In ancient times the Druids were philosophers, teachers and intellectuals, and religion played an important role in their lives.
Compared with a vast number of beliefs followed worldwide, with focus on a promise of salvation, the philosophy of the Druids, though alien and rejected by some, is refreshing.
One striking characteristic of Druidism is freedom from dogma and any fixed set of beliefs; rather, it offers a spiritual path that avoids problems of intolerance, bigotry and the like, which are so prevalent in many structured religions.
The Druids share a belief in the fundamentally spiritual nature of life. They are highly appreciative of the sunrise and sunset, the sound of water, and are free to express divinity in all creation, as they wish.
A common stereotype of a Druid is one who finds inspiration and spiritual nourishment in nature and believes that all of creation offers gifts of inner knowledge, vitality and healing.
Animals are not seen as inferior dumb creatures, fit only for our tables, and shoes, but as creatures with whom humans can be connected and enjoy strong bonds.
The Druid's plant foods are considered sacred and life-sustaining like wheat, beans and mead produced by bees. Herbal elixirs from dandelion and birch sap are significant, as are cloves and garlic, in their way of life. Plants, such as juniper berries, are also used as incense to purify work places.
In a world dominated by unhealthy commitments generating much stress and ill health, the Druids philosophy encourages one to be more grounded. Their rituals are symbolic and promote higher consciousness, and encourage one to develop an awareness and sense of reverence for all life .
Many religions and spiritual traditions have places of pilgrimage, be they natural landscapes or structures of beauty built for devotion.
Certain places emanate an energy conducive to well being, where no prescribed prayer is needed, and where the form of devotion is left to the individual looking to experience a special sense of wellbeing.
On the plains of Salisbury in England stands Stonehenge, with it's mystical connotations. In the past, the Druids had strong connections to Stonehenge, as this location was significant in their celebration of the summer solstice. Stonehenge is now, however, a National Ancient Monument ,open to the general public, and rituals are no longer permitted.
If the notion of engaging with the Druid's philosophy is not entirely appealing, take heart. You can easily embrace the beauty of appreciating nature in other ways. More positive attitudes are taking hold of many of us regarding the phasing out of synthetics and the inclusion of more natural ingredients in a number of products, especially cosmetics and beauty preparations.
Matsimela Home Spa strives to adhere to this philosophy. We turn to Mother Nature for our inspiration, and we respect both the source of our products as well as those who use them.