The very term animism was used by early anthropologists to conjure a more “primitive” world before the eyes of their readers. But there is another part to the conversation.
To be an animist means to understand that the worlds of both the spirit and the physical exist. The two can be experienced, side-by-side. This attitude is not a matter of religion, or belief. It becomes, in time, a matter of phenomenology, and eventually simple practicality.