“How long does it take to do the Bardic/Ovate/Druid grade in OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids)?” Oh, the number of times I have heard this particular question. Every single time I hear it, I groan inwardly, and attempt to answer it the best that I can.
But I do understand the perspective. Each grade of the OBOD courses can be considered like an academic collegiate class. American collegiate classes are usually taught in a period of time constraints. Usually fifty-minute class periods that can be lecture or lab-work (depending on the topic), three class periods per week; all conducted over a sixteen-week period. Purely measurable concepts that we have acclimated students in American colleges and universities to comprehend, and adjust themselves to.
When one gets the Gwers material, its easy to start trying to place things into time periods. Each set of Gwers material should take a certain number of days, say [y]. With [x] number of Gwers total, that would calculate to [x]*[y] time to finish the material. Add in a few days, say [z], and you have a basic mathematical formula in which to work the Gwers on. [x]*[y]+[z] provides you with a basic aspect of how to work things and when to finish. Right?
Well, the answer is more like – maybe. Some of the Gwers material can throw you for a small loop – it did for me – because it makes you change the way you think and perceive what is presented. Sometimes, that can have you back-tracking your way through the Gwers, thinking you missed something. You wind up working more additional time, say [b], which extends your time. [x]*[y]+[z]+[b] with [b] being an unknown number. Now, instead of focusing on the material, you start worrying about a timeline – and that focus change can really alter your overall approach to what your working through. ::sigh:: And then the frustration starts to set in….
Do yourself a favor. Kick the timeline stuff to the curb. Focus on what you are learning and stop worrying about a clock. Get out of the perception that the Gwers material is like collegiate classwork. This is stuff that is about how you perceive, understand and relate to everything around you. This is about setting you on the Path to becoming the Druid that is inside of you. And that Druid will be different from all the other Druids in OBOD…because you are you. You are not any of those other people.
Now, I am not going to go any further with the OBOD material…because you need to work that all out for yourself. Rest assured, there is no speed limit. I’ve been on this Path for somewhere close to ten years now. Not because I wanted to go that slow with these studies, but because that was the speed that I *needed* to go. Which leads me to the ranty part of all of this. Cover your eyes, if you need to.
I live my life by a calendar. I have to. My mind does not keep up with dates or times or places that well. The calendar system keeps me on focus for each day. But aside from my Peloton rides, there is nothing that survives on a clock. Sure, I have some things blocked off in segments of 15-minute sections, but I use that to make sure that I do not schedule something over something else. Why do we feel that we have to live our lives on a time schedule?
Look, my Gwers studies are important to me. I make time every day to go over what I am learning. Sometimes it takes five minutes, sometimes it can take more than an hour. I am not totally sure what the average time is because I really don’t care. I work in data, mathematical calculations and precision that I find completely ludicrous, at times. I just cannot live my life in that manner. Its not in my personal nature to clock-watch. So, why do we seemingly persist with the concept of trying to figure out how long something as personal as our Spiritual training and education will take?
All the stuff I described about tracking out when I would complete this Gwers or that one? I actually did that stuff. Up until about three months ago. Yeah. Remember, I have been working on my Bardic and Ovate grade studies for nearly a decade at this point. I only recently figured out that this was creating a stumbling block for me. That missing deadlines on that material – artificial deadlines I created for myself – were making me overly anxious about my studies. And that over-anxious feeling was killing my ability to process what I was studying and trying to do. Because I was living to a clock I created myself.
We follow our Spiritual Paths for a variety of reasons. However, for the most part, there is a desire to improve our connection to the world around us, strengthen our senses and perception of the worlds beyond our immediate perception. Why are we setting a time frame on something this important to us? As if all of the knowledge that we are learning will evaporate at the stroke of midnight at some arbitrary point in time. This is why I removed all Gwers studies from my calendar. This is why I focus on the Gwers I am working on, and not worry about how many days I have been doing this particular set of materials. Because this is too important to delegate to a time frame, but rather to place on a position of how I feel in working with the material. Or if you prefer, Quality over Quantity.
I don’t know that this will help anyone in their approach to their own studies on the OBOD Path of Druidry or any other Path. But hopefully, some of this makes sense and gets something to “click” in your mind – for you. Perhaps the calendar method DOES work for you. Perhaps it does bring your focus together. If it does, I think its uber-awesome! Every person is an individual, with their own unique approaches to everything. I am not about to spit on what works for someone else – merely just point out that it doesn’t work for me. But I do know one thing…there’s no speed limit to your own personal Spiritual studies and approach. You know what works for you far better than I will ever know.
As a final note – this is the last blog for this calendar year, 2019. I will resume back on January 2nd with a typical schedule of Tuesday, Thursday, and the weekend. In other words, I’ll try and have a Tuesday, and Thursday blog post up – and then another sometime over the weekend. Maybe Saturday, maybe Sunday….but not both days. 🙂 –T /|\