Levels of Participation
How each Druid organization is configured may vary. In the Druids of the Mists of Stone Forest, the levels of participation are as follows:
Participant: One that wants to take an active role in ritual and community celebration
Student: A participant that is more focused and may be considering dedication. We are all lifetime students in the path work
Dedicant: One who has been a student and participant and who wants to make a deeper commitment to the path of Druidry with their life and studies. This is a precursor to initiation.
Initiate: One who has chosen the Druids of the Mists of Stone Forest as their true spiritual calling and who has been accepted into the inner fold of the rings of initiation by the other grove initiates. Initiation is a mutual gift that is never guaranteed to anyone. Because our leadership model is that we work from consensus all initiates are part of the process regardless of his/her ring of initiation. It has to be a mutual fit on many levels. Therefore rings of initiation are not a hierarchy per se but more a recognition of growth, like that of the tree. There are no specific time requirements as each person grows at their own pace. Typically, though, there about three years between each ring.
Initiate in the Ring of Birch: One who has been accepted and initiated into the grove. The Ring of Birch is the first ring of initiation, and those within this ring are focused on self-discovery, self-awareness, and understanding the inner-being—a foundation upon which community and interrelationship are built. When one is initiated they enter the ring of the Birch. Typically for the next year they are rediscovering who what they are as spiritual and magical being. After that first year they then can become mentors within the grove.
Initiate in the Ring of Yew: One who has been in the Ring of Birch and is elevated to the Ring of Yew. The Ring of Yew is the second ring of initiation, and those within this ring are focused on community, grove development, and interconnectedness within the grove—knowing the inner aspects of the grove community reinforces the establishment and maintenance of connections beyond the grove. The focus from self to core community evolves more fully. Teaching and leading ritual is layered in on top of the continual self-discovery, and mentorship and peer discussions are a vital part of our community strength and growth.
Initiate in the Ring of Oak: One who has been in the Ring of Yew and is elevated to the Ring of Oak. The Ring of Oak is the third ring of initiation, and those within this ring are focused on all aspects of the inner grove as well as connections with the greater earth-based and pagan communities and beyond.