Animism - the Spirit in AllFeb 06, 2023
Do you feel the Spirit in all things? I do. I've always felt a living energy in objects that others think of as lifeless - rocks, sticks, feathers ... they've all been friends, supporting and guiding me. As a child, Spirits of the mountains held me when I needed to feel safe, and water bodies have always nurtured me.
Animism is the belief that all inanimate objects have a soul or spirit. Animism has been practiced through ancient civilizations right through to modern day neo-shamanism/paganism and religions such as Shintoism.
Inanimate objects are usually all things that aren't universally classed as having intelligence. To give you an idea of the scope ...
- Natural items - stones, leaves, bones, flowers, etc.
- Earth formations mountains, lakes, valleys, etc.
- Clouds, stars, sun, moon, etc.
- water, wind, sunshine, snow, soil, smoke, etc.
- plants and trees
- manmade objects
- even though they aren't inanimate, animals are usually included in Animistic beliefs
In my experience there are collective and individual spirit energies. Using Owls as an example, all Owl Feathers carry a universal attached Spirit energy. You can get to know how the feel of an owl feather differs from other bird feathers. Then, there are many species of Owls, and the energy will feel subtly different with each different type. I call these collectives the Totem Spirit Energies of the Owls.
When it comes to individual feathers, I feel they have a distinct energy, or soul, of their own. So you can actually get to know the individual spirit personality of a particular Owl Feather. If you want to expand on this you can find out what the connection is that this single Owl Feather brings you; how it can help you. That connection is how I collect objects to use for guidance and healing.
If you open yourself to Animism your whole world will expand. Many people after learning about Animism have expressed to me how their life has changed. Suddenly everything has become alive and important. It becomes difficult for them to take the world around for granted. They become more mindful in their everyday practice. Connection is the key to caring.
Next time you see an commonplace pile of stones or sticks, see if one spirit speaks to you. Whether it just stands out from the others for you, or communicates in other ways, honor the connection and you have just opened a doorway to a whole new world.