Blog cards - Experiential Online Animism Class
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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Blog cards

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be wobbly

It’s Okay to Be Wobbly

I’m wobbly. This isn’t the first time that this has happened. Spiritual travel can do this to me. Death, birth, graduation, marriage, divorce, menopause, betrayal, bankruptcy, or disillusionment, can create it. Heck, life can sometimes do it for no particular reason at all. It’s where we go when our world breaks open. The boundaries explode and no longer exist. We free fall. It’s complete and utter freedom. We say we want this, but it feels so uncomfortable. We yearn for the known, for walls to help us feel secure. What worked before doesn’t work now. What we knew before is no longer true. Sometimes it’s because we discover that what we thought was truth is a lie. Sometimes we go wobbly because we gain so much more information that our old ways of...

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crafting to create belonging

Using Crafting to Create Belonging

What would it be like to wake up in the house that your father built covered by a blanket that your grandmother made? When you go down to breakfast, you eat eggs from chickens that you feed each morning. The flowers on the table come from your garden.  There is something really grounding about all that, isn't there? It wasn't too long ago that everything in our ancestors' houses were handcrafted by someone. Most of their belongings were made by someone who actually lived in the household. This meant that everything that that surrounded them had a story of someone's life in it. In some things, you could see your story, your family's story, or your tribe's story. Amazing, isn't it? As we intentionally reconnect to our ancestors, our stories, the land, and...

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go simple and deep

Go Simple and Deep

It doesn't take a scholar to understand animism. In fact, I would say that the more wordy and intellectual you get, the further away you go from understanding it. After all, it's been the spiritual path for pre-literate societies for millennia. So, if you want to have a deep knowing of animism, go simple and deep. Here's what I mean. Mindfully look at a nautilus. What do you see? Now look deeper. Now what do you see? How do you feel? Can you connect to the essence or the story of the nautilus? What about a tree ring? Do you sense its story, its path, or its essence? What about the face of a child or an elder? Everything has truth in it. Your whole life could be revealed in a dream, a raindrop,...

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What No One Tells You About Hanging Out With Animists

Someone recently asked me what it's like to hang out with indigenous animists. I hadn't really thought about it until I got that question. Once it was asked, I had to admit that there are differences. Keep in mind that these are only generalities. Everyone is different. It's Quieter There are a lot of reasons for the quiet. I think we are more comfortable with silence and don't fill the need to fill it with chatter. We're good at witnessing and listening. If we are enjoying something like the stars or a fire, we know that words can sometimes distract from the experience. So we might just communicate with a smile or a gesture.  It's less self conscious If you ever want to see adults and children act a fool, go to an animist gathering....

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get lost

Let Yourself Get Lost

Most mornings I walk in the woods to clear my head, connect with nature, and learn from whatever Nature, who is a great teacher, has to say that day. This grey, fall morning the leaf strewn path was hard to see. This is a natural wood with squirrels, leaf litter, thickets, a stream, moss clinging to trees, and decaying logs everywhere. So, a path is a useful thing. Even though the woods are not that big, it's easy to get turned around and get lost. For this reason, I sometimes move fallen branches so that they run parallel with the path to make the path easier to find. When a tree falls overnight, it can make the woods look very different and trick me into thinking that I've hit a dead...

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what does animism mean

What Does Animism Mean?

The other day I was sitting with my dad and a child when the child asked, "What does animism mean?" I paused and my ears pricked up. I wanted to hear my dad's answer. My father is a talker. That's how he connects. He's curious and likes to trade ideas. He enjoys words, can speak many languages, and always has the right words for what he wants to say. When we were little kids, we'd play "Stump Daddy." He gave us a dictionary, and if we could find a word he didn't know, he'd give us Michigan cherries. We never earned any, but in the end he gave them to us anyway. So, he knows a bit about language. But for the first time that I can remember, he paused and thought before...

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remembering

Learning From Water

A spiritual quest is often a process of remembering what we've forgotten. Trees, foxes, sharks, and moss don't forget what they are. Nature is within them in all their wild existence. They don't lose their way, impersonate other creatures (unless they are phasmids and that is their nature), hurry life, or apologize for not being good enough. They just are. If we want to remember what we've forgotten, we need to be like them. It's not complicated. Let's take a look. Learning from the Water Do you live near water? Go to the water's edge. Watch how it laps the shore. Sometimes it's soft and lazy. Sometimes it's furious and destructive. In some places it washes soil down stream. In others it deposits it. Water nurtures everything. Creatures come to drink it. Some...

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fall in love, stay there

How to Fall in Love and Stay There

Rumi said, "Fall in love. Stay there." But how? How can anyone accomplish that? Here are some suggestions. Read Khalil Gibran's On Love Every Day for Thirty Days  If you're going to fall in love, you really need to know a little something about what love is. You need to erase the fairy tale notion that love is about being swept off your feet, sitting back and eating bon bons for the rest of your life. It's rough, emotional, heart wrenching, and destructive. It's also insanely vivifying. Taking on love takes immense courage. Each time you read this poem, let yourself imagine one of the spokes on that journey. Even the hard ones. Yearn for it. Welcome it. Choose It Now that you know what love is, choose it. Choose to let it come into...

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animist quest

Embarking on the Animist Quest

The problem with embarking on an animist quest is that there are no directions, no guides. It's a personal journey that can start at birth, after a crisis, from a dream, or any time at all. No one path will look like another because it's a passionate cry from the heart to return to your roots. It's a call to belong to the All-That-Is once again. And when you hear it, it can't be denied. The forest beckons to you. The stars stir something powerful within that must be heeded. The smell of salt spray lures you away from computer screens, neon, and noisy offices and into the Wild. It wants us to trade the hum of traffic for the gurgling of a spring, and the artificial pine smell of cleaners...

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how to awaken love

How to Awaken Love

Valentine's Day is nearing, and love is on many people's brain. If you don't have it in your life, you may be wondering how to awaken love. Love is the foundation of animist life at Pan Society. Love is what makes us all connected. Without it, life is a pretty sad and lonely place. So of course we want to nurture this within us and give it away. But how do you do that if love is a stranger? If you grew up without it, had toxic examples, or just had your heart broken one too many times, you may have a distorted view of love. Or not know what it is like at all. Don't worry. Your DNA is embedded with it. You were created with it. All you have to...

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spiritual awakening

How to Keep Growing After a Spiritual Awakening

If an awakening is exponential growth in a short period of time where the doors blow off your previous understanding of the world, how do you keep growing after a spiritual awakening? By adopting mindfulness. To me, this is also the practice of animism. Animism is engaging in life the way that it is, in this moment. Not as an observer, but a participant. It's a romance with the sun, your bed, the fog, your family, and your partner. It's walking a slack line between being you and being a part of a community. If you do this every day, you won't fall asleep. And if you don't fall asleep, there is no need to awaken. Every day offers newness. For example, I have been walking down by a stream in the...

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