In many belief systems, spirits are on the same plane of existence as "gods", though these spirits are of a much lesser magnitude. For example, Thor was a god, and any given dwarf was likewise accounted as a spiritual being in Norse mythology.
Historically, spiritual beings have been ascribed any number of powers, both over nature and over humans. Often their power is said to be linked with their purpose in creation.
In some parts of the world, spiritual beings are believed to be able to possess humans and control their behavior.
Most western traditions use the elements of spirit, earth, air, water and fire. In other traditions, such as the Chinese, metal is used in place of air and wood in place of spirit.