In the words of our Order (The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids) a Seed Group is formed when, “two or more members of the Order decide to meet together on a regular basis—whether just for festivals or at other times too…”
The Circle of Coll Seed Group unofficially began to sprout in July, 2006. A small group of three adventurous souls established its original format as the Seattle Druid Meetup Group in order to give those in the northwest Washington area who are interested in Druidry a place to meet, socialize, share, and celebrate Druidry. In the beginning, the three amassed mostly in Seattle pubs where they sipped schooners of Guinness and wondered how they would be able to change the world through Druidry. As they pondered this tangle of bewilderment, their beloved meetup organizer enlightened them all with a small box of tattered blue pamphlets that he had been accumulating, dutifully sent in the post from East Sussex, England. These were the sacred ‘gwersu’ or lessons from the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (or ‘OBOD’) that comprise an experience-based training course of deeply spiritual ideas and practices of Druidry. One other member of this fledgling Meetup Group was inspired by these booklets and promptly joined the Order, receiving their own set of little blue gwersu. A year passed as the Seattle Druid Meetup Group socialized monthly and tried to keep the seedling alive. Some of the faces changed, and oddly, the number of core members remained for the most part, a constant three, but a common connection with nature and Druidry was the thread that kept the band from unraveling. The following summer one of the members, now a member of OBOD, was able to attend the Order’s Summer Solstice Gathering in Glastonbury and Stonehenge. The three Meetup members knew that the Gathering was an opportunity to raise their visibility with the Order and so scurried to establish themselves as a Seed Group and to create a banner that could be augustly flown at the Town Hall in Glastonbury with those of the other Groves and Seed Groups. The Meetup Group quickly established a naming poll and as a result on March 20, 2007, began to call themselves ‘The Circle of Coll’ after the 9th letter of the Ogham, corresponding to creativity, enlightenment, and the cherished Hazel.
Over the next couple of years the Meetup Group (also confusingly known as ‘The Circle of Coll’) flourished in membership, appealing to over 150 meetup members, celebrating with OBOD rituals, holding public educational forums, book clubs, social events and field trips. In 2010, the Circle of Coll officially diverged from the Seattle Druid Meetup Group establishing its own charter and to become more focused, providing space for a deeper spiritual practice. The Meetup Group remains and still maintains its original mission to “give those in the northwest Washington area who are interested in Druidry a place to meet, socialize, share, and celebrate Druidry.” Many members are drawn to OBOD and to the Circle of Coll by way of the Meetup Group while others prefer a peripheral association.
Although today the Circle of Coll is smaller and more contained, it blooms, having represented the Seattle area internationally as well as domestically at various OBOD and similar events and has more than a dozen contributing core members. The Circle meets during all festivals as well as hosts a variety of private and public events that are of curiosity to those with an enthusiasm for Druidry.