Synchronicity, luck and chance .
Manitou is a term used to designate the spirits among many Algonquian groups. It refers to the concept of one aspect of the interconnection and balance of nature/life, similar to the East Asian concept of qi; in simpler terms it can refer to a spirit. This spirit is seen as a (contactable) person as well as a concept. Everything has its own manitou—every plant, every stone, even machines. In the shamanistic traditions the manitous (or manidoog or manidoowag) are connected to achieve a desired effect, like plant manitous for healing or the buffalo manitou for a good hunt. In the Anishinaabeg tradition manidoowag are one aspect of the Great Connection. Related terms used by the Anishinaabeg are manidoowish for small animal manidoowag and manidoons for insects; both terms mean "little spirit." In other Algonquian languages such as Iynu the word manituw originally referred to underwater creatures to whom hunters offered tobacco in order to appease them when traveling through their territories.
These Manitous do not exist in a hierarchy like European gods/goddesses, but are more akin to one part of the body interacting with another and the spirit of everything.
The name of the Canadian province of Manitoba, named for Lake Manitoba in the province, derives from the place name manitou-wapow, "strait of the Manitou" in Cree or Ojibwe, referring to The Narrows at the centre of the lake. Also Manitoulin Island means "spirit island."
In his debut novel horror writer Graham Masterton pictures the grisly resurrection of a Native American shaman bent on revenge on the whole white race for the genocide of his people. The shaman is able to contact and call forth many terrifying manitous until countered with the "machine spirit" of a (then) modern-day computer, seen as a product of the white man's culture and "magic."
In the first season X-Files episode "Shapes," Mulder and Scully find themselves investigating a case involving a creature identified as a manitou. The episode erroneously portrays the manitou in a destructive and negative manner, similar in nature to a wendigo, werewolf or skin-walker.
British Black metal band Venom released a single in 1984 entitled Manitou. The song was included as a bonus track in the 2002 re-release of At War With Satan.
The tabletop role-playing game Deadlands and its spin-offs heavily feature manitous. In the games they are portrayed solely as evil spirits, contrasted with good or neutral "nature spirits," and use their power to generally cause mayhem and fear. They can also be bargained or wrestled with for supernatural power.