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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in animism

Posted by on in Paths Blogs


This is the third in a series of posts in which I discuss four terms that polytheists use to distinguish gods from archetypes: "real", "literal", "separate", and "agents". In this post, I want to address the position the the polytheistic gods are separate from us in a way that archetypes are not.

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  • Fábio
    Fábio says #
    And if we consider another point of view: that the Gods are not part of nature, but the nature is part of the Gods? That the natur
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Sorry, I can't make sense of any of that.
  • Fábio
    Fábio says #
    That´s the reason about all your appointment. You´re not looking, you´re only thinking and believing that thinking is enough to kn
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Kristen: You can email me at allergicpagan [at] gmail [dot] com or FB message me.
  • Taffy Dugan
    Taffy Dugan says #
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horat
Druidry, Animism and The Meaning of Life

For many people, myself included, Druidry and Animism go hand in hand. Since the Age of Enlightenment and perhaps even further back in history (perhaps with coming of Christianity) Animism has gotten the reputation of being somehow backward, a superstitious and childish view of the world wherein everything is “alive”.  This belief is completely biased in that it is totally from a human-centric point of view;  those who believe it to be silly would say that believing a stone has a soul is absolutely ridiculous.  This point of view is a projection of our human perspective,  of what is alive and what isn’t, what is ensouled and what isn’t.  It doesn’t take into consideration differences in the metaphysical.  This perspective is often derogatory of Animism, yet it fails to actually understand just what Animism actually means, and what living with an Animistic perspective can bring to human consciousness.

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  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Excellent dissertation, Joanna. I think it was Swami Kriyananda who helped me to understand Animism with his statement, "God didn'
Winter Solstice - A ritual invocation or the coolest band name ever!

A long, long, long time before the word "Solstice" was ever uttered, eons before the ancients looked upward at that shining orb in the sky and said "goddess" or "god", billions of years before humankind realized that some times were warmer and lighter and other times were colder and darker, this planet danced.

For roughly four and a half billion years, give or take a million, the earth has rocked forward and backward. Axial Tilt is the official term for it. Axial Tilt would also make a great name for a band and should I ever decide to get the band back together again, I think Axial Tilt will be the front-runner for the name.

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Pagan savings challenge, week thirty-two:  part of this complete working

The Pagan savings challenge isn't just a way to get into the habit of saving, it's also a way to get in the habit of thinking about money magically.  Charged with energy, representing earth, moving from person to person, what can you do with this stuff?  Here's a hint:  there's more to money magic than "send me more money."

Do you make offerings to the money spirits?  Do you keep a money shrine?  If the answer is yes to either of those questions, how is that work similar to, or different than, tending other shrines and working with other spirits?

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Pagan savings challenge, week twenty-five:  are you an animist?

Given the strong emotional ties made with money, I think a lot more people in our society approach it as animists than they themselves realize.  To love money, or to hate it, or fear it, is to imbue it with spirit, or recognize that it has spirit regardless.  Why not take the next step, and allow that relationship to be a two-way one?

What have you done for money lately?  Do you say prayers, make offerings, keep a shrine?  Do you give and take money without thought for the medium itself, but only the necessities and luxuries it can provide for you and your loved ones?  Do you use it for magical purposes?  Do you thank money for its role in your life, ignore it, avoid it, or curse it?

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A review essay on Robin Wall Kimmerer’s "Braiding Sweetgrass"

The lost world

Our EuroPagan traditions were last practiced centuries ago. Traditions that had developed in an unbroken sequence since the Pleistocene are gone. Some folklore, myths and sagas have come down to us. Some writings have survived, especially from Greece and Rome. These bits and pieces remain, but like fossils, they are far removed from their ecosystems and relationships. 

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. diZerega, Thank you for sharing an insightful review of what looks to be a great book. I will definitely add it to my wish li

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
b2ap3_thumbnail_dixieroadrash---flickr.jpgI've long wrestled with the concept of 'life purpose.' Foremost, it seemed limiting--just one? And it smacked of New Age woo. The true wrestling part, though, was that I felt a deep calling, always, like since I became aware that I was aware, between 5-6 years old. I didn't know what the calling was, and for most of my youth I was satisfied to just recognize that it was.
I came to shamanism for my own healing and deepening of spiritual connection. Typical to modern shamanists, I was on the receiving end, and thankfully so. However, about six months into that relief, my spirit guides began telling me to get off my ass and do something with it. 
So, I did, for about eleven years. The first couple of years I worked with others as a shaman, then the spirit of that work presented itself to me as Soul Intent Arts, and I followed where it led, working in community.
I never really had internal confirmation of that as my life purpose, or anything else, despite that focusing on servitude to community carried its own sort of passion. I was very close to leaving my full-time job to pursue shamanizing further. I published my first book, Gift of the Dreamtime. All the things I'd intellectualized as life purpose had come into being.
Then I had twins, and everything changed. I can blog about how the advent of becoming a parent deepened my spirituality in ways I'd never imagine, or how children are born animists and mine have taught me much about what I thought I already knew. I could go for days on those revelations, but the wisdom of that experience is, when my kids were about a year old, I no longer felt the calling that had been with me since childhood.
No one ever talks about the completion of a life purpose. The assumption in the name itself suggests it takes a lifetime to complete, which by default means the true realization of fulfillment can only happen at the end of life. I felt screwed, frankly. I settled into a raw openness of not having a life purpose, which incited low level panic all the time. Yes, I was elated to be a mom. My struggle was the math of coming through an abusive childhood to finally decide late in the reproductive game to have children, minus one calling. I decided that my life purpose was not to have one. I blessed what felt completed and greeted the openness of not knowing, the freedom of choosing my purpose, every day, every minute.
I sat with this for two years. It seems like a long time to stew, but when you've got two toddlers running in different directions, and sweet potatoes smeared all over your powder room light switch, it goes by pretty quickly.
Late last year I began to realize I didn't really care about life purpose anymore. What was more detrimental was I coudn't feel connected to my passions. Several books and one successful, though mutable shamanic practice later, I just wasn't feeling any of it. And for me, the bottom line is, if I don't feel something, the wolves come out of the walls.
I called in the highest aspects of myself and gave them full control of my consciousness. I asked them to write down what I'm most passionate about. The first thing that came was 'family.' That seems like a perfect sentimental no-brainer, though I can tell you with blushing certainty, I was surprised. Not because I don't love my family or because I'm not fully engaged with their total wellbeing and joy, but because that kind of emotionally cohesive concept and devotion to family just wasn't part of my childhood experience. To behold that my family lights me from within healed me and blessed me, immediately. 
I asked for the next thing, and the word written was 'friends.' Again, I was surprised, not because I don't value loved ones, but because I'm not much of a joiner, and anyone who knows me well knows that fact--see above 'family.'
The next response was 'writing.' Yes. 8,000 huzzahs to the power of infinity, yes. I get up in the morning to write. I wake up because I have something to say, and that has been true since childhood. I couldn't learn the alphabet fast enough. Now there aren't enough hours in the day to write all the words that crowd my head for expression.
I waited patiently then, for the next passion to come. And nothing did. The buzzing presence of All I Could Be in that moment quieted until there was only regular old me in my skin. I can't say how disappointed I was, and to a large degree, ashamed.
I've been on a shamanic path since I was seventeen. I've devoted years to building my practice. How was shamanism not my passion? How could it not be my heartsong? Yet, the longer I sat with the revelation of what sings in me, I knew with absolute clarity that shamanism isn't what gets me up in the morning: it's what enables me to stay up the rest of the day. It's what sustains me when the passion turns into a sink full of dirty dishes, or the fourth night in a row that I haven't slept.

It's true that shamanism isn't my passion; it's my gift. It's the gift I bring, and the gift I receive, ongoing. It's not my job; it's what I am. It's not what I do, it's how I live.
I can't say that figuring those bits out fixed everything, though it was a start. The one thing with clarity that I can say is, a life purpose isn't the thing I do to fulfill some mystical calling. It's the things I do to give my life purpose, to make the time I have here meaningful.
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  • Kelley Harrell
    Kelley Harrell says #
    I'm happy to hear from you, Lia. I'm glad that you are finding what you need, now. Thank you for the inspirational boost!
  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    I relate to much of this. I had children early (when I was 20 and 22) and have been continually wondering where to fit in my call
  • Kelley Harrell
    Kelley Harrell says #
    Thank you, Lizann!
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you. Wise words.

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