serve as the game’s checkpoints. When you die, you'll start off again from the last idol you communed with. Thankfully, these idols are numerous and conveniently placed before tough enemies and bosses. You should prioritize communing with new ones as soon as you discover them. Use idols to rest to fully recover your HP, replenish your resurrection charges, replenish your quick access consumables from your storage, and fill up your Healing / Withered Red Gourd.
You can also fast-travel to any discovered Sculptor Idols, including the Hirata Estate which takes place in the past. Fast-traveling doesn't consume anything so feel free to use this feature as often as needed. You can also travel back to your "homebase" (the Dilapidated Temple) or the last communed idol using a reusable item called Homeward Idol. Make sure to set it in your quick items slot so you can use it conveniently and easily.
As you find more key items or , more options will become available in any Sculptor’s Idol like purchasing spirit emblems, enhancing your max HP and posture, attack, and cleansing dragonrot. Take note that idols are not entirely safe zones; there are idols with enemies nearby and if you aggro them, they can still kill you even if you commune with the idol.