Druids are also reported to have
taught a doctrine of reincarnation.
"THE CELTS BELIEVED in reincarnation, but the form and method in
which it occurred was considerably different than most of
today‘s Pagan attitudes towards rebirth. For the majority of
Celts, it was rebirth into ones own clan which was to them the
most sensible way in which reincarnation could occur. For a few
others, it was rebirth somewhere else in their native land, never
outside it. For the Druids, it was the immediate transmigration of
the life essence into another nearby lifeform. Certainly the most
common of these ethno-centric Celtic beliefs was the idea that one
would retum to be reborn into their own clan. in Old Irish the
word for this specific type of reincarnation was aithghen, a word
whose root means “to repeat.”" [Celtic Myth & Magick:
Harness the Power of the Gods & Goddesses By
"Cauldron of Poesy"
This idea is also echoed in the teaching
attributed to Amergin in the "Cauldron of Poesy"
"Where is the root of poetry in a
person; in the body or in the soul? They say it is in the soul,
for the body does nothing without the soul. Others say it is in
the body where the arts are learned, passed through the bodies of
our ancestors. It is said this is the seat of what remains over
the root of poetry; and the good knowledge in every person's
ancestry comes not into everyone, but comes into every other
person." - translation by Erynn Laurie
Druids And Old Irish Religions by James Bonwick 
transmigration," remarks O'Beirne Crowe, "means the
soul's passing from man into other animals--man and all
subordinate animals included. This is Irish transmigration, called
by the Greeks, transformation of one body into another, while the
Gaulish is transmigration of a soul into the body of another human
being." He adds--"But is this transformation a Druidic
doctrine? Most certainly not; it is purely Pythagorean, and must
have for many centuries preceded Druidism in this strange land of
being found in Ireland, has led some to assert their conviction
that Buddhist missionaries conveyed it thither. The Soc. des
Antiquiaires de France had an article, from the pen of
Coquebert-Montbret, advancing this opinion, relying upon the known
ardour and extensive proselytism of early Buddhist missionaries.
He knows the Irish deity Budd or Budwas, and asks if that be not
Buddha. In the Hebrides, spirits are called Boduchs, and the same
word is applied to all heads of families, as the Master. The
Druids were, says one, only an order of Eastern priests, located
in Britain, adoring Buddwas.
Anderson Smith, in his Lewisiana, writes
reluctantly--"we must accept the possibility of a Buddhist
race passing north from Ireland." This means, that Ireland is
to be regarded as the source of so many Buddhist significations
which are discovered on the west of Scotland, and in the
Most scholars believe that this concept came from
Karma and Reincarnation gives the following description:
Celtic Beliefs in Spirit
"Another common belief in the continuity of spirit, was for
the spirit of the departed to enter into stones or trees.
is often told about two lovers who die, have a tree spring from
their graves and eventually re-unite with one another as
intertwined branches, wooden objects, or even Ogham staves. The
story of Baile and Aillinn is one such tale. These two lovers
became a Yew and an Apple tree after their deaths. Eventually
Ogham staves were made from their woods. When the staves were
presented to the king at Tara, they sprang together and were kept
in the treasure room from that day forward.
fate of Deirdre and Naoise is another tale of ill-fated love. Two
pines grew from their graves, intertwining together, never to be
this very day, Celtic people hold trees sacred, especially those
that grow from a grave.
Celtic belief that spirit could inhabit a place, is found in the
common feeling regarding graveyards and passage graves. These
places are known to contain ghosts and spirits. Many stones are
said to be Druids and others who have been changed to that state
by Magick. The "sleeping king" or "warrior
band" idea is another example of how the Land itself contains
the spirit of people. This idea that famous warriors will awaken
in the hour of need is the essence of spirit being stored within
the Land itself. Foundation sacrifices were also known to have
occurred where a person willingly gave their spirit to a structure
or to a place, to become its guardian.
belief in the connection between spirit, person and place is still
alive today in the belief that the last soul to die is the
guardian of the graveyard. It is also intertwined with the Celtic
belief that the soul must revisit the three sods (soils) before
passing through the doorway to the Otherworld: the place of birth,
the place of baptism and the "sod of death"."
are many names for the place our spirits go after death. In Irish
legend, some of the names of the islands of the Otherworld are Tír
na nÓg- ‘The Land of Youth’, Tír N-aill- ‘The Other
Land’, and Tír Innambéo- ‘The Land of the Living’. It is a
beautiful world, a place of peace, harmony, and endless banquets,
where souls live in the presence of the gods, goddesses, and
Yet one might not wish to stay in the
Otherworld forever. Longing for this world brings souls back to
reincarnate, possibly into their own family line or into animals
or trees that are close to places they loved in a previous life.
The soul is on a journey that never ends.