I've been sent a press release announcing the launch of Druid College UK. Two of the tutors at the college are Joanna Van der Hoeven, author of Pagan Portals - The Awen Alone: Walking the Path of the Solitary Druidand Robin Herne, author of Old Gods, New Druids.
Here it is the press release in full:
After months of planning and preparation, Druid College UK is born! Working with our sister college in Maine USA, the Druid College is dedicated to Earth-centred 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 organisations 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 http://uk.druidcollege.org.