Spirits permeate our culture. We flatter a woman by calling her a goddess, a man by calling him an "Adonis." Describe being stuck in an elevator as "hell," and you've just evoked Hel, the Norse guardian of the realm of death. "Nemesis" is named for the Greek goddess of justice and vengeance. An aphrodisiac evokes the power of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and sex. And "frickin'" is not a substitute for a stronger obscenity, it's the name of another Norse goddess spelled Frika.There are spirits in pop culture, too, like Neil Gaiman's "American Gods", in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings", "The Ring" series of horror movies, in Bob Dylan's "Isis", Fleetwood Mac's hit "Rhiannon", and Shocking Blue's "Venus in Blue Jeans". Even in prison, inmates tattoo Our Lady of Guadalupe on their backs, because no one would stick a knife into Our Lady, would they? Spirits permeate every corner of our culture, and the "Encyclopedia of Spirits" explains who they are and how we can persuade them to help us land a job, find our true love, conceive a child, protect our distant loved ones, or heal our ailments.