When people think of animism, they generally think of people worshiping the spirits of springs, trees, and mountains. Most animists think the same way. For many who live in cities, this means they often feel isolated from the natural, more spiritual world. However, there are plenty of urban spirits one can propitiate and honor.

One of the mane spirits that gets overlooked is the spirit of the city itself. Just as every stone and river has a spirit, every village, town, and city has its own inherent spirit. The Romans honored their city-spirit as Roma Dea, the goddess Rome, and regarded Her as a protector and bringer of prosperity to their entire empire. Urban animists should at least try to become aquainted with the city-spirit of the place they live. City-spirits are all unique, and have their own likes and dislikes just like people. In my experience, you can figure out their likes and dislikes by meditating on local folklore, or even just asking them to show you what they like.

I live near Memphis, and from time to time work with the spirit of that city. Memphis is definitely a male spirit. As offerings, He likes beer, good pork barbecue, and Blues or Rap played just for Him. This is just an example for personal experiece, and odds are the city-spirit of your town or city will be very different.
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2 Responses Nov 25, 2012


Absolutely! The genius loci is an important concept to urban animists, and it's different in each neighborhood as well as being distinct to a city or town. There's also the Roman concept of the lares to take into account if you want to add to your practice but don't live in the country.