Respecting the Darkness in the Spirit World

respecting the Darkness

Someone recently came to me with a story about how he was planning to battle the Darkness. That story told me it was time that we shared some thoughts about respecting the Darkness.

What’s the Darkness?

But first, a definition. What do I mean by “Darkness?” Do I mean things that are unseen? Evil? Energies that want to harm us?

Some say there is no Darkness. Animism is a complementary dualistic system, so if there is Light there must be Dark. It certainly is unseen, but it can be illuminated.  I wouldn’t call it Evil because I believe that everything that exists is sacred.

That said, everything is not healthy, wholesome or desirable. (How could it be if we can’t have what’s healthy without something that is not healthy?) Everything doesn’t use its consciousness to help. Some things do harm. So by “Darkness” I could be referring to things we don’t see, but am most certainly referring to things that are not easy, kind, or warm. In fact, they can be downright dangerous.

I’m not talking about Shadow, or things that are within you, but things that are separate from you and not of your own creation or control. I’m talking about things like banshees, faeries, dybbuks, aswang, nuckelevees, vampires, wendigos, zombies, and kelpies. I also refer to the places where these things dwell and the practices of things like curses and soul stealing.

Flirting With the Dark

With magic, demons, and “shamans” appearing regularly in stories and mainstream entertainment, lots of people are now seeing things in the Darkness that they didn’t see before. There also seem to be a lot of people who think they can pick up a cookbook of spells, procedures, or rituals to barge into the Darkness to do battle. Or many people want to work out their anger, jealousy, or insecurities by cursing others.

Ask any indigenous animist and they will tell you that this is foolish!

You don’t go into battled unarmed and ignorant hoping that you will figure it out. I see lots of people who either wandered there inadvertently while on a plant medicine journey, or intentionally, who came back truly damaged. The risk is too great to bumble around the Dark – regardless of the purpose.

If you want to live in the animist world, you have to understand Darkness. From that understanding, you can build a culture of respect. This is something even indigenous animists have to cultivate. Animism is not a utopia. Culture and society is something that lives, breathes, and changes as we change. We can move towards balance or imbalance depending upon our choices.

How to Respect the Dark

To gain a respect for the Dark and keep the energies around you in their easiest, most helpful forms, these tribal animist concepts may be useful to know. Modern animists may choose to not adopt these beliefs, but they are valuable to acknowledge when dealing with the Dark regardless.

Everything is conscious. Everything is sovereign and has the power to harm or help. All things want to be nurtured, protected, and appreciated. When you stop acknowledging the boundaries, contributions, or value of a person or thing, it may harm you. When spirits are happy, they tend to share that happiness in the from of blessings. Everything is related. So at the very least, do no harm.

Order and tradition are important. Rituals help people to know who they are, bind us to the ancestors and society, and create belonging. Rituals also exist to protect the community through honoring the land, ancestors, harvest, natural world, and spirit world. Codes of conduct and taboos are implemented to preserve order. (Examples of this are things like restricting menstruating women from rituals, harvesting sustainably, using all of a slain animal, and defining when or where sex can be enjoyed). When this is done, the relationship between the Dark and Light is sustained.

Everything has a nature and will act according to its nature. Some energies are naturally Dark and will harm you. It’s what they do. You cannot alter this. It’s beneficial to know the nature of all things in your community and interact accordingly.

Balance results in harmony. Harmony is achieved through things like sacrifice, ritual, reciprocity, gratitude, respect, and having healthy boundaries.

Create protection when open and vulnerable to spiritual attack, such as when you are having sex, grieving, sick, angry, or are intoxicated.

Everything has power. “Don’t take a knife to a gun fight.” Know when you are out gunned and don’t go into a battle that you can’t win. At the very least, consult someone who is experienced and trained to act as a intermediary between the physical and spiritual worlds. It’s not something you can learn to do in a weekend.

If you come up against something scary, ask for help. There are many energies that are willing to help you if you need it. Stay within your comfort zone. Don’t blunder foolishly into something dangerous because you were too proud or ignorant to ask for help.

It’s Not All Love and Light

The modern animist world is not all love and light. Every day is a walk of balance between the Light and Dark. We don’t ignore, fear, or neglect the Darkness. We acknowledge and respect it. This is the path to wholeness.

The Spiritual Purpose of the Corona Virus

corona virus

Last night, to combat social isolation and give people peace of mind, Pan Society held a virtual intuitive practice session. Not surprisingly, all the questions revolved around the corona virus outbreak. While you might expect dire warnings of doom and gloom, the gathering was surprisingly heart-warming and inspiring. Here is what we learned about the spiritual purpose of the corona virus.

It’s Part of the Quickening

In many spiritual circles, we hear stories of a quickening, an acceleration of the vibratory rate of people and the planet. This quickening will help carry us to a new way of being that is more peaceful, spiritual, and whole. One of the messages that came through last night was that the corona virus is part of that.

Everything evolves, but that usually unfolds slowly. It takes a month for the moon to go from new to full and back again. It takes three months for spring to arrive, ripen, and give way to summer. Human babies take nine months to fully form. Life expectancy for Americans is 79 years. So, things take time – most of the time. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes create big changes very quickly. And they are natural phenomena, too.

When the contagion ends, life will not be the same. Innovations are happening already that change the way we live. We can’t go back. Our material world is changing, and so is our spiritual expression. The corona virus is speeding that up.

It’s a Return of the Feminine

For so long, society has embraced the masculine energy of assertiveness, achieving, checklists, goals, doing, directness, logic, and independence. Social distancing is forcing us to get acquainted with feminine energies. We are sitting still because we can’t go, go, go. We must be patient and passive because there are no options. Where some of us used activity to avoid connection, because of social distancing, many of us now yearn for connection.

Introspection was not only a luxury, it wasn’t something we particularly valued. Now we have loads of time for it, and it’s kind of sexy. So is creativity. Life is not about doing as much as you can as fast as you can, so now there is time for meandering and exploring. We’re digging the balance. We’re feeling more whole.

We’re Creating Communities Again

Before the corona virus, many of us didn’t know our neighbors. We’re now looking out for each other. Not just the people who live nearby, but vulnerable populations that we don’t even know!

Families who didn’t talk or were fighting before are now checking up on each other. We are reuniting and pulling together. We are talking about things that matter instead of avoiding each other. In Italy and New York, quarantined people are singing to each other on their balconies. In Germany and Spain, people applaud the health care workers.

We Are Falling in Love With Nature Again

People who might go into a green space or a beach once a year are now crowding the outdoors. The bowling alleys, movie theaters, and restaurants are closed for indoor seating, so we have to look to other places for entertainment. Where are you going to go where you can spread out?

And we’re hearing about the benefits of sunlight and exercise, so Nature is the perfect escape. And we’re loving it. Perhaps this gratitude towards Nature will help us to recognize her value and protect her when this is all over.

We’re Moving Towards Vulnerability

The masks are coming off. They have to. We can’t put up a front and pretend to be the coolest, best, wisest, or prettiest anymore. Disease is forcing us to come face to face with death and our imperfections. Even heroes have frailties. No one is perfect. Maybe for one it’s about admitting that he’s scared. For another it could be asking for help. It could be facing one’s mistakes, selfishness, smallness, or lack of strength. The gloves are off. We’ve got to get real. And that’s a fabulous place from which to start anew.

We’re Embracing a Different Kind of Hero

Money used to be the way that we keep score. If I have the address, car, clothes, and title to show I am important and worthy, then I am!

Money only goes so far in the age of the corona virus. The currency now is things like kindness, charity, bravery, compassion, laughter, and wisdom. Those who have that are far more valuable than people who have position and authority. Cashiers, truck drivers, nurses, farmers, electricians, and factory workers are keeping the rest of us going.

Spirits in the Material World

While the spiritual message may be rosy, we are spirits living in the material world. We still have to deal with social distancing, loss of employment, scarcity of food and supplies, loneliness, fear, disease, and all the problems that come with it. Until we get to the other side, keep washing your hands and stay home. If you are an energy worker, send healing energy to the world. If you can assist the vulnerable and stay safe yourself, do that. Can you sew? Sew masks for medical professionals. Are you a computer programmer? You could donate your skills to help contain the spread. Whatever your talents and skills, we can all pitch in to help us all get through.

Practicing Connection During the Outbreak

practicing connection

When fear breaks out, people can respond by lashing out, becoming emotional and irrational, and hiding from the world. Don’t forget your humanity. Humans are social creatures. We need each other. Together we can get through anything. So here are some ideas for practicing connection during the outbreak.

Spread Hope

I saw a video that was shot on balconies in northern Italy. The people were singing to each other. Italy is suffering a horrible medical catastrophe and people are singing to each other. Things like this keep hope alive. Laughter, smiles, love, and song keep the immune system strong. It keeps our connections strong. No matter what, love each other. We all have a choice whether we are going to be Badluck Shleprock or a beacon of hope. Spread hope.

Check on Your People

How are your people doing? Do you have elderly neighbors who need food, medication, or their grass cut? Can you help? What about your distant family? Do they need something? You know, sometimes something as simple as a phone call can brighten someone’s day. Is there a senior center nearby that needs something? What about a homeless shelter? If you don’t know of anyone personally who needs help, check out Pine Ridge. The needs there are always desperate and grow even moreso in times like these.

Do Your Part

We each have a mission in life. Doing your part helps to keep the wheel of life spinning. If you opt out, someone else will have to do their part and yours. Participate. I know it’s tempting to give up, but we need everyone to show up.


I’ve been paying attention to social media posts and comparing it to what I see in my local area. It seems that there are great disparities from place to place. I am not 100% sure about what’s going on, but it seems that low income areas have higher incidents of shortages and panic. If you have resources, skills, or knowledge that you can share with people who have less, share. It’s really that simple. There is enough to go around if we share.

Practice Kindness

While grocery shopping recently, the store was more crowded than I’ve ever seen it. The shelves were more bare, and yet people seemed to be going out of their way to be kind. Cashiers were cheerful. Customers were patient. Some held the door open to others. No one was hoarding or grabbing for anything. There was plenty for everyone.

One brusque person can set off a storm of ugliness that infects the whole bunch. Fortunately, a single act of kindness can do the same thing. Practice random acts of kindness. It helps us to stay connected.


Jim Butcher said, “Magic comes from what’s inside you. It’s part of you. You can’t weave together a spell you don’t believe in.”

It’s easy to descend into negativity when under stress. Darkness can test your faith. Believe. Darkness is the womb that births new things. If you go dark now, what is birthed will be more darkness. Believe. Believe in a brighter day, connection, love, health, life, hope, kindness, and renewal. The sun always returns. We all create tomorrow together. Staying connected in a loving way births lovely things.

Practicing connection is always part of the modern animist lifestyle. Practicing connection when the chips are down defines us. It’s easy to do anything when it asks nothing of you and when you are doing well. It’s not so easy when there are reasons not to. Connect because it’s what you believe in. It’s who you are.

How Can You Believe in a Vengeful God?

vengeful god

We ask for questions, we’ve got them! The most recent one comes from a Christian. He wants to know “How can you believe in a vengeful God?” He specifically talks about God sending people to burn in a pit of fire for eternity for either sinning or not believing in him. If you have this question too, read on.

First I want to say that questions regarding Christianity are best answered by Christians. When someone outside of animism speaks for animism, their reply is tainted by outsider bias. We all have it. We can only understand what we know from our own experience. When we interpret things that have a different context, our own experiences color our interpretations. So, if you have questions about Christianity, animism, Judaism, or any -ism, you will most likely get an answer that fits your world view if you ask someone from that culture.

Now let’s look at this idea of gods in general. Gods exist to help humans navigate the unknown. We know that there are things mightier than we are. We know that some things are mysterious and unknown. Some things defy explanation. Surrendering to the gods and asking for their help when we encounter these things gives us hope. It gives us a way to get through life without fear. In return for this help, we give the gods our devotion, prayers, and sacrifices. Life is always reciprocal. We don’t come empty handed to the altar and expect presents from Santa Claus.

When we don’t have this exchange of energy, the relationship dries up. If the gods ask too much of us and don’t give back, we stop believing and praying. When the culture changes and we expand our ideas, we may find things that used to be mysterious are now commonplace. So, we don’t have a need for those gods anymore. Or we place our faith in another “god” such as medicine.

So religion isn’t a static thing. It grows and changes with culture and society. Religions that require strict adherence to ideas that were created for a set time, place, and culture often fail to thrive. This is especially true now when the world is so connected and it’s hard to live in isolation from other ideas and cultures.

One of the ways that religions deal with this is through fear and control. If my god is powerful enough to destroy you, you’d better watch out and obey! If my god gives society laws, it’s for control. Now pro-social behaviors are a good thing. They encourage positive interactions and the survival of society. When they become too rigid, they are no longer helpful.

Gods show us how to live. They are reflections of our society. A vengeful god is not the most loving example. It’s an example of authoritarianism – my way or the highway! Threats of ostracism aren’t things that many modern people support because we know the pain of guilt, shame, and isolation. We prefer acceptance of diversity and compassion towards others who are perfect. We’ve seen destrution, war, trauma, and terror and don’t want that from our gods. That’s why many people are asking “How can you believe in a vengeful God?” It’s why many people can’t tolerate this in their gods anymore.

That’s my take on it. Remember I am not a Christian. There are many other ways to think about this. Feel free to take or leave anything here that helps you figure out your truth. You can also leave a comment on your perspective. Sharing helps us to all grow.

Pan Society Mythology Explained

pan society mythology

Although the title of this post is “Pan Society Mythology Explained,” that’s rather a grand ambition. What I hope this article does is give a broad overview of the Pan Society world. Those who are new to animism may be confused by the lack of stories. Hopefully this makes it easier to understand.

Keep in mind that although “mythology” has come to mean stories that are not true, mythos really just means a set of beliefs about something. You don’t have to believe any or all of this to be a Panist. It just gives an explanation for our framework.

The Creation

In the beginning, there was the Void. In the Void, there is no time, space, thoughts, or form. The absence of matter is pure Consciousness. We think of it as the annihilation, but in actuality, it is fullness, Oneness, the absence of separation. It’s all things and no thing all at once.

From the Void came the Fire and Ice, the first two elements and creation beings. The yin and the yang. With these two came complimentary duality or the world where everything has a masculine and feminine energy that appear to be opposites, but can’t live without each other.  They had an idea, and Earth and Sky were born. (The fifth element, Aether, was always there as a part of the Void).

Each thing is alive with consciousness because the Void lives in all of us. Each time a being has an idea, it creates a new thing. In this way, everything is born. Everything is a creation being.

As Aether, Fire, Ice, Earth, and Sky were the original creation beings, they are in all things. Everything that came before us (animals, plants, mountains, rivers, etc) are our ancestors.

The Other World

Beings who are not in physical form reside in the Other World. Mythical beasts and creatures, as well as those who cannot be seen, also live here. This can include the dead, faeries, phoenixes, gods and goddesses. Time doesn’t exist there as it does in the apparent world. The Other World is both the past, present, and future. It includes Heaven and the Underworld. It is not “somewhere out there.” It’s right here. We usually just can’t perceive it. When the veil is thin, it’s easier.

The Apparent World

The Apparent World is the world that human being perceive as reality. If you can see, hear, taste, touch, smell or measure it, it’s a part of the apparent world.

Gods and Goddesses

Gods and goddesses are energies that are more powerful than humans. They are unpredictable and can’t be explained. Sometimes they help us. Sometimes they harm us. Think of Trickster. He keeps things interesting and keeps us reaching out to the gods! The gods need us and we need them. When the gods and goddesses no longer serve humanity, we abandoned them, and they lose power.

The World Tree

The world tree is the center of the earth. It is also a symbol for the universe. The branches go to the highest reaches of Heaven and the roots go to the deepest parts of the Underworld. The world tree is the doorway to travel the three realms – Heaven, Earth, and Underworld. It also serves as a symbol of the sacredness of all life. In fact, all trees serve as a reminder of the sacredness of life. This is why trees have a special place in Pan Society.

The Wheel of Life

This symbol is wholeness. It represents the lifetime of a person as well as the life cycle of nature. It’s based on the movements of the sun and moon and incorporates the seasons. Like the seasons, it shows that life moves in a circle from birth, maturity, decline, death, and rebirth. Perhaps the most important function of the wheel of life is to provide an example of how to live in harmony with the universe as the wheel shows a relationship between the microcosm and the macrocosm.

If you are aware of how the wheel of life spins, you will never be lost. The Pan Society holy days mark the changes of season and remind us of where we are so that we can stay in tune.

Independence is Spiritual! How Are You Celebrating Your Independence?

independence is spiritual

Independence is spiritual? What? How? What does independence have to do with spirituality? If those are your thoughts, read on!

Modern animism is a holistic spiritual path. It puts sovereignty, or independence, at the bottom of the pyramid. I know lots of faith focus on community, or togetherness. We do too, but in order to make that connection happen, you have to be a sovereign person. Otherwise, you could be someone who has to be carried.

Taking Care of Me

We always look at Nature to tell us about the natural order of things. If you look around, all animals rear their young to be independent, self sufficient adults. When they are, they leave the nest and live their lives so that the species can continue.

That’s what being sovereign, or independent, is all about. You can take care of yourself. You know who you are, where you stand, what you want, and can provide for what you need. If a problem or crisis occurs, you can deal with that too. When someone crosses your boundaries, you assert yourself.

Living In the “We”

That sets you up to be in partnership with others. See, adults stand between the children and the elders. Someone has to be responsible for producing or procuring resources and reproducing so that the species continues. Children are not yet able to do that. Elders are still productive, but not as much as they used to be. Without those independent, capable adults holding up the sky for the young and old, the whole system falls apart. Humans are social creatures, and this is how interdependence works.

Now, adulthood is also a time for coupling. If you aren’t an independent adult, you aren’t in a great position to be in a romantic relationship. If your partner has to take care of your emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual needs, that’s a lot of work! It’s an unequal relationship, and those tend to be unsatisfying. When we come together as equals, we are in a better position to grow together. This keeps love alive.

You’ve seen people who habitually complain, blame, criticize, stonewall, or defend themselves, right? These people often have problems with connection. Nobody wants to be with someone who can’t connect. These are the things that destroy connection. When you are a sovereign person, you take responsibility. These things don’t happen. You may notice things that aren’t to your liking, but they don’t become your issues.

Independence is Spiritual

So, how does all that mean independence is spiritual? Well, a spiritual life is a holistic life. You have to have independence to live in the full expression of yourself. My mother was an immigrant. My father is a person of color. So, even though I didn’t personally know what it was like to not have choices or not have equal rights, my parents did. I’ve traveled enough to see this is other places. So I cherish the free expression that we all have. When you are powerless or can’t live in your fullness, you can’t live naturally or spiritually.

Birds don’t own the sky. They share it. They take what they need and no more. Nobody tells them who they are or how to live. They follow their nature. Other creatures do the same. The oak just is. When people live in the same way, they are their natural selves too. When they reach out and connect to the world around them and the All That Is, it’s the deepest expression of spirituality.

So, if you ask me “How are you celebrating your independence?” I will tell you that I am going to be showing the world my highest and truest self. I will be connecting to the big, wide worlds- people, Nature, apparent and Otherworld. I’d love to hear your plans.


A Consecration Ritual

A Consecration Ritual

We consecrate our tools and ritual objects to dedicate them for spiritual and ritual work.

These are basic instructions to help guide you through your consecration ritual, but feel free to change it up and make it your own.

You Will Need:

  • item you want to consecrate
  • a bowl of water
  • a bowl of soil
  • a candle (white)
  • incense  (if desired)

Figure out where the cardinal directions are in your ritual space. Place the bowl of soil on the north side of your space, the candle on the south side, the bowl of water on the west. You’ll notice that we have nothing to place on the east side but that’s because you will use your breath. Place the item you are consecrating in the center of your ritual space. Step outside the space

Light the candle and the incense, if you are using it. Take a few moments to get into the right headspace, especially if this is your first ritual.

Feel free to cast a circle and call quarters if that is part of your path. If it’s not or you are still on your journey, feel free to go to the next step.

Travel to the center of your ritual space and pick up the object for consecration.

Take your item to the bowl of soil on the north side of the ritual space. Take some soil form the bowl and rub it over your object while picturing earth energies flowing into your item. Say, ” With this soil, find my (item name) deeply rooted in my practice. Let the energy of the earth nurture growth.” Feel free to add any words you like.

Take your item to the east. Picture wind energy surrounding your item. Say, “Let the winds blow cool breezes of creativity and ingenuity over this (item name).”  Blow over your item. Feel free to add or change the words.

Head to the candle in the south of your ritual space. Pass your item over the candle and imagine fire energy around and in your item. Say, “Let the purifying energies of fire spark great energy into my ( name item). ” Feel free to change or add to make the words your own.

Take your object to the west and the bowl of water. If the bowl is big enough dip your item in the bowl. If not, dip your hand and scoop some water out. Sprinkle the water over your item and picture the water cleansing your item. Say, ” Let the water cleanse and purifying my (name object).” Feel free to change and add words to make them your own.

Return the item to the center of your ritual space. It is consecrated. Open your circle if you cast one.

Celebrating Father’s Day When Your Dad Isn’t The Greatest Guy

father's day

Today is Father’s Day. Some of us are making joyous memories with our families. Some of us are trying to forget the wounds of our childhood and wishing we had different fathers. So how do you celebrate Father’s Day if your dad isn’t the greatest guy? Well, if you want to transform your past, read on. I will tell you how embracing the holistic spirituality of animism can do just that.

There is a reason why the Jewish god felt so strongly about honoring our parents that he made it a commandment. Asians, Africans, Polynesians, Native Americans, and other animist people also practice ancestor reverence – even today. Why? It’s because of Oneness.

Your people live within you. Their strengths are your strengths. Their trials are your trials. When they do something that hurts you, it’s their way of living out their fears and traumas. Think about where they came from.

In America, our settlers came here fleeing religious and political persecution, starvation, oppression, genocide, and war. Some were exiled as punishment for their crimes. Others were brought here as captives during the slave trade. This country is awash in fear. It shows up in our grasping for money, property, resources, love, sex, food, attention, and excitement. It shows up as violence, rape, addiction, and mental illness. That’s not just cultural. It’s ancestral.

Unfortunately, if you turn your back on your not-so-nice father, you turn your back on healing your ancestral line. If you don’t take responsibility for what’s happened, who will? If you don’t do something to change the dynamic, that energy will continue to live on through your children and their children.

In many cases, we’ve lived thousands of years without the proper tending of our ancestors. In animist societies, dis-ease is generally addressed as they arise. When people die unresolved, we engage in burial rituals that help the dead navigate the no man’s land between dying and crossing over so that they can serve as ancestors.

That isn’t happening now. So, the dead aren’t becoming ancestors. They are hungry ghosts. These hungry ghosts leave the shadow of their wounds within our ancestral line so that all who are born after them pick up their drama. So, your choice now is about one thing. Am I going to do the dirty work of cleaning this up, or will I leave it for someone else?

Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.” Now you know.

If your father isn’t the greatest guy, you can do the most wonderful thing for him by cleaning up your ancestral line. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t believe in all the hoo doo, woo woo. What you clear in yourself ripples forward and backward in time. If he wants the healing for himself, all he has to do is accept it.

The implications of this truly go around the world. I have read that most Asians have Genghis Khan as an ancestor and most English people have Charlemagne as an ancestor. So imagine what could happen if a wound that started with one of those guys was cleansed and removed. Literally millions of people’s lives would change. This is how important ancestral tending is.

So, let me say this again explicitly. If someone doesn’t die in a healthy way and cross over, their wounds could impact millions of people.

I know some of you are sitting there with your arms crossed saying, “My father doesn’t deserve it.” Healing and forgiveness isn’t for him. It’s for you.

“Forgiveness” means to forego. So it’s about foregoing your need for justice, punishment, fairness, or making him pay. I understand the need for an apology or revenge. Don’t let this desire stand in the way of your wholeness. You can’t be whole when your father, who is a part of you, is standing in darkness.

So, are you ready to heal this wound? You can start by honoring your living people. This doesn’t mean you have to have a relationship with them. It just means that you release any negative emotion towards them. Forgive.

You can also begin to practice ancestor reverence. Your entire family line isn’t corrupted – even if it may seem like it. There are spirits there who want to help you. Get in touch with them. Ask for their help. Learn how to tend them. We all have resources beyond our wildest imaginings if we just reach out and ask for it.

If you want to learn more, check out the Pan Society blog, youtube channel, podcast, and Facebook group. Ask questions. That’s what we are here for. We want to heal the world, and we need your help. There’s been enough suffering. Isn’t it time to end it? Let’s do this together.

If you need additional help, we also have a mentoring program at Please join us.

How To Practice Panism


So, you want to be an animist and you don’t know where to start. We’re glad you’re here. This article can help you on your journey!

The first thing to know is that Panism is a lifestyle that flows from your beliefs. It’s not the beliefs themselves. So essentially, it’s a way to just be a more authentic, whole version of yourself. If you believe that everything is alive, sacred, and connected, how does that show up? Don’t get distracted by the rituals, holy day celebrations, manifesting, gods, peak experiences, or Other World or Inner World travels. Those are great, but may make you miss the forest for the trees. If you keep it simple – especially in the beginning- you will find your way.

Know Yourself

The first step in Panism can be to know yourself. Who are you? What do to believe? What do you want? Where do you begin and end? What are your boundaries? What do you want? This is a journey that can take a lifetime as you’re ever evolving. There can be so much programming to undo – yours, society’s, and your ancestors. Take the time to figure this out. It’s your life. What better way to spend it than as a journey of self discovery? Sovereignty is the ultimate expression of integrity.

Share Yourself

Once you know who you are, you are in the perfect position to connect. Nobody is an island. We are part of the matrix. We yearn to belong. When we are Sovereign, we can do that in a way that doesn’t harm. Our contact is mutually beneficial to other people, plants, animals, the mineral and spiritual kingdoms. So reach out. Connect.

Grow Yourself

Lots of people want to be comfortable. Many strive to be on top and stay there. Forget about that! If you’re not growing, you’re dying. Get into the wheel of life and grow beyond your comfort zone. The universe is expanding and you can too. As your awareness grows, let your being grow to match it. This could mean your life gets bigger … or smaller! It could mean you shine more… or less. It could mean anything. Everything is possible.

Love Yourself

As you journey through life, I hope you fall in love with yourself over and over again. When you see your beauty and light, it makes it easier for others to, too. We all need  a light to guide us. Be that for someone else. Enjoy theirs. Spread the love.

A Cheat Sheet

If that’s not concrete enough, let me give you a cheat sheet. Observe, then Act. Or Observe, Act, Self-Correct.

Have you watched any of Tisha Michelle’s videos on Pan Society’s Youtube channel? She’s showing you what to do. She observes something mindfully. Has an insight. Then she acts on it. She evaluates whether it’s in alignment with her values and purpose . If so, she’s happy with it and keeps on going. If not, she self corrects. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be any fancier than that.

If you notice, I didn’t say anything about prayer, ritual, do this, or don’t do that. In Panism, you can do it your way. If you engage in the fullness of life, you will find your way. Live mindfully. The “wrong” path may end up being the right one. The meandering trail could give you exactly what you need. And sometimes the fast track puts you in line for what you need next. Trust that everything is as it should be.

The plants, animals, minerals, and spirits are here to assist you. If you are ready for them, reach out to them. If you aren’t, be where you are. It’s all good.

Do No Thing

no thing

I was talking to a woman about my long drive to work, and she asked, “Do you listen to podcasts? Music?” When I told her no, she replied, “Do you plan your day?” Again I replied no. I could tell from the look on her face that she didn’t understand and thought I was wasting a colossal amount of time. I thought, “Clearly she doesn’t understand the value of doing no thing.

We are taught from a young age that we’ve always got to be doing something. If mom says, “What are you doing?” and we say, “Nothing,” she’s probably going to give us something to do that we don’t want to do.

When we go to school, we are told there is a right and wrong answer to everything and our job is to figure out the right one. So we learn to value thinking, which is doing something. We figure that if we just throw more intellect at it, we will find an answer.

If we are stuck in a rut or have a problem, one of the first things we are asked is, “What are you doing about it?” If we don’t know what to do, we will do things that don’t work like avoid it, drink, spend money we don’t have, or have affairs just so we can feel like we’re doing something.

“When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.” ~Lao Tzu

Let me offer you an alternative. Do no thing. Just for a while. When your head is busy with too much stuff, it needs to empty. Doing no thing is holistic. Animism embraces duality so emptying creates balance. We counter busyness with emptiness, stuff with no thing. It may sound counter intuitive, but relaxing and emptying gives us room to see solutions. When there is too much swirling in our heads, we can’t see the forest for the trees.

Often I start my day with no thing. I sometimes walk in silence without thinking, or I drive to work with no music, no podcast, and no sound. I sit in silence and give myself space to empty. That emptiness helps to keep we well boundaried.

I don’t waste time on things that aren’t important because I have greater clarity. I don’t ruminate, worry, or spin my wheels because I have inspiration, ideas, and solutions. We all do. They are all around us. We just have to make the space to see them.

Think of it this way. Have you ever seen those Where’s Waldo pictures? If you took away half of the items in those pictures, how much easier would it be to see Waldo? Now if you took away all the background noise, now how easy is it to find Waldo? That’s what you are doing when you do no thing.

So the next time you are challenged to power through something or are sitting up worrying, stop. Chill. Let your body relax. Release the tension. Breathe. Do no thing for a while. And let me know if it helps.