Some Similarities and Differences between ADF Druidry and Wicca

Disclaimer of Bias

Our members feel it is very important to note that we are not experts in Wicca and there is no way we can fully speak to the tremendously beautiful and extremely dynamic practices of all Wiccan traditions. There are so many different branches of Wicca, as there are Druid orders and this would be a 100 page document if we attempted to cover them all! Our comparisons most directly reflect voices of practitioners of traditional Wicca and the past experiences that some of our members have had with various Wiccan traditions. We absolutely welcome and encourage constructive criticism as we wish to reflect the most accurate comparisons as possible. Please email us HERE to make suggestions. 

To start we would like to note that many of our members and guests also identify as Wiccans, Witches and/or practitioners of Witchcraft alongside or instead of Druidry.  Joining our grove, or ADF in general, does not mean you must "convert" exclusively to a new spiritual path. We encourage you to develop a practice that works for YOU and we welcome you into our Grove space, Druid or not.

Basic Similarities 

 

ADF Druidry and Wicca

  • Both traditions share a strong belief in caring and protecting the earth and nature of our world.

  • Both traditions generally have or revere an  "Earth Mother" or "Mother Earth" deity, spirit or the earth itself.

  • Both traditions share a belief in Magic. We may all have different opinions on how use, create, and understand it but for the most part, both groups share the belief that there is power in magic. 

  • Both traditions celebrate the Wheel of the Year and the corresponding 8 holidays, one every 6 1/2 weeks. In ADF Druidry these are called High Days and in Wicca these are called Sabbats. Many of these holidays share the same names and others do not. 

  • Both traditions believe in equality among genders and sexualities among members and deities alike.

  • Both traditions are neopagan and part of the larger Neopagan Movement that draws inspiration from ancient Pagan religions.

  • Both traditions are polytheistic and believe in many Gods and Goddesses

  • Both traditions value community service. 

  • Both traditions believe that divinity exists around and within us. Many believe in an afterlife or reincarnation.

  • Both traditions advocate for pagan spiritual rights, the right to live happily, and freedom from prosecution.

A Few Differences

 

Organizational Structure: 

 

ADF Druidry

  • ADF is a "church" built on local Groves (Congregations). Each of these Groves have many things in common and many differences as well. ADF Groves focus on Indo-European cultures and openly accessible public rituals for all 8 "High Days", some Groves also celebrate public or private Full or New moon rites and occasionally rites outside of the 8 "High Days"

  • Official ADF Groves are non-profit organizations 

  • ADF structure is not hierarchal, instead it has democratically elected leaders such as the Grove President (Senior Druid), Secretary (Scribe), and Treasurer (Pursewarden) to help run Groves and keep things running smoothly. Sometimes Groves create additional leadership positions based on their needs but this is up to the Grove itself. Only the three mentioned leadership positions are required. You do not have to be Clergy or go through extensive training to be leadership in a Grove, you just need to be willing to do the work! 

Wicca

  • Traditional Wicca is a lineaged tradition of belief and practice, and has no centralized authority or organizational structure. Individual coven leaders are considered autonomous within their own covens, though all initiates are thought of as being responsible to the tradition as a whole.

  • Traditionally, the coven is under the leadership of the High Priestess, with the High Priest serving in a complementary role as her second-in-command or partner.

  • Traditional Wiccan rites are closed to non-initiates, though Wiccans may celebrate public rites with others. Wicca observes the eight “sabbats” of the Wheel of the Year, as well as “esbats” on the full moon of each lunar month.

  • Wiccan covens can have public presences, but this is rare.

  • Initiation is required to be a practitioner of traditional Wicca, and is generally a significant event in the initiate’s life. A first-degree initiate is similar to a novitiate to the priesthood, while a second-degree initiate is considered a priest(ess). A third-degree Wiccan is considered to be an autonomous member of the clergy, and may choose to begin their own coven. The initiation and elevation rituals within Wicca are generally identical within a given tradition, so that every initiate of the tradition has been through through the same rites.

Reverence in God/dess and Deities

ADF Druidry

  • ADF Druids are polytheistic and sees each deity as their own entity. Our rituals deal with multiple deities and assume that each one has its own personality generally based on what we know historically.  

  • We do not call upon a God/Lord and Goddess/Lady or any variation of this in our rites. We may call upon multiple different deities from a specific culture in each of our rites.
     

  • During our rituals there is a section for individual praise offerings where members and our guests are welcome to call upon the deities of their choosing, Indo-European or specific to our rite, or not. It is 100% acceptable for individual members to call upon a "Great Goddess or God" during this time, but these are personal choices. 

Wicca

  • Traditional Wicca is both henotheistic and duotheistic, in that it acknowledges the existence of a multiplicity of deities, but is centered around the worship of the Lady of the Moon and the Horned God. In Wicca, these are seen as specific and particular deities of the tradition, rather than generalized “godforms” or abstract principles.

  • Some covens may also work with pantheons from various other cultures, at the discretion of the High Priestess and other members of the coven.

Liturgy

ADF Druidry

  • Our rituals are not cross-culture (generally) and focus on the practices, history, and deities from one culture for each High Day. (Example: for a Irish Celtic High Day we wouldn't likely call upon Thor of the Norse tradition as a Warrior)
     

  • Each Grove must work with cultures that are Indo-European. This covers vast areas of Europe and Asia but does not include other practices. (Example: Native American, and Kemetism) 
     

  • ADF Rituals do not cast circles, spheres, or create cones of power. ADF builds protection and energy in other ways, such as opening Gates to sacred paths and attainments designed to pull the powers of Earth and Sky. This energy is not contained in an impermeable protective barrier. People are free to come and go as they please during our rites. 

  • ADF Rituals do not call corners/elements, elemental guardians, or watchtowers.

  • Our Ritual focus is largely spiritual and not magical.

  • ADF Rituals focus on devotional reciprocity where offerings are made in a to encourage a two-way exchange with the Deities, Spirits of Nature, and Ancestors. We never ask for assistance without making offerings first. 
     

  • Our Liturgy consecrates this space and forms a focus of worship, but keeps celebrants firmly in THIS world. We do not build a temple between the worlds where we are "half-way" to the Deities outside time and space. 

  • ADF Druidry views the cosmos as a triad: The Upper World, the Mid-World, and the Lower World.​

Wicca

 

  • Traditional ​​Wicca has a standard liturgy and ritual structure, albeit one which individual covens are encouraged to experiment with, within certain bounds.

  • The focus of rituals can be spiritual, celebratory, magical, or any combination of the above, depending on where the ritual falls on the Wheel of the Year and the desire of the coven.

  • Ritual space is created by casting a circle, which is seen as both a container for power and a protection against unwanted influences or malevolent spirits, and calling upon directional guardian spirits generally associated with the elements.

  • This ritual space is seen as a space out of time, a “world between the worlds” into which gods and other spirits may be invited to attend and participate.

  • Traditional Wicca acknowledges that there are worlds beyond the known and visible, but doesn’t insist on a particular cosmological schema.

  • Similarly, Wicca generally admits the existence of a variety of entities beyond the physical world, but doesn’t prescribe any particular classifications of spirits or entities.

We wish to provide this material to help everyone who visits our page and not to try and persuade anyone from one group or another. 

As mentioned, many of our Grove members practice ADF Druidry AND Wicca tradition(s), and some aren't even ADF Druids! 

Building a pagan community where all feel welcome and are encouraged to share their gifts and wisdom is the central goal of Columbia Grove. We want to provide a public and accessible environment where all pagan-friendly folx can celebrate the 8 holidays through the Wheel of the Year with like-minded people!