The term ‘Animism’ is used in Anthropology and Religious Studies to distinguish religious systems in various cultures.

Animism refers to the belief, found among some cultures, that nature is animated with spirit (i.e., alive). The nature of animistic spirits varies from culture to culture but is usually associated with natural objects such as rivers, trees, mountains, fire, etc.

Animism is usually distinguished from polytheism in that the animating spirit, or spirits, is not personified.