Animism (from Latin word anima “soul, life”) refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle. Animism encompasses the beliefs that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical (or material) worlds, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in all other animals, plants, rocks, natural phenomena such as thunder, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment. Animism is particularly widely found in the religions of indigenous peoples.

It is the most ancient form of Tibetan religion, which has known as “nameless religion by RA Stein, it is a type of animism based upon the worship of the elements and mountain deities. Incense offerings would be made to appease local mountain spirits, and “wind horse” “Lungta” in Tibetan prayer flags or cairns affixed on prominent passes to ensure good auspices. Solemn declarations of truth and oaths would be made in the presence of local deities, to invoke good fortune, and talismanic objects or places were revered as life-supporting forces. Enemies or hotile forces could then be overpowered by drawing in their life-supporting talisman in a ceremony know as “Lahguk”. The so-called religion of humans (Michoi in Tibetan) which evolved out of this early animism relied upon storytellers (Drungkhen in Tibetan) and singers of riddles or epic poems to provide an ethical framework for social behavior.