Continuing along with the series on Indigenous African Spirituality, we come to the ashe of the matter of spirituality. Animism. Need to catch up?
Animism is the belief that both animate and inanimate objects have a soul and a spirit. Basically it means that everything has a conscious. Animism recognizes that the universe is alive with spirits and that humans are interrelated with them. Animism means breath, or soul. It is one of the oldest belief systems on the planet. As a belief it dates as far back as the paleolithic times. It came before any form of organized religion. Animism asserts that we are all infinitely connected to everything. All things have Spirit. The water, the trees, the frogs, the humans etc.. Man and nature are one. Animism and shamanism are closely related in that the shaman is the oracle for the animated and inanimate things of this world.. As a way to communicate with the Great Divine Spirit, shamans speak on behalf of spirits and places, or of things.
“Because of the often-malevolent nature of such spirits, as well as the various ills that can befall the individual soul or the community at large, the animist community almost always develops a system of spiritual technology—Shamanism. Shamanism refers to a range of traditional beliefs and practices that are united around a common method: the use and control of spirits. While shamanism is often seen as a healing tradition, in some societies, shamanic teachings also include the ability to inflict suffering on others. Shamans have been credited with the ability to heal illnesses, control the weather, curse enemies, divine the future, interpret dreams, and project themselves astrally (including the ability to travel to upper and lower spiritual worlds). Regardless, shamanism and animism are intimately inter-related: animism provides the religio-philosophical framework and shamanism provides the techniques and technology for controlling (or at least harnessing) these forces.”
*new world encyclopedia