In 1986, five people created a list of concerns regarding Ár nDraíocht Féin. That list was taped on Isaac Bonewits' van door. The original intent was both humorous and serious - it mimicked Martin Luther and the 95 Theses that he nailed to the Wittenberg church door, but it did outline thirteen concerns, numbered "1-12...95," which were felt were important enough to be addressed by Isaac and the ADF leadership. Some of these issues were considered to be requiring immediate attention, but after a year none had been considered to be adequately addressed, so two of the five (Tony Taylor and Pat Taylor) left the ADF to found the Henge of Keltria.
They made a few changes from ADF methodology.
Their studies had led them to feel that Druidism was a Celtic rather than an Indo-European phenomenon, so they decided Keltria would be Celtic. A grove in the ADF was required to hold rituals in city parks and other public places, while they believed that spiritual and religious activity should be private, taking place in someone's home or other private space. Ar nDraiocht Fein had no real mystery religion basis and so lacked mysticism, so Keltria created magical rituals and initiations.
One of the objections that they had was the bureaucracy in ADF. However, due to time, human nature, and the IRS many of the rules were reimplemented in Keltria.
They have a focus on Celtic heritage and magick. They aim to produce a person's full potential. The local semi-autonomous groups are called groves, just like the ADF and their ancestor, the Reformed Druids of North America. They have three grades, called Rings. The Rings are the Ring of the Birch, Ring of the Yew, and the Ring of the Oak. There are three tiers within the Ring of the Oak: Hawthorn, Rowan, and Mistletoe.
Like the ADF, the Henge of Keltria is a Neopagan Druid organization. They, like the ADF, do provide information and training to those interested. They consider Druidism to be a religion in tune with the Earth and its circles. In this way, they find knowledge and wisdom. Like the Celts, they see importance in the number three. Their mode is polytheistic and pantheistic.
The major points of the Keltrian values
- We believe in Divinity as it is manifest in the Pantheon. There are several valid theistic perceptions of this Pantheon.
- We believe that nature is the embodiment of the Gods and Goddesses.
- We believe that Natural Law reflects the will of the Gods and Goddesses.
- We believe that all life is sacred and should neither be harmed nor taken without deliberation or regard.
- We believe in the immortality of the spirit.
- We believe that our purpose is to gain wisdom through experience.
- We believe that learning is an ongoing process and should be fostered at all ages.
- We believe that morality should be a matter of personal conviction based upon self respect and respect for others.
- We believe that evil is not a matter of inheritance but of intent, therefore actions are not in themselves evil. Rather, it is through the intent behind actions that evil can manifest.
- We believe in the relative nature of all things, that nothing is absolute, and that all things, even the Gods and Goddesses, have their dark sides.
- We believe that individuals have the right to pursue knowledge and wisdom through his or her chosen path.
- We believe in a living religion able to adapt to a changing environment. We recognize that our beliefs may undergo change as our tradition grows.
Most Keltrian rituals are held around a sacred fire (or sacred candle when indoors). They involve the participation of everyone present, rather than having a priest and priestess do most things. They have two lunar rites, the Mistletoe Rite (6th night of the moon, when Druids collected it) and the Vervain Rite (when neither the sun nor the moon are in the sky, generally about the third quarter). They also celebrate Samhain, Yule or Winter Solstice, Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lughnasadh, and the Fall Equinox. Each holiday has associated Gods/Goddesses and aspects.
For more information, their official website may be found at http://www.keltria.org/.