Laura, Author at Experiential Online Animism Class - Page 5 of 15
Pan Society makes animism accessible to the modern person. You don't have to be the grandchild of a Cherokee princess or a Viking to be animist. Come as you are. Join us!
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beauty of imperfection

Enjoying the Beauty of Imperfection

I have been spending a lot of time in Nature this season. The cool weather invites me to go into the woods and linger. And everywhere I see change and decay. It reminds me that enjoying the beauty of imperfection is a perfect way to cultivate sovereignty and authenticity. The Japanese have made this into an art form that they call wabi sabi. "Wabi" is essentially a "less is more" approach. It means "understated elegance" or "rustic simplicity." "Sabi" means "lean or withered, a flower past its bloom." This refers to the appreciation of age, wear, or scars that result in serenity and come from a life well-lived. It happens here in the forest when trees grow too close to each other and rub each other and making creaking sounds when the wind...

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how to ask spirit for a song

How to Ask Spirit for an Incredible Song

There are times in our lives when words won't cut it. We need a song. When shared, songs can be a way to unite people in ritual, emotion, or community. We can share grief, loss, healing, or celebrations though music and words. Songs can capture the mood of a moment. The simplest songs are not particularly melodic and have no words, but they speak the language of the Soul. They help us to hear ourselves, connect, and reach into the Darkness where symbols go deeper than words. Or into the Otherworld where we can speak to creatures of the nonhuman realm. When you need something dynamic, something deeply meaning, it's often a good idea to ask Spirit for that song. How? Here are some easy tips. Set Your Intention What do you need a song for?...

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woo woo

What To Do When You’re Scared of the “Woo Woo” Label

"Bad ass" is the buzzword I'm seeing thrown around to sell everything from sales courses to jeans. Everyone's not a badass. Some of us don't want to let our freak flag fly and are scared of the "woo woo" label. It's not easy to come out as animist. It's strange. Most people don't even know what that word means. I get not wanting to explain it or defend it. Sometimes you even feel that your closest friends and family wouldn't get it. So how do you handle the conflict between wanting to be authentic, yet not labeled woo woo? Control the Narrative When going into any conversation that's not easy, it's always best to control the narrative. That means you decide in advance what you are going to share, with whom, when, and...

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indigenous elders

Learning from Indigenous Elders

I have three go-to indigenous elders that I rely on when I need assistance. One is much older. The other is about my age. The third is actually younger than I am, but I still refer to him as an Elder because of his wisdom. Through the years I have noticed patterns between these three people from different cultures that show how the aboriginal mind works. If you can think like they think, you can learn animism without an accent. So here is what I have observed. They Only Answer What You Ask This is an incredibly frustrating practice for outsiders because it can feel like they aren't paying attention to you or are trying to be difficult. There is actually a reason for this though. Your questions determine the readiness to hear the...

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animism for Christians

Can I Be a Christian Animist?

I recently had a stimulating conversation with a Christian who wanted to understand animism. What is animism? Is there a God? What does that look like? How can I relate to Jesus from an animist perspective? She basically wanted to know if she could be a Christian animist. It was illuminating to me to see the areas of disconnection and concern. I want to share because I think it can help those who grew up with a Judeo-Christian background to rule it in or out as a spiritual path. It can also help to create connections between Christians and animists. Keep in mind that I am not speaking as the spokesperson for animism. There are many different ways that this is experienced - even within Pan Society. Feel free to adapt it. Do...

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ancestral healing

Do I Need an Ancestral Healing?

With the explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement, there has been a lot of talk in spiritual communities about healing ancestral wounds. What is that? What Are Ancestral Wounds? In traditional animist societies, ancestral healing didn't exist - or at least was a very rare occurrence. When people encountered physical or emotional issues, they were handled in the moment. Families were more connected because they needed each other more. Funeral rites helped spirits cross over fully so that there was a complete separation from this life to the next. People died "clean." Today there are no rituals. We don't have healthy families to help us carry the burdens of life. We don't have rites of passage to help us know who we are and where we are. There are no tribes to...

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Father's day

Why We Celebrate Father’s Day

At Pan Society, every day is Father's Day (and Mother's) Day. Parenthood is a sacred contract. Honoring our parents is a way of celebrating the creative force, ancestors, and divine masculine and feminine within. Let's take a look. The Sacred Contract Children come into this world innocent. They need love, guidance, protection, and resources to grow up safe and healthy. If parents do a good job, children become sovereign, self-supporting, and contributing members of the tribe. When we choose to become parents, we engage in a sacred contract to fulfill this agreement for those who cannot do it for themselves. The Creative Force We all know that the womb is sacred and life flows through the Mother. However, Mother doesn't do it alone. No, the Divine Mother has an equal partner in the Divine...

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Learn Like an Animist

If you want to live like an animist, you might want to learn like an animist. The process is totally different. The way you use your brain shows what you value and influences what you see. So, if you want an indigenous birds eye view, you have to get into the bird's head. Here's what I mean. Researcher Peter Gray wrote about his observations of extant hunter-gatherer tribes in his book Free to Learn. He found that: Children are Sovereign Animism is about sovereignty. This extends to children. Unlike in western societies, kids are not monitored 24 hours a day. They don't have structured learning where they sit all day and focus on specific topics for one hour at a time. Indigenous children can choose what to pay attention to and for how long...

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falling in love in cornwall

Falling in Love in Cornwall

Tak-a-ta, tak-a-ta, tak-a-ta. The wind battered flag tapped out a rhythm into the air, inviting me to dance. Yes, I’d play. I’d seen this scene so many times, but never like this. And I needed something to put the smile back into my heart and the warmth into this cold, cold day.   From the time I landed in England, she seemed determined to take my love away. Like the disillusioned lover who deep down thinks, “If you only knew the real me, you would not love me,” Cornwall put on her naughty face. I was hungry, tired, and dehydrated, so I wasn’t in the mood. I didn’t find her misty spit amusing. But greater than my irritation was my desire to love her the way I always had. To dance the way we always had.   I once thought...

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Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Getting Unplugged

My tours don't have any rules about being unplugged. Yet it's funny that, except for maybe a few minutes in the morning or at night, almost everyone unplugs. If you ask me, that adds to the magic. We live in  world that is so overstimulated. There is always music, the internet, the tv, or someone talking all day long. Lights of every color shine everywhere. Something or someone is always vying for attention. The brain is always firing. It's so accustomed to constant intensity that it no longer registers pleasure unless something huge happens. And that is what most people are chasing. The next big high. The gigantic spiritual experience. It's like an addiction. There is another way. Unplug. Unplug from the noise, superficial conversations, overcrowded sites, traffic, and bucket lists. Let go of the...

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