The largest and most active Druid order in the world as of this writing, the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids (OBOD) was founded by Ross Nichols (1902–75) and a group of fellow Druids from the Druid Circle of the Universal Bond after a disputed election for the leadership of the latter group. Nichols, a poet and painter who had served as the Universal Bond’s secretary for some years, focused his new order’s work on the bardic arts of poetry and music, and brought in the three grades of Bard, Ovate, and Druid from Welsh traditions of Druidry. Never large, OBOD nonetheless played an important role in publicizing Druidry in Britain, but on Nichols’s death in 1975 it went dormant. See Druid Circle of the Universal Bond; Druid Revival.
In 1984 one of the youngest initiates of the order in Nichols’s time, Philip Carr-Gomm, was asked to take over OBOD and revive it. Carr-Gomm borrowed one of the core approaches of early twentieth-century occult groups, the postal correspondence course, and applied it to Druidry, apparently for the first time. The result was a dramatic expansion of the order. From a handful of inactive members at the time of his accession, OBOD has expanded into an international Druid order with some 60 groves and seed groups on four continents. Its members are active in tree planting and ecological causes. Carr-Gomm’s books on Druidry, and his edition of Nichols’s erudite work The Book of Druidry (1992), have been extremely influential in the modern Druid scene.
The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Societies : the ultimate a-z of ancient mysteries, lost civilizations and forgotten wisdom written by John Michael Greer – © John Michael Greer 2006