Literally “west spirits,” the term can also be translated as “autumn spirits” because west and autumn are interrelated in Eastern philosophy’s theory of the five elements.
To resolve the bitterness and grief of these spirits, who lack descendants, Sangjenim conferred upon them a mandate to serve as the spirits who will bestow sustenance and blessings equally and fairly upon all in the Later Heaven.
Notably, the original Korean term ‘autumn spirits’ is identical to the Korean term ‘Autumn God’ (see “Autumn God”). However, the term is translated into English in two different ways, depending upon context. When a given Korean passage refers to Jeung-san Sangjenim (God, who incarnated into the world at the approach of the Autumn Gaebyeok), the term is translated as “Autumn God.” When a passage refers to the spirits who serve the Autumn God and who bestow sustenance and blessings upon all in the Later Heaven, the term is translated as “autumn spirits.”