There are many schools of thought on Angels, some of which we hope to cover later, but for now lets concern ourselves with spirit guides. A spirit guide is a spirit person who works closely with a medium. He/she has a variety of jobs, but their main concern is to teach the medium spiritual truth. They can be looked upon as helpers, guiding and advising the medium about clairvoyance, healing, and other spiritual skills.
Who are they?
A guide could be anybody, but often they have lived on earth many centuries ago. Because of the time spent in spirit, they have become highly developed in spiritual ways. They choose to remain close to the earth life, and act as a link and teacher. Many mediums will often tell of their guide as being a Red Indian or from some other exotic race. The reason is simply that Red Indians for example, lived a very spiritual existence, and also believed in their own psychic skills. Based on these backgrounds, they are ideally suited to spiritual work. But it is not always the case, the level of spirituality dictates if they able to take on the work, not the background. A guide could also be, as some mediums report, someone they knew in a previous life, or indeed a family member. Whoever the guide is, and from whatever background, the medium will have some form of affinity with them. It is this familiarity that bonds them and allows them to work closely together.
One guide for one medium?
For some, yes. But often a guide will be with a medium for a particular part of their life, or to teach certain things. It may also be that a medium has more than one guide, each assisting with various tasks that the medium performs. For example they may have guide that assists them with healing. For some mediums, they meet their guides very early on in their lives and that guide will stay with them until the end of their earth life. It could be that many people meet their guide in development circles, where they learn to know and trust them. Guides present themselves as people, and even have a sense of humour. They are also concerned with your personal growth not just your psychic ability, you don't have to be a medium to have a guide.
Guardians & spirit helpersMediums also have a guardian, this spirit person could be likened to a doorkeeper, he is their to protect the medium and generally keep things in order. He can be called upon to sort things out if the medium becomes overworked or confused. Unlike the guide, the guardian is not a teacher but rather an onlooker with the mediums interest in mind.
There are other spirit helpers who may be known or unknown, who will aid you at certain times although it may not always be obvious to you. But if you listen to your 'gut feeling' or recognise an idea or new thought, you may have been listening to your guide or helpers!
The purpose of spirit guidesThe guide acts a link between the medium and the world of spirit. He assists the medium to form a better contact with those who wish to communicate and aids less experienced communicators to get their message across. He will teach the medium how to attune to the spirit world and is both a friend and advisor. Another important role of the guide is in trance communication. Some guides have spoken through their medium, as in the case of Silver Birch. But the guide will also assist when another spirit person wishes to speak through the medium.
But a guide does not control or run the life of the medium, he / she retains their free will. A guide cannot force a medium to do what they don't want to and in no way dominates him / her. Nor can working with a guide free you from responsibility or making the wrong decisions in your life. But they will help where they can to lead the medium in the right direction, although ultimately the decision still lies with the medium themselves. A guide and medium will be in partnership, they both have the desire to be of service and let others know their loved ones have survived into a new world.
Do we all have a guide?
Wherever our life has led us, we all have a guide, although these may be referred to as Guardian Angels. These Angels will watch over us and try to steer us in the right direction. Perhaps you have had that `gut feeling` that made you do something or not do something, often that is your Guardian Angel lending a hand. It is still up to you to follow or reject those feelings. Many of us will go through life totally unaware of these spirit helpers, often only being to able to listen when tragedy strikes.
As our spirituality increases, for whatever reason, we tend to attract spirit helpers around us. We may be told by a medium who they are, often this is a general description. But it is when we begin to develop our own psychic skills that we truly become aware of our guides.
Well known Spirit Guides;
Guides can do more then just aid a medium in his clairvoyant work, they can also be teachers. The much loved and respected guide Silver Birch did this by speaking through the medium Maurice Barbanell. Maurice would go into trance to allow Silver Birch to address those in his circle. The words imparted by this wise and experienced guide has served many a medium an understanding of the spirit world and have been published in a number of books.
Here is an extract from Silver Birch's teachings;
" If you help only one soul to find itself, if you comfort only one mourner, if you heal only one sick person, then the whole of your earthly life is justified. How privileged you are to be aware of the tremendous power that is around and about you, that enfolds you, guards you, directs you and ensures that you will continue to unfold your latent divinity and the gifts which are your cherished possession."
Try it for yourself..
I often get asked how people can get to know their own spirit guide, so here are a few suggestions that might help you.
Begin with a prayer asking for protection and guidance. Then get yourself comfortable, if you prefer, set some gentle music playing in the background, aromatherapy candles can also help you relax, just be sure to choose those that calm and soothe not those that invigorate. Take some deep slow breaths, and calm your whole body, until you feel relaxed. Try to slow down, becoming so relaxed that your heartbeat seems to slow down, withdraw into yourself a little yet be aware. You can't always eliminate normal noises such as traffic or people, but each time you try they will recede further away.
Next imagine a brilliant white light, for me this is in front and slightly to the left, but it can be anywhere, above, below, left or right. Look at this light as it gets brighter, see and feel how pure it is. Now start to draw the light towards you, bring it in towards your heart. Feel it enter and become one with you as it fills your entire being. Feel it's purity and divine brilliance as it touches you from head to foot, sense how vibrant and living it is, it is more than light, more than purity - it's a living energy.
Now create a place to meet and talk with your guide, this could be a beautiful garden, a summer field, a hillside - anywhere. Try to use the same place each time, so it becomes familiar to you. Ask for your guide to join you here. The act of asking him/her to join you keeps you in control.
Don't expect some disembodied voice to suddenly start speaking out of thin air! It doesn't happen, rather, spirit will speak to you in thought, in images and feelings. It's more a case of somehow knowing what is meant, understanding comes from feeling the answers travel through you. In the same way don't force the information, but let it come to you.
Finally, don't be disappointed if you don't hear your guide or build a foundation of learning from them. It's enough to know that you have help around you. Just because your guide can't be heard on a daily basis doesn't mean you can't develop mediumship. They often work in the background and will still assist you in the process.
The idea of spirit guides is not limited to the work of mediums or Spiritualists, but can be found in many cultures and beliefs. For example the peoples of Amazonian South America believed in ' Spirit Helpers '. These 'helpers' were typically the spirits of their ancestors or animals such as the eagle and jaguar.
You may also come across the term Shaman, and while Shamanism is a belief beyond the scope of this website, it's worth knowing the background.
To become a Shaman you had to be 'called' to the service, often there were initiations and suffering. A ceremony which involved symbolic death and resurrection, endowed the new Shaman with a new existence, forever changing him. During the initiation the new Shaman would meet and converse with spirits, learn how to go into trance, astral travel and be taught which spirits he could call upon in the future. Those who did not attain the full range of Shaman powers became 'medicine men'. Regarding their work, these peoples believed illness was the result of evil spirits entering inside people. They performed an elaborate ceremony to call out the evil spirits. Only the Shaman have the power to communicate with the spirit domain, acting much like our mediums do, as an mediator and message giver. Shaman were major figures for a tribe, often taking on many roles; teachers, poets, healers, story tellers and other functions.
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