Ireland has entered the time of year where everything is in-between, liminal. It never fully reaches darkness. The sun lingers into the night, a faint phosphorescent veil that paints the landscape in a soft phthalo turquoise glow, illuminating the bones of winter plants that have since become graveyard reminders of time passing, and highlighting the small pale flowers emerging as Demeter sings her late spring song of awakening. The ouroboros of life is revealed with a poignancy that is easy to miss in our whirlwind modern world.
In these sacred spaces where rules bend so that time slows to collide with the transitional matter of growth and decay, creating foreign and haunting images, it’s easy to believe that spirits, Gods, sentience beyond the human mind, are possible, tangible, undeniable.
As I’ve become ever more vocal about animism, messages have poured into my Twitter account with a resounding question: “Do you really think spirits and Gods and more-than-human intelligences are real?”
This is often followed up with admissions of struggles, cynicism, and doubt. And who can deny this is not a regular part of any path, believer and denier alike? Even in the Bible there are countless parables of disciples, prophets, and everyday citizens wrangling with doubt in countless circumstances ranging from being in an impossibly hard situation to being presented point-blank with miraculous acts.
I think doubt is the wellspring of curiosity. So I welcome questions of doubt, because part of the gift of our human mind is our critical thought. However, I hope to encourage those who read to also embrace different ways of knowing. To trust what is experiential, even if it is only something they have personally experienced alone with no other confirmation beyond themselves. To trust what comes in dreams and the signs that are waiting for just a moment of our attention if we can peel ourselves away from our modern lives overflowing with distractions that fill our time at the speed of light in rapid unending succession.
With that, I’ll answer the question about whether I believe spirits, Gods, and more-than-human intelligence are real. To make this short: yes.
We’ve just made it much harder than necessary to have a relationship with the more-than-human world.