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Ancient Order of Druids

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Ancient Order of Druids Edit

The Ancient Order of Druids (AOD) was founded in England in 1781 as a secret society, rather similar to the Freemasons. The tradition in the Order is that it was organised by a Henry Hurle, builder and surveyor of London, at a meeting at the Kings Arms Tavern in Poland Street, London; it was organized along the lines of Freemasonry, thus setting in motion the movement of Neodruidism that continues to this day.

By the early twentieth century it had become a more open, general society with aims "convivial, fraternal and philanthropic". The group was the first to practise rituals at Stonehenge in the historic period and adopted the site for ordination of its members on 25th August 1905 when around 700 modern druids gathered at the monument to take oaths and welcome new acolytes. Later, the group shared the site with another organisation, the Church of the Universal Bond.

In 1935 the group held its 150th congress at Stonehenge and can still be reached today, listed under Druids in the London telephone directory.

The AOD emphasizes that it is not a religious organization, but rather a society dedicated "to preserve and practise the main principles attributed to the early Druids, particularly those of justice, benevolence and friendship."

The "Ancient Order of Druids of America" (AODA) is an unrelated organization founded in 1912.

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