神, in modern Chinese, is a Phonetic Compound, formed from a semantic indicator of 示 (礻, shì, a very frequently used left radical in Chinese characters, usually indicating some connection with sacrificial rites, or a practice of offering sacrifice to gods or ancestors.), and a phonetic component of 申 (pronounced as shēn not shén, due to the years of evolution of Chinese phonetics, it has changed from the first high and level tone to the second rising).
神灵；传说中的天神，即天地万物的创造者或主宰者。The Holy Spirit; The Deity
Lily explains 神 like this:
神 used to be a Logical Aggregate in both Bronze and Seal characters, consisting two semantic indicators: on the left, 示 and on the right, 申, () which originally symbolized the visible flash of light in the clouds accompanying lightning. Ancient Chinese once assumed that the changeable and unpredictable appearance of lightning is an invincible force, telling that gods or spirits revealed themselves from behind the clouds to make their presence or power felt. In the later Shang and Zhou Dynasty, the custom of offering sacrifices to gods or ancestors had gradually come into being, so "示" was added onto the character of "申" (礻+ 申), and that’s how "神" had come to be.
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