My Bardic Course with Cult Group OBOD
Bardic Course with OBOD
Rating: 2 out of 5
Price: Over priced
Value: Over rated, more psychotherapy based
I recently completed my Bardic grade training course with the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids (OBOD). Its one of the most expensive druidic courses out there coming in at €300! The course was written by the previous chief of OBOD, Philip Carr-Gorm, a qualified psychologist based in Sussex, UK. Philip held the position of chief druid for over 30 years after which the position was taken over by Irish psychologist Eimear Burke, who is based in Kilkenny, Ireland.
OBOD have over 25,000 members spread out all over the world who use the internet (facebook, youtube, instagram) for the majority of their druid communications and broadcast events.
So why did I do the course, what was I hoping to achieve by partaking in it?
I suppose the truth is I wanted to learn more of the spiritual ways of the druids having an interest in Celtic mysticism myself. I watched the many OBOD videos on Youtube and visited their website and thought this might just be the course for me.
There are three levels to the course (Bardic, Ovate & Druid) costing €300 each. The sign up process was easy and the printed course material would arrive in booklets known as Gwersi each month.
At first I enjoyed the course content, but felt it was driven more by psychotherapy than druidry which became more apparent as the course material arrived each month. I found participating on the course isolating with little or no opportunity to meet other members locally.
I attended two events during the wheel of the year celebrations in Kilkenny, run by Eimer Burke which were lovely ceremonies but for the most part the organization of OBOD I found were very scattered in different directions.
It seemed the communication preference by OBOD for its members was the internet and the internet is fine and well but I'm a believer that you need a community around you and proper human interactions to really learn and develop further, particularly something as sacred as druidry.
I found the OBOD Facebook group with over 4,000 members run by a handful of admins was just not fit for purpose. I was looking for an open inclusive community sharing platform that would connect its members but sadly the group was run by people with some other agenda, with post sharing mostly declined which wasn't helpful.
So at the end of my course I was invited to apply for the next level up (Ovate) costing another €300 for a course with a duration of 12 months. But I wasn't convinced with the value of the Bardic level to commit to going further. I must say I read various books on druidry in the past year that held so much more content and value than the course itself was offering and at a fraction of the price.
I did try to call OBOD's uk office but there was never an answer on their phone, just an answer machine on the other end! Their office address is a PO Box address in the UK which I found odd. It did feel like a cult group 😕