "What is Druidry?". The Druid Network. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "Aims and Ethics of The Druid Network". The Druid Network. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "British Archaeology, Issue 77 - Emma Restall Orr". British Archaeology. 2004-06-24. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "Deity and Mythology - Beliefs in the Druid Network". The Druid Network. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "Groups and Grove in Britain and Other Countries". The Druid Network. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "The Druid Order of the Yew". The Druid Network. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "Celebrants & Priests". The Druid Network. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "Lammas Games 2004". The Druid Network. 2004-08-01. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "Expressions of Druidry". The Druid Network. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "Druidry to be classed as religion by Charity Commission". BBC News Online. 2010-10-02. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- "The Druid Network - Decision made on 21 September 2010" (pdf). Charity Commission for England and Wales. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2010-10-02.