Blog - 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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Experiential Online Animism Class

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...

visiting the redwoods

Visiting the Redwoods

There are many reasons to go visiting the redwoods. Redwoods are special in so many ways. They only live along a 450 mile stretch of coast that goes from southern Oregon to just below Monterey county, California that get heavy winter rain, dense fog in the summer, and elevations of at least 1,000 feet. So their habitat is pretty narrow.They are tall! The tallest one on record is 380 feet tall. There is no way to capture what that looks and feels like. The tree with the most volume (they can spread out a lot) is 38,000 cubic feet.They are long lived. The oldest tree stump found has 2,200 rings, so we know that redwoods can live at least two thousand years under the right conditions.Redwoods are ancient. They have been...

afraid of bats

Why Are We Afraid of Bats?

Bats are one of my favorite animals. They are so weird! They are flying rodents! No other mammal flies. They can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes per hour. They navigate in darkness through the use of echolocation. Some of them are giants. The largest ones have a wing span of 6 feet. Bats poop is one of the richest source of fertilizer. Some bats hibernate in the cold months and can survive being incased in ice. And yes, three species even drink blood. With all that weirdness, maybe it's sensible to be afraid of bats. So let's look at the reasons for being afraid of bats and dismantle them one by one. They Are Liminal Creatures Okay, they are flying mammals. Not exactly birds or anything like other mammals. Humans like things that...

why do snakes get a bad rap

Why Do Snakes Get a Bad Rap?

There are some animals that get a bad rap: spiders, rats, bats, vultures, and snakes to name a few? But why? Why do snakes get a bad rap? In animism, every creature is sacred. Everyone has their part to play to create balance. So there are no "bad" creatures. Perhaps some are misunderstood. For the People of the Book, snakes are associated with Satan. In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve. They lived in peace and plenty in the Garden of Eden. God said they could eat from any tree in the garden except the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. The snake persuaded Eve to disobey and eat some fruit which she then shares with Adam. From that time on, humans knew shame, hunger, evil, and pain. And the...

moon circle theme

Astrological Moon Circle Theme Ideas

Uh oh. It's your turn to host the moon circle and you are out of moon circle theme ideas. Have no fear. This will help you out. New or Full Moon? The first consideration is for your moon circle them is the moon phase. Is it a new moon or a full moon? If it's a new moon, you may want to focus on beginnings and setting intentions. The moon is resting, so relaxing and meditating are also appropriate. For a full moon, you could focus on what you're harvesting or letting go of. We want to make space for what is coming. This is a time for activity so things like dance or playing work well at this time. The Signs Now you want to look at the calendar to tell you what...

what are animist guides

What Are Animist Guides?

Christians have the Ten Commandments to guide them through life. Since animism doesn't have dogma or rules, what are animist guides? What do we look to when times are uncertain? Let's explore that here. The Archetypes Archetypes are energies that are consistent from culture to culture. Although the word "warrior" might be different from place to place, every culture knows what a warrior is. Herein lies the value of the archetypes. Because these energies are universal, we have examples of them in life and in our stories. Wherever we look, we can see examples of what they look like when they are effective and what they look like when they are corrupt. This can help to guide us towards the energy that we need for a particular situation. For example, the Mother is a...

religious exemption

Religious Exemption for Vaccines in Animism

Pan Society is being asked for letters for religious exemptions for vaccines. The free-exercise clause of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment requires state accommodation of individuals who object to vaccinations on religious grounds. Government neutrality also requires religious accommodation when the state offers secular exemptions, and exemptions through the Americans with Disabilities Act and Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Therefore, you don't need a letter signed by a church official. You can make your own statement saying, "I oppose vaccines on religious grounds." That said, we understand that some may want to have the peace of mind that an official document affords. We are creating a Religious Exemption for Vaccines Template that we will sign for followers of Pan Society. (For more information on vaccine requirements, go here). To avoid writing "he,...

fire element altar

Creating a Fire Element Altar

Summer is almost over, but there is still time to create a fire element altar. Why would you do that? Creating a fire element altar can help you  deeply experience the element of Fire or to honor it.  Constructing Your Fire Element Altar Before you construct your fire element altar, you have to think about how it is going to be used. Is this going to be used once or kept up all season? Do you want it indoors or outside? How will you keep the fire fed? How will you watch it so that it remains safe?  Choose your elements so they work with your vision. Perhaps you use an iron kettle that you set on a glass table or a brick mantle. Maybe you constructed a cement house especially for this...

god of my understanding

A “God of Your Understanding”

I l Divine.While that is liberating, I see that it can also lead to a slippery slope of self delusion or spiritual bypass. So here are some filters you can use to help you discern whether the conclusions that you draw from your spiritual experiences are "real."Othering"Othering" is making one group or person different or an outsider. Now, I know that we are all unique. I don't mean that. I mean there is judgment that someone or something needs to be ostracized, marginalized, pitied, shamed, or even helped.Examples of othering are: racism, discrimination, preferential treatment, entitlement, or shifting the way you respond to people due to politics, religion, accent, where they live, where they went to school, etc. If someone or something isn't okay just the way that it is,...

mythical beasts of animism

Mythical Beasts of Animism

Unicorns, skin walkers, chupacabra, Mothman, kelpies, dragons, griffons, sphinxes, manticores, and Malingee are just a few mythical beasts of animism. No matter which culture you come from, there are creation beings, spirits of the locale, or spiritual beings who can help or cause harm. Some of these mythical beasts exist outside of animism too! But, do they have a purpose in a modern, scientific life? Myths help us to make sense of the unknown. They give us a way to understand the natural world and ourselves. They give us tools to survive and overcome obstacles. For example, let's look at the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops. While on their journey home fr0m the Trojan war, Odysseus and his men stopped on an island and wandered into a cave dwelling. Being hungry...

where the elements meet

Where the Elements Meet

Hands down, my favorite place to be is the water's edge. It's where the elements meet. The Sun (fire) is high above. Air is all around. The Earth is below, and the water is also right there. It's also liminal space, so there is this amazing completeness, but also a sense of wonder. Like anything can happen. Things can easily end, begin, or burst into being for the first time here. Last weekend while at the water's edge, I got up early. Although I missed the sunrise, it was still early enough that soft yellow of the morning sun wasn't yet warm. It called me out to the water where I floated with my eyes closed, listening to the river lap at the shore. Above me ospreys hunted for breakfast while a...