Naturalistic Paganism

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Animism for the Religious Naturalist

Animists see a world that is full of other-than-human persons, including salmon persons, tree persons, and even rock persons. It is difficult for many Westerners to understand the concept of other-than-human persons, especially when talking about (seemingly) “inanimate objects” like rocks. But for the animist, there is no such thing as inanimate matter, because it is all a part of the complex self-regulating living system called Gaia. Animism is not about the projection of consciousness or agency onto non-human things, but about respect and reciprocity within a more-than-human community that transcends the subject-object dichotomy.

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Literal Gods Are for the Literal Minded: Re-Enchanting Polytheism

The disenchantment of the world happened, not when we stopped seeing gods and spirits in nature, but when we stopped seeing our essential connection to nature. Personifying rivers and trees with dryads is not going to accomplish this. Rather, we need to realize our essential oneness, the manifold ways in which we are connected to the rivers and the trees–whether or not we find gods in them.

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