Understanding how the spirits exist around us is a fundamental part of understanding the spirit world. With this understanding, you can also better understand the energy around you, as well as learn to work within balance with the spirits to achieve things that may have been either more difficult or less probable otherwise.
There are many different kinds of spirits. But in this article I will only be covering a few of the basic types that exist in close proximity to human beings on a common basis. The roles that these spirits play is very important in both daily life and any 'magical' or spiritual goals that you may have.
Watchers are the most basic sort of spirit that you will encounter. They are also very common, there are watchers everywhere. The role of a watcher spirit is to watch other spirits to make sure they they don't step out of the bounds of their positions or roles, as well as humans to an extent. They must report anything that occurs that would be of import to the structure of the spirit realm and also how that effects humanity. The purpose of their watching is not to spy as much as it is to maintain order by keeping a huge information network. Every spirit learns the role of 'Watcher' before learning other roles, as it is the duty of all spirits to keep a mindful eye on other spirits, humans- and report when necessary.
Sprites are spirits who have proven they they can fulfill the role of 'Watcher' and have been entrusted with some ability to effect the spirit realm (to a greater degree than Watchers) since their role is not just to watch. In some small ways they may also effect the physical realm. Good examples of Sprites effecting the physical realm include moving keys (as to cause them to be mysteriously misplaced) or other mischievous acts. This is not malicious, these spirits are practicing the use of newly-found ability, as well as amusing themselves with lighthearted fun. The role of Sprite is primarily used to get spirits accustomed to the freedoms provided with it.
Spirit Guides have fulfilled both the roles of 'Watcher' and 'Sprite'. These are also typically spirits who have been human and have learned everything they need to from living life- but not always. Only human spirits who have completed the need to reincarnate at all will be able to move on to this position- not the random dead of those who pass away. Humanity also outnumbers Guides, and as such Guides will often be assigned to more than one human being to make up for this. Some Guides are temporary and will only guide a human for a specific purpose, and once it is done they will move on. Others will stay to complete many purposes due to an affinity or familiarity with the human being guided. Sometimes, Guides may even be loved ones from past lives, who stopped needing to reincarnate and decided to guide a specific human (once they have fulfilled the previous two necessary roles) because of love for that human. Spirit Guides focus on humanity more than most other types of spirits. If you know your guide and can communicate, there is a lot of information, love, and support to be gained. Your Spirit Guide will 'nudge' you in the direction of making whatever decisions that will lead to a happier life for you. Your Spirit Guide is able to see the possibilities of where you may end up in the future, how happy you will be at that time, and what decisions will lead up to it. A Guide will also help you to achieve your personal goals by providing steps to get to what you desire. Spirit Guides may temporarily give up on a human being that does not listen to them (and leave to guide someone who does listen). Guides will also leave if you ask them too. If someone does not have a Spirit Guide, often it is because that person has done things that disgust the Guide, or that person does not listen to guidance provided.
Spirit Guardians protect both other spirits and human beings from several things. First of all, Guardians hold a great deal of power by comparison to all of the spirits that I have mentioned so far. Guardians are the types of spirits that may perform what is known as life-saving 'miracles' in the human world, when needed. A Guardian will only intervene in a human affair if something threatens the spiritual purpose of that human. Otherwise the Guardian will leave humans alone. There is typically a single Guardian per Principality. A Principality is a zone of spiritual control that is about as big as a large city. I will explain more on that further on. Despite there only being a single Guardian per each Principality, Guardians are still able to know where they need to be and when. There are also protections that can be afforded to a human if you are able to get in contact with a Spirit Guardian. If you ask, and provide a reason (they won't do things just for frivolity) then the Guardian will place a barrier around you in order to keep out malicious spirits. Most of us are already protected by both the laws of free will(more on that later) and our self-sustaining auras. However, even though malicious entities cannot harm humans through any normal means, they may still intimidate humans by creating a fearful presence nearby. This may inhibit a person's spiritual growth due to the emotions instilled. If you have this issue, it is an acceptable reason to request protection from a Guardian.
Principalities and Thrones
A Principality is a zone of energy and influence around an entity known as the Throne. Each Principality has its own spiritual focus, as well as differing types of energy and spirits based on the humans that live within the zone. Large cities are most commonly right by a Throne spirit, at the center of the Principality. This is because humans are drawn to the increase of energy created by the presence of the Throne. As I stated, different Principalities are filled with different kinds of energy which is based on the inhabitants- this energy gets stronger as you get nearer to the center, where the Throne is. For example, if there are many within a Principality who are filled with Pride in themselves, their city, etc- then the Throne spirit will receive some of this energy and will cause the energy of 'Pride' to become more prominent throughout the Principality. The energies prominent throughout the Principality will influence how people behave, how personalities evolve, etc. Also, the needs and concerns of the inhabitants of a Principality will go to the Throne- the majority of these will determine what energy the Throne spirit responds with. In this case, majority rules based on the amount of energy. Throne spirits exist high up in the sky, (not close to the ground), as well. Typically, the further out you travel from the location of a throne- the more countryside and sparse population you will see. At the very edge of a Principality the energies will start to mix with the energies of the adjacent Principality. This mixture of energies can result in positive, unique peoples in these areas, or it can can clash and have an opposite effect. It depends on the energies of each Principality. An example of the range of a Principality: there are two Principalities in the state of Texas, in the US. One Throne spirit hovers over the city of Dallas, the other hovers over the city of Houston. The Principalities from these stretches out evenly until reaching the border of the other Principality. That should help to provide a general idea of the size of a Principality.
Or, perhaps, 'The Councils'. There are many different councils that handle different issues and areas of the spirit realm. One example being that each spirit role that I have mentioned so far (other than Principalities and Thrones) has a Spirit Council that has spirits appointed from that role to handle any the concerns of spirits from that role with authority. Whereas most spirits must abide the laws of the spirit realm- if there is a concern, or if a spirit has reason to act outside of the normal law (such as the recently deceased wanting to give a loved one a message) they may go to the appropriate Spirit Council and request an audience. The Spirit Council will act in fairness to both the law and the spirit, and has the authority to give permission for a spirit to do something that might not normally be allowed if the Council finds it to be acceptable.
The Law of Free Will
This might also be thought of as the law of 'no human interference'. Basically, the spirits are not allowed to interfere with the lives of human beings unless certain requirements are met. If a spirit has a role given to it from a high source of spiritual authority then that spirit will be allowed to carry out its purpose even if it interferes with humans. However, keep in mind the law itself was created by spirits with authority, and as such they will keep the law in mind when making decisions. A spirit cannot cause any physical thing to occur in a person's life or directly interfere with a human being's body or spirit. If a human being communicates with a spirit then the spirit may rely on the level of ability that the human has to communicate with spirits acceptably. Certain spirits, like Guides and Guardians, may effect the lives of humans to a very limited degree when necessary. There are also some special spirits that may completely ignore the law of Free Will due to the purpose that they fulfill. (But this does not mean that they will, they still only do what is necessary to their purpose.) Also, if a human desires for a spirit to do something that is not part of that spirit's purpose- the spirit(if it wants to) may only do that thing if the human provides the energy. This is a part of that spirit not interfering with the human life under the law- because if the human causes the act then it is acceptable. A human may also ask a spirit to meet with the appropriate Spirit Council on their behalf to make a request that might go outside of this law if necessary. If a spirit breaks this law- all of the spirits in the area (and there are always lots) will report it. There are various punishments for this, usually including taking away that spirit's ability for a period of time entirely.
There are more kinds of spirits, but many go outside of the scope of this article so I will end here for now. Thank you for reading.