[Wednesday] The Spirit Body

The spirit body, or energetic body, is a concept in many religious and spiritual traditions. I was vaguely introduced to it as a child by my mother and teachers, but it was not until I decided to pursue spiritual practice on my own that I really understood it.

When I began journeying and doing spirit work for the Four/Four Gods, it became clear that the Otherfaith would need its own concept of the spirit body. This was furthered hammered in when I underwent initiation by the spirits and further saw how they worked. Certainly, I’m not privy to everything the spirits are, and people will have different experiences with them. But for the Otherfaith, a solid, consistent structure to the spiritual body is important. What has been interesting is that a few people who have engaged with these spirits have told me they experienced similar spiritual sensations as I did – a good sign, I think!

The concepts I detail below are similar to other spirit bodies in other religious traditions. However, I do think they are uniquely Otherfaith, and I did not rip them from other traditions and instead worked to understand them through my own spirit work and readings.

The Other People’s spirit body is divided into three main parts. There is the lower, which includes the physical hips, legs, and feet; the middle includes the torso, arms, and neck; and the upper, the head.

The lower is called the ‘tail’. Its function is to ground us, to our physical world, and it can connect us to the otherworldly West1 as well. It can be visualized or perceived as any manner of tail – fluffy, devil-like, scaled, feathered. This energy begins in the lower back and extends out a center distance, depending the person. We consider the energetic tail to be usually wrapped around a person. The more you hang out in certain areas, the more energy from that space is tied up with your tail, deepening your connection to a space. Grounding techniques in the Otherfaith should not focus exclusively on the tail but the feet as well.

Some individuals may not visualize or perceive a tail. This is not unusual and, as I explain below, has spiritual implications. Grounding through the feet is the best option in such a case, and energetically there may be a stronger focus on the feet and legs.

The tail, like in physical creatures with tails, can also help our spiritual ‘balance’. Techniques involving visualizing or utilizing the tail to calm, center, and find peace will be important to develop.

The middle section are the ‘wings’. This is the most consistent part of the Other People’s spirit body. Wings originate between the spine and shoulder blades. Wings are some of the most notable elements of the Otherfaith spirits, and they hold specific meanings according to type (feathered, leathery, insect), color, and number of wings (there can be more than the usual two).

Wings are connected to emotional stability and health, as well as empathy and community. We conceptualize the wings as remaining close or wrapped around the body when we need self-care or protection or are feeling attacked. Wings can be furled out to touch others and offer comfort and energy, and, being energy, are not limited to a specific size. Wings are often tampered with by the gods and are seen as the ‘heart’ of the soul, the strongest place from which to do spirit and energy work.

The upper part of the spirit body is the ‘crown’. From my understanding, it is only vaguely established in most people. The more religious or spiritual work one engages in, the more the energetic crown takes form. Its form is intimately shaped by the gods and spirits one works with. It can become star-filled or seem like a wheel of flames, and horns are a likely possibility for many people who have an established crown. Flowers are a possibility as well. Crowns are typically tied to spiritual power among the spirits.

Everything from the color to the texture of the energy to the presence or lack thereof of these spiritual sections means something. Devil tails are tied to the Laetha, whereas furry ones are more often connected to the Clarene. Crowns of stars or clouds often show Dieric (Dierne) influence. Those who have devotional relationships with the Laetha may find three wings instead of two, where Ophealic (Ophelia) devotees may feel insectoid ones.

Each of these has a use in Otherfaith spirit and energetic work. I encourage people to offer their ideas about this and help us build the faith!

1. [I will frequently use ‘the West’ to refer to our otherworld, as it is far quicker to write out and say.]


Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

About

Aine “Annie” Llewellyn is a 20-something girl-creature and devotional polytheist living in Tucson, AZ. She maintains and writes for ‘of the Other People’ and is the main spokesperson of the Otherfaith.

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5 comments on “[Wednesday] The Spirit Body
  1. Rosaline says:

    Spirit body anatomy in 3 sections( lower associated with instinct,sexuality, and roots, middle heart sections and a upper head section in specifics) is a concept i encountered in my practice too… And i remember reading something about it in at least another blog. I might add that crowns of flowers as you describe then are quite the norm for the faery Hounds i worked with( wings too, although i noticed that female s tend to favour dragon-like ones and males usually go for feathers of unusual colors).
    (They work in my mythology as The Traveler court and pack- i saw they are mentioned in the otherfaith myths once, and i am curious to see if it ever happens that they pop up again)
    Though….. One personal issue i had for the long est time in the contenxt of my spirit work is that eventually my own energy body did start to take a rather different appeareance than the this-world-version. I first though of it as a mental projection of certain initiatory changes… it did take quite some time ( and a stubborn series of failures in keeping ‘my real looks’ up for long when moving Elsewhere) to accept maybe those changes were a real structure somehow…. So this read was much apprecciated from my lurking self!

    • Aine says:

      I’m so glad to hear that! I would love to get into how these can affect us and show us the changes we are going through…and also impact our work with the spirits. I find it awkward to declare ‘this is how it is‘, but that the same time, I think it’s valuable to put forth my experience, and I’m very glad to hear that there were connections and relevant information.

  2. Rosaline says:

    ” I would love to get into how these can affect us and show us the changes we are going through…and also impact our work with the spirits.”
    That would be very interesting! Although i suspect that ideally with this kind of spirits, the variability of the experience is heavily dependent on what the deity/spirit involved considers a necessary/valuable trait. I think i recall reading your account of how initiation by the Laetha required an heart-removal for you? For me it was quite the opposite as my Lady has a fondness for giving out ‘ hearts of water’ that go with increased emphaty ( i remember for weeks after, i would get moved and weep, happy or sad tears, every time i stumbled into a movie with intense scenes). On long term, i think it helped to just connect more with other living things emotionally, which it was also useful to remove other roadblocks in my work, that at the time consisted of relieve myself of the ‘illusion’ my capacity for sentience was per se larger than … The one my house plants had. Archieving a state of genuine reverence for life in all ita forms has been a core part of my initiatic path with the Traveler since the beginning … Having an heart full of water smoothed the road lots.

    On another point, i noticed seemingly non-spiritual but traumatic every-day-life experiences -or the handling of certain types of energy in magical ritual- can affect the spiritbody as a disease, a wound, or a scar.

  3. […] post about the spirit body has been on my mind a lot lately. Similar to how dance is useful to me as a meditative technique, […]

  4. […] your spirit body through meditation or […]

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About the Faith
The Otherfaith is a modern polytheistic religion. We are urban-centric, technology-loving, and always keep our eyes to the future. We were born from the modern Pagan and polytheist movements, and from them we have grown and become new, modern, evolving - a new faith. In 2015, we go into this our fifth year and seek to create more solid practices and structures for the faith.
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