The Order of WhiteOak
The Order of WhiteOak is a Celtic Reconstructionist group that had its beginnings in a discussion list on Druid Ethics initiated by author Ellen Evert Hopman in 1996. The Order was officially created on the 21st December 1997.
As is defined in our mission statement our primary focus is:
- To discuss with our peers the lessons of ancient and recent history
- To study the Brehon Laws of Ireland, the Celtic Mythological Cycles, the Wisdom Texts and other ancient sources
- To seek ways to apply this information to contemporary Druidic practice
With many groups and orders the main focus is often on expanding that order, to work within groves within the local community. Although community is key to WhiteOak the main focus remains on the inner work of the individual. The Order grows through fosterage, a one on one teaching programme that is beneficial to the growth of both parties.
- The Order of the White Oak, Ord na Darach Gile, is our name.
- The Old Pagan Religion of the Celtic Nations inspires our religion.
- The history, poetry, and mysteries of of the Celts will also be ours.
- Our Dearbhaig Oath will be our affirmation of faith.
- Our initiated members will be called Dedicants.
- The standards of the Litany we expect only from ourselves, for no others have agreed to invest authority in this Litany.
We recognise that over time people’s beliefs may evolve, and so often is the case with groups. In April 2006 some members choose to take their vision of WhiteOak along a separate path, and out of this seperation was born both the Order of the Oaks and OWO Continental Europe based in Germany. Though our paths may differ we bless them on their journey and give thanks for the areas of commonality where we may work together. (The Order of Whiteoak and OWO Continental currently function as Sister Orders with close ties of friendship and cooperation).
As an Order we promote Celtic Druidism, but within that recognise the diverse traditions which that encompasses. Our core beliefs are drawn from those ancient Celtic manuscripts that detail ethical behaviour, about those qualities which the ancient Celts valued and aspired to.
- Let our Dearbhaig, our Primary Liturgy, and this Litany bind us together as an Order.
- For our purpose is to determine with reason, and then to demonstrate by example, the highest and most noble standard of conduct for modern Druids.
- And our purpose is to share spiritual knowledge and so enrich each of our lives.
Perks of membership include a lively yearly meeting where all members vote on issues directly affecting the future of the Order and access to our free lending library.
J Craig Melia – Order of WhiteOak November 2006
with addenda from Saille, September 2009