Ecclesia Ordinis Caelestis Templum Olympicus/Celestial Order and Temple of Olympus

What is Spirit?

by Lady Bella Sundancer


What is spirit? Spirit is a term that is heard often in magical and religious contexts. People are said to have lives rich in spirit or to have good spirits or to be deeply spiritual. Often it is assumed that we automatically know what it means. We usually have no more to go by than it is a nebulous, aethereal substance and or being. At best we acknowledge that it is a part of ourselves and somehow we are meant to be in touch with or develop our spirit. I would like to give an explanation of this mysterious subject in such a way that we will know exactly what spirit is and what role it plays in our lives.

In magical contexts spirit is either described as something that is a part of us, sort of like an invisible part of the body that nonetheless has great import over our satisfaction and experience of life, or as a thing that exists outside ourselves, like a great swirling mass of energy that universally represents all spirit. Both of these are useful in the interpretation and use of spirit. For practical purposes it does not matter whether we see spirit as within or without us or both. What is important is that we are in touch with spirit.

So, then, what is spirit? Spirit is the lens with which we view the world. It is our perception of everything that is around us and colours all our views, opinions, and motivations. This is not to say that spirit is only what we see, it is more than that. Spirit is how we see ourselves in relation to everything that is and how we feel things should unfold because of that, whether this is in regard to our own development, or what comes at us in life. If your spirit is weak then you are likely to see most things in a negative view. If your spirit is strong, you are able to see how you fit into the big picture and no matter what happens you will be fine. If you have a very narrow view of life, this is likely because you haven’t developed your spirit much and are not aware of how vast things can be. Likewise, if you have a very broad view of life then everything is sacred for you. Others can easily relate to each other spiritually based on how they see the world, on how wide their lenses are set. One could see this lens as having a certain colour of its own as well, and that sometimes you connect immediately with others’ spirit because you recognise that colour, even if you are on different paths. Perhaps you have or have had in the past a similar view of the Universe.

Our spirit is our connection to the Ancients, our ancestors, as well. Those who came before us have traveled similar paths and someone somewhere in the past saw things very like how you may see things today. We can relate to our ancestors in this way by being in touch with our own spirit and thus seeing how they saw things. If you follow a reconstructionist path this can be especially useful. Our spiritual evolution is in our own hands and if we adjust the way we see things spiritually then the path in front of us can become much clearer and how everyone’s paths intersect ours becomes plain.

Whether someone is an enemy or a friend we can relate to them spiritually. We are all as threads in a huge tapestry weaving together one moment then apart the next from one life to the next. When we take a moment to adjust our lens, so to speak, suddenly the small annoyances aren’t as important and we can rest in the vast silence of the Divine.