Spirits may appear in many forms, or manifestations. While some spirits have unlimited forms, most possess very specific manifestations, which have been catalogued over the ages. Some appear in only a few forms; others, renowned shape-shifters like Freya or Proteus, appear in many guises. If a spirit wishes to be recognized, it will manifest in a familiar form. If you call upon a spirit, familiarize yourself with its popular manifestations so that you may recognize a visitation or response to your request.
Manifestations may indicate mood: some spirits have happy guises or fierce faces, but it is important to recall that, regardless of a spirit’s outward appearance, its inner essence remains true and consistent. Thus Hekate is Hekate, regardless of whether she appears as a young woman, old crone, or dog, in the same manner that you are you, regardless of whether you dress in red, purple, or black, regardless of whether you color your hair or drastically change your appearance via plastic surgery.
The Hawaiian language has a specific word for the physical forms assumed by spirits: kinolau. Thus, the Hawaiian spirit Ku may manifest as a man, breadfruit, or caterpillar. These forms are among his kinolau. Maile vines and lama trees are among the kinolau of Laka, beautiful, graceful spirit of hula.