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MoonOwl Observations

Animism

 

Animism is the probably the earliest religious philosophy employed by our ancestors. It is still practiced today, mainly in Africa and the Americas. The dictionary defines Animism as “the belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and the universe itself possess souls”. Also, “ the belief that natural objects have souls that may exist apart from their material bodies.

 

This does not mean that Animists personify the gods with human characteristics, names or myths. It means that everything in nature is ascribed a spirit and an energy.  The Wheel of the Year and the cycles of life are then actually seen as divine in their own right. It encompasses philosophical, religious and spiritual beliefs that souls or spirits exist in animals, plants, rocks, rivers, trees, fire and other entities of the natural environment.

 

Animism comes from the latin animus , which means “soul, life”. Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas are two people who contemplated the possibility that souls exist in animals, plants and people. Sir Edward Tylor was responsible for the definition currently accepted in anthropology. This happened around the 1870’s. He defined it as “the general doctrine of souls and other spiritual beings in general.” There is a lot of information surrounding these people and their views that I cannot summarize it all, so instead if you wish to-  research more into them.

 

Traditions such as European Cunning Craft often follow Animism. Some neo-pagan groups will describe themselves as animists, meaning that they respect the diverse community of living beings and spirits with whom humans share the world. This belief system is also very popular with Native American tribes. It is also found in Shinto, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Pantheism.

 

Animists attempt to live in the world as if the world is a community of living persons, and not only humans. We live in a realm of living, personal beings and we should live respectfully within this multispecies world.

 

If you believe in Animism you should demonstrate respect to all of earth and not it as an object.

Merry meet! I’m Jazz and I’m a Canadian oddball. I love roller derby, kickboxing, spending time with my dog and husband & love all things art, craft and pagan! I was raised by a Roman Catholic family but discovered Buddhism, then Paganism while in elementary school and have followed the Pagan path ever since. My main deity is Gaia as she approached me in a dream and I feel a very strong connection to her. I love working with runes and absorbing knowledge and working on my never ending book of shadows. I have always been drawn to the arts & have done many crafts and randomness for as long as I can remember. I find it peaceful and it helps settle my mind. I enjoy drawing, painting, cross stitching, doll making, jewelry making and more! I hope to spread my love and passions with others and put as much positivity in the world as possible. Feel free to check out my Facebook and Instagram! Thanks for popping by and Blessed Be!