ART AS AN ANIMIST Part 1

Last night at a book signing and discussion by Daniel Foor, PhD, author of Ancestral Medicine, a book on how to repair our broken relationships with our ancestors of blood, place, and spiritual lineage, I learned that our ancestors’ attention is gathered by our creating beautiful things.

This means that there is some energetic activity that can transcend time and space and somehow reach the souls of whom I come from. This idea elated me and confirmed that I am on the right path with my creations.

In many indigenous paths and traditions they honor and celebrate their ancestors by creating amazingly detailed and beautiful creations such as feathered and horned headdresses, despachos, yantras and mandalas, Tibetan temple rubbings, ornate stained glass, and so many other types of creations. Yet the purpose remains the same; communication and a relationship with our ancestors.

Despacho Ceremony

I believe that in all humans there may manifest, at some point in their lives, a deep survival motivation to communicate through art when the communicative channel of language fails. And so, creative expression can be a communicative method to the other worlds.

As an Animist, when I make a hanging mobile, or a mala, there is something very alive and present, aside from my innate creative self, that is guiding my actions.

Animism is the religious belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Potentially, animism perceives all things—animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather systems, human handiwork, and perhaps even words—as animated and alive.

My grandpa, Tito, in utter badassery mode <3