When I first became interested in researching spiritual topics I came across and tried a lot of different techniques for connecting with spirit guides.
When I would lucid dream more often, there were times where it felt as if I was met in the dream by another prescense as aware as myself – a guide or higher being of some kind.
As time has gone on my relationship and perspective on spirit guides has shifted, I want to share that perspective today.
In this post I want to explore what spirit guides are and if they are real (in my experience).
What are spirit guides?
As spirit guides are represented in various different cultures across disparate time periods, bringing together a singular definition is a little difficult.
Generally speaking, a spirit guide is defined as a non-physical entity who is assigned to us at birth in order to act as a spiritual guide or protector. They tend to be proficient in one area of spiritual development or an ascended master of some kind. The term spirit guide is sometimes used interchangably with guardian angel (although there are difference) or viewed as ancestors rather than entirely seperate entities.
Spirit guides tend to be beings who haven’t incarnated on Earth or in physical form (or at least haven’t recently).
Are spirit guides real?
This question can go in many different directions, depending on what you consider to be ‘real’. Is something which we can perceive non-physically real, or are we talking objective reality?
In this case I am defining real as something which we can perceive non-physically that also comes with its own distinct consciousness.
In my experience spirit guides are real, they just aren’t common or easily accesible as we might believe.
With most of these techniques we are not reaching a deep enough state consistently enough to communicate directly with a higher being of this kind.
The best comparison I can think of that goes along with this line of thinking is the tendency we have to assume that when a passed loved one appears in our dreams, this is in fact them.
This isn’t to say that our loved ones cannot send us messages in our dreams, but rather this is something that so many of us want deeply, it can difficult to discern whether we are projecting or not – we might not even want to consider it.
It’s more likely that we are connecting with some aspect of our own unconscious mind, and this is just as helpful. We can definetly view these individuated aspects of our consciousness as guides of some sort.
Our imagination can bring certain archetypes, which exist in our unconscious mind, to life in a specific form.
We all have a wise elder within us, an inner child, masculine and feminine archetypes (anima and animus), the trickster, mage etc.
We can gain a lot of insight if we go into a meditation with the intention to connect with these aspects of our unconscious and see what they have to say.
There is an emerging theory that spirit guides are actually future version of ourself. This builds upon the concept of oneness or universal consciousness.
Similiar to how we are all expression of one Source, the Universe, God, whatever phrase you use, is the same way that these higher beings can represent aspects of our being that exist beyond this time and space.
How to connect with a spirit guide
I think the best way to affirm this for yourself is through personal experience.
Find a quiet spot and sit in a comfortable meditative position. Focus on your breath for a few minutes. Once your mind is clear, begin visualizing yourself in a forest clearing with a pathway leading up to it.
At the center of this forest clearing, visualize a bench with enough space for at least two people to sit. Develop this space in your mind with as much detail as possible. Make it come alive with a light breeze and the sound of wildlife. Fully feel yourself here.
Being counting down from ten and affirm ‘I wish to meet my spirit guide’. Visualize a figure walking towards you keeping your mind free of expectations. Just let the details fill themselves in naturally.
At first the guide might appear faint or you can only perceive a vague outline, however the more you practice the clearer this visual will become.
You can begin asking this guide any questions you have, try asking their name and see what impressions you get. Again, allow the words to come through without expectation.
When you are finished, thank your spirit guide for making contact and say farewell. They might have a message to give you before leaving.
My experience with spirit guides
At the start of my spiritual exploration I was incredibly interested in concepts like spirit guides and guardian angels. To connect with my spirit guide and form a connection with them was a clear goal I had in mind.
I was able to tune into two beings who I considered to be spirit guides. One who appears slightly younger than myself, another perhaps a decade or two older.
Each guide represented a different stage in my spiritual development, and I was able to look at both as reference points for different stages on my journey.
However over time I valued discernment, embodiment and integration on my spiritual path. There are so many ways we look outside of ourselves in our daily lives for guidance, particularly to where we are ignoring our own intuition. This can be reflected on the spiritual path too.
It’s easy to get too attached to outside figures guiding and protecting us, or focusing our attention in a disembodied way.
Generally speaking spirit guides are looked at as something outside of ourselves; beings who possess greater knowledge than us, who have a higher spiritual standing.
With this belief, we can end up putting spirit guides on a pedastal, where we might start to ignore our own intuition. In extreme cases we can begin to idolize these figures or take everything we receive from these beings as the ultimate truth.
Just because we are perceiving information from a guide doesn’t mean this is accurate or being interpreted the right way, we must remain discerning.
The most important thing to keep in mind when working with guides is that this shouldn’t be our main focus.
It’s much more important to be consistently connecting with our spirit through meditation and daily practices.
Whether or not we are having a grand visual or mystical experience or feeling deeply connected to a specific being.
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