Relationship between animism and shamanism quotes

Animism & Shamanism: Definitions, Worldviews & Ideologies - Video & Lesson Transcript |

relationship between animism and shamanism quotes

Yupik shaman in Nushagak, Alaska Native religions are ones that are practiced on a By age three they know the difference between fantasy and reality but still . More quotes about animism. Their spirituality reaches as far as all of their relations. . S. KELLEY HARRELL, Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism. 0 likes. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shamanism. in Siberian Shamanism and Religions of the Finno-Ugrian Peoples by.

I will try the best I can to attempt it, but it will only ever be my own definition, experience, and research. Animism will always shape-shift person to person, tribe to tribe, region to region. Animism is a philosophy backed up by practice, it is a way of life and a way of thought. Animism is your personal relationship with nature and with the inhuman spirits who inhabit and compose nature.

It is a relationship of respect and value for all things and all beings, visible and invisible. All life is sacred and sentient, even those outside of your current definition of life and even those regarded as malevolent. Within a balanced ecosystem, all life serves a purpose— even those who may seem like the villain at first glance.

Animism is the hands-on spirit work of building an awareness of and relationship with the spirits of plants, trees, fungi, animals, insects, waters, forests, mountains, plains, deserts, elemental forces, and the spirits of the dead buried under your feet. When you live within nature you realize you are a part of it, not separate from it. It becomes important to know as much about your surroundings as possible because your survival depends on your knowledge of and respectful treatment of the land, plants, and animals around you.

The Beliefs of Animism Within the philosophy of animism there is no distinction between magic and mundane— all is magical and all is mundane simultaneously. Consider this for a minute: Animism lacks pretentiousness and superfluousness — if an action or item serves no real purpose then it is disregarded. In my opinion, based in research and experience, this is why the same set of rituals are found in animistic practice throughout the world.

Animism is made up of shared beliefs, but moreso it is a series of practices and rituals based on these beliefs.

relationship between animism and shamanism quotes

Some fetishes can be very personal and never shown to another person, where only the owner or family members can look upon it and seek help or powers from the spirit within it such as root alrauns.

Totemism is an ancient belief and evidence for it is most easily found in cultural folk tales of creation. The indigenous Ainu in Japan and Siberia were largely a bear cult.

relationship between animism and shamanism quotes

Each tribe has its own history, stories, songs, symbolism, and physical representations of their totem i. The belief in totemism is spread further than we may realize. For example, one of my familial Scottish clans once believed they were children of the Yew tree and it has been used as their totem and symbol for longer than there is written record of. Shamanism is not animism. Shamanism is a practice found within cultures with animistic belief systems.

Animism Quotes II

Shamans are the leaders, healers, and spirit intermediaries of their animist tribe. They have supernatural abilities that allow them to work with spirits, work against spirits, heal relationships with spirits, heal physical damage or illness caused by spirits, and the ability to travel between our physical world and the dream world, the spirit world, the world of the dead and safely back again.

Ancestor worship is another universal commonality between animistic peoples and involves the belief in the existence of the soul after death which leads to an entire cult of ancestor reverence and worship within each culture. Ancestor worship is tenacious and survives conversion to other religions. Catholics still have an active ancestor cult through the worship of saints and the celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

It fascinates me that animism seems to always be bedfellows with ancestor worship.


It makes sense to honour the spirits of the dead when following a practice so deeply rooted in working with spirits. The perfect example from Europe being the fairy-faith prevalent throughout many localities which is the combined belief in inhuman nature spirits and the spirits of the dead. Where you find the fairy-faith you find animism, and where you find animism you find ancestor worship.

The Rituals of Animism The belief in a world full of spirits within animism leads to very specific sets of rituals with similar formulas followed across cultures. There will always be cultural differences in details and etiquette, but the ritual formulas usually contain similar steps. Before anything is done within an animist community, a ceremony is performed to ask permission of a specific set of spirits and to see if the results of the action will be favourable.

relationship between animism and shamanism quotes

Declare your intent aloud and request permission from the ruling spirit s of said place. Submit a suitable and respectful offering to said spirit s and hope it is accepted.

Flatter the hell out of the spirit s with sweet words and songs this can be the offering. Ask for a specific and realistic sign of approval the calls of animals, rain, or perform divination. If you receive the sign and everything seems sunshine and roses, go do the thing.

  • Animism Quotes
  • Animism & Shamanism: Definitions, Worldviews & Ideologies

When you return from doing the thing successfully, thank the spirit s and leave a bigger offering. Another step sometimes included is to threaten the spirit s which is mostly unheard of in modern Pagan and magical traditions, but very common in folk religions and animistic indigenous cultures. It has to be a good threat though and you have to know which spirits you can get away with threatening and which ones it would be incredibly disrespectful to threaten.

A ceremony of blessing is performed before any action is taken to help influence the best possible outcome whether the action is a journey, a marriage, a new baby, building a new house, or as simple as weaving cloth, going fishing, or cooking a meal. The Carmina Gadelicaa collection of oral incantations from Scotland from the late s, is full of such rites of blessing covering everything from churning butter and blessing new livestock to waking up in the morning and going to bed at night.

Alignment There is no real technical term for this belief and its rites. Alignment is the practice of attempting to more closely align yourself with a spirit whether it is an animal, plant, or ancestor. This can be achieved by ingesting or smoking a plant or rubbing on a flying ointment during ceremony to better connect to that plant or to a greater forest spirit, crafting a fetish from an animal claw or tooth to wear to imbue oneself with the powers of said animal, or even the ancient practice of cannibalizing the dead to re-absorb their soul and power into the community.

Traditional indigenous ceremonies involving costumes and masks depicting sacred animals and supernatural spirits which involve dancing and mimicking the animals and spirits are also a form of alignment which a modern Wiccan would recognize as being similar in intent to drawing down the Moon.

The philosophy is simply: The more you work with the dead and are around death, the easier it will be to commune with the dead. The more you actively work with an animal spirit, the more you will take on its positive attributes and be able to call it to your aid. Alignment also shows respect as you are consciously seeking out a relationship with spirit through actions and offerings which will likely result in reciprocation from the spirit until it becomes a familiar, ally, or helper. The Evil Eye Rituals that involve deflecting or counteracting the evil eye also stem from animism and its belief in the existence of intentional and unintentional sorcery by both common people or supernatural means.

The belief in the evil eye is found world wide and across cultures and it can be inflicted by humans, the dead, spirits, and deities. The belief in the evil eye can be so prevalent and strong that an entire community will base its ethics and etiquette around avoiding the evil eye by practicing humility and the deflection of praise.

Protection It is not a common belief of animistic peoples that spirits are generally benevolent and mean us well, it is in fact the opposite. Spirits are to be appeased to prevent harm, spirits are to be kept at a safe distance, and spirits are to be protected against by any means necessary.

The significant role of initiatory illnesses in the calling of a shaman can be found in the detailed case history of Chuonnasuanwho was the last master shaman among the Tungus peoples in Northeast China. This process is important to the young shaman. They undergo a type of sickness that pushes them to the brink of death. This happens for two reasons: The shaman crosses over to the underworld.


This happens so the shaman can venture to its depths to bring back vital information for the sick and the tribe. The shaman must become sick to understand sickness.

When the shaman overcomes their own sickness, they will hold the cure to heal all that suffer.

Minute Faith ~ Animism

This is the uncanny mark of the wounded healer. Most shamans have dreams or visions that convey certain messages. The shaman may have or acquire many spirit guideswho often guide and direct the shaman in their travels in the spirit world. These spirit guides are always present within the shaman, although others encounter them only when the shaman is in a trance.

The spirit guide energizes the shaman, enabling them to enter the spiritual dimension. The shaman heals within the spiritual dimension by returning 'lost' parts of the human soul from wherever they have gone. The shaman also cleanses excess negative energies, which confuse or pollute the soul. Shamans act as mediators in their culture. The shaman communicates with both living and dead to alleviate unrest, unsettled issues, and to deliver gifts to the spirits. Among the Selkupsthe sea duck is a spirit animal.

Ducks fly in the air and dive in the water. Thus ducks are believed to belong to both the upper world and the world below. The lower world or "world below" is the afterlife primarily associated with animals and is believed to be accessed by soul journeying through a portal in the earth. Shamans perform a variety of functions depending upon their respective cultures; [34] healing, [35] [36] leading a sacrifice[37] preserving the tradition by storytelling and songs, [38] fortune-telling[39] and acting as a psychopomp "guide of souls".

Everything You Need to Know About Animism

In most languages a different term other than the one translated "shaman" is usually applied to a religious official leading sacrificial rites "priest"or to a raconteur "sage" of traditional lore; there may be more of an overlap in functions with that of a shamanhowever, in the case of an interpreter of omens or of dreams.

There are distinct types of shaman who perform more specialized functions. For example, among the Nani peoplea distinct kind of shaman acts as a psychopomp. These roles vary among the NenetsEnetsand Selkup shaman.

He or she accompanies the rituals and interprets the behavior of the shaman. For this interpretative assistant, it would be unwelcome to fall into trance. This system is conceptualized mythologically and symbolically by the belief that breaking hunting restrictions may cause illness. As the primary teacher of tribal symbolism, the shaman may have a leading role in this ecological management, actively restricting hunting and fishing.

The shaman is able to "release" game animals, or their souls, from their hidden abodes. In many Inuit groups, they provide services for the community and get a "due payment" cultures ,[ who? Shamans live like any other member of the group, as a hunter or housewife. Due to the popularity of ayahuasca tourism in South America, there are practitioners in areas frequented by backpackers who make a living from leading ceremonies.

relationship between animism and shamanism quotes