Man-of-the-Woods is a rare form of Free Forest Spirit. It usually appears as a slender human of either gender wearing the garments and accoutrements of a traditional Amerind tribal shaman, although the appearance varies depending on the region. This is analogous to descriptions of “manitou” among Algonquin legends, and indeed the Man-of-the-Woods may simply be a form of the Manitou Spirits. Some have claimed that the spirit takes form of walking trees, talking woodland animals, moving patches of shadow, and other mystical forms, but the astral form of a Man-of-the-Woods appears as a shimmering humanoid form.
Men-of-the-Woods (plural) are said to be forest protectors, with more free will than the usual Forest spirit. They are able to wander outside of their territory, but it is said that their powers only work within their domain. It is rumored that a sufficiently powerful shaman can invoke and conjure a Man-of-the-Woods to bargain for a service, but this service comes at a cost of a piece of one’s soul or one’s “past self.”
- Paranormal Animals of North America, 104-105.