Spiritism is probably the most complex Origin on Geoza, but may be the most flexible and potentially powerful Origin.  Spiritism should not be confused with the Spirit Dominion - the Spirit Dominion applies to all Origins.  Spiritism is a distinct Origin, to which all Archetypes and Dominions apply.

{An example of using Spirit in a game situation can be found here.}

Spiritism is based on Charisma: the adept's ability to project his force of will to summon entities in the Spirit Realm and persuade, bargain with, or coerce them into doing his bidding.  Spirit Omnessence is Restricted, since the adept must somehow get the cooperation of a spirit entity that is capable of achieving the effect desired. A spiritist accesses Spirit Omnessence by gaining that cooperation with Meditation and Charisma trials to contact the spirit world and access the desired spirit.  The difficulties of the trials vary based upon the spirit contacted. This projection of will can fatigue the mage.  The time needed to summon a spirit varies based upon the relative power of the spirit, and may be modified by situation, location, or other factors.
A spiritist may choose to use these services immediately, or she may bind the spirit for a future service.  Binding a spirit reduces its effectiveness, however.  The Archetype and Dominion ratings of the spirit are reduced by one each when bound.  This is the Spiritism equivalent to the Imbedding Temper Aspect.
Spirit paradigms are prepared by stating the desired effect, then making a communication trial  - Charisma (Presence) - to explain what the Spirit should do. Use of clarifying gestures may assist in explaining the spiritist's intent, thus reducing the difficulty (which is the Material Comprehension of the spirit).  Spirits may understand some concepts more easily than others. Such preparation can be interrupted, but the time of the interruption will be added to the total time needed to prepare the paradigm.  This step may be cut short or skipped entirely (Mythguide call) if the spirit is sufficiently familiar with the situation and what is expected (it has done the same effect several times before for this adept, etc.) Spiritists who have Spirit Guides or Allies may generally skip this Trial, since their link with that spirit allows them better communication with the spirit world. If this trial is skipped, preparation requires the full time - in order to reduce that time, a trial must be used.
The spiritist is the key to the Effects Trial because spirits cannot easily affect (or even sense) the material world without a medium of some kind.   There are many types of mediums, but for the purposes of Spiritism, the adept fulfills that requirement: it is his will and vision (and communication of that vision to the spirit) that acts as a focus and channel for the spirit to create the effect.   Spirit is a Dynamic Origin, and the effects ultimately derive from a combination of the spiritist's will and the spirit's understanding of that intent.  As such, a failed communication trial can result in a misunderstanding on the part of the spirit, and an effect other than that which was desired; this usually happens with disastrous failures, etc.


Societal Attitudes toward Spiritism

Attitudes and philosophies toward spiritism vary from culture to culture.  Some cultures embrace spiritism as a natural expression of their beliefs.  Others shun it, fearing its potential for harm and rejecting its potential benefits.  Most cultures neither embrace it nor reject it outright, but lack a complete understanding of the material and spiritual duality of Geoza.
Of the human cultures that embrace spiritism (or shamanism, as it is also known), most are tribal, and often incorporate elements of animism or ancestor worship into their beliefs.   Human cultures that remained more or less independent of Aezjarean or Hssuga influences seem to have the most consistent positive attitudes toward spiritism.   Most human cultures that were strongly influenced by Hssuga dominion tend to the other extreme, rejecting spiritism and shunning those with any ties to the spirit realms (including psychics with such abilities, and the use of other Origins to summon or deal with spiritual entities).  Human societies that were heavily influenced by Aezjarean culture often approach spiritism with reservations as well, although perhaps not to the same degree.
The following listing summarizes some common attitudes toward spiritism among several human cultures:
Culture Attitude / Philosophy
Staka The tribal Staka culture embraces shamanism as its central belief system.  Although Staka do not practice ancestor worship, Staka shamans possess a depth of ancestral knowledge unmatched by the other cultures in the Riverlands region.  Staka beliefs are intensely animistic, and most Staka, even those without any Sensitivity, are attuned to the spiritual variances in the world.  The Sensitivity aspect is very common among those of the Staka heritage group.
Mylharra Mylharran philosophy toward spiritism is based on the religious doctrine of Tar'nah, the Mylharran deity of spiritism.  Tar'nah doctrine states that spiritism is reserved to his priests and appointed followers only, and that to practice such magic without his blessing is a great sin.  Thus, although the religious practitioners of spiritism are quite talented, spiritism is not generally understood by the vast majority of Mylharrans.
The same is not true for the Wishu ethnic group within Mylharran culture.  Wishu are a Cheyhro racial group, related to the Staka tribes of the Pelou region, and there remains a strong animistic tradition within traditional Wishu culture, that has not been supplanted by Mylharran religious beliefs.
Daenj Daenji attitudes toward spiritism have their roots in the years of anarchy following the human uprisings of the previous millennia.  Although Daenji culture in general incorporates many aspects of Hssuga philosophy and attitudes, it does not accept the practice of spiritism.  For the Daenji, spiritism represents a long litany of evils perpetrated by vicious and ruthless spiritists throughout their early history.  To practice spiritism is tantamount to practicing necromancy in their eyes.  Similar taboos exist against the use of psychic abilities to contact spirits.
Ixtas Itasu culture generally accepts the practice of spiritism as one of many forms of magic, none of which are inherently good or evil.  It should be noted, however, that similar views are generally held for necromancy as well.
Merochas Spiritism is practiced in Merochas, but is not held in any great esteem.  This is partially due to the generally high regard paid to sorcery, but also because of the proximity of the Wastes.
Merochasans are a superstitious people, in general, and accept vaguely animistic beliefs.   Many Merochasans wear charms against evil spirits.  Merochasans generally view spiritism separately from the perils of corrupted spirits, but the dangers of practicing spiritism so near to the Wastes are widely believed to be greater than they actually are.  These attitudes tend to discourage the practice of spiritism among Merochasans, except among the most talented individuals.
Mekystan Mekystani culture is overwhelmingly influenced by Mytraic doctrine: spiritism is evil, and completely forbidden.  To dabble in spiritism is the same as practicing necromancy, in the eyes of nearly all Mekystanis.  Children who exhibit signs of the Sensitivity aspect are taught to suppress that talent, and if they cannot, are killed or exiled.
Karatas Because Karatas contains several distinct cultures within the borders of the Empire, attitudes toward spiritism can vary greatly.  Officially, the Empress has decreed that practitioners of spiritism can pay homage to the goddess Kirsu through the practice of their arts, and that such arts are not forbidden.  In practice, local rulers tend to enforce local cultural attitudes, whether positive or negative.  In general, attitudes in the north of Karatas tend to be more prohibitive toward spiritism, while attitudes in the south tend to be more accepting.