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Membership qualifications


הרב יונה בן זכריה
That's very cool, as so many groups go the patriarchal way. I learned something new today, and it was surprisingly refreshing. Thanks.
Actually the issue is more complex, as @IndigoChild5559 is well aware. Neither the Reform, in the USA, nor the Reconstructionist movements within Judaism would agree with what she has told you. On the other hand, the Orthodox and those within the Conservative, a/k/a the Masorti, movement would concur.


Tale Weaver
Staff member
Premium Member
That is correct. Let's say the mother is Jewish and the father is not -- the child is 100% Jew. On the flip side, if the father is a Jew and the mother is not, the child is not a Jew at all. Mixed marriages are actually pretty common where I live.

This was always a bit odd to me, but I respect the tradition nonetheless. It's sometimes a bit rough on my dad, because it means his children (myself included) are not technically Jewish and I get the sense sometimes he has some regrets about that. I definitely lay no claim to being religiously Jewish (I'm a thoroughly polytheistic Pagan Druid) but I grew up with aspects the culture. I cherish that even if I can't in good conscience tick the "Jew" box on demographic surveys.


Tale Weaver
Staff member
Premium Member
The only way someone could qualify to be part of my religion would be to directly apprentice with me to carry on my traditions. I've no interest in that sort of vanity project, so there will never be any qualified member of my tradition other than me. It will live and die with me. It's mine and you can't have it. :p

I do have
broader collective affiliations that could be said to have "membership qualifications" of a sorts.

For example, I'm specifically a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). As they're in some respects a Pagan version of UU, the bar for membership isn't exactly challenging. Sign up for the correspondence course and that's it. That said, the correspondence course is a mystery school, so actually going through it is sort of its own initiatory experience. I would say I didn't feel a member proper until I'd gone through the Bardic grade.

Beyond that, Paganism broadly is too amorphous to have any sort of real membership qualifications but that hardly stops the community from squabbling periodically about gatekeeping. Because contemporary Paganism is non-organized, non-dogmatic, non-creedal, and non-institutional there isn't exactly any real authority to lay down "you are not Pagan because X." Individual traditions within Paganism can do that (and some do) but otherwise? If you identify as Pagan, you're Pagan and can ignore all the self-appointed "Pagan police" that will throw their gatekeeping arguments in your face. I have my own personal standards for who I do and don't consider Pagan, but I can't enforce that on anyone else.

The Hammer

Wyrd Wide Web
Premium Member
I'm interested in the great diversity of this, and I think it might provide learning for many of us. Thoughts?

You don't have to "do" anything besides pay the yearly fee to be a "member" of ADF Druidry. Now, if you want to go up in degree to be actually titled "Druid", you need to complete the Dedicant Path, which entails thusly:

It includes briefly writing about each of the 8 wheel of the year Holidays.

Performing a ritual on each of the 8 NeoPagan high days (throughout a full year), and writing about those experiences..

Writing a personal perspective on nine Druid values: wisdom, perseverance and fertility for instance.

Reading three books that they recommend and writing a book review on each.

A description of our home shrine/altar, along with any planned upgrades.or changes we are planning on making to it.

Discussing what the "Two Powers" meditation means to us and our practice with it. (For grounding and centering).

Writing an 800 word account of our meditation/trance practice and experiences.

A brief account of our insights gained through working with Nature and to honor the Earth.

Writing a short account of EACH of the three kindreds and how we incorporate them, as well as perceive them in our practice. (Gods/Ancestors/Spirits).

A brief account of our experience working with a particular Hearth Culture, drawn from PIE (Proto-Indo-European) sources.

And lastly, the text of the Oath that we write and take at the end of the training, as well as lessons learned during the dedicant process.

This all gets submitted, as a single packet, to one of ADF's preceptors, who reviews and grades it.