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Spirit and Soul

We often use the words Soul and Spirit interchangeably. But they are actually very different energies and understanding the distinction can help us connect with our non-material being more skilfully.

So what’s the difference?

The Soul

When we talk about ‘soul’ we know that it’s about the inner core and meaning of something, its essence. When people are being inauthentic and simply following the rules regardless of their impact on others, we call them ‘soul-less’. When something strikes us with deep authentic meaning we say it’s ‘soul-full’ or the the expression is ‘heart-felt’. This gives us a clue about what the Soul is and where it lives.

Our soul is our core being, our essential Self. This goes by many names including ‘Higher Self’, or simply ‘Self’ (as opposed to Ego). It is the eternal part of our being that has a connection with the Divine (or Source, or the One). It is the part of us that survives death and that many believe reincarnates through time in many bodies. So it is also deeply connected with our bodies, our physical selves. It is the life force that animates us, that has us grow and develop. It is also the ‘thing’ that people instinctively recognise has gone when they see the body of someone who has died. Most people with this experience say simply that the person they knew ‘is not there anymore – they’ve gone’.

Our souls live in our hearts and communicates through feeling and sensing. Soul honours the the sensual, the realm of time and is completely dedicated to our individual life paths. Soul calls us to fully incarnate in the material world, truly feeling both the joy and pain of being embodied in the physical and inviting us to ‘get down and dirty’. Traditionally Soul has been associated with the feminine, the feeling, the intuitive and the receiving aspects of life. The Moon.

The Spirit

Spirit is a different energy. If infuses the Cosmos (and us!) with consciousness. It is awareness and is vast, unchanging and associated with eternal oneness. It is crystal clear, full of purpose and is associated with The Light. Soul is concerned with embodiment whereas Spirit is concerned with transcendence. In our modern culture Soul is often cast aside in favour of the idea of transcendence and enlightenment. Always ascending, always striving towards the ‘upward sunny plains’, we can end up criticising ourselves (and others) when we get enmeshed in difficult and confusing feelings, can’t see the wood for the trees, make mistakes and act ‘badly’. We have become infatuated with Spirit, wanting to skip over the embodied part of the divine in our Soul straight into Spirit. We need Soul to ground us so that we don’t become like Icarus – flying too close to the Sun of Spirit and crashing to earth.


Ultimately Soul and Spirit complement and balance each other. Soul connects us to the sacred in our daily lives, infusing even the most routine and simple tasks with meaning and purpose bringing fulfilment. Spirit reminds us that ultimately it’s ‘all good’ and ‘it’s all One’ whilst staying detached from the day to day. The Soul loves the world and everything is has to offer including all the things we judge bad and wrong, in fact using these to help us realise our unique and personal Divinity.  By embodying the Soul we learn to play our own essential and unique role within the ‘All of It’ of consciousness.