Re: sceptic on the spiritual side of aikido
Spritual to me (as an atheist) occupies the sphere of how we intereact with other people and our intention toward them. I think Aikido has much to offer in this sphere.
I agree that if Aikido is to have a spiritual effect it's as a result of the physical training, as opposed to in the form of someone pontificating before or after class. Kami dragons gods, use them as a metaphor if that helps or discard them if it doesn't. To me they have nothing to do with the spiriuality of aikido other than being one man's particular mode of expression.