animism Archives - Page 5 of 6 - Experiential Online Animism Class
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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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blind man and the elephant

The Blind Man and the Elephant- an animist story

There is a very famous Indian parable about the blind man and the elephant that can teach us a lot about animism. It goes something like this. Six blind men stood begging on the road-side every day. They had heard many stories about elephants but had never actually seen one. One morning a man drove an elephant right past where they were begging. When he told them about the great beast in front of them, they asked him to stop so that they might feel the elephant with their hands. The man agreed. The first blind man reached out and touched the elephant's side. "Oh!" he said, "An elephant is like a wall." The second reached out and grabbed the elephant's tusk. "Oh, you are wrong," he said. "An elephant is not like a...

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animist revival

The Animist Revival, Duality, and Spiritual Boundaries

I recently discovered that there is an animist revival happening! Lots of people who lost touch with their animist roots are now being drawn to reawaken this part of themselves. Mixed culture people are deepening their knowledge and practice of their animist side. Tribal people are benefiting and recoiling from this explosion. To navigate this in a healthy way, it’s good to look at where we came from. When we do this, we can move forward in a more mindful way.  So let’s review our past. The History of Cultural Destruction Throughout history, conquerors have taken territory, killed people, and changed cultures. We can see the evidence of this in language. In modern times, we see that English speaking areas that weren’t originally English territory were conquered by England. Spanish speaking places were...

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walking in the rain

Walking in the Rain

The first time I went walking in the rain was in Italy. I had only nine precious days. There was no way I was going to waste one of them sitting inside when everything I wanted to see was outside. I wasn’t going to let a little rain stop me. Only it wasn’t a little rain. It was a day long deluge. Still, I was determined to enjoy the ruins -rain or no rain. The thing that I learned that day was, “So what.” So what that it’s raining. What does rain have to do with it. Life goes on. The next time I chose to go walking in the rain was in England. Now, England is always rainy so it makes no sense at all to think that I could only...

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group ritual

What You Need to Know Before Engaging in Group Rituals

In 2011, best selling author and motivational guru, James Arthur Ray, was convicted of felony negligent homicide after conducting a sweat lodge where three people died. Every year pilgrims to South America die in pursuit of healing. Unfortunately, with the rising demand for rituals, spirituality, and transformative experiences, this may become more common. These types of tragedies don't have to happen to you. Here is what you need to know before engaging in group rituals. Go With Someone You Know In indigenous societies, healers serve their communities. Community members know their healers. There is a relationship. There is accountability. I hope you check out your doctor, therapist, massage therapist or other health care provider's credentials and reviews before you ask them to help you. Engaging in spirit medicine is just as important....

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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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