Bio-regional Animism

public - created 03/06/06
New Animism defined
"Arguably the proper label for the type of religion practiced among traditional indigenous people who employ shamans. Rather then being "shamanists" or adherants of "shamanism," these people may be usefully named "animists." While the term was coined by Edward Tylor ( a founder of the discipline of anthropology) to define the essence of religion as 'the belief in spirits" and has played a significant role in theories about the origins of religion, it is used here in a new way. The old theory of animism alleged that indigenous people and the earliest human ancestors had made a mistake in believing in spirits. The new theory, associated with Nurit Bird-David, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Signe Howell, and others, sees animism as a relational ontology- the recognition that the world is full of persons, only some of whom are human. In Irving hallowell's terms, there are human persons and other-then-human-persons, including rock persons, tree persons, cloud persons, and perhaps "spirit persons."
Animist worldviews and lifeways make it necessary for there to be shamans becasue (1) humans are relatively weak and need to seek help ( in the form of knowledge, healing, or defense) from more powerful other-then-human-persons and (2) humans often offend other-then-human-persons and need mediators in order to restore respectful relationships. In this context, shamans may be defined as those persons trained and skilled at working for their community when it is necessary to seek help from or reconciliation with the wider community of life. In turn, as Graham Harvey has argued, animism makes shamans both possible and necessary because thier roles are about dealing with the problems of the living world."

from:Graham Harvey and Robert J Wallis : Historical Dictionary of Shamanism

The belief that social organization and environmental policies should be based on the bioregion rather than on a region determined by political or economic boundaries.

"A phrase coined by Irving Hallowel, Influenced by the Ojibwe of southern-central Canada. It refers to the widest possible community of living beings. For example, in the Ojibwe Language not only are humans, animals, fish, birds, and plants living, relational beings, but so too are objects-persons such as rocks and certian weather systems (the thunder-beings). The word spirits is sometimes attached to other words, as in rock spirit or tree spirit, to suggest that some rocks or trees are different from others. Hallowell's phrase has gained currency becasue it does not misrepresent the indigenous thought and experience that some rocks, trees, and storms, act as persons: that is, as relational, intentional, conscious, and communicative beings. This worldview and lifeway is now being called animism, which makes shamans both possible and necessary.
The phrase should not be misunderstood to imply that humans are the standard against which other "persons" might be compaired. Rather, the phrase arises among humans trying to talk with other humans. It is implicit that eagles might speak of eagle-persons and other then eagle persons, and so on. The understanding that humans are not the only persons also involves the notion that not all shamans are human. In Amazonia, for example, it is common knowledge that the most powerful shamans (or persons with shamanistic abilities, pay'e) are anacondas. Ambiguity and uncertainty about the way in which an other-than-human-person relates or acts toward humans may require human shamans to seek to alter their perspective to see what others see and deal appropriately with the resulting knowledge."

from:Graham Harvey and Robert J Wallis : Historical Dictionary of Shamanism

The goal of this project is to allow the land to express itself through us again. To reincarnate the old traditions and lost tribes, to see that new traditions are being born as new expressions of the land & skies consciousness, to commune with the land and sky and celebrate our oneness with it.
To help support a diverse system of developing ecological and spiritual cosmologies much like indigenous minds have always done, through the act of communion!
The dream is to establish a body of work that can be shared with others to promote bioregional animist communities around the world, and to establish a network of sustainable earth communities based off the
bioregional animist principles of acknowledging that we are one with our environment, that we are surrounded by other than human persons which we are related to, that we must live in a respectful way with these other than human persons, and last but not least that we can establish respectful relationships through communication with our other than human relations.
The main thesis of Bioregional animism will soon be spelled out more clearly and an open invitation of animists world round to share their perspectives in the hope of establishing a healthy and diverse perspective.

Please share your thoughts on Bioregional Animism. Share your experiences with communing with the land and sky, and the other than human persons that are our relations.

This work is part of the bioregionalism movement, the new animism ( as described by Graham Harvey and indigenous people around the world) movement, the reclaiming movement, the DYI movement, the new shamanry movement, and many, many, many, movements to just live and be in harmony with our natural surroundings. Because bioregional animism is focused on personal and communal relationships with the land and sky and the other then human persons that inhabit land and sky, the bioregional animist tribe does not attempt to find one way for every one, it does not attempt to adopt or culturally appropriate any existing cultures, but instead asks that we do as our ancestors have done, begin anew, go directly to the source or culture and animism and shamanry, and find our own way. The project asks that we become native again and put down roots in the psychic soil of the place that we live. The project asks that we stop out sourcing our traditions and adapting practices from out side of our own bioregion and find the spirit of shamanry and animism in our back yard. The project asks that we think globally and act locally when it comes to our spiritual practice and life ways.
And people should be aware, anything you post here could be reposted in the Bio-Regional Animism Blogspot.

Little Lightening Bolt is the originator of this fine tribe- if you have serious question/s that involve Bio-Regional Animism that haven't, or cannot, be covered here, do PM Little Lightening Bolt directly-
recomended reading for this tribe is Graham Harveys, Animism respecting the living world and kirckpatrick sales book, Dwellers within the earth.
Please read these books...
I also recommend reading the Bioregional animism blog on blog spot and watching the video , Bioregional animism in 5 minutes on you tube.
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