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Exploring Animism in Witchcraft

Is there something deep in your soul that feels connected to everything around you?


For most people, this is likely looked upon as a "weird" statement. However, since you're reading this I can already tell you, that you're not most people.


There is something deep in your soul that feels connected at all times.


The air that you breathe.


The rocks that you step on.


The plants you smell.


All of these contain their own spirit.


People, animals, metals, etc. Do you see where I'm going with this?


Simply put, the spirit is required and a part of all things.


This is the belief of animism. This is a perception, a worldview, that can ultimately become a powerhouse to your craft.


By first realizing and then later appreciating and connecting with these spirits we are able to unlock new information, receive help with spellwork, and even, simply, increase luck.



Personalities

A wonderful aspect of opening yourself to other spirits, you come to realize we are not so different. Other than being a spirit ourselves housed in a human body, other spirits also have their own unique personalities.


The more I practice, the more I am aware of just how variable these can be.


If you are new to this practice, a simple way to see this is coming from my background as a green witch. Simply take some time to communicate with different herbs/plants. You will find some are more agreeable, others may be more closed off.


A beautiful example is I have found Belladonna to be an incredibly helpful and useful plant. However, it took time to cultivate a relationship. To prove myself in order to gain Belladonna's willingness.


My recommendation is if you feel called to work with a particular spirit on a regular basis, treat them as if you were wanting to form a relationship with any other person.


This will provide you guidance on how best to work with the spirit and will, more times than not, gain you more favor in the end.


Because at the end of it all, we are all spirits.


And symbiosis and respect are the needs and wants of all of us.


Keys of the Animist

As I mentioned previously, working in an animist's work opens a plethora of new possibilities and potential.


Just as I can perceive another human easily, spirits can also see other aspects of all worlds we might not have as easy of a time accessing.


And just like us, one of us might have a different perspective or knowledge.


Can you see how this can open a whole new world (apparently we're on a Disney theme today)?


I have found that there are two main aspects when working in the world of animism: symbiosis and communication.


Symbiosis

Let's be honest, we live in a world where symbiosis is king.


Whether or not we like to admit it, we act on things that will provide us some benefit.


Some of the benefits are unbalanced, sometimes they don't even seem like a benefit (thank you shadows).


Other spirits are no different (although I have found they typically aren't dealing with nuisances or the matrix and shadows we are subjected to).


They expect a benefit of some sort. Depending on the time you've spent cultivating a relationship with a spirit, this could be as simple as a basis for a continued relationship.


It could also be something more personal as blood.


Most of us term these acts as offerings to the spirit.


These offerings can be part of a bargain or (as I recommend) as a simple show of appreciation for their daily work behind the scenes.


For example, if I am working on a road-opening spell. If I'm working with a "Demonic" spirit I might provide an offering of blood or fire. Or if I'm using Lemon Balm, I may offer the spirit my energy (see the last section labeled herbal activation for more info).


The above example is the obvious and most known type of offering.


But let's talk about the second piece, simple appreciation.


This is something that I have personally vowed myself to and where lines can blur as well as even though it is simple appreciation, it is also essentially an offering for a continued type of result.


Now, every morning, I wake up and make myself a cup of coffee and one for the spirits of the home. I will get together a protection oil I have made myself and go about providing offerings.


I will first set this coffee offering down on my altar (although if you have a hearth, I recommend putting it here), and out loud I will thank the spirits. This will vary depending on the day but it will typically go something like this:


To the spirits of the house, both sensed and unsensed I thank you for your guidance, protection, and assistance with the ever flowing magick around and in me.


I will then take my protection oil over to my inside/outside door and dip my finger into the oil and draw a pentagram while stating:


Spirit of the door, I thank you for your protection against negative and harmful energies. Those who wish us harm physically, mentally and spiritually.

Some spirits I provide daily offerings, such as the spirits of the homes, others I will do on a weekly or monthly rotation (such as offering to the threshold/door spirit).


In the end, this is another area of my practice that has come a non-negotiable although it did take some time to remind myself and get used to provide on a regular basis.


Communication

The motto, communication is the key has never been more true in the case of choosing animism as a foundation for your craft.


I find a lot of new beginners' main mistake is an expectation of "knowing".


They assume that just because they use a spirit that has a power or aspect in something specific (like protection) just by utilizing that spirit it is already done.


And it's possible that this may work sometimes but you're also missing out on power by not specifying your intention with the spirit as well as increasing respect in your relationship.


For example, let's return back to my previous example in a symbiosis where I am providing an offering to my door for protection.


During this, I am specifying what the protection is from.


Don't get me wrong, spirits are smart. They do perceive an awareness that, quite frankly, seems less inhibited than those of us in our meat suits.


But that does not mean that they are fully aware of your expectations. Just like any work, the intention is important. The spirits you are working with need to be fully aware of this intention.


This also forms an additional bond of respect with your spirit friends.


If you are asking for assistance from a coworker or friend, do you expect to just give them the bare minimum information and essentially lob the ball to them? If you do, do you really think they'll prioritize or put their best effort in?


Probably not, right?


A key to remember is spirit does have a say. They can choose to provide, they can choose to hinder. Remember that not all spirits are a part of your guides and necessarily want the best for you.


I've found that most do not mean you harm, but they are just like you and me and have their own interests and triggers.


Herbal Activation

I know when I first dived into this world it was mostly from a plant spirit perspective. The green witch in me, excited with the possibilities of herbalism and the spirit world ended up guiding me in ways I did not believe were realistic.


But I do know once snag I ran across is, if I'm using an herb for working, how do I provide it an offering?


I found through herbal activation, I was able to offer and communicate my intent. A double whammy if you will.


Herbal Activation is just another form of consecration in my opinion. Its purpose is to offer my energy to the plant spirit as well as set an intention.


Although there may be other ways to do this I found the below process works best for me.


  1. Put the herb in a consecrated bowl (I have one specifically for the purpose of herbal activations), and place both hands over the bowl.

  2. Begin by dropping into a trance (let me know if you want a blog post on going about this)

  3. Outloud (or to yourself), begin to talk to the plant. Tell them you are here to provide them with an offering in exchange for *insert your work here*.

  4. If you feel them accept (most I have worked with have not turned me down), begin channeling your intention into the herb, pushing the energy out with your right hand.

  5. Continue this process until you feel the energy in your left hand until you feel the offering has been complete.

As I mentioned previously, I rarely have been turned down through this method. That being said, I have a few times but have come to realize later on, that most of the time is because the plant spirit was actually guiding me towards using a different spirit that was better intended for that particular working.


Conclusion

In the end, the world of animism is a world of respect and ever-flowing magick. Communing and respecting spirits not only will help you throughout your craft (and daily life) but it also brings a closeness with the universe that may have been previously missing.


It creates a bond of knowing, that you are never truly alone and if needed, there is a spirit there, willing to have your back.


And that's a beautiful thing.










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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

My name's Maven and witchy momma and writer documentating the wonderfully mundane aspects of the Occult. I like to share my experience with folk, kitchen, and green magick along with other tidbits I find along my journey.

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