I am an animist, a poet, an author and an activist. When I’m not working, I’m raising 5 drunken barbarian dwarfs, reading library books and being the partner of luminous cartographer and animist artist Gabriel Tamaya.
Background in animism
With over 20 years of animist practice, I’ve been through the ups and downs of working within an ancient spiritual tradition while living a modern life.
There’s very little written about how modern animists can integrate their practice with their lives, and lot of what is out there is more like historical re-enactment than animism. So I’ve focused on how to work with day to day situations from a deeply animist stance; everything from my parenting, love life, health, finances, home making and creative work has been touched by this work.
My animism is untaught; I grew up in an atheist household that gave me no spiritual instruction at all. My first contact with spirits, intuition and trance were spontaneous over the course of my childhood. Over the years, I’ve learnt to trust these inate expressions of animism and apply them safely and practically, but the road hasn’t always been smooth and I hope that by teaching about animism I can help others to navigate their own paths more easily.
Animism is hugely important for our world right now. Many of us who work spiritually under the labels of healer, pagan, witch or shaman, are in fact using animism. When we recognise this, we can all share this beautiful work more effectively, and learn from the diversity of animist expression.
I write poetry because it bridges the rationality of words and the luminous chaos of animist experience and of life. Animism is interwoven with art and creativity; while religion is about ‘knowing’, animism is more about ‘expressing’. This is why it’s so radically different from any other spiritual practice in our modern world. I don’t know any animists who don’t have a creative outlet one way or the other; poetry is one of mine.
Social animism & activism
For me, animism doesn’t just solve our personal problems or give us a creative, healing outlet. It gives us powerful tools for social change.
Social animism is all about how our relationships with the land, our bodies, our food, our money, our homes and our future impact how we live as communities. Through animism, we can work together in new ways to change what’s damaging our world and each other.
My animism has given me a deeply held sense of how I want my community to be; as a person of mixed race, a queer person and a person with atypical neurology, I’m well placed to understand how important a sense of interdependence, shared responsibility and empathy for all living beings really is.
I’m also well aware that the new spiritual movements and old religions alike have a history of marginalising and failing people who don’t fit into a very specific framework.