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Animism

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Animism teaches that all creatures and some objects have souls or spirits. Orcs and tauren believe that plant-spirits, nature-spirits and earth-spirits exist, and that everyone must treat these spirits with respect.

One who denies the reality of nature spirits severs her connection with the earth. She becomes lost and confused, spiritually adrift in the world. The return to animism inspired revolutionary thoughts among some orcs. For centuries orcs lived as base creatures, destructive and bloodthirsty. The civilized races of the Alliance looked down on the orcs, believing them primitive and savage. Now the orcs compare their new traditions with those of the Alliance and judge themselves spiritually superior. It is now the Alliance that seems primitive and uncivilized to the orcs; the Alliance holds fast to their complicated and sterile philosophies and denies the simple, vital truth of animism. Some orcs sneer at the Alliance, some pity them, and some care nothing for this dichotomy. Tauren practice animism by revering a spirit they call the Earth Mother. The Earth Mother represents all the animistic forces of nature. River-spirits, sea-spirits, tree-spirits, rock-spirits and animal spirits all reflect one facet of the Earth Mother. Orcs have a less organized philosophy; they see all spirits as individuals connected in a greater whole, like members of a great clan.

Some scholars view voodoo as a type of animism, and to an extent that theory is true. The trolls' religion of voodoo takes a decidedly different bent than the shamanistic beliefs of the orcs and tauren, though.[1]

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