A common phrase you hear quite often when working within the Paranormal circuit is ‘spirit guide’. Convention lectures, spiritualist books, Native American conversation, or pre-investigation protection rituals will usually cross paths with the term ‘spirit guide’ and I’ve come to learn that most people do not know what this even means! For most, the term generalizes a higher entity that helps to guide, teach, protect, and advise you from a more enlightened frequency. Though the term does seem to be quite popular and rarely debated, the opinion on their origin and what exactly they are is quite individualized. It is also important to note that the term ‘animal totem’ or ‘totem animal’ is actually considered to be quite offensive to those of a more indigenous religion.
Native Americans, Egyptians, and the Chinese cultures typically view your spirit guide as a being anointed by God to help you on your spiritual path. They can come in many forms and they can also shift forms depending on their personal use to you and how best you might react to them. Different religions and spiritualties will also define a spirit guide differently, and some religions even denounce their existence. Depending on your belief system, it is said some spirit guides live as energy, in the cosmic realm, or as a light being. The Gnostic religious view of a spirit guide is that, on the other side, you and your guide planned your life on earth before you incarnated. However, the Christian view is that the only guide to be given any attention is the Holy Spirit.
A more naturalist view of the spirit guide is the use of ‘animal totems’, symbols in your daily life and not just an entity that appears to guide you with a deep trembling voice but instead subtleties in daily life. For those who do believe in spirit guides however, there has become a more polished definition of what guides do exactly and what, and how, they might appear to you. Mediums who have claimed to have connected with their guides through numerous intuitive processes have narrowed down the types of guides you typically experience. First, you might have your ‘birth guide’, which is with you upon your birth into this life and often have a very intimate bond with you. This is the guide most often seen and experienced and can be the mediator for other guides that will come in and out of your life as you descend on your spiritual path; typically always having your birth guide with you. Though it is commonly agreed upon by mediums that passed loved ones do not come back as guides, there is a spirit guide coined the ‘ancestral guide’. An ancestral guide is one who can claim some sort of kinship with you and is thought to have loved you or been a blood relative in one of your lifetimes.
Another common spirit guide that is described by mediums or those who meet their guides is the ‘teacher guide’. This type of guide is a typical spirit guide and is archetypical, symbolic, or representative of something else. This is where ‘totems’ would fall and they are guides that help with a particular path in life and may only show up for one particular life obstacle. Lastly, is the head honcho guides, often referred to as the ascended masters. Ascended masters usually work with collective groups of souls; in other words, if you’ve got an ascended master hanging around you, you’re not the only one he or she is helping. Their primary focus is that of helping all of humanity.
Now that we know what these guides are by popular intuitive definition, what the heck is their purpose and how do I meet them? The purpose is quite similar to their name, and that is to guide an individual through their spiritual journey. Whether you see them as an angel, a symbol of God, or talk to them like a conscious on a daily basis, their purpose is the same; to instill hope, faith, and positivity in your life. Though ultimately their purpose is relative to your belief system and tends to be quite individualized, they are usually called upon for protection and advice. For those who contact their guides often and who declare a close relationship with their ‘spirit guides’ state they always feel a sense of nurturing from these entities. Commonly they are called upon by vocalization, meditation, or experienced for the first time by a guided regression or spiritual awakening. Regardless of if you feel your guide is a bearded wizard with a long demanding staff or a raven that flies above you, the point is that they represent a line of communication to the other side. Their origin, purpose, and method of communication are relative to YOU.
For a more formal post on animal guides or ‘familiars’, totems or spirit animals, check out my personal blog.