Spirit guides come in many forms, from ancestral spirits to power animals.
All of them must be approached with respect and love. In return, you can forge a spiritual connection that will give you help, advice, and protection on your journey. Not all spirit guides have the same abilities or offer the same gifts, but all of them are worth exploring during your spiritual progression.
Ancestors are more than relatives who have gone before you, they can also include folk figures from your culture. They are always ready to respond to a request from one of their own, and will act fiercely to help protect and guide you. Even if you do not know your lineage, you have ancestor spirits around you waiting to hear from you.
Animal guides are seen in many cultures across the world. They can allow you to learn their attributes, from courage, to patience, to cunning. These should not be confused with witches' familiars. While familiars are always live animals, animal guides can be any creature -- including ones you would not want in your home!
Photo by Philippe Montes / Unsplash
Earth spirits are the spirits of trees, plants, and even bodies of water. These may be local spirits, for example an oak tree you pass on the way to work every day, or distant, like an exotic herb. They can lend you guidance and wisdom when you demonstrate your devotion to the earth and the well-being of all things around you. If you feel drawn to a particular place or plant, try meditating beside it and placing your hands on or over it. If you get a positive feeling, it is a good time to try a connection ritual. If not, thank the spirit and leave them in peace.
Angels are divine guardians that may come to offer healing, protection, or important messages. Each Archangel has their own name, associations, and attributes, and learning these can help you recognize their presence in your life. You may also have a personal guardian angel, who can help protect you in times of need.
Establishing a Connection
It can seem tricky to establish a connection to spirits around you when you do not have one yet. In many cases, spirit guides will choose you. You may find yourself drawn to a certain animal, plant, or even place. You may also find yourself picking up on strange signs, like constantly seeing the number 11 or the color copper. In other cases, you may wish to open yourself to a guide and see what happens. Connecting with a spirit guide can happen informally, or through ritual. Ritual provides a calm, peaceful, protected atmosphere that allows you to control which entities are allowed in, and keep malevolent spirits out. To do, you should:
Create a relaxing, uplifting atmosphere.
Decorate an altar with a clean cloth, a dish for offerings, and fresh flowers. Play happy music. Open your windows and allow in fresh air and sunlight.
Prepare your space the same way you would if a good friend were coming to visit.
Set the altar with an appropriate candle. If you are seeking to communicate with an animal guide, for example, a brown candle is appropriate. For angels, use a white candle anointed with Angel Oil.
Shield yourself. Envision your space protected by a sphere of glowing light, which no malevolent spirit can cross. Say, "I am protected. I am safe. Nothing harmful may enter here."
Light the candles, and allow your mind to go still. Fully relax, and send out a request for your spirit guide. Do not worry if you need to repeat the ritual many times before you feel a response.
When you do, introduce yourself. Explain that you wish to develop a spiritual connection, and wait for a response. This can be something as simple as a feeling you get, or even a sign given by an oracle deck or other divination method.
Conclude the ritual and snuff the candle. Make an appropriate offering to your guide, whether it is birdseed left outdoors for bird spirits, water poured on the roots of a tree, or libations poured for ancestors.
Some spirit guides are more receptive than others. Some may even give you the feeling of being "shrugged off" if they are not interested. With patience and care, you can develop lasting relationships with the spirits around you.
Source: this article was originally written and published in May 22, 2018 on originalbotanica
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