Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom offers an exploration of the secret universe we all carry inside us, the connections we forge with the worlds of our friends and loved ones, and the products of our worlds reflected in the things we create outside of ourselves. Anam Cara, Gaelic for "soul friend," is an ancient journey down a nearly forgotten path of wisdom into what it means to be human.
Kindred spirits are people that you connect with on a deeper level than
just basic intellectual and emotional interaction. They are one who you have
a unique spiritual connection with. That feeling that somehow you must have
known them in a previous life and you've finally reunited.
~ What Makes a Kindred Spirit?
“Kindred Spirits” is a hard term to define. There is no real
description for it; just like “soulmate,” it has many meanings. The most
common meaning for it is to have a bond with someone whom you share the
same interests, personality, character, etc. Each can be “themselves”
around one another and open up fully. The probable difference between
“soulmate” and “kindred spirit” is that as we go through life we do come
across many people who resemble our own nature. Another description of a
“kindred spirit” is to find a rare bond with a friend; that
“hard-to-find rare friendship.” These friends are usually referred to as
the constantly-spoken of, “best-friend.” Platonic friendship sometimes
grows from these, and things can be very complicated. Like most say,
your worst enemy is the person who knows you best. They know how to hurt
you because they know your strength and your weaknesses. How it
sometimes mixes with the “soulmate” term is because both are somewhat
seen on a spiritual level.
~ Soulmates & Kindred Spirits
The Celtic understanding of friendship found its inspiration and
culmination in the sublime notion of the anam cara. Anam is the Gaelic
word for soul; cara is the word for friend. So anam cara means soul
friend. The anam cara is a person to whom you can reveal the hidden
intimacies of your life. This friendship is an act of recognition. When
you have an anam cara, your friendship cut across all convention and
category. You are joined in an ancient and eternal way with the friend
of your soul. Central here is the recognition and awakening of the
ancient belong-ing between two friends. Since the human heart is never
completely born, love is the continuous birth of creativity within and
The anam cara experience opens a friendship that is not wounded or limited by separation or distance. Such friendship can remain alive even when the friends live far away from each other. Because they have broken through the barriers of persona and egoism to the soul level, the unity of their souls is not easily severed. When the soul is awakened, physical space is transfigured. Even across the distance two friends can stay attuned to each other and continue to sense the flow of each other's lives. With your anam cara you awaken the eternal. In this soul-space there is no distance.
~ Anam Cara
Legal dictionaries define kindred as blood relatives who are directly related and not those related through marriage. In this definition, in-laws and step-relatives are not kindred. However, half-siblings--such as brothers and sisters with the same father and different mothers--are kindred, as defined by a legal definition. Other dictionaries use kindred to describe relation of individuals through birth and marriage. This is the definition used in anthropology. Within a family, kindred describes spouses, siblings, children, parents, grandparents and cousins of the same family.
Kindred is a word that was used more often long ago, in the time of the poets William Shakespeare and William Wordsworth. The word isn't used as commonly today as it once was; it's been replaced by synonyms such as family and relatives. The words kin, kinship and kinfolk are also used and are a colloquialism from mountain regions of the United States. Numerous famous quotes contain the word kindred--from quotes of William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, Thaddeus Stevens and many more.
Anne Shirley, the heroine of the delightful “Anne of Green Gables”,
innately knew when she had met her soulmate, whom she endearingly
referred to as a kindred spirit. It was not the person’s age, sex, race,
what they were wearing, their social status, income, physical
appearance, charm or any other visible clue that gave her this sense of
profound knowing. Nothing purposeful or intentional drew her to her
soulmates. Her heart inexplicably knew that a divine grace brought them
~ Kindred Spirits Report
Many times in life we meet these people, and often we don’t know them at
all but have this deep connection that cannot be explained. I believe in the
idea of reincarnation and the evolution of the soul, each soul living
various lives and circumstances to progress spiritually. I believe further
that we often carry some memory of previous incarnations and these people we
meet, we have met before. These people are kindred spirits, embracing a
connection that has greater meaning than we may accept.
~The Kindred Spirits in Life
Kindred is often used in speech and expressive writing to describe close friends who share thoughts, feelings, morals and beliefs. People often use the phrase "kindred spirit" to describe such friends or others who share similar ideas and personalities. Kindred spirits are said to get along well because they agree on many or all topics. Kindred spirits are also described as soul mates.