A daimon is in ancient Greek lore, an intermediary spirit between humanity and the gods. Daimones are either good or evil. A good daimon protects and gives good advice. Evil daimones lead one astray with bad advice. Socrates claimed he had a lifelong daimon that sounded warnings when things were about to go badly, but never gave orders as to what he should do. Socrates said his daimon was more trustworthy than omens from the flights and entrails of birds, which the Greeks often consulted for matters of great import.

Frederic W.H. Myers, an English psychical researcher, opined that Socrates’ daimon was his own subconscious speaking to him in a form—a spirit—that was acceptable to Greeks at the time. In Jungian psychology, the daimon would be considered the Higher Self, that part of the psyche that looks out for one’s well-being and communicates with the waking conscious through intuition. The Christian Church considered all such pagan spirits as evil Demons, servants of the devil (see Demon).

However, the concept of a protective spirit has survived in the form of a “guardian spirit,” believed by some to be attached to all persons from the moment of birth.


Guardian Angel.


  • Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. Harper’s Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991.
  • Myers, Frederic W. H. Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death Vols. I & II. New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1954. First published in 1903.


The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits– Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – September 1, 2007

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