A lot of people are curious about spirits and spirit guides. So, we’ve put together common questions and answers.
The Big Picture
We have a body but our essence is spirit. So, it’s natural to be curious about spiritual things. Spirit Guides are an interesting subject. Many religions talk about guardian spirits and angles.
Much of what we believe about spirits and spirit guides come from early indigenous cultures. Religions and philosophies built on these ideas. Thus, contributing to a growing body of ideas about them. Our task is to aid spiritual travelers with this subject.
Here’s how we are going to approach this task. First, we will look at the origins of spirits and spirit guides. Then, take a brief tour of how Western organized religion handles this subject. These belief systems have over 3 billion members. Last, we’ll address the most asked questions. So, here we go.
What are Spirits and Spirit Guides?
What are spirits? In short, they are entities without material form. Many people believe there are both good and bad spirit beings. For instance, many believe in guardian angels as protective spirits. On the other hand, there are also evil spirits or demons.
What are spirit guides? Generally speaking, spirit guides are friendly spiritual life forces. They give us advice and guidance to deal with the challenges we have as spiritual beings living in a material world. Spirit guides are just one type of spirit.
One way to look at spirit is as a unique vibration. Science tells us everything from a rock to sunlight has a vibrational frequency. Thus, everything is vibrating with life. This includes the spiritual beings of our inner world.
Even those who do not follow a religion believe in unseen supernatural and paranormal forces. Some believe they are our ancestors. The origin of spirits and spirit guides goes back to the earliest spiritual ideas of man.
The concept of spirit guides leads us to Animism. Animism is the belief that everything has a living spiritual force, a spirit. Ancient cultures sought out ways to connect the world and the spiritual essence. Spirit guides are one way we connect to this essence.
Some people love lists of things. Even though it would be impossible to list every type of spirit and spirit guide. Nevertheless, there are texts from the middle ages known as Bestiaries. These works contain drawings and explanations for many things real and supernatural. Additionally, they are a rich source of the mythology and superstition connecting object with meaning. These books are available in some libraries. And, there are reproductions available.
Spirits in the Abrahamic Paradigm
Western theology includes all the branches of the Abrahamic tree. There are the religions of Semitic origin including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These religions are the result of combining Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian and Assyrian mystery religions. Today there are over 10,000 versions of these religions. Beliefs differ depending on the sect and the teacher.
The Church has an interesting relationship with spirit guides. For instance, Catholicism promotes praying to Saints. Saints come in two types. First, those that have done some type of outstanding service for the Church. Second, those suffering torture to death as heretics. They also seek spiritual guidance from Mary the mother of Jesus.
Other sects contact the Holy Spirit using various types of ritual and prayer. There are several processes for contacting spirits and spirit guides within the Church. For example, Charismatic or word of faith movements use praise and worship sessions to reach a trance-like state. In some cases, this results in speaking in unknown languages. Some people fall on the floor in a hypnotic state. And, some act like animals, barking like dogs or acting like a monkey. The main reasons for contacting the spirit realm are for healing or prosperity.
Islam also has its guardian angels. They do not pray to them but acknowledge them by looking at their left and right shoulders where these spirit guides, Kiraman Katibin sit. Muslims believe these guardian angels will report to God at the end of their lives. Whether God sends their soul to heaven or hell for eternity depends on this report. Muslims take their presence seriously.
“Angels take turns around you, some at night and some by day. And all of them assemble together at the same time of the Fajr and ‘Asr prayers. Then those who have stayed with you throughout the night, ascend to Allah, who asks them… ‘How have you left my servants?’ They reply, ‘As we have found them praying, we have left them praying.'” —Bukhari Hadith 10:530, narrated by Abu Huraira
Islam also has its evil spirits known as Jinn. The class of spirits known as Jinn are similar to Demons in the Christian belief system. As spirit guides, they inspire everything from the writing of poetry to evil deeds. The Jinn are the al-ghaib the unseen. Their abilities differ depending upon the teacher or sect. For instance, some Islāmic scholars some think Jinn can possess people, others do not.
This is the predecessor of Christianity and Islam. Jewish believes in connecting with ancestors, angels, or guides. They also believe there are both good and bad spirits. So, connecting with a guide is essential. So, they use a “mashpia” or spiritual teacher to lead acolytes in guided visualization. This is to make sure you meet good spirits not bad.
For example, an “Ibbur” is a good spirit. These spirits inhabit a person for a specific period to complete a task. They are an “extra soul.” But, this kind of possession is a good thing. Once this quest or task is complete, they leave.
In contrast, they also have bad or evil spirits. For instance, a “Dybbuk” is the soul of someone who did something bad. As such, it can not enter Gehenna for purification. Since it can’t go to heaven or hell is searches for someone to enter. It looks for someone who has committed a similar act or is otherwise vulnerable.
People are vulnerable when undergoing some transition in life. For instance, those who are about to marry, preparing for a bar mitzvah or pregnant. Once it finds a suitable match it will attach itself to their soul. This type of possession isn’t a good thing for either party.
The official position of mainstream Judaism does not believe in demons in the same way as Christianity. However, the belief in evil beings is common. Several influential Rabbinical sources support such evil being like Golem and the Dybbuk.
The shamanic journey pre-dates all of Western religion. It’s one of the first types of spiritual exploration going back eons. And, you can find in every part of the world. Almost every ancient culture practices it in some form. This process has undergone a rebranding effort to make it more palatable for Western consumer. Today people call it guided meditation.
The Shamanic Journey is a process which opens a doorway to a unique state of consciousness. It is this meditative process where one can reach several kinds of spirit guides. Michael Harner noted anthropologist, author, teacher, and modern-day Shaman call this state, “The Shamanic State of Consciousness” (SSC). In this state the brainwaves are the theta-wave are around 4 to 7Hz. SSC is useful in the healing of mind, body, and spirit.
Without a doubt, we think this is the best method for contacting your spirit guides. If a qualified teacher is available all the better. However, it is equally effective and safe to journey alone. All that’s needed is the right drum track. This process affords the most control over what happens and the length of time in SSC. We’ll give some resources at the end of the article.
The Modern Spiritualist Movement and Spirit Guides
Now let’s take a look at how one of the later movements capitalized on contacting spirits and spirit guides.
The Modern Spiritualism movement is a semi-religious forerunner of the Christian Faith movement. It began in the late 1800s. For a price, a spiritualist could contact the spirits of the dead on your behalf.
In short, it’s parlor entertainment for the rich social élite led by celebrity Spiritualists. This entertainment included a variety of mystical practices, séances, spirit channeling, fortune-telling, tarot card readings, and divination. This movement only served to cloud the issue of spirit guides. However, several people became wealthy and famous like Kate and Margaret Fox.
The Fox sisters (1814-1892) set the bar high for showmanship. More and more people became mediums. Channeling took on new heights with the likes of Esther Hicks and Abraham. Séances and automatic writing became staples on the spiritualist tour. This profitable showmanship caught the eye of early Christian faith movement. The stage theatrics of these con-men are still in use today.
We bring up this sidebar here because of the confusion this movement creates around the subject of spirit guides. The spiritualism movement has also undergone several rebranding efforts. Many feel that both movements are the same counterfeits which only serve to make money from their showmanship.
Spirit Guides Questions & Answers
Where did the term Spirit Guides Originate?
The term “spirit guides” come from Shamanic practices all over the world. It pre-dates all of Western theology.
Is there a safe way to contact your Spirit Guides?
That depends on two main factors. The first factor is your mental health. Good mental health is a necessity. If you are under treatment for any type of mental health issue consult your physician before you try this. In other words, if you know you are batshit crazy, don’t attempt this.
Second, use a safe method. We find the Shamanic Journey or guided meditation provides the safest method. Experienced personal instruction is the best. However, there are several good books with CDs which have drum tracks. These are a good choice for many people. Do your research. The more you know the better. We’ll share a few of the best resources below.
If you think a live session with a Shamanic teacher is the way to go, check references. Unless you have several years of solid spiritual practice don’t use psychotropic drugs. It’s tempting for beginners to want to jump-start their practice. But, we don’t recommend this approach.
When you use drugs you lose control of the length and depth of the journey. You can’t control the potency of the plant material or your reaction to substances. In short, don’t jump into the deep water until you know how to float and swim in shallow water.
Can a Medium or Channel help me find my Spirit Guides?
These are roles which come from the Modern Spiritualist Movement. The medium or channel is in complete control. Any method which depends upon intermediary increases the risk of a bad experience. A medium or channel is in complete control of the process. This differs from the role a Shaman plays when guiding you through your journey.
When you submit to a Medium or Channel, you are opening your subconscious mind. Many use hypnosis techniques to gain control of their clients. In a state of hypnosis, people are vulnerable to suggestion. So, we do not recommend the use of mediums and channels. It can cause more problems and roadblocks to your spiritual development. It’s a strategy to separate you from your hard-earned cash.
Can I find my Spirit Guides with Wicca or Witchcraft?
Rituals are another way to contact your spirit guides. In fact, you’ll find the same rituals in witchcraft and Shamanic practice. The most effective rituals are those you infuse with personal meaning. It’s a matter of building on the historical legacy. It pays to research the symbolism behind the ritual so that you understand what you are doing.
Western religions persecute those who practice any path that offers an alternative. Persecution is an admission that this path offers something of substance. In fact, these beliefs pre-date Western organized religion. They are the legacy of indigenous people and so offer many things that religious doctrine does not. For instance, our modern medicines come from indigenous people experiments with medicinal plants.
How do you find people near who have the same interests?
People often want to partner with others on the same quest. It’s simple. Ask the universe to help put you in touch with like-minded freethinkers. Use common sense when contacting people.
Is there a best way to communicate with my Spirit Guides?
Words have power. That’s why they call it spelling when you write or speak them. That being the case, you should choose your words carefully. Be specific about your request. If you want to meet your spirit guide. Say it. “I want to meet my primary spirit guide.”
Be patient but persistent. Many experienced teachers will always tell you to take your time. Become familiar with the terrain of your spirit world. And, your spirit guides want to make sure you are ready to meet them.
What will my Spirit Guides look like?
Spirit guides can show up in any shape and size. They could be people, animals or a combination of the two. Anthropomorphic beings are creatures with both human and animal characteristics.
Is there a list of Spirit Guides?
There are spirit guides for all types of purposes. They will appear when you are ready. Your primary spirit guides are there to protect and offer guidance. There are also spirit guides with specific skills. Some promote healing of mind, body or soul. It is common to meet gatekeepers. Gatekeepers may look scary. They keep you from going places you aren’t ready to go.
How many Spirit Guides will I have?
You’ll have as many as it takes for them to fulfill the quest at hand. You may have only one, or an army.
Can Spirit Guides be Angry?
As we mentioned above, there are gatekeeper spirits. They appear ominous and scary. They do this to keep travelers from venturing where they should not go. If you aren’t ready they protect you.
How will I interpret the messages from my Spirit Guides?
Generally speaking, spirit guides will try to give you a message in a way that is meaningful to you. They often speak directly and plainly. However, sometimes they speak in riddles. And, of course, if the message comes from an animal that doesn’t speak they will try to find a way to get the message across. When you encounter other signs then you will need to figure out what it means. It’s important to remember only you can interpret their messages.
A knowledgeable Shaman or Guru won’t tell you what something means. They will ask you questions to help you find out the answers. So, you can do this on your own. Here are some of the questions that you can use to interpret the messages:
What is the lesson? What does this symbol mean to me? Is this similar to some other symbol or situation? What was happening either before or after I saw or heard this message? What emotions did this bring up? Is this a reoccurring message? Where were you was this got this message?
Meditate on it. The answer may take some time to percolate. Above all, use your spiritual journal. be sure to record your message and thoughts about it. You may find your answer tucked away in something you recorded in the past. Or, you may discover a pattern a symbol or pattern of thought.
What about the use of Ouija Boards
The Ouija board or talking board is a prop from the Modern Spiritualist movement. By the 1900s they became a part of popular culture. Children game companies began marketing them as a toy. Some think they are harmless while others see them as a doorway to evil.
One way to understand them is through the ideomotor effect. Ideo is from idea, and motor relates to muscular action. The ideomotor effect is how a subliminal suggestion brings about an unconscious action. This explains the mechanics of talking boards, as well as, hypnosis, dowsing rods, and automatic writing. All of these are simply are the reflex actions of the subconscious mind. We see how this works with other reflex actions. For example, the body reacts to painful stimuli by pulling away. So, whether you see this as a way to contact your ancestors, parlor game or doorway to hell depends on our worldview.
Can I connect with my spirit guide through prayer?
The short answer is, no. Prayer in Western theology is a petition to a higher power. It’s asking the higher power to intervene. Whereas, your spirit guides exist in the realm of Shamanic State of Consciousness” (SSC). And, this realm exists within your consciousness. This requires a process enabling you to reach SSC. So, the Western idea of prayer is not a way to contact your spirit guides.
If you think of prayer in terms of an invocation then you are getting closer to the use of meaningful ritual. The key is understanding the symbolism of the ritual. Indigenous cultures use meaningful ritual to enter and exist SSC. They often use rattle and drum for this purpose. The tempo and volume are cues which slow or speed up heart rate and respiration.
Resources for Contacting your Spirit Guides
- Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide Paperback – 2008, by Sandra Ingerman One of the best step by step books. It comes complete with a CD including and drum tracks.
- Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation – 2010 By (Sandra Ingerman, and Hank Wesselman
- The Way of the Shaman – 1990 By Michael Harner
- Ono Teave, Drum tracks for shamanic journies. Some of the best tracks with a variety of lengths.
We are spiritual beings existing for a time in this material world. Our essence is what we call the spirit or soul. It’s only natural for us to seek spiritual help. What better source for help than our spirit guides. Use the shamanic to journey safely. This is one of the basic tools of spiritual exploration.
Thank you for reading this article. We welcome your opinion. We hope it provides some food for thought. You can find more mind-opening topics on our blog. Also, please take a few minutes to learn about our mission at the “about” tab. If you have questions about spiritual exploration, then click on the frequently asked questions tab FAQ.
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