The best animism books

1 authors have picked their favorite books about animism and why they recommend each book.

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The Secret Life of Plants

By Peter Tompkins, Christopher Bird,

Book cover of The Secret Life of Plants

For those that need proof that plants are sentient beings and have intelligent spirits, this book contains many different scientific experiments with plants that will leave you in no doubt. 


Who am I?

Following a herbal and homeopathic pathway for 20 years has taken me on many insightful and inspiring tangents. One of those being the passion to commune with nature spirits and learn directly from herbs.  This practice has led me on many a fine adventure (one of which Wild Flower Walker contains) and continues to be a rich source of teachings and growth. I have been teaching these practices for the last 11 years and offer courses in Shamanic Herbalism; Herbal Alchemy; & Plant Spirit Communication. These books have been treasures and catalysts for me and I hope they will open your heart further to the rich world of nature spirits.


I wrote...

Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track

By Heidi Wedd,

Book cover of Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track

What is my book about?

It sounded like heaven! A 967km walking track traversing nature reserves in Western Australia. To wander alone through a beauty-filled, wildflower-abundant, and varied landscape of forest, plains, and ocean. Imagine the bliss of walking for weeks on end, deepening into the silence, communing with the nature spirits - a pilgrimage into the heart of nature.  

But dreams are never quite like reality.  Yet even with endurance challenges, freezing conditions, food shortages, plenty of snakes, and a few pairs of walking boots, the indescribable beauty and magic of the heart’s path shines through. Sprinkled with communications with the nature spirits, this is the story of a gentle reweaving and reconnection of a woman within the tapestry of Nature itself.

World Hypotheses

By Stephen C. Pepper,

Book cover of World Hypotheses: A Study in Evidence

Stephen Pepper’s central insight is that philosophical systems cluster around a few core models, or "world hypotheses," drawn from common sense. He ignores details and personalities, and uses very little quotes and citations. Instead, he presents the central tenets of each world view using his own terms. His style permits an understanding of the grand scheme of philosophy, abstracted from the details of particular positions. The book is like a series of colored spotlights cast on a complicated scene. Irrelevant details of various philosophical positions disappear like so many shades of blue under a blue spotlight. Fundamental differences leap out, now from one angle, now from another.


Who am I?

Steven C. Hayes is Nevada Foundation Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada. An author of 47 books and nearly 675 scientific articles. He is the developer of Relational Frame Theory, and has guided its extension to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) a popular evidence-based form of psychotherapy that is now practiced by tens of thousands of clinicians all around the world.


I wrote...

A Liberated Mind: The essential guide to ACT

By Steven C. Hayes,

Book cover of A Liberated Mind: The essential guide to ACT

What is my book about?

Over the last 35 years, Steven C. Hayes and his colleagues have developed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with many hundreds of studies supporting the impact of his approach on everything from chronic pain to weight loss to prejudice and bigotry.

A Liberated Mind is the summary of Steven's life's work which will teach readers how to live better, happier, and more fulfilled lives by applying the six key processes of ACT. Put together these processes teach us to pivot: to "defuse" rather than fuse with our thoughts; to see life from a new perspective; and to discover our chosen values, those qualities of being that fuel meaning. Steve shares fascinating research results like how ACT techniques decreased typing errors on a clerical test or showed that positive affirmations actually increase negative emotion. And he weaves them with stories of clients and colleagues as well as his own riveting story of healing himself of a severe panic disorder, which is how the idea of psychological flexibility was born.

Encounters with Pan and the Elemental Kingdom

By R. Ogilvie Crombie,

Book cover of Encounters with Pan and the Elemental Kingdom

A true-life fairy tale in the 1960s of a man whose childhood dream of meeting the fairies was finally realised in his 60's. It is an engaging read as well as packed with information gleaned through Roc's experiences meeting Pan, the spirit of Nature.  A must-read for anyone willing to learn more from the nature spirits themselves. 


Who am I?

Following a herbal and homeopathic pathway for 20 years has taken me on many insightful and inspiring tangents. One of those being the passion to commune with nature spirits and learn directly from herbs.  This practice has led me on many a fine adventure (one of which Wild Flower Walker contains) and continues to be a rich source of teachings and growth. I have been teaching these practices for the last 11 years and offer courses in Shamanic Herbalism; Herbal Alchemy; & Plant Spirit Communication. These books have been treasures and catalysts for me and I hope they will open your heart further to the rich world of nature spirits.


I wrote...

Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track

By Heidi Wedd,

Book cover of Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track

What is my book about?

It sounded like heaven! A 967km walking track traversing nature reserves in Western Australia. To wander alone through a beauty-filled, wildflower-abundant, and varied landscape of forest, plains, and ocean. Imagine the bliss of walking for weeks on end, deepening into the silence, communing with the nature spirits - a pilgrimage into the heart of nature.  

But dreams are never quite like reality.  Yet even with endurance challenges, freezing conditions, food shortages, plenty of snakes, and a few pairs of walking boots, the indescribable beauty and magic of the heart’s path shines through. Sprinkled with communications with the nature spirits, this is the story of a gentle reweaving and reconnection of a woman within the tapestry of Nature itself.

Plants as Persons

By Matthew Hall,

Book cover of Plants as Persons: A Philosophical Botany

Matthew Hall’s book offers a good formulation of the problem—Western philosophy has treated plants as things, not as living beings—and a nice overview of alternative (non-Western and, above all, Indigenous) approaches to plants that do not fall into the same trap. I have on many occasions vehemently disagreed with Hall’s recommendations that we should treat plants as persons, not least because of the problematic (and, ironically, very Western) heritage of personhood. But it is a wonderful entry point into the topic of plants and philosophy.


Who am I?

For fifteen years now, I have been exploring the seemingly strange connection between plants and philosophy. The unexpected twists and turns of this theme have taken me to forests and gardens, to collaborations with plant artists and plant scientists, to ancient thought and twenty-first-century experimental design. Once you get over the initial surprise (What can philosophy tell us about plants?), you will be in for the exhilarating ride that is vegetal philosophy, finding plant heritage in human thought, politics, and society; witnessing traditional hierarchies and systems of classification crumble into dust; and discovering the amazing capacities of plants that testify to one important insight—plants are smarter than you think! 


I wrote...

The Philosopher's Plant: An Intellectual Herbarium

By Michael Marder, Mathilde Roussel (illustrator),

Book cover of The Philosopher's Plant: An Intellectual Herbarium

What is my book about?

Despite their conceptual allergy to vegetal life, philosophers have used germination, growth, blossoming, fruition, reproduction, and decay as illustrations of abstract concepts; mentioned plants in passing as the natural backdrops for dialogues, letters, and other compositions; spun elaborate allegories out of flowers, trees, and even grass; and recommended appropriate medicinal, dietary, and aesthetic approaches to select species of plants.

In this book, Michael Marder illuminates the vegetal centerpieces and hidden kernels that have powered theoretical discourse for centuries. Choosing twelve botanical specimens that correspond to twelve significant philosophers, he recasts the development of philosophy through the evolution of human and plant relations. A philosophical history for the post-metaphysical age, The Philosopher's Plant reclaims the organic heritage of human thought.

Six Ways

By Aidan Wachter,

Book cover of Six Ways: Approaches & Entries for Practical Magic

The title of this book says it all. It is about effective, practical magic with an emphasis on manifestation. Six ways an incantation that is as simple as it is powerful. The book goes into detail about different styles of magic that are available for readers who want to learn more about sorcery, witchcraft, chaos magic, and spirit work. I like this book because it takes one deep into the inner world of magic that exists within the recesses of the mind, opening up the practitioner to spiritual possibilities that have the goal of improving the self. Techniques such as meditation, trance, spiritual cleansing, and dreams are dealt with in an easy and straightforward way.

Who am I?

I have been studying American styles of magic for more than 30 years. Having received a Ph.D. in Religious Studies, I have explored the idea of magic as a natural counterpart to both religious thought and scientific theory. After teaching courses on this subject to college undergraduates, I recommend these books based on what I have found to be the favorites of students and peers as the most accessible, enjoyable, and practical sources for beginners.


I wrote...

Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition

By Yvonne Patricia Chireau,

Book cover of Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition

What is my book about?

Black Magic looks at the origins, meaning, and uses of Conjure―the African American tradition of healing and harming that evolved from African, European, and American elements―from the slavery period to well into the twentieth century.

Illuminating a world that is dimly understood by both scholars and the general public, Yvonne P. Chireau describes Conjure and other related traditions, such as Hoodoo and Rootworking, in a beautifully written, richly detailed history that presents the voices and experiences of African Americans and shows how magic has informed their culture. Focusing on the relationship between Conjure and Christianity, Chireau shows how these seemingly contradictory traditions have worked together in a complex and complementary fashion to provide spiritual empowerment for African Americans, both slave and free, living in white America.

The Findhorn Garden

By The Findhorn Community,

Book cover of The Findhorn Garden: Pioneering a New Vision of Man and Nature in Cooperation

Any reading on nature spirits has to include a book or two from the Findhorn community or Dorothy Maclean - one of its founders and plant spirit communicator. I recommend this one as it contains not only insights from many plant devas and landscape devas, but a broad overview of the formation of the Findhorn Community itself - which occurred in direct communication and cocreation with the plant devas themselves. A fascinating and eye-opening read. 


Who am I?

Following a herbal and homeopathic pathway for 20 years has taken me on many insightful and inspiring tangents. One of those being the passion to commune with nature spirits and learn directly from herbs.  This practice has led me on many a fine adventure (one of which Wild Flower Walker contains) and continues to be a rich source of teachings and growth. I have been teaching these practices for the last 11 years and offer courses in Shamanic Herbalism; Herbal Alchemy; & Plant Spirit Communication. These books have been treasures and catalysts for me and I hope they will open your heart further to the rich world of nature spirits.


I wrote...

Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track

By Heidi Wedd,

Book cover of Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track

What is my book about?

It sounded like heaven! A 967km walking track traversing nature reserves in Western Australia. To wander alone through a beauty-filled, wildflower-abundant, and varied landscape of forest, plains, and ocean. Imagine the bliss of walking for weeks on end, deepening into the silence, communing with the nature spirits - a pilgrimage into the heart of nature.  

But dreams are never quite like reality.  Yet even with endurance challenges, freezing conditions, food shortages, plenty of snakes, and a few pairs of walking boots, the indescribable beauty and magic of the heart’s path shines through. Sprinkled with communications with the nature spirits, this is the story of a gentle reweaving and reconnection of a woman within the tapestry of Nature itself.

Plant Spirit Medicine

By Eliot Cowan,

Book cover of Plant Spirit Medicine: A Journey Into the Healing Wisdom of Plants

I read this book back in the late '90s when I was just beginning to study herbalism (with a teacher very aligned with plant spirit wisdom). It was a highly significant book in expanding my version of what herbalism can be when practiced in union and cocreation with plants. When I flick back through it now, I see so many aspects of my current shamanic herbalism practice reflected back at me and realise how formative it was to my learning. Highly recommended.  


Who am I?

Following a herbal and homeopathic pathway for 20 years has taken me on many insightful and inspiring tangents. One of those being the passion to commune with nature spirits and learn directly from herbs.  This practice has led me on many a fine adventure (one of which Wild Flower Walker contains) and continues to be a rich source of teachings and growth. I have been teaching these practices for the last 11 years and offer courses in Shamanic Herbalism; Herbal Alchemy; & Plant Spirit Communication. These books have been treasures and catalysts for me and I hope they will open your heart further to the rich world of nature spirits.


I wrote...

Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track

By Heidi Wedd,

Book cover of Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track

What is my book about?

It sounded like heaven! A 967km walking track traversing nature reserves in Western Australia. To wander alone through a beauty-filled, wildflower-abundant, and varied landscape of forest, plains, and ocean. Imagine the bliss of walking for weeks on end, deepening into the silence, communing with the nature spirits - a pilgrimage into the heart of nature.  

But dreams are never quite like reality.  Yet even with endurance challenges, freezing conditions, food shortages, plenty of snakes, and a few pairs of walking boots, the indescribable beauty and magic of the heart’s path shines through. Sprinkled with communications with the nature spirits, this is the story of a gentle reweaving and reconnection of a woman within the tapestry of Nature itself.

Anastasia (The Ringing Cedars, Book 1)

By Vladimir Megre,

Book cover of Anastasia (The Ringing Cedars, Book 1)

A fascinating series with many insights and inspirations for how to live more deeply aligned and in co-creation with nature. While the writing doesn't flow particularly well, the content and magic that is carried within have a palpable effect. It is worth the journey and will leave you inspired to connect in broader and deeper ways. 


Who am I?

Following a herbal and homeopathic pathway for 20 years has taken me on many insightful and inspiring tangents. One of those being the passion to commune with nature spirits and learn directly from herbs.  This practice has led me on many a fine adventure (one of which Wild Flower Walker contains) and continues to be a rich source of teachings and growth. I have been teaching these practices for the last 11 years and offer courses in Shamanic Herbalism; Herbal Alchemy; & Plant Spirit Communication. These books have been treasures and catalysts for me and I hope they will open your heart further to the rich world of nature spirits.


I wrote...

Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track

By Heidi Wedd,

Book cover of Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track

What is my book about?

It sounded like heaven! A 967km walking track traversing nature reserves in Western Australia. To wander alone through a beauty-filled, wildflower-abundant, and varied landscape of forest, plains, and ocean. Imagine the bliss of walking for weeks on end, deepening into the silence, communing with the nature spirits - a pilgrimage into the heart of nature.  

But dreams are never quite like reality.  Yet even with endurance challenges, freezing conditions, food shortages, plenty of snakes, and a few pairs of walking boots, the indescribable beauty and magic of the heart’s path shines through. Sprinkled with communications with the nature spirits, this is the story of a gentle reweaving and reconnection of a woman within the tapestry of Nature itself.

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