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Author Topic: Animism and fluffiness  (Read 16003 times)
gayars
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« Topic Start: September 04, 2007, 08:53:15 am »

Okay, I am an animist.  Probably pretty clear, from a lot of my posts.  Now, I am on this one list that I rarely interact on, because they tend to be snobbish, and elitist basically.  A lot of them, anyway, not all. The only reason I stay on is because they do give some good info sometimes, mainly from the historical perspective of how modern witchcraft developed etc.  I do go through long stretches of not interacting at all on the list or even reading, because life happens, and frankly the attitudes of some of the people on there act like unless you believe EXACTLY like they do, you are a fluffy bunny.  Let us just say, flame wars are common on that list.  Cheesy

Now around here, people dont hesitate to tell you if you have something wrong historically or whatever, but they dont attack the PERSON, just inform you the information is wrong.  One reason I like this place Wink Not to mention I learn a lot.  And have somebody intelligent to talk to  Cheesy

Anyway, to the point of the post.  Animism in some form or another has been around in various cultures for thousands of years right?
The reason I ask is I got up my nerve to post an answer on this list.  Stupid, I know, and it was an animist response, and one of them basically equated animism with fluffy bunny territory. 

So my question is, animism isnt necessarily a fluffy bunny category, is it? Not in my humble opinion.  But I want to know you people's.

I know a lot of us here are animists.  I talked to plants and animals and stones long before I outright accepted I was a witch, way back when I was a kid, (okay so they talked back  Grin).  If it was just imagination, I wouldnt sometimes get answers back that I disliked.  Such as following conversation: "Ohhhh do you want to go home with me?"  Rock "no".  I think of it as part of the Divine Force or Web of energy that is in everything.  I can feel this web sometimes, and where I connect within it. 

Now I am not going to stop asking rocks if they want to go home with me, even if it is fluffy bunny category  Grin I just want to know if I am one, so I know where I stand  Wink

Gina



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« Reply #1: September 04, 2007, 09:20:03 am »

So my question is, animism isnt necessarily a fluffy bunny category, is it? Not in my humble opinion.  But I want to know you people's.

Absolutely not IMO. I'm an animist too...not to the extent that some are, but I do hold some animistic beliefs. And I don't think it's fluffy at all. It can get in to fluffy territory, but that has nothing to do with animism it has to do with it being combined with other 'fluffy' beliefs.
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« Reply #2: September 04, 2007, 10:58:28 am »

I'm with Dania - fluffy is fluffy - otherwise where would we find all the fluffy bunnies out there who would know animist if it bit them on the behind?
Sorry, I'm pretty sure that doesn't make sense - I just got home after two weeks mostly with my SiL.

  I think of it as part of the Divine Force or Web of energy that is in everything.  I can feel this web sometimes, and where I connect within it. 

Now I am not going to stop asking rocks if they want to go home with me, even if it is fluffy bunny category  Grin I just want to know if I am one, so I know where I stand  Wink

Gina

You're more generous than me - I don't ask - so I only bring home the ones that yell at me lol
That's why I came home with a wand wannabe and a staff wannabe........
So, if you are a fluffy bunny, so am I - yet another card for all us card carrying members of various things Wink

Eventually I have something to say about where I was, but, first I need to get my house in order and buy groceries! It was an interesting time, from a fluffy bunny... I mean, from an animistic perspective Smiley
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« Reply #3: September 04, 2007, 12:16:15 pm »

So my question is, animism isnt necessarily a fluffy bunny category, is it? Not in my humble opinion.  But I want to know you people's.

I know a lot of us here are animists.  I talked to plants and animals and stones long before I outright accepted I was a witch, way back when I was a kid, (okay so they talked back  Grin).  If it was just imagination, I wouldnt sometimes get answers back that I disliked.  Such as following conversation: "Ohhhh do you want to go home with me?"  Rock "no". 

What I tend to see as the "fluffy" animism is when you make a big to-do about "asking" each leaf and rock if it wants to be part of your magical working, but rather than actually listening for an answer, you asume that every leaf and rock would consider it such an honor that asking is only a formality. Doubly fluffy if you then blatantly disregard the potential preferences of the living and non-living objects around you when you are not doing overtly "spiritual" things.

Being willing to hear "no" from the rock you are planning to abduct is a mark of not-fluffy behaviour. In general, the fluffy/not-fluffy line isn't so much about specific beliefs and practices as it is about realism and accepting that spiritual things may not always be simple or pleasant or convenient to you.

I'm an animist, and I believe that all natural objects and some man-made ones have an indwelling spirit which you can potentially communicate/interact with. A hard-line animist would include all man-made things, but while I can discern a soul in my old Victorian woodstove, my partner's guitar, and many other hand-crafted or well used cherished things, I can not discern any indwelling spirit in a plastic fork or a roll of toilet paper. Perhaps those things do have an indwelling spirit, but it is so remote as to be irrelevant to any practical application I am aware of.

-- Joshua
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« Reply #4: September 04, 2007, 01:36:02 pm »

Now I am not going to stop asking rocks if they want to go home with me, even if it is fluffy bunny category  Grin I just want to know if I am one, so I know where I stand  Wink

Gina



if you were one, you would get all bent out of shape and put out if anyone ever challenged you on anything, or asked you to study up on something before you tried it. I fully understood what fluffiness means to me when I read a couple of Poppy Palins books. Any time someone tells me not to worry about what something means, and to just go ahead and do it if it feels good, I know I am in the shallow shallow reefy shoals..... not to say that spontaneity and trusting ones instincts are wrong, not at all, but doing anything magickal ignorantly or from a place of denial is bad news, ime.
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« Reply #5: September 04, 2007, 01:40:29 pm »

I can not discern any indwelling spirit in a plastic fork or a roll of toilet paper.

Shocked I would not want to be the spirit residing in a roll of toilet paper.

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« Reply #6: September 04, 2007, 02:00:12 pm »

Shocked I would not want to be the spirit residing in a roll of toilet paper.



yeah, that was my thought.

"Excuse me, do you mind if I wipe my ass with you?  No?  thanks!"
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« Reply #7: September 04, 2007, 02:38:07 pm »

Now, I am on this one list that I rarely interact on, because they tend to be snobbish, and elitist basically.  A lot of them, anyway, not all. The only reason I stay on is because they do give some good info sometimes, mainly from the historical perspective of how modern witchcraft developed etc.  I do go through long stretches of not interacting at all on the list or even reading, because life happens, and frankly the attitudes of some of the people on there act like unless you believe EXACTLY like they do, you are a fluffy bunny.  Let us just say, flame wars are common on that list.  Cheesy

Now around here, people dont hesitate to tell you if you have something wrong historically or whatever, but they dont attack the PERSON, just inform you the information is wrong.  One reason I like this place Wink Not to mention I learn a lot.  And have somebody intelligent to talk to  Cheesy

So my question is, animism isnt necessarily a fluffy bunny category, is it? Not in my humble opinion.  But I want to know you people's.

  I think of it as part of the Divine Force or Web of energy that is in everything.  I can feel this web sometimes, and where I connect within it. 

Now I am not going to stop asking rocks if they want to go home with me, even if it is fluffy bunny category  Grin I just want to know if I am one, so I know where I stand  Wink

Gina


I don't think you're a fluffy bunny. I've been talking to animals and felt "vibes" from stones, wood, etc. for years. On rare occasions, I've picked up a stone and not only felt the vibration of it but also *heard* the sound that it was making.

I think that we've all seen animals display some very "human-like" reactions and behavior as well.

I can relate to your experience with some of the unfriendlier forums out there. They may want to discourage jokers but can came off as being too good for anyone to talk to. I was afraid to post because I didn't want my head bitten off.  Shocked

I agree that the tone of this board is helpful, honest and in good humor. I feel that as long as I am sincere and have done some research on a subject that I could post my thoughts and get helpful feedback.

Nothing wrong with connecting with nature. Smiley

 I've also heard "white lighters" as a snarky term used by the elitists.  Tongue

Shaylee 

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gayars
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« Reply #8: September 04, 2007, 04:21:44 pm »

Nothing wrong with connecting with nature. Smiley

 I've also heard "white lighters" as a snarky term used by the elitists. 

Aw but I always liked Leo from Charmed!  Wink

Thanks everybody, I feel much better!

Gina
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« Reply #9: September 04, 2007, 04:40:34 pm »

Thanks everybody, I feel much better!

Gina

Good Smiley
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« Reply #10: September 04, 2007, 04:58:25 pm »

I don't think you're a fluffy bunny. I've been talking to animals and felt "vibes" from stones, wood, etc. for years. On rare occasions, I've picked up a stone and not only felt the vibration of it but also *heard* the sound that it was making.

I worked in an occult shop for a while, and not one of the upscale fluffy ones (Bones & Flowers in Worcester, MA). We'd get a lot of fellas coming in to the shop who didn't want to let on that they were into this stuff. I remember one fella who came in with a great deal of swagger, and was looking at the crystals - a present for his girl, he says. I go behind the counter to do some paperwork. Then I see movement out of the corner of my eye so I peek over at the fella to make sure he's not pocketing anything.

Nope, he's picked up one of the rocks and is holding it to his forehead. Checking the vibes, I suppose. I rustle my papers a bit and he quick puts the rock back down and walks around a bit. Then comes over to survey the rocks again, all casual-like, and picks up his special rock. Says to me, "Yeah, I think my girl will like this. She's into the angels and crstals and stuff..."

Sure. For your girl. Whatever you say.

-- Joshua
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« Reply #11: September 04, 2007, 05:25:36 pm »

Sure. For your girl. Whatever you say.

 Cheesy  Funny.....
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« Reply #12: September 04, 2007, 05:35:28 pm »

So my question is, animism isnt necessarily a fluffy bunny category, is it? Not in my humble opinion.  But I want to know you people's.

While all religions have their fluff bunnies, the fact that a religion has its share of fluff bunnies (or even has more than its share because it attracts them in droves) does not make the religion itself "fluffy". Animism is one that seems to attract more than its share of fluffs, but that does not make it fluffy.
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« Reply #13: September 04, 2007, 05:53:10 pm »

I don't think you're a fluffy bunny. I've been talking to animals and felt "vibes" from stones, wood, etc. for years. On rare occasions, I've picked up a stone and not only felt the vibration of it but also *heard* the sound that it was making.

I was always taught that if I have to prune a tree - especially one with magical qualities, such as Elder or Hazel, then I should ask its permission.  I always do this and am especially respectful towards Eder trees.   Does this make me an animist?  I surely am not fluffy.
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« Reply #14: September 04, 2007, 06:07:09 pm »

So my question is, animism isnt necessarily a fluffy bunny category, is it? Not in my humble opinion.  But I want to know you people's.


Another animist here.

In my experience, animism is anything but fluffy bunny, and requires a fair amount of discipline and patience. Spirits are what they are, not what you want them to be.

I think some of the accusations of fluffiness may stem from the fact that animism is relatively unstructured compared to some other religions and worldviews. Knowledge is acquired mostly through experience, observation, and identification of patterns, and often comes in ways that are completely unverifiable or unrepeatable. This doesn't make animism fluffy, but to someone practicing a highly structured religion, it might seem as though animists are making things up, and it's hard to prove we're not.

It doesn't help either that there are people who just want to dance with the happy rainbow and oversimplify everything, and there are people who despite having actual experience, knowledge, and wisdom, still can't help coming across as flaky.

I don't really see how paying attention to spirits is any more inherently "out there" than invoking gods, ritual movement, chanting phrases of power, or any of the other things that a number of more structured traditions do.  

Betty  Smiley

  
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