Any Animist might describe their experience in a unique way, yet there are striking similarities between our experiences.
The word Animism, from Latin anima, “breath, spirit, life”, and means that there is a Spirit (life force) in all “things” and that we are all equal strands in the sacred web of life. Although many people currently feel that non-human beings (animals, plants, and inanimate objects or phenomena, and the Earth itself) are “things” without a consciousness of their own, Animists understand that all possess a living essence in some way, and we Humans are made up of the same elements as all else in Nature. We are naturally in communication with all, whether we know it, or like it, or not.
Animism is used in the anthropology of religion field as a term for the belief system or cosmology of Humans around the planet Earth, especially prior to the development and/or infiltration of colonialism and monotheistic religions. Although each Animist culture has its own different cosmology, wisdom and rituals, there have always been common, foundational threads of Human peoples’ “spiritual” or “life ways” perspectives. These original ways of humanity are so fundamental that most animistic indigenous humans around the planet did not even have a word in their languages that corresponds to “animism”, it just was.
It is important to remember that the word “animism” is an anthropological word, rather than a word used by Earth honoring people about ourselves, yet for those of us who need a word to describe us now in these times…Animism is a good word for this remembering.
What does it mean to life an Animist life? “Animism is a way of Life that encourages each individual to perceive themselves as an equal in the web of creation, as a contributor to a sustainable lifestyle, and one who communicates directly with the living world.”
The following statements describe our particular approach to Animism. Welcome Home!
ALL people are naturally connected to the balance of all time, the physical and non-physical worlds, and consciousness of all.
When one looks at the stories of human cultures all over this beautiful Earth, one sees many similarities between them. For many thousands of years, on any continent and in all bioregions, there have always been dynamic differences in land, language and the way people look, but our ancestors did very similar things. People wisely used fire, found, gathered and hunted food, They loved and fought with each other and decorated themselves. Animist ancestors lived with all the other beings on Earth for many thousands of years before any Human based religions were born.
While groups of people tend to see the differences between themselves and others “We are not like them over there!”, the similarities in the Human “Animist” cultures that sustained life for thousands of generations far outweigh any differences.
These are not stories of long ago. Animist people and cultures around the planet RIGHT NOW. Indigenous People, as well as the land, air and water have been under attack since colonization took hold on various continents. We are all are connected. It is time to remember our sacred roles to use our voices and actions to protect the Earth and her Peoples.
Animist cultures, in much diversity, includes:
~We are all a part of the sacred web of life, which is a privilege and responsibility.
~An understanding that there are unseen elements/helpers/spirits that can speak to, help or hurt a person or group and that humans can communicate with, and hopefully gain the favor of, these elements.
~Powerful teachings can, and do, come through dreams and visions.
~If a person or group displeases or goes against the spirits in Nature, consequences occur.
~Femme, non-binary and Gender neutral Deities and Ancestors are as present and important as Male Deities and Ancestors, often times more so. There are Deities or energies in between the Gender Binary in the world, and this is natural.
~In recent times there have been many changes in human culture. More people have moved into cities, thereby separating themselves from the systems of Nature. Humans have begun to use more and more brain altering chemicals. Human Gods and Goddesses emerged alongside the Nature spirits, and then, in many lands, they were forcibly replaced by one stern male God. This is the pattern of human “history”, (his-story) but the oldest truths have not gone away. Nor have they been forgotten. We are now creating “Ourstory”. Our Story.
Nature whispers to us so we may remember.
Today, many people who are descendants of these forgotten ways are being called upon, in their dreams and through their intuition, to remember who they are and from whom they come. What they are finding is that while Human stories are unique, everyone’s common ancestor is EARTH.
We all come from beautiful Animist paths of this sacred Earth and those who have forgotten can re-align themselves with ancient wisdom. This creative re-emergence is “Ourstory”.
Listening to the wind holds value.
The trees want to share their knowledge.
We feel the energy of all other beings.
We are not crazy when we hear voices.
We are bringing the strengths of the past into the present.
The future is in our hands.
This site is dedicated to this learning and sharing.
Honor to you and your quest. Power to the Peaceful
10 Roots/Branches/Foundations of “Full Circle” Animism
- We live in the physical web of life that consists of the energy exchanges between organisms that can be measured. We are also a part of the symbolic web of life which consists of all beings sharing energetic information, which connects all, without the need for an intermediary.
- We are infinitely connected to non-physical realities and beings who dwell in them, and we have the natural ability to connect during waking and dreaming states for guidance in every aspect of human existence.
- All forms of beings exist in the web of life, including those we don’t understand.
- Humans are one family of sentient beings. Each human, in all genders, colors, sexual orientations, traditions, is important and has autonomy over their own body.
- In each human’s life there are important life passages that act as sacred timekeepers to be honored with ceremony in community.
- All beings in Earth’s web of life rely on Plants, Soil, Air and Water for all aspects of wellbeing, including shelter, nourishment, medicine and joy.
- All places in Nature are sacred and all of Nature is our “house of worship”.
- To become who we can be, social, gender, reproductive and environmental justice must be a right for each human, and dismantling the myths of white, male and human supremacy are necessary parts of restoring wholeness in human communities.
- We gather with others in the physical world and online to enhance wellness, express gratitude and work collectively.
- As a member of this Earth community of interwoven lives, we commit to contributing to the wellness of the whole, because We all Belong.
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Wind and Water
Stone and Stream
Ancestors calling to us
from the Dream.
“Remember” they whisper,
to the cells of our souls
“Remember the secrets of
Creatrix and Crone.”
So we call to you butterfly,
snake, coyote and bat.
Honey bee, fish, beaver, bison and bobcat.
Help us old wise ones of wing, fur and fin.
We know you can help us remember our Kin
Those who knew how you speak
and who heard their own voices within.
So we ask in prayerful voices because our people have strayed,
we ask that you forgive us,
and help us remember
Poem by Quynn