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In this way it manages to offer a spiritual path, and a way of being in the world that avoids many of the problems of intolerance and sectarianism that the established religions have encountered.

There is no ‘sacred text’ or the equivalent of a bible in Druidism and there is no universally agreed set of beliefs amongst Druids.

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In between each life in human or animal form the soul rests in the Otherworld.

While a Christian Druid may believe that the soul is only born once on Earth, most Druids adopt the belief of their ancient forebears that the soul undergoes a process of successive reincarnations – either always in human form, or in a variety of forms that might include trees and even rocks as well as animals.

Although Druids love Nature, and draw inspiration and spiritual nourishment from it, they also believe that the world we see is not the only one that exists.

A cornerstone of Druid belief is in the existence of the Otherworld – a realm or realms which exist beyond the reach of the physical senses, but which are nevertheless real.

Secondly, Celtic mythology, which inspires so much of Druidism, is replete with descriptions of this Otherworld.

Thirdly, the existence of the Otherworld is implicit in ‘the greatest belief’ of the ancient Druids, since classical writers stated that the Druids believed in a process that has been described as reincarnation or metempsychosis (in which a soul lives in a succession of forms, including both human and animal).

Many Druids share the view reported by Philostratus of Tyana in the second century that the Celts believed that to be born in this world, we have to die in the Otherworld, and conversely, that when we die here, we are born into the Otherworld.

For this reason, Druid funerals try to focus on the idea that the soul is experiencing a time of birth, even though we are experiencing that as their death to us.

A number of lives on earth, rather than just one, gives us the opportunity to fully develop these qualities within us.

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