Re: Among our many types of animist...

From: Alex Ferguson <abf_at_...>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 05:04:34 +0100 (BST)

David Cake:
> Only large chunks of the Doraddi though - the Doraddi between
> them use at least all animist techniques, and probably a few more
> besides.

More power to 'em. ;-)

> > then there are the 'totemic
> >shamanists', which is how I would understand the trolls, and the
> >Praxians. Spirit cults a-go-go. This latter sort seems, according
> >to the HW take, more like part-animist, part-theist, which is indeed
> >rather confusing, given that this is so common.
> And that what was until now considered pretty much the
> standard form for shamanism in the shamanic cultures we are most
> familiar with (certainly the two with most in print) is suddenly
> labelled 'an aberration'. Hmmph.

Indeed. I think there are two 'categories' here, pretty much, though not so much particles, as wave packets, since obviously there's quite the continuum here.

> > One might also
> >suggest that there's a somewhat 'animist sorcery' thread, for those
> >shamanic types who're a lot more interested in (as it were)
> >dominating spirits than integrating or worshipping them, but that's
> >perhaps a less clear aspect. (Greg was certainly underwhelmed by
> >this latter theory. <g>)
> Variants on that proposition have been known to have a
> similar effect on Peter Metcalfe, IIRC <g>.

Made perfect sense to me, though! The 'core' method of animism is allegedly integration: therefore _obviously_, totemic shamanism is 'animism meets theism', 'tantra' is 'animism meets mysticism', and 'spirit domination' is animism meets sorcery... You'd think, at least. See, this is why I retired from God-   (That, and too much competition...)

> >The particular objection I have is that the current rules make it
> >sound as if integration is a correct thing to be doing for a
> >Praxian, and worship of Great Spirits an incorrect one, which is
> >just simply backwards, IMO.
> Exactly.
> It may be more or less correct for some cultures (Hsunchen,
> for example), but its certainly the wrong thing for others
> (Praxians).

Indeed. For the Hsunchen, the reverse is true: spirit cults would be bizarre and unusual, integration is endemic. Though most modern hsunchen aren't half as 'pure' as this green age propaganda might suggest...


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