Thursday, January 5, 2012


I just started this blog last month and I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with it. Then my wife, DrFeather read about the Pagan Blog Project. So now we are participating together on the project with our blogs. Without further ado, my first Pagan Blog Project blog: A is for Animism

For me animism means that everything has a spirit. Every tree, every animal, every blade of grass, every rock. Even things that we would not normally consider alive, like mountains, planets, or stars. A good example is "Spirited Away". In the movie, a girl meets the spirit of a river. defines animism as:"


the belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and theuniverse itself possess souls.
the belief that natural objects have souls that may existapart from their material bodies.
the doctrine that the soul is the principle of life and health.
belief in spiritual beings or agencies."

Believing animism gives me a different outlook than most people. Recently someone posted on facebook about wanting to become a vegetarian for ethical/spiritual reasons. For me this is a non issue. Plants have spirits just like animals do. No matter what you eat you're still killing something that has a soul. No matter what I'm eating, I give thinks to the spirit of the food. When I weed my garden, I apologize to the spirits of the weeds. It's not so much about not killing as it is showing respect for the things that you kill. Nothing can live without taking life from something else. And it doesn't end with "living" things. For example, if I ever build a house, I will ask permission of the land I'm building it on.

Many cultures have rituals to give thanks to the spirits that support human life. In societies where animism is a prevalent belief, rituals are conducted to show respect and give thanks to spirits of crops, weather, land, water, building materials, etc. In a culture where people traditionally only stop to give thanks once a year, and respect for our fellow beings is practically nonexistent, we could learn a lot by looking to these other cultures.

That's my two cents about animism. Be sure to join me next week for my blog about angels. Today's blog has been brought to you by the letter A.



  1. Thanks for was interesting and a goodly answer for those of us that are Omnivores :)

  2. I agree with your post, but I think in terms of vegetarianism, I would be okay with an animal killing if it was done individually, without waste, and respect was shown during the process. Factory farming is the thing I have a problem with. (Mass indiscriminate slaughter with no respect given)(Speaking for why I work with animal spirits while being vegetarian.)

  3. I love that you worked in a Miyazaki reference!
    Treating all forms of life as just that... life with a spirit is something we must remember to teach our daughter ;) <3

  4. Let me just clarify that I have nothing against vegetarians. I am also against factory farming due to the lack of respect to the animals.

  5. What an interesting post! I suppose I must be an animist too (if that is the correct word?) and I never knew there was a word for it until now. Thank you. :)

  6. I love that you referenced Spirited Away, that is such a wonderful movie and also very relevant to your topic.

    I agree about the vegetarianism for spiritual reasons. I don't think I follow animism fully (I'm a bit confused at the moment) but I do believe completely in a balance of nature. Who eats who etcs falls under that for me.

  7. I've always believed plants are living creatures. There are some exercises I did years ago that really resonated with me when it came to plants.

    Funny because I chose Animism for my week 2 "a". lol Luckily, I have a back up plan. ;)

  8. Nice post! I look forward to what the rest of the alphabet has to bring. :)

  9. I didn't think you had anything against vegetarians, I just felt the need to provide examples of why I chose to be that way for path-walking reasons. :)

    I respect everyone's paths, I just like to inspire thought as to the decisions people choose to make along those paths, and why they make them.

  10. I enjoyed reading your post. I have been an animist all my adult life and just now learned the term for it. Thank you.

  11. I say 'Amen' to that! All that Alive! Actually I go one step further and believe in even man-made things having a spirit also. When deconstructed to the complete beginning we are all made from the same matter. My table is made from the same matter as me. Everything, even my tea pot has an energy and vibration. Great post.