Magical and animistic practices that are good starting points for people of Northern European descent:

  • Working with local or ancestral land spirits, for example Hawthorn, Rowan, Yew, local lakes and mountains, springs and native animals.
  • Working with local or ancestral deities and spirits, such as the Celtic pantheon, Merlin, fairies and elemental beings.
  • Working with local or ancestral folk magic, such as hagstones, witch bottles and charms.
  • Working with your ancestors.
  • Working with your kin and helping animal spirits, which could be any native species.
  • Working with divination methods such as mirror gazing, inky water, tarot and runes.
  • Personal work to honour the Earth and her inhabitants as a whole.
  • Personal work to develop deeper empathy, connection and awareness of interdependence.
  • Personal work to increase creativity and inspiration.
  • Personal work to confront and integrate dark aspects of yourself and your culture.
  • Personal work to heal conflicts and harm caused by your ancestors to the land, other people and yourself.
  • Personal work for a better relationship with your body.
  • Personal work for a better relationship with your land and environment.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but merely a place to start working with animism and magic that honours your own heritage while respecting the heritage of others enough to not occupy it.

Those of us with Northern European heritage have rich roots of animist to draw upon in our practice, and while the animism of other cultures can be beautiful and inspiring, we have to be careful not to bring materialist and collonialist attitudes to our spiritual practice.

It’s clear that all humans have animist heritage and access to magical methods, but that when we take the spiritual language and methods of cultures we don’t belong to, we rip them from their roots, damaging both our own practice and that of the people we took them from.