In the age of naming, all facets of the name were understood. The speaking brought the essence to form.
Those into what can perhaps most broadly be called “necromantic” practices, are not at odds with Druid thinking. Mediumship, or communing with the dead, and giving the dead place and respect were quite acceptable. Mediumship would have been undertaken by the Ovates. In our modern technological age, not only do we not adequately respect life, but we don’t really respect death anymore either.
How did Druids take care of the dead? Did they bury, burn, etc? Burial. This is why it endured as a practice in Europe. Likely a tree on top? Oh yes, burial in the wood. This is part of why the wood was seen as haunted. Why many still see it that way today.
We don’t let the body nourish the earth anymore. It‘s made toxic and put in boxes. They did. When talking to a tree, they would very possibly also be talking to one of the formerly dead. The man or woman formerly known as dead. People don’t want to admit we rot, and for some bizarre reason see the body as something to preserve. The Druids didn’t have this delusion.
To be reunited with the soul. Indeed, but that’s not a Druid belief. Anybody might be your souls body. Bodies were seen as soil basically.
Sounds like Druids saw the earth as the soul, so returning it in a sense? Yes, basically, and their tribal land was their spirituality. Their dead were there, and their sacred places were there. It wasn’t just “Oh that’s my iron mine! You can’t have it!”
In Africa I saw burial mounds in a family garden. And in their view that’s only right. In America, for the most part, they just declare it illegal. I guess it’s too ugly for American sensibilities? I don’t see anything ugly about it myself.
Except for pets. Oh yes, you can bury a pet, because pets are property, and have no souls supposedly. In a Druid belief your hunting hound wasn’t “property”. It was family. The same as your hunting buddy, and there are many old poems about horses.
Same with hawks? Yes, same with hawks. Abuse of an animal ally marked you as untrustworthy in their view. Humans wouldn’t trust you, because you beat your horse, or starved your hawk. Even in Norse belief, Sleipner Odin’s horse, and Hugin and Munin who were Odin’s ravens, were really as important as Odin himself. Odin was one eyed from the ravens. A deal he made with them. He didn’t strangle them for taking his eye out. He knew the wisdom of nature was greater than man.
A force greater than Odin. Basically yes, even the prophecy of Ragnorok doesn’t say nature will die. Just the Gods, and there would be an attendant rebirth.
Your thoughts are welcome. Blessed be.