Animism can be defined as an attribution of spirit to things beyond human beings, including animals, plants and the entire earth. Animism is a way of seeing, experiencing and engaging with the Earth. Animism is the belief that everything is connected and interconnected. Within animistic druidry, there is an understanding that God/dess does not exist as one or many beings but is all around us within every fabric of life. In the video below, researcher John Reid talks about Animism not only as a belief but as an experience.
The Māori of New Zealand is made up of many different traditions. Māori culture and beliefs are led by mana, a spiritual power that lives in all things, humans and nature. In Māori culture, ancestors live on in the nature of the land, and particular natural places are of great importance to different Māori traditions. One example of this is the Whanganui river, where some groups have spent over 100 years fighting to have this river granted personhood. In 2017, they were successful and the Whanganui river was granted legal protection and personhood. This means, in law, there is no difference between harming a member of the Māori tribe or harming the river, for they are one in the same. You can read more about this incredible story at the links below:
Watch the video below where Māori woman, Bianca Ranson, explains how Māori customs and values impact her life and work.
What are your thoughts on animism as a world view and experience?
What do you feel we can learn about ourselves from animistic traditions?
Can animism contribute to healing our planet? How?