What is Animism?

Animism is the belief that everything in nature, and sometimes including inanimate objects have spirits. For example, the flower you just smelled has a spirit, the lake you just skipped rocks in has a spirit, and, if your belief includes inanimate objects, that table you just bumped into has a spirit. Most animists believe that the spirit survives death and either goes to a place of abundance, or stays in this realm for various reasons. Most animists also believe that it is necessary to give offerings to the various entities in nature and some worship them.

This is, in my opinion, a belief instead of a religion. There are non-pagan religions that incorporate animism into their beliefs, such as Shinto, African religions, and Hindu. You can label yourself as an animist and it isn’t necessarily an indicator towards a specific religion. 

Indicators that I, personally, was an animist, even when I was a small child and before I knew paganism was a thing is that I always was super respectful to animals and trees. I would often talk and hug the trees. I would put little beds of leaves and grass and small twigs next to the roots. I was also super friendly with the centipedes. I would put them next to the tree and make them little beds. If you want, share how you grew to be an animist!

Can I say I’m an animist without having someone tell me i’m culturally appropriating from someone?