What exactly is the difference between spirits and entities?
In a new age world where the terms spirit and entity are seemingly interchangable, its important that you realize, there is a difference.
From a magickal standpoint, a spirit is actually a spirit. Its the remnants of the deceased; human, animal, entity, alien or otherwise. In other words, it is a ghost.
Though there are many types of spirits, there are only 2 categories from which they derive. There are intelligent spirits and unintelligent spirits.
Unintelligent spirits are very limited. Up until the time of their death, they have gained all of the knowledge and skills they will ever know. Their personality cannot change. They often do not remember, in whole, their life or their death. They do not evolve nor advance. They do not procreate.
More often than not, they cannot even communicate with the living. In the rare instances that they can, though, it may seem as though they show human emotion, what you see is merely remnants of what they were in life. They do not have feelings for you. They cannot develop a bond. Its simply impossible.
These are the types of spirits that you see walk the same garden path over and over again. The spirit that stands in the window of its home but can never leave. The spirit that waits at the gate for its long dead lover. For example, the Gettysburg ghosts are unintelligent spirits.
Intelligent spirits, though still limited, do have some or most of the skills that they bore in life. They can often interact and communicate with the living. They can offer certain forms of aid to the living, IF, in life, they had that particular skill AND if that skill remained after death. They often remember, in whole or in part, both their life and death.
They cannot procreate. They cannot change their personality. However, they may still have the ability to develop feelings, a connection, and emotions to the living.
They often develop friendships and like to be in groups with both spirits and the living of their own kind. (Humans with humans, fae with fae, djinn with djinn, and so on).
A LOT of sellers/spirit dealers ONLY deal in spirits. Its important that you know the difference.
If your dealer indicates that your companion cannot procreate it tells you that your companion is NOT living!
Working with a spirit is very cut and dry. They cannot gain skills they dont have. What you see is what you get.
To summon a spirit, it takes little to no skill at all. Anyone can find a summoning in a book or on the internet and perform it.
An entity is a living, breathing being. Though it may very well exist on a different plane or in a different reality than our own, it is alive.
There are thousands of different entities, each diverse in its own way. They interact with each other. They have partners, they have babies, they grow old, and someday, they will all die. They live in communities. They often have jobs or positions within their community. They often have morals of conduct or codes that they live by. They are governed by their own laws.
Time in their realms is often very different from our own physical realm. Often, days in our realm are merely minutes in theirs. Even though they reside part time in our realm, their aging still correlates to their own.
They usually develop bonds with their own kind both in our realm and their own. More often than not, they develop friendships and can even have relationships with entities outside of their own breed.
They do have the ability to develop deep, lasting and loyal bonds with humans.
They have their own individual personality traits. They evolve and are able to advance both in knowledge and skill.
How long they will live, depends on the breed. Some breeds have roughly the same life span as our own, while others will live hundreds of thousands of years.
To work with a living breathing entity is a skill. Its a privilege that less than 1/1000 of the entire worlds population will experience.
Though, if an entity resides upon our plane, a simple summoning can be used, most entities are brought forth into our realm using complicated and time-consuming conjuration. It can take hours, days, weeks or even longer to perform the process from start to finish. It takes control, power and a lot of knowledge to do this. Often, many years of apprenticeship and/or teachings are behind the process. Learning the many forms is really comparable to going to college to obtain a degree. You can bet, when your dealer is a conjurer of living entities that they are a dedicated individual and have the knowledge to back up their offerings.