The Silver Branch is a community of druidic and shamanic practitioners and a local grove of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids.
We are located in the land of the great lakes in west Michigan. We engage in a druidic practice which has its basis in Celtic tradition, and is informed mainly by the druid training program of the OBOD. The Silver Branch intends to provide and hold a community space for practitioners and seekers to jointly embrace all aspects of our human experience through druidic and shamanic studies and practice.
In the Irish myth The Voyage of Bran, there is a mysterious silver branch that sings to Bran, and by doing so, upends his world dramatically. As the Irish philosopher John Moriarty explains in his book Invoking Ireland, this represents a breaking of the habit of being human, one that leads to silver branch perception – a way of seeing the grand ecology of the world, natural and spiritual. The Silver Branch Grove attempts to cultivate this way of seeing the world, engaging in a journey toward awareness of all of nature as being the song of the silver branch, the singing of the sacred. Everything already is sacred; all we are trying to do is shift our way of seeing from one which sees only the presupposed, mundane world, back to the primal one which sees the already-present sacred in everything.
We cannot know if silver branch perception can ever be fully arrived at and yet we must engage the journey. As a part of that journey, the Silver Branch Grove is a dedication of a sacred space for a more conscious and intentional reverence, a place not seen as separate from the song of the silver branch but specifically ‘named and tended’ to focus our practice on our participation in the song.
Our druidic practice is deeply shamanic and is framed by techniques of healing and transformation for the fragmented contemporary soul in regards to self, other, and nature. We strive for engaged transformation through spiritual practices, community involvement, and self-expression. Through these practices, the Silver Branch attempts to create and hold a space, paradoxically apart from and yet closer to reality, for re-forging awareness of the events that comprise our soul-making journey and a reconciliation of the mind with Nature.
While druidry can be viewed as and practiced as a religion, we do not see ourselves as a religious organization but rather as an informal society and community. The Silver Branch is welcoming and inclusive of all spiritualities. The things that bind us together are a deep resonance with and desire to reconnect, remember, and celebrate our oneness with the Spirit that resides within all nature.
…though in no way altered, sight in you will be pure wonder. Then, seeing ordinary things in the ordinary way you had always seen them, sight in you will be more visionary than vision.
-John Moriarty ‘Ollamh Fodhla‘