spirituality Archives - Experiential Online Animism Class
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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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playing with boogie men

Playing With Boogie Men

It's time that we talked about playing with boogie men.Animism is a complimentary dualistic spiritual path. That means that light and dark are partners. We only have day because of night as everything exists on a continuum. For example, at the equinoxes, day and night are equal length. At the solstices, day or night are at their peak strength. So, there is never any time when one is ever absent. When we apply this to the spirit world, this means that all spirits are not "good" or "safe." If you flirt with the darker or slower vibration ones, you could get into serious trouble. Now, I hate religions that use fear to control you. This is not that. This is just about shining a light on potential danger so that you learn to...

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healing protective yews

Getting Acquainted with Healing, Protective Yews

I was in Glastonbury, England when I first encountered healing, protective yews. It makes me wistful just to think about it as those majestic, ancient yews don't grow here.  As I wandered around the gardens at the Chalice Well, I suddenly became very emotional. I didn't know why. All I knew is that something (or someone) in the vicinity was putting out such loving, compassionate energy that I felt my guard go down. I felt curiously open, and I began to feel everything inside of me - not in a way that I could speak. It was deeper and went beyond words. It wasn't until my next visit there, the following year, that I realized it was the yew that was responsible.  In the same garden, in the same place, I got another...

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where are you going

Where Are You Going?

Where are you going that you're walking so fast? What's so important that you can't slow down? Do you notice the blue sky or watch as your puppy growls for the first time? Your thoughts don't stop even when you're sleeping. You wake up to an alarm clock, jump on the treadmill, and eat on the run. There is no pause until the moon is high in the sky. Where are you going? Don't you know that life moves in a circle? There is nowhere to go but right back here. So what if you get "there" first? Who rushes to finish a good meal first, to speed through love making, or to die first? Wouldn't savoring make your life more memorable? More juicy? Or is it about accumulating the "most?" Most what? Life? One day,...

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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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