Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Theism Diagrams: Animist Style

Theism Diagram: Animism

Last week my Amazon Druid pal wrote a post discussing her meanderings through the sticky wickets of theism. I won't bother with the rundown of her personal conclusions, since they are hers alone, but you can read about them here: Faith

What struck me about her discussion was the diagram she used to illustrate various theistic worldviews. It didn't include animism & I thought that was interesting given that animists are not an insignificant population (depending on your sources, anywhere from 232 million (4%) to 40% of the world population). When I asked her permission to use the image, she told me that the illustration was just a random image she found using a certain large, multi-national search engine, so I decided to see if I could find a diagram that included animism. I did not.

Theism Diagrams. Found @ BG.
That was okay because I already knew what it looked like -- I have had a visualization of it for a long time. (I confess I was just trying to get around the time-crunch, mothering children, constantly cleaning while trying to get outside, busy-busy, etc. by snagging someone else's image.) Ultimately, not finding someone else's forced me to create my own & that was also quite okay because I like the result. (Many thanks to Ouroboric-Brush of Deviant Art for the Oroborus and the Serpent PS brushes.) 

I had been waiting on posting this because I thought perhaps I might come up with something clever or erudite to say to accompany the illustration, but the truth is, the image really says it all. The only thing I might add is the caveat that this is my personal depiction of the animistic worldview, so I cannot say it speaks for any other animist out there in the ether or otherwise. (To be honest, I can't really find them...) 

I tend to view myself as a polytheistic animist, so this is why my circles say "god/spirit." In my version of this universe, we are pretty much inundated with entities of varying potency & spirits, gods, etc. are plenty -- not just archetypes of one or two. (This is one of the many reasons why I always struggled with Wicca. This is also why I do not equate Dionysus with Bacchus, but these are both stories for another day.) Regardless of their status, They are -- as we are --important parts the Great Web. 

Note: I did just happen upon an old (2007) theism discussion started on some random website where someone had posted their version of an animistic theism diagram. It turns out I'm not completely off-base: see Theism Diagrams. The actual image can be seen here, where the blue circles represent "divinity" & the green oval is "Earth." Not exactly how I see it, but still in the same ballpark. Interesting.


Nestis said...

I love the diagram. It actually works perfectly for my particular take on Hellenic polytheism as well. I have an ouroboros decorating my kathiskos (I'll have to take a picture for you) - which I've dedicated to Persephone (not Zeus Ktesios as most Hellenics do). They're supposed to be decorated with a snake anyway, but I thought the ouroboros was particularly appropriate since the kathiskos is in essence a jar of rotting food that is renewed at the ending/beginning of each lunar month.

Nestis said...

Well, technically I would make one wee alteration for my diagram. I'd have separate bubbles for thnetoi (us and other mortal life) and athanatoi (gods/spirits). :)

Nestis said...

Not that all spirits are athanatoi (undying ones) though, and thnetoi (dying ones) -can- be spirits, so I'd probably just put athanatoi in some bubbles and thnetoi in the others and leave it at that. But anyway! :)

Moma Fauna said...

It's funny, at first I was just going to make a plain diagram like the others, but I was having this terrible time getting my elliptical tool to work. Then I remembered the brushes & just had to say, "Duh, the Ouroboros is the reason why. You need to use that." Once I remembered it, there was no question what would represent the universe. It is one of the most compelling symbols in our vast set of human expressions. I think your use of it on the kathiskos is very apropos. ;)

I actually wondered if the diagram would bear a similarity to your theistic angle in particular -- your comments in Carol's post were eerily familiar. I thought, "Is she really saying it the way I think she is saying, or am I just (wishfully) projecting?" Of course, there have been other times when I have heard you explain some part of it & I always thought we were not really too disparate in our visions, especially as opposed to more duotheistic or monotheistic folks.

The "dying/undying" ones are represented by the different sizes, pretty much. I wouldn't have said it that way, mostly b/c I've never heard the terminology, but that is exactly what I was trying to represent. Spirits of varying "potency" (my words) are represented by varying sized whirls. I believe that basically this would translate to your athanatoi & thnetoi. Those smaller whirls are the wee ones (mortals, object-beings), while the big whirls are the great Old Ones. In between (mid-sized), are the entities that might exist over geologic time, but are not permanent, or they might possess magnificent power during a very brief existence. I think of it more as a gradient, as opposed to this-or-that, so I have a range of sizes. Honestly, I confess I cannot know, so this is my best speculation. ;)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...