Thursday, July 23, 2020

New Chosen Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids

On Saturday, June 6th, the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, OBOD for short, initiated a new Chosen Chief, Eimer Burke, to lead the Order. In the presence of the then current chief, Philip Carr-Gomm, the scribe Stephanie Carr-Gomm and the pendragon Damh the Bard, Eimer traveled from west to east, stood under the sign of the awen, and took an oath to assume the leadership of the Order, swearing upon the sword of truth.

Sitting on the couch, with a few Druids in Colorado, we all entered into the ceremony in meditation. As soon as the first opening words were spoken, I slipped into another world.

After an opening rite, and before the handover part of the ceremony began, Philip read his last address as Chosen Chief. One part that stood out to me was:

" So it never occurred to me that I would be giving this farewell message over the internet. But on reflection there are advantages to doing it this way: far more of us now have the opportunity to be together in this moment, since distance is no object to everyone's participation in the event."

'After Eimer Burke was initiated as the new Chosen Chief, she gave an opening address. One part in her speech stuck out as well:

"One of the gifts and strengths of the Order which stands out for me is its diversity. The Order allows each one of us to hold our own perspectives and to travel our own paths as we see fit. We are guided without any dogma or fundamentalist notion of what it means to be a Druid. There is an expression in Irish-  aontacht in iliocht- which means "Unity in Diversity."

As I sat listening to the ritual, I felt as if I was right there. I felt the weight of the moment and the history as it was happening. As a Druid in the Order, I sent a silent prayer of support, a pledge of allegiance, and a few awens of gratitude.

When the ritual came to a close, I returned to my body. I felt so awake and energized! A passage about the Goddess popped out of my memory and held me for a while:

"You have looked for me so long I was frightened you would destroy me in your searching. You sent rockets to the stars and built huge buildings just for me. But we never met. I was told to hide. I have been told to hide no longer, or you will destroy this world in your search. I stand here waiting for you to approach."
- The Druid Way by Philip Carr-Gomm page 78

Congratulations Eimer, Philip, and the Order. Well done! A class act all around! Of course, what did I expect from this most amazing Druid Order!!

Past Chosen Chiefs

John Toland 1717-1722

William Stukeley 1722-1765

Edward Finch Hatton 1765-1771

David Samwell 1771-1799

William Blake 1799-1827

Godfrey Higgins 1827-1833

William Carpenter 1833-1874

Edward Vaughn Keneally 1874-1880

Gerald Massey 1880-1906

John Barry O'Callaghan 1906-1909

George Watson MacGregor-Reid 1909-1946

Robert A.F. MacGregor-Reid 1946-1964

Philip Peter Ross Nichols 1964-1975

John Brant ( in custodial capacity) 1975-1988

Philip Carr-Gomm  1988-2020

Eimer Burke  2020-

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