Thoughts on power animals/spirit guides.
There are times I wonder if I am a little mad, my spirit guides are as real and important to me as my friends and family. Its as if there is a second world around with me with others that are simply existing on a slightly different frequency to my everyday folk.
That curiosity about madness soon dissipates when others see my guides just as clearly as me. The workshop I attended where I felt slightly uncomfortable and could feel my guide standing right in front of me. I relaxed into my chair to listen, now feeling quite safe- when the workshop leader asked “Maddy, your guide is a little intrusive. Could you ask him to stand behind you, or at least sit down?”
This is a bit of a theme with me. The Tarot reader who kept winking at my guide “he’s so handsome, like a rugged James Bond, or the Shaman who declined to offer me a healing as my “bouncers” (her repeated reference to my guides) felt I needed someone from my own lineage or path.
So I have learnt to accept that my relationship with my guides is not a sign of madness, and simply makes my work as a shaman far easier.
So how to build a relationship with Spirit guides? Firstly it doesn’t matter if you are not visual, and can’t “see” them, or you don’t really have a clear name. We all experience our guides differently. Some people experience animals, others deities from a pantheon (like me). Some people experience Angels, lost loved ones, simply people that they feel once may have lived, elementals, or energies they simply can't define.
There is only a couple of definite things to avoid- people that are still living in this reality that claim to be your spirit guide. If a current teacher claims they are also your spirit guide- run. And anything that makes you feel like you are compelled to act in a way that doesn’t feel right for you. Working with a spirit guide can feel uncomfortable- because they can be asking you to accept parts of yourself that you are rejecting, or to step out of your comfort zone. But deep down it needs to feel in alignment with who you are. It will never compel you to say, or do something harmful to yourself or others.
So how to build (or start) that relationship? Because Yes, we all have guides.
This is an answer that can annoy people- but it boils down to one word really, practice.
Think of your spirit guides as if they were family. They can be annoying (very), avoidant, or totally focused on something that isn’t the top of your agenda right now. But by taking the time to regularly connect with them, practising whatever “communication” feels like to you. Then you can forge a deep and trusting relationship that can be a foundation to your life.
It isn’t enough to have been given a name by a healer at a fair, or to “know” that your guide is a panther or Aboriginal. You need to show up, listen, take the time to build a relationship.
There are lots of different ways to connect with your guides (and this list is NOT exclusive, merely some suggestions)
· Journaling, automatic writing, using writing to connect and ask for guidance from your guides.
· Tarot reading/oracle reading/rune reading.
· Any form of mediation/led meditation/guided meditation. Where you are allowing wisdom to flow from a wiser part of yourself- connecting to your guides.
· Simply being “still” through nature, breath work, crafting, music. Where you come to a point of “knowing”.
This is a journey, and discovery, a building of relationships. It takes time, patience, and that dreaded word “practice”.
Perhaps the hardest part is learning to trust. I’m in a lucky position- through my work I need to rely on my guides, and that has created a validation and trust that has been immensely helpful.
Sometimes it is hard to know- is that wisdom flowing from me, my guides, or some universal divinity. I’m not sure the lines are always clear, and I’m not convinced it always matters.
A better question might be- is this practice, and the insight it brings you helpful? If it is then keep going, you are doing it right.
If you'd like to know more about how I work with Spirit Guides, I have a podcast here.
I also have a YouTube Video looking at how to connect with your spirit guides using Tarot here.