This post is a reblog extract from my channel at SageWoman. To read the full article, click HERE.
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.
In my opinion, we are in great debt to author Emma Restall Orr for exploring Animism in her two books, Living With Honour and The Wakeful World. In both, she goes into just what it means to be an Animist, putting aside the childish perspective and engaging with the concept in a very rational and yet spiritual manner. I remember when I first saw her speak at Witchfest in Croydon many years ago, when she shouted from the stage that the moon was “just a big f*cking rock in the sky!” (which it is). Believing that the moon is deity is perhaps a childish view of the moon, however, seeing the deity within the rock is closer to the mark, dependent upon your concept of deity. In her two latest books, defining the often used words in Animism of soul and spirit, she shows the interconnectedness of all things in contexts of philosophy, spirituality and science.
This interconnectedness is reflected in many, if not most religions and spiritualities throughout the world. Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh uses the term “interbeing”, even founding The Order of Interbeing, a way to live your life fully aware of the interconnections of all things. We cannot exist without each other – we are fully co-existing together. In a piece of paper, there is the sun, the tree, the rain, the wind, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, stars, clouds, loggers, factory workers, their ancestors, the ancestors of place, the foods that they ate – the list goes on forever. Since the beginning of time, if there ever was a beginning, we all come from the same source, if there is a source. We are all star-stuff.
Continued… to read the full article, click HERE.
I’m reading “The Wakeful World” at the moment, as it happens, and finding it fascinating. Not sure if I agree with every idea she presents, but the overall concept of an animistic view of the world does make a lot of sense to me and fits with my personal druidry well.
It’s a challenging and thought-provoking read for sure! x
I love how you explained the danger of submission. Very eloquent.
Thank you – I’d been thinking about it since breakfast, but the words only came together as I was actually writing the piece lol!
Animism makes sense to me on many levels – from the spiritual, where it intuitively feels correct, guiding my concepts about my relationship to nature and my purpose in it, to the everyday, where it guides my actions and sense of sacredness, to the scientific, where it is laid out in incredible detail and conplexity in works such as ‘Process and Reality’. The true acid test though, for me, is whether it is life affirming or negating, and i have found it a deliciously embodied and life affirming way of being in this world.
How wonderful! Your words resonate with me deeply. xoxo