Fantasy Reviews - Fantasy Dragon - Fantasy Elves - Fantasy Fairies Review Writing RSS Feed Home

Spirits And Beings That Have Never Lived

Spirit Mask - with orange eyes, reddish brown feathers, golden horns and a happy smile.

Everyday people typically believe that a spirit is simply another word for ghosts (i.e. spirits of the dead). Even though this is true, there is another kind of spirit that folk often encounter: spirits that have never lived. These particular spirits can be viewed as collections of “like” energy (often with a conscience of their own). Both types can interact with humans (on both physical and physic planes).


In many religions, two families of spirit are (usually) accepted to exist as a matter of faith:

  • Angelic. Here we find spirits that are believed to look after us, the universe and the heavens.
  • Demonic. Here we find spirits that are believed to be especially malignant towards humanity – and many may actually want to harm us.

There are also other families/groups (which can be found throughout various cultures of the world):

Faun - half man, half goat, with grey fur, little red horns and a golden chalice in his hand.
  1. Dryad. These are believed to be the guardian spirits of woods and trees.
  2. Elemental. Here we find spirits associated with the elements: Air – Sylphs, Earth – Gnomes, Fire – Salamanders and Water – Undines. It is believed that these spirits can be extremely helpful (e.g. air spirits can help provide you with an abundance of wisdom – including the ability to learn/master new subjects).
  3. Encantado. These are believed to inhabit similar realms to angels (in Brazilian culture) – with one important difference: they actually possess individuals. They also have powers to perform a guardian angel role – or can behave like poltergeists.
  4. Familiar. These are believed to be helpers of various humans (including witches and magicians).
  5. Faun. These are believed to be the guardian spirits of animals (and are found in many a wood).
  6. Household. These are believed to dwell in peoples homes and often finish any tidying that has been leftover (whilst the household sleeps). They can also be viewed as guardians of the home and family.
  7. Object. Many believe that strong senses of pride (e.g.) will help manifest in a ships spirit – which can then take on a “will of its own”.
  8. Olympic. These are believed to be the appointed guardians of 196 different regions of the universe. They are also associated with the planets and weekdays – and can bestow various gifts upon you (such as long life and wisdom).
  9. Planetary. These are believed to represent the astrological and magical properties of the planets. Mars (e.g.) is associated with both Aries and Scorpio – and is believed to represent courage, determination and initiative (amongst others).
  10. Solomon. These are believed to have been entombed by King Solomon of Israel (possibly by use of his magic ring). Later released, they are associated with alchemy, art, astronomy, fortune telling, wisdom and various treasures (together with other skills). Despite this, confusion exists – because the rings main purpose was believed to be the ability to control demons.
  11. Trickster. These are believed to be responsible for all sorts of unexplainable mischief that humans encounter (such as loosing objects and becoming lost). They are also believed to be responsible for causing grief between various parties.
  12. Voodoo. Often “spidery” spirits – these are believed to dwell in the Caribbean. They can be associated with cannibalism, criminal-ism, deceit and war. Yet others act as guardians (particularly of entrances), healers and messengers.

It is worth remembering that spirits can be good or bad (even within the same families!). And even good spirits can misbehave – if they feel that your not treating them (or what they guard) correctly.

How are spirits created?

Flying Angel - with arms outstretched, dressed in blue, with pale purple wings.

There are several possibilities:

  1. Pre-existed. Here we find Angels (e.g.) that were created by God.
  2. Death. Here we find the souls of those that have died (and became “something else”).
  3. Coalescence. Here we find a collection of human thoughts/beliefs that have coalesced into "the real thing" (especially over time).
  4. Deliberately created. Here we find egregores/familiars that have been created by magicians to fulfill specific roles/tasks (on behalf of the magician). [Its possible for these to be created accidentally as well – where a stray thought yields unforeseen results].

Transcendence – Fallen Angels

Fallen Angel - dressed in red, with blue tinted wings, little white horns, a halberd in his arm.

It is believed that some spirits can change “what they are”. Perhaps the most dramatic example of this is that of the “Fallen Angels”. Here, it is believed that various angels fell from the grace of God for one of several reasons:

  • They wanted to experience the pleasures of mankind (e.g. physical pastimes – together with the divulging of hidden knowledge).
  • They wanted to “overthrow” God (perhaps because they saw themselves as more powerful).
  • They refused to bow down to mankind (in the way that God envisaged).

In any case, such angels now seem to have reverted from their original peaceful purpose(s) – and have become equated with demons. As such, they are believed to have an hierarchy of their own, which includes spirits such as:

  1. Satan. The prince of all his kin – whose main purpose is believed to be the temptation of mankind into sinfulness (whereby they will be damned to reside in hell). He is also believed to be the most powerful (since as an angel he was adorned with twice the amount of wings that other angels had).
  2. Lucifer. Easy to confuse with Satan – however it is believed that he was the angel equated with pride (which can be the downfall of many a person).
  3. Astaroth. He is associated with laziness – and is also believed to be a commander of various legions of demons.
  4. Abaddon. He is believed to be associated with destruction – and is the guardian of the “bottomless pit”.

In general, such angels are believed to have power over the “bad” side of humanity (such as greed).

Good Spirits

Good Spirit - a jolly Leprechaun, taking his hat off to you, with a pint in his hand.

Here are some examples:

  1. Clay Mother. Believed to be responsible for the art of pottery.
  2. Cluricaun. Believed to be responsible for the protection of wine cellars.
  3. Corn Mother. Believed to be responsible for the fertility of crops (especially wheat).
  4. Javerzaharses. Believed to be responsible for the various bridal preparations of persons who want to marry.
  5. Knockers. Believed to warn Cornish miners when a cave-in is imminent – and also help locate deposits of tin.
  6. Lazy Laurence. Believed to help protect the fruit of orchards – he chases would-be thieves away.

It is worth noting that many of these spirits could become annoying if you treat them badly (and thereby cause all manner of disturbances).

Bad Spirits

Bad Spirits - with alien faces, arriving on a wave, emitting from a portal.

Here are some examples:

  1. Cabyll-Ushtey. Believed to masquerade as an attractive human male – he entices people (and animals) to their doom by the water side.
  2. Davy Jones. Believed to lock the souls of those who drown at sea in his underwater prisons.
  3. Incubus/Succubus. Believed to be male/female spirits that mate with humans in the evening. They have powers which allow them to adopt the appearance of a persons partner; although they can also appear in a more demonic form (which is somewhat scarier!).
  4. Kelpie. Believed to haunt the highlands of Scotland – it usually masquerades as a horse, and lures people close to the water before devouring them.
  5. Lilith. Believed to be the original wife of Adam – she “fell” and became a demon which preys on children (including those that have not been born yet). She is also regarded as the queen of the Succubi (and as such, it is believed that she can appear as a very attractive woman).
  6. Lidėrc. Believed to be similar to an Incubus – however attacks occur on a more permanent basis. It masquerades as a wives deceased husband every night (where it gradually kills the wife by feeding off her grief).
  7. The Shock. Believed to hamper the efforts of travelers in various parts of England – it can appear in the form of a dog – where it proceeds to terrify individuals (especially late at night).


Jack Frost - in wintertime, dressed in green, blowing frost onto an orange leaf.

Spirits have been attributed with a great many attributes/roles throughout history – and one of the possible reasons for this is mans desire to explain the unexplainable. Now, even if much of this is “made up”; enough folk still tell local tales and adhere to old customs (even in the modern day) that it would appear that we've played right into coalescence spirit creation! Today, it is even possible that demons are responsible for various forms of depression and low self-esteem (particularly if such thoughts seem to come from nowhere). On a happier note, we can all sleep much happier tonight knowing that spirits like Father Christmas and Jack Frost will be carrying out their usual duties throughout the year.

Fantasy Reviews

Trollville, Monastery Swiftspear

Copyright © 2010 Victorian Hawk.

Images Copyright © 2012 Nebula Hawk Limited and its licensors. All rights reserved.