ancestors Archives - Experiential Online Animism Class
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Worshipping and Appeasing Nature Spirits in Animism

Whenever I see definitions of animism written by Christians or anthropologists, the meaning always includes this idea that we engage in worshipping and appeasing nature spirits. (sigh) This is what happens when outsiders define you. This doesn't come close to capturing what we really do. Nature isn't separate to the animist. When we look outside, we see our tree brothers and our cloud sisters. While we may not be able to see our tree spirit brothers or our nuckelavee spirit sisters, we know that they are there too. Sometimes the invisible world includes the spirits that inhabit a thing, but is separate from the thing, as with the tree spirit. Sometimes they are nonphysical beings, as with the nuckelavee. Either way, we acknowledge and honor them because they are a part of...

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ancestral home

Why Modern Animists Need an Ancestral Home

Non-Americans make fun of us when we say we're Irish-American or Cuban-American when we've never been to those countries and our parents were born in the USA. I don't think they understand our longing for roots because they have them. While we may have been here for centuries, we know our roots lie elsewhere. This is why modern animists need an ancestral home. Almost everyone knows their native place, or the place where their fathers or grandfather's were born. Many modern animists have lost touch with their ancestral home, or the place where their distant people are from. Even when we know, we don't maintain the language, don't know the customs, and don't sustain the lifestyle. When all you have to lay claim to that heritage is oral tradition - which...

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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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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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ancestor pilgrimage

Have You Gone on an Ancestor Pilgrimage?

Spiritual travel is a big business now. Lots of people go to the pyramids, Stonehenge, and Machu Picchu, but have you gone on an ancestor pilgrimage? What's that, you say? An ancestor pilgrimage is a journey to the land of your people to reconnect with them and to see yourself. It's a way to reclaim your family stories, remember, pay respect, and deepen your relationship to the land. When I went to Cornwall for the first time, I knew that I had a past life connection to the place, but I didn't know that I had a hereditary history too. When my feet touched the ground, I felt more at home than anywhere I had ever been. I felt a deep link. There was a sense of exhaling, like I had come...

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