Pagan Animist

11/18/2015 05:14 pm ET Updated Nov 16, 2016

I am a Pagan Animist. A simple classification for me but let me explain what that is. I am an animist and I believe that the entire universe and all that it encompasses is energy. An energy that should be respected for it is all interconnected and originates from the same extraordinary beginning. As a Pagan I believe that we as humanity can connect with the energy around us and use it to help us accomplish goals and to grow as a living soul connected to the universe.

My hope is, through this blog I can help connect to the readers through my experiences as a Pagan Animist and help to create an understanding of the universe and yourself. Or maybe I can just direct your eyes and your mind away just for a moment and have you ask yourself a question. Much of our understanding of ourselves and the universe around us begins with a question.

A favorite question of mine is "Why?" Why are there so many cultures, faiths, and deities? Being an animist, I look at the world through the understanding that in many, not all, ways humanity practices are neither right nor wrong, just different.

Humans have a need to name, classify and organize the world around them. A driving urge to create an understanding of things around them they cannot explain. They use what they can see and understand to help explain what they cannot see or understand. It is because of these needs we see such diversity in religions, and characteristics of deities.

An African tribe and a Native American tribe may both worship eagles. Both tribes can describe them as strong and glorious beings, because they are large and wondrous creatures, but their legends are different. Why? Their world is different. The way they live and understand is different. Neither group is wrong; they just connected to their world differently.

When conducting spell or ritual work, I will use deities that best fit the goals of my work. If I want to work on being "stronger," well what kind of strong? Do I want to be masculine strong like Thor or do I want be feminine strong like Diana? These are vastly different deities representing vastly different characteristics. Being a Pagan Animist, I can respect both of these deities without having to worship them. And I can use the energy they represent to help achieve that "strength."

Being a Pagan Animist helps me look at the world, at the people, and at the legends and respect them for being what the culture created them to be. It encourages me to walk through the universe with open eyes and an open mind. It becomes more "than love your neighbor." It becomes "Walk with, connect with, and experience a part of your neighbor's world." Through those experiences you become "spiritually full."

In many ways we connect to our spirituality to help us become "spiritually full". We pray, dance, teach, sing, eat and tell stories to help us grow. To grow as a person, as a community, as a human race and as a part the extraordinary beginning.