A spirit house is a dedicated structure to honor the guardian spirits of the land. It is a place to tune into the present moment and pay respect to Mother Earth. Cultures around the world have had their own ways of connecting to the land since their early beginnings and different kinds of spirit houses can be found all over Asia. Thai spirit houses are a creative tradition that continues to evolve with modern lifestyles.
Thai people believe that nature is alive and can be communicated with. Nature has a potent power that can infuse itself in various concentrations into different objects such as trees, land, stones, mountains, houses, rivers, and rice. Each of these soul essences has their own purpose and level of intelligence. When a Thai enters the space of one of these spirits and uses their resources they believe the best way to honor the spirit is by giving them a symbolic place of their own, their own home. The spirit house becomes a focal point to cultivate a harmonious relationship with nature; offerings are made in exchange for abundance, protection and a connection to the source of creative potential.
In Thailand the ritual of honoring and maintaining a spirit house is a practice handed down from generation to generation on the family level, the village level, and the mass cultural level. It is a tradition that is formally preserved by Shaman-Brahman priests, but thrives because the people carry it on in. For the average Thai, the daily effort to honor a spirit house is as common as the ritual of having a morning coffee.
For more in depth information read Marisa’s article What is A Spirit House