Well, you can start by asking yourself if there’s a word for it. If a thing has a word, it has an identity, and thus, it is a spirit. So think of some words: Ren, Hand, Car, Tree, Moon…Music, Rage, Freedom. Living things: Ivy, Horses, Jellyfish. Otherworldly things: the Ancestors, Faeries, Angels.
Even if you don’t currently believe in those otherworldly sorts of things, you know the word “Angel”, don’t you? You’ve heard it before? Then, Angel exists as a spirit. It’s more a matter of what kind of spirit it is, not whether it is a spirit.
Some folks say angels are spirits with wings and trumpets and much brimstone that live in the high, holy Other. Some folks say angels are an idea that mankind invented to explain certain phenomena.
Using the definition of Spirit as Identity, then note that even if you believe something is just an idea of man--ideas are spirits. You can interact with an idea, converse with an idea. Are ideas not powerful? Do they not shape the world? Do they not live and die?
I find that folks often hold to their beliefs or skepticism when there is some truth in it. The illusion is that just because one thing is true, that another thing can't also be true.
More often, in matters like Angels, it’s a dash of column A and a pinch of column B. (Cause columns are like spices?) Angels are spirits that are so high and Wholly Other, that mankind had to invent an idea of wings and trumpets and brimstone as an interface to interact with and explain their powerful encounters.
So, if mankind can invent an idea... Is that like a spirit giving birth to another spirit?
Spirits give birth to other spirits! If I get married, my marriage becomes a spirit. If I have a child, that child is definitely a spirit. If I write a book about my family, that book is a spirit. There are spirits emerging from spirits, and there are the spirits from which we emerged.
There is the spirit of Ren, the spirit of Ren’s father, the spirit of Ren’s family tree, the spirit of humanity. Can you identify it? Could you call Ren out of the stream of all Humanity as a unique person? Could you call Humanity out of the stream of all Earth-life as a unique species? If you can tease a part out of the whole, that part is a spirit.
My liver is part of me. And my spleen and my heart. Each is both part of me and yet unique from each other. My heart is a spirit.
But how do I know my heart exists? It is not on the surface--I cannot see it! So it is with spiritwork, that we seek to become those who can see and feel and listen through, who can see the heart under the ribs, the tears behind the eyes, the spirits inside of spirits.
So next we ask: How are we able to perceive Spirit?