A is for Animism

15_19_1---Tree--Sunrise--Northumberland_web

My first post for The Pagan Blog Project 2013 is Animism (from the Latin anima, meaning soul or life). It is true to say that I am an Animist, as I believe, and have had experience of, many things in the natural (and non-natural) world being en-spirited.

According to Wikipedia, Animism is:

The religious world-view that natural physical entities—including animals, plants, and often even inanimate objects or phenomena—possess a spiritual essence. Specifically, animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the religion of indigenous tribal peoples, especially prior to the development and/or infiltration of civilization and organized religion.

Basically, Animism includes the beliefs that there is no separation between the spiritual and the physical (or material) world, and that all things have a spirit or soul, whether they be humans, plants, animals, rocks, mountains, rivers, places and so forth. I would even go so far as saying that man-made objects have a spirit (as they have been formed from natural materials – and all is just energy, just vibrating at different rates). Moreover, Animism is not just specifically limited to indigenous tribes. Many established spiritual paths and religions also believe in some form of animism, such as Shinto, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Paganism. My Celtic ancestors certainly believed in animism. For example, The Elder Mother who en-souls Elder trees – you cut them at your peril!

So how does Animism work in my own life? Well, as a shamanic witch I’m well aware of how the spirits influence my own life. They help me to be aware of the web of life and how all things are interconnected; how there are no coincidences but instead meaningful events of synchronicity. Moreover, knowing that all things are ensouled helps me have more regard for this earth and my impact on it, a higher degree of responsibility for my environment and what lives within it. I also derive more pleasure and wisdom – a flower is not just a flower for my sense benefit but a living sentient being that I can communicate with. My friends are not just within the human species but with all species and entities – I am never alone! Animism has truly broadened my horizons, not just sensually but knowledge and wisdom also.

What can you see?

What can you see?

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7 thoughts on “A is for Animism

  1. Pingback: Food for Friday « musings of a kitchen witch

  2. I have actually been thinking about animism recently, trying to figure out the bigger picture of the spirit-world. On some of the recent “ghost programs,” they unfortunately only focus on the negative forces… some of which are not even human spirits. The positive spirits greatly outnumber the negative. Another unexpected piece of information from these programs is that people are protected by positive spirits…. totally unbeknownst to them. I think that we make friends that we’re not even aware of.

    • You’re absolutely right, at least this is my experience, that we are afforded protection from spirits whom we are not even aware of. Personally, I think spirits are more ambivalent rather than positive or negative. They do not think in human terms, as they are spirit after all.
      Blessings
      Deep~Glade

    • Thank you so much for this award. This is so kind of you and I will be dealing with it shortly and with a thank you link to your page 🙂
      Blessings
      Deep~Glade

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