Contemporary Animism

Contemporary Animism: The Power of Place

In by Cindy Cooper

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The power of placeAn apprenticeship into animistic magical practice

With Colin Campbell, Angharad Wynne and special guests including Stephan Harding, Andy Letcher, Sharon Blackie

What has become of the alchemists? – the rainmakers, the ancient oracles and voices of the wells, the medieval magicians?

They knew that by working with the force of nature, that which resides in the very matter of the universe, in the blades of grass, in the winds that blow, that they could change the world. At this moment of great change for us, as we stand on the very edge of what is possible for the human species, perhaps there is something important we have forgotten. What is it that we have lost that has allowed the great mystery of life on earth to flee from our lives. Where does magic now reside in the world and how can we possibly bring it back?

“Magic is what happens when you are fully embodied in nature” – David Abram, author of Spell of the Sensuous

In this apprenticeship you will be standing on the shoulders of the old magical traditions as you connect back to the creative and intelligent force within nature itself – the same force that runs through all of us and is our birth-rite to know.

This is the animating force that binds us to place, to the earth, to the land we stand upon and the more than human-world around us, the force that allows us to communicate with it and feel our belonging with it, the lost language of the soul of the world.

By being resonant with it, with all that is, by knowing the names of things, by offering libation to the ancestors and spirits of place, we aim to learn the old ways of working with the world, to make the changes it is asking of us. If we are truly inside something bigger than ourselves, and everything around us is alive, then it is time to tune back in, because our very future as humans depends on it.

Animism is the belief that we are one small part of a greater intelligent whole and within this whole we all have a part to play. This is a belief shared by our ancestors for thousands of years and with indigenous traditions around the world.

What would it mean for us to believe again?