First Order. All who partake of the Waters of Life are of the first order. This includes a President of Carleton, etc. Everyone who drinks the Waters is considered a Druid equal to all others—there have not been any exceptions in the history of the Reform.
Second Order. To enter the Second Order you need to have seriously communed with nature. The true rite of the Second Order is performed by the Earth-Mother herself.
Third Order (Council of Dalon Ap Landu). The last real order, which can only be entered with a challenge of endurance and wits. The Third Order gives a druid two special abilities: the ability to run a grove by him or herself, and the ability to vote on—or veto— the decisions of the Council of Dalon Ap Landu. The Council has not been convened in over thirty years.
The “higher” orders are actually founded by ranking priests of the next lowest order. None of these orders are official but exist outside official Druid jurisdiction. They are run by councils. There can only be seven higher orders, for reasons you will see below.
Fourth Order (Grannos, Healing Springs). The fourth order was created in the spring of 1964. Its patriarch is technically David Fisher but he is now a Christian pastor. Joan Carruth is acting “administrator”.
Fifth Order (Braciaca, Fermented Beverages). The fifth order was created in the spring of 1964. Its patriarch was Norm Nelson, now deceased.
Sixth Order (Belenos, The Sun). The sixth order was created in the spring of 1964. Its patriarch is David Frangquist.
Seventh Order (Sirona, Rivers). The seventh order was created in ???. It only has one member, G.R. Zempel.
Eighth Order (Taranis, Storms and Weather). The seventh order was created in 18 September 2004. It only has one member, Michael Scharding.
Ninth Order (Llyr, The Ocean) The ninth order was created on 18 September 2004. It only has one member, Irony Sade.
Tenth Order (Danu – Life) The tenth order consists solely of deceased druids appointed by their colleagues. Since all the members of this order are deceased there can be no higher orders.
There also exist many non-numbered orders, for example the Orders of Oberon, Lugh, and the Magic Mint. There is a full list of these on p. 564 of ARDA 2.
Norm Nelson RIP, RDNAtalk message 19100
Orders 4, 5, and 6 were “created” on a single day in the spring of 1964. At the time, only males could be ADs, so all 3 “higher” orders were all-male. [There was an intentional parallel to Masonry, where there are degrees “higher” in number than Master Mason (their 3rd), but they are careful to note that they are not “higher” degrees, only additional ones. *Master Mason is the highest degree*, no matter what others one may hold.] There was no “study” involved; we had pre-agreed who was to be patriarch of each order, and the “proto-patriarchs” wrote their ceremonies ahead of time. (I remember going downtown and getting a handful of wheat to represent “grain and the goodness thereof”.) Again, note that the last quoted words were the title of the order; the goodness obviously included fermented beverages, but it was not limited to them, and included such things as bread, etc., which are derived from grain. Although I used wheat, which was most readily available, there was never any intention to limit the definition to any particular grain.