If you want to really live an animist life, you need to become enchanted. It’s absolutely essential. The animist world is holistic. The observable, rational, masculine reality overlaps with the feminine mystical, emotional, intuitive world. That is a world of myth and mystery that requires magical eyes to see it and navigate within it. Without it, you will discount all the things of value that make an animist practice meaningful.
Think about it. Most of us are walking around disenchanted, disillusioned, anxious, and dis-eased, right? That’s where the average, modern life leads. Who wants that?
The animist world is not particularly safe, but it’s connected, wild, enchanting, and magical. Since we’re here, we might as well be magical and alive, right? Here are five powerful ways to become re-enchanted.
“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” ~Albert Einstein
Wonder is the province of children. They find magic in ants crawling across their knees, droplets of rain, or the sweetness of a lollipop. The world of a child is always fresh and new. It’s alive with possibilities rather than answers and dead ends. It’s inquisitive and peers into darkness that adults have either learned not to enter or no longer see as worthwhile. Be open. Wonder. Let yourself be awed. You will see so much in every day that delights you if your eyes see with wonder.
“God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.” ~Rumi
Has anyone ever gone into a fairy wood searching for magic and found it? Probably not. The doorway to enchantment isn’t found on a map. It’s created through the world of feelings. The things that move us deeply, shatter us, and grow our hearts are the what we remember. Those feelings are the fuel that stabilize us through hard times, give us the vision to see into the Darkness, and keep us alive with hope for love, peace, and goodness. So feel. You can’t have that if you don’t.
“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” ~Joseph Campbell
Are you going to die with your song still inside you? That song is part of the universal enchantment. We all create it together. It’s a chorus of magic that is available to all. If you don’t dare to bring your magic into being, it not only negatively impacts you, but all of us. Dare. Be bold. Do what you long to do. Sing loud. Dance when you’re moved to. Create. Be your wild, beautiful self.
“If we have no peace, it’s because we’ve forgotten that we belong to each other.” ~Mother Teresa
So often I hear people say that they don’t belong anywhere. Belonging is a two way street. We have to be open to connection, share ourselves, invest in others, and receive in order to belong. It’s a skin-in-the-game proposition with no guarantees that it will be reciprocated.
Life’s a risk. Nothing enchanting happens in a box where no one sees it. Magic is an exchange of energy. It requires people, creatures, interaction, and connection to happen. There was never a story that said, “Once upon a time, magic happened in the middle of the night that impacted no one. The End.” No! It’s an energy exchange that happens between connected things. So connect.
“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” ~ Stuart Chase
Everybody has extraordinary experiences that they can’t explain. These are often things we never tell anyone about for fear that we will be seen as crazy. Guess what? They are common! We all have them. And we have a choice about what to do with them. We can ignore them and not get the magic from them. We can use them, but keep them to ourselves and diminish their light. Or we can share them with others and normalize it so that the light can grow.
Do you want to live in a dull, blah world or an enchanted, magical one?
Many animist cultures have magical stories of how the world came into being, prophecies, magical beings, and enchanted interactions between creatures and realms. Those come from the imaginal (not imaginary) world, which is just as real as this one. Learn to dance in it and watch your animist connections soar.