Animism - What is it?

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Animism is most often described as a simple, unevolved religion. Although it lacks the strict creeds and descriptive doctrines of many major religions, animism can be extremely complex and is the underlying essence of all religions. The word “animism” has its roots in three Latin words. Animare – means to vivify; this is the same word from which “animation” comes. The second and third words are similar in meaning: anima means “soul” or "breath" and animus is translated “spirit”.

In Feng Shui, there are three principles that define the force Ch'i and so form the foundation of this ancient Chinese art. They are the concepts that everything is alive, connected, and ever changing. The vital force Ch'i is the energy that animates everything, connects it, and moves it through the cycles of life. Everything, then, is believed to have living energy, which is the essence of animism.

Animism for me is about forming healthy relationships with the world around me... it is relating to the world oneself and the realization that I am one being on the face of this planet that is filled with many other persons, both human and 'other-than-human' (animals, plants, mountains, metals, fire, bodies of water, spirits of wind and weather, deities, ancestors, star people, nature spirits, and many others) that we interact with socially on a regular basis whether one is aware of it or not. 

"When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe." -  John Muir
The Earth outdoes any lover in its nurturing relationship to human beings, and life in general. We barely understand the intricate ways in which our genes are woven into the fabric of life, but it is known that microbes dating back billions of years were key in building human DNA and continue to play a major role in it to this day. "I am the Earth, the Earth is me," The Earth itself is endowed with an innate spirituality. We can think of Earth as a maternal and nurturing principle that is the source of our existence and our spirituality.

Developing a Personal Relationship with Nature

At the heart of the connection with nature is love. As with anything that we love, we begin to care more about nature if we have a relationship with it. And the only way to develop such a relationship is for us to experience nature fully; we must walk in, play, explore, see, touch, and communicate with nature. When we do this we not only become connected to nature, but also become an integral part of nature.

Below I am sharing a link to a guided meditation as a guide to and example of connecting with nature. When I am in and interacting with nature I have similar connections as are in this meditation without necessarily entering a 'meditative' mind as laid out in this format.

(sample meditation from my Sacred Self, Sacred Earth course)



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