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Your Questions About Animism

James asks…

Is animism a religion?

What would most describe the native american beliefs? I need for military dog tags. thank you
Repost: I am not native american but I have always had a strong respect for the people and their beliefs. I asked the question not to sound ingnorant but to be properly informed. I am searching for a new way of enlightenment. Just wanted to know what some religions would be that combine animism. But only ones practiced by the first americans/natives. Thanks again.

Animal Deities answers:

Native americans don’t all have the same beliefs. And “animism” wouldn’t describe it, as we don’t technically have a religion, as we don’t worship anything. We don’t worship animals, or spirits, or a “great spirit” and we don’t practice shamanism.

If you aren’t a part of the culture, you really can’t claim to be practicing our ways.

The Navajo way, for example, is called “The Beauty Way”. The Hopi way we call “The Way of Peace”. The Lakota way is called “the Way of the Pipe”.

If you aren’t part of the people, then you haven’t been taught our way, since we don’t teach our ways to outsiders. You can’t simply “join” or “adopt” our ways. You must be born into it.

Btw- I’m an army veteran myself. I listed my “religion” as Navajo. There were eight other people from my Tribe in my Battalion, and at the end of Desert Storm, we got together and asked the army to send us a Navajo “chaplain” to do a ceremony for us. They actually located one for us. But although many other guys who were curious wanted to see or participate in the ceremony, only Navajo were allowed to be a part of it.

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