Animism is the belief that all things whether animal, mineral, or vegetable have a soul or spirit energy of their own. These spirits are believed to be connected and interact with one another.
In Yuriban belief all of these spirits are feminine. Yuriban animism combines the somewhat contradictory views that the overall spirit and energy of each seperate 'being' is a portion of the universal energy but that at the same time there is some amount of essence to each being that is unique. This unique essence could be considered the "soul"; followers of the Yuriban goddesses believe that this essence is reincarnated. Furthermore, it is believed that each individual soul moves in an ever expanding spiral pattern as it lives, dies, and is reborn.
To the Yuribans, the nature of deity is not explictly explained. There are two known schools of thought among native scholars. One belives that the deities are actually souls that have traveled so far on the spiral that they transcend normal lives and surpass standard understanding, in effect ascending to deityhood. The other philosophy considers the deities to be accumulations of divine spirit, rather than singular entities. (In this viewpoint, The Lady would best be considered the totality of all spirit.)
Despite their differences, both groups do agree that all life and the earth itself have a right to be respected and to be treated with dignity; one because any soul may in time become divine, the other because all souls are already an aspect of the divine. Those beings capable of complex thoughts have a duty of stewardship over the world they live in – to be responsible, to compensate for what they must take for their own use, and to not damage or destroy that which they rely on for their own life. Followers of Yuriban animism are required to preserve the island and see to it that the land remains healthy and happy.
Some foreign scholars believe that this viewpoint owes as much to practicality as it does to religion, as the limited resources of a small island like Yuriba require careful balancing to ensure the land remains liveable over the long term.
Animism and Magic in Yuriba
Many local magic practicioners, including the druidic followers of the goddesses believe that animistic energy is the source of magic. This energy, produced by all things, but especially living beings, is slowly shed with time. After being shed, it collects in small rivulets that join together until they become ley lines and nodes of energy. These collections of energy are then tapped by magic users and used to create magical effects.