Our spirit guides are universal forces that are here to help us.
But I didn’t always believe that …
By nature I am a skeptical person. I don’t like believing something unless I’m practically hit in the face with it. Evidence has to practically be falling down from the sky and crushing me flat until I relent and open my eyes.
Until about three years ago, spirit guides were just new age mumbo jumbo to me. I ignorantly assigned them to the crystal healing and fortune telling category. In essence, I judged and dismissed that which I had not yet experienced. (Hey, aren’t we all guilty of that?)
So it was with great shock and awe that I came across my first spirit guide. This experience happened on a series of shamanic trips I shared with my partner Sol. I went into the experience with my mind half open, and half closed from disbelief. “Will this actually work?” a part of me wondered. But holding the intention to meet my spirit guide strongly in mind, I eventually met him – Pan, the god of the wild places. For thirty minutes or more I saw this half-man half-goat guide me down into my inner Underworld. It was Pan that initiated me into my Shadow Work journey. But it didn’t just stop there, through the next coming years, I continued to see Pan every so often in daily life and in my dreams. Not only that, but I continued to meet more spirit guides.
If you are dubious about the existence of spirit guides like I was, I encourage you to at least try it before you brush it off. Acknowledge the possibility that you might be wrong. Allow a margin of error. On the other hand, if you believe in the existence of spirit guides – if you have had direct experience with them, but seek a stronger connection – this article should be of use to you.
What Are Spirit Guides?
Are spirit guides angels? Animals? Mythical creatures? Ancestors? Ancient gods and goddesses? Otherworldly entities? Interdimensional beings?
In my experience, spirit guides are all of these things and more. But essentially, in my perspective, spirit guides are universal forces – or at their most basic level – types of energy embodied in an array of different forms. Spirit guides are archetypal forces; aspects of life which teach, warn, support, comfort, remind and reveal to us things we need to learn about ourselves in order to grow.
In one of my psilocybin visions, I saw my spirit guides forming a circle above me. It was then that I understood our spirit guides as our Family of Light. In other words, just as we have an earthly family, so too do we have a spiritual family – composed of our spirit guides. A person can have anywhere from a handful of spirit guides in one lifetime, to twenty or more. But usually, we have only a few main spirit guides who accompany us from birth to death.
I divide spirit guides into two categories: our major guides, and our minor guides. Major guides typically accompany us throughout our lives and help us to learn major life lessons. Minor guides are temporary and help with daily concerns or issues that we struggle with.
So what does your Family of Light look like? Who or what is your primary spirit guide? And what about your minor guides – the ones that help you with day-to-day earthly concerns? The only way to find out is by actively seeking to connect with your guides. And below I will share with you how.
9 Ways to Connect With Your Spirit Guides
This article is not about invoking spirit guides, as in calling on a guide who you believe will help you (this spirit guide blog post will help you to do that). Instead, this article focuses on how to reveal the spirit guides who have already been assigned to your life.
With that said, here are some different ways to connect with your guides:
Scrying is the ancient divinatory practice of gazing into a reflective surface, such as water, mirrors, or crystal balls to receive esoteric information. From a psychological perspective, scrying helps you to get in touch with your unconscious mind and the important guidance which may be locked away within it. Scrying is, however, something that must be practiced consistently – it is not easy. But if you are a visually-based person (i.e. one who receives insight through pictures, also known as clairvoyance), it is worth committing to. In order to connect with your spirit guide via scrying, set an intention to ‘see’ your guide. You may like to say a mantra or prayer to communicate with your guide your desire to meet them. Read more about scrying.
2. Dream Work
Just before going to bed, set the intention to see, meet, or speak with your spirit guide within your dreams. Continue this practice for two weeks and see what happens. When you wake up, note any strange figures or unusual patterns that emerge in your dream. The goal is to find repetition: what messages or dream beings keep appearing? Sometimes our spirit guides don’t directly reveal themselves, but instead symbolically reveal who they are to us. Take note of symbols that keep emerging and journal about them. What do they mean? Once you have a strong inkling of who/what your guide is, thank them. Continue to ask for guidance and for their appearance in your dreams before going to bed. Practicing lucid dreaming is also a powerful way to contact your spirit guides.
3. Silence Your Mind
One of the best ways to contact your spirit guides is by silencing your mind through practices such as meditation or mindfulness. Here is one simple practice:
Sit or lie down in a quiet place that is undisturbed by other people. Focus on your back or thighs as they come in contact with the ground. Notice the rising and falling of your chest. Listen to the sounds around you. Focus on being present in the Now. If you have raging thoughts, jump up and down for a little bit (to expel the frantic energy from your body), then resume your meditation. Let your thoughts become like a stream. Sit down and watch that stream as a silent observer. Don’t try to fight these thoughts, just let them flow. When you feel ready, ask to hear the name or see the face of your spirit guide. You might need to wait for a while, so be patient. Let go of expectations (they will block what you are about to receive). Journal about your experiences afterwards. If you struggle with this practice, don’t worry. Most people do. Just practice it for 10 minutes a day, and see what happens.
Bibliomancy is the practice of seeking spiritual insight by opening a book at a random place. This form of divination was popular in the middle ages, but it continues to be an interesting way of gaining guidance. Here is how to use bibliomancy to connect with your spirit guides:
Go to your personal library or collection of books. (Alternatively, if you don’t have any, go to a local library.) Stand in front of the books and close your eyes. Ask to be drawn to a specific book that will help reveal your spirit guide. I encourage closing your eyes as you do this so that you aren’t influenced by bias. Let your inner feelings guide you. When you feel a pull, run your hands over the bookcase or pile of books. Pick the book you feel most drawn to (remember to keep your eyes shut!). Then, either open the book at random and quickly look at the page, or wait for a page number to pop into your mind. Read what is in front of you.
Sometimes bibliomancy takes practice because it requires you to have a strong connection to your intuition. Other times, you won’t receive a direct response, but will instead receive a clue. Remember, spirit guides are powerful beings with their own personalities. Calling on them will not necessarily make them want to reveal themselves to you straight away. Often, by concealing themselves and making you work to discover them, you learn important lessons along the way.
One relatively simple way of contacting your spirit guides is through visualization. There are quite a few spirit guide visualizations already out there on the internet which you might like to try out. You might even like to create your own visualization by listening to soothing music and imagining that you are walking down dark a staircase into a white room. Remember to always set an intention for your visualization. In this case it would be, “I wish to connect with my spirit guide” or similar.
6. Plant medicine journeying
OK, a word of warning. This is not a lukewarm approach – and it certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted. If you are serious about connecting with your guides, I highly recommend shamanic journeying with plant medicines such as ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms, and mescaline with trusted healers or shamans. Even marijuana, in the right ceremonial setting, can open a doorway into the ‘other side.’ Please note that journeying with sacred plant medicine doesn’t always bring what you want – it brings what you need. So while you may have the intention to meet your spirit guides, you might instead be tossed into a cosmic inner-space voyage or a subterranean sacred geometrical ego-death experience. It all depends on you and the medicine you need right now. (Note: please ensure you are mentally balanced before entering these trips.)
No, I’m not referring to a genre of music. I’m referring to a state of mind, as in, a half-conscious state. You know that strange mental space you enter before you go to sleep (technically called the hypnogogic state)? That is the state we’re aiming for. When you are in a trance, your mind is open and receptive. It no longer has the typical filters of conscious waking reality. As such, this state is perfect for connecting with your spirit guides. Many ancient cultures used trance to ‘connect with the gods.’ Different ways of entering trance include self-hypnosis, various breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, watching a pendulum, visualization, drumming, and dancing. Read our article on inducing trance for more guidance.
8. Nature Immersion
When you take the time to look and pay attention, nature is sublimely magical. It is also a beautiful place to come in contact with your spirit guides (particularly animal spirits and trans-species beings). Find someplace outside. Sit in a park, by a river or stream, or go hiking. Look at the clouds, bodies of water, and trees. Can you glimpse any faces? What animals keep appearing that have seemed to accompany you for a while? Just the other week I was staring at the clouds. Out of nowhere, one particular cloud morphed into the face of Pan. I interpreted this as a clear reminder of his constant presence in my life. And yes, while this could have been a product of my imagination, the very fact that I interpreted the cloud as Pan speaks a lot about my personal unconscious.
9. Look For Synchronicity
Synchronicity is another word for meaningful coincidence. Have you ever seen repetitive numbers (such as 3333, 1111, 1212), names, or symbols arise in your life? Pay attention. These often carry important messages. In order to use the synchronicity technique for contacting your spirit guides, set an intention. I set intentions by saying prayers. Here is an example, “Dear Spirit, if it is your will, please help me discover my spirit guides. Please send me signs each day that I can understand. Thank you.” Every day, look out for unusual and repetitious signs, names, symbols, places, or objects that appear. Keep a notebook and record your observations. After one week, reflect on what you have seen. Are you been shown something? Synchronicity works best when we are in touch with our inner selves. So ensure that you are practicing mindful awareness.
Have you connected with your spirit guides? If so, who or what are they? How did you come about developing a relationship with them? Please share below. I’d love to hear about your guides!