The word consciousness, in the context of tulpamancy has varying meanings depending on if it's used as a noun or an adjective.

Sometimes it is said that a tulpa and a host are both consciousnesses. In that case, as a noun, "consciousness" is little more than a synonym for "soul": The "core" or "essence" of a person's being. For example, when we talk of switching being an act of the host and the tulpa "swapping consciousnesses", it is simply a more roundabout way of saying that the tulpa and the host trade places.

However, when "consciousness" is used as an adjective, it stands for the state of being conscious; of being subject to experience of some kind. An individual mind which houses both a host and tulpas can be described, by itself, as conscious or unconscious. Alternatively, an individual such as a tulpa or a host may be described as having the quality of being conscious or unconscious. When awake, for example, one is conscious; one has consciousness. When one is asleep, one is unconscious.