August 26, 2015 11:00 am

Many people in the Pagan and Wiccan communities work with spirits and otherworldly beings. Sometime, you may call upon them on purpose — other times, they might just drop in unannounced! Learn to identify the different types of guides, how to tell if a spirit doesn’t really have your best interests at heart, and how to get rid of spirits that you don’t want hanging around.

Types of Spirit Guides


What is a Spirit Guide?

Many people believe they have spirit guides. Some refer to theirs as angels or guardians. Regardless, if you believe you have one, a spirit guide is there simply to guide, not as an entity that you need to give yourself over to. If a spirit guide has a negative influence on your behavior, then chances are good that it’s not a spirit guide at all, but something else entirely.

These are some of the more commonly found types of spirit guides:

spirit guides

1. Ascended Masters:

These are guides often found by people who do energy work, such as Reiki. An ascended master who appears as a spirit guide is often a being that led a physical life and has moved on to a higher spiritual plane — for example, Buddha, Krishna, even Jesus. Ascended masters usually work with collective groups of souls — in other words, if you’ve got an ascended master hanging around you, you’re not the only one he or she is helping. Their primary focus is that of helping all of humanity. It’s not uncommon for an ascended master to have access to Akashic records. Also referred to as Master Teacher guides.

2. Ancestral Guides:

An ancestral guide is one who can claim some sort of kinship with you, such as your dear Aunt Tillie who died when you were ten. It may also appear in the form of a long-dead ancestor. In some schools of thought, these entities are seen as reincarnated guides, because they are the spirits of someone who loved us during their physical lifetime, or who had some sort of blood connection to our family.

spirit guides

Some people, depending on their religious upbringing, may see these types of guides as guardian angels.

3. Common Spirit Guide, or Teacher Guide:

A typical spirit guide is archetypical, symbolic or representative of something else. For example, you may find your guide appears in the form of a warrior, a storyteller, or a wise woman, and they have appeared to you for a purpose. Typically, that purpose is to teach you and guide you along a particular path. They may also introduce you to other archetypes along your journey, and help out with problem solving, based upon your needs. They are known to provide insight by way of dreams or meditation, and may only hang around as long as you need them, then move on.

4. Animal Guides:

Although many people claim to have animals as spirit guides, often these entities are more companions than anything else. It’s not uncommon for a deceased pet to linger around, keeping you company through the grieving process. In some spiritual traditions, such as various Native American or shamanic paths, a person may have an animal totem, which provides teaching and/or protection.

How to Find Your Spirit Guide

A very important piece is one on Spirit Guide Warning Signs – which reviews some of the red flags you should watch for in any entity that claims to be a spirit guide.

Of equal importance, and one that we’ve overlooked for a while, is a discussion on how to actually find and identify spirit guides. Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the most popular methods of finding a spirit guide. Do keep in mind that not all of these will work for everyone every time – it’s a good idea to try different approaches to see which one works best for you. Also, it’s worth noting that not every single person is going to have, find, or meet a spirit guide right off the bat – if you try these methods and nothing happens, then instead of emailing us about it, just give it some time and try again at some point in the future.

1. Intuition

Ever hear that soft little voice in your head that tells you it’s time to do something? Turn right at the stop sign instead of left, make a big change even though it’s scary, or sit back and listen to what people are saying… all of these are things that the little inner voice might be telling you, and yet often, we dismiss it. Some people believe that this intuitive voice is actually indicative of the presence of a spirit guide.

Learn to evaluate your intuitive ideas, and see if they’re correct. If they are, it’s possible that this is your spirit guide talking to you.

2. Meditation

Some people seek out their spirit guides using meditation. While there are a number of guided meditations you can do to meet spirit guides, available commercially, there’s no need to spend money on a CD or download. Instead, take some time to meditate on your own. As you begin, make sure you’re clearing your mind out of anything that’s not related to meeting your spirit guide.

For many people, this mediation takes the form of a journey. Imagine yourself walking in a remote place, far from the madding crowd. Perhaps you’re in a forest, or on a mountainside, or out in the plains of the Midwest. As you wander, chances are good that you’ll meet someone along the way – and this person could be your spirit guide. Often, spirit guides are representative archetypes – that means they can be someone who symbolizes other things. For instance, your spirit guide might look like Abraham Lincoln. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Honest Abe is your spirit guide, but that he represents certain things to you – honesty, freedom, perseverence, and so on.

3. Dream Journeys

Similar to meditation, a dream journey – which some people refer to as a vision quest – is a way of finding a spirit guide through the subconscious. However, unlike in meditation, during a dream journey, you’re actually asleep. Lucid dreaming is the practice of dreaming with a purpose – as you go to bed, focus on what you wish to dream about. In this case, focus on meeting a spirit guide. Lucid dreaming can be a little tricky to get the hang of, but once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll be able to pre-plan the basics of where you’re going in your dreams, and what you might be doing there.

Because we tend to forget our dreams fairly quickly, it’s important to write down any messages you get during a dream journey, as well as information about anyone you happen to meet. You can go back later and evaluate it for patterns and meaning.

4. Signs, Symbols & Omens

We often talk here at About Pagan/Wiccan about people looking for symbolism where there isn’t any, and then failing to recognize it when it’s right in front of them. Some spirit guides will make themselves known to you with a series of symbols and signs. These may be very basic ones – perhaps you keep seeing blue things, and you’ve never noticed them before – or they may be more complex.

Many people believe that if you want answers from your spirit guide, you need toask them a question – don’t just assume that they’re going to spoon feed you information that’s beneficial. Ask a question, or at the very least, ask for a solution to a dilemma, and then watch for signs or omens that provide an answer.

Kiersta is a Pagan who lives in southern Ohio, and she was trying to decide whether or not she should return to college after a ten-year-absence. “I kept weighing the pros and cons, and really couldn’t make a decision because everything was pretty evenly balanced. After about three months of waffling around, I put it out there to my spirit guides. I figured if I was meant to go back and get my nursing degree, I’d get a sign. If I didn’t get one, I’d know it wasn’t the right time. Within a span of about five days, I kept seeing things that made me realize I needed to go – little signs, like college symbols popping up at random places, a song on the radio, a license plate in front of me that said AWSUM RN, stuff like that. The kicker was when I had to take my son to the emergency room for a nasty sports injury, and after seeing how calm I was, the doctor turned to me and said, “You ever think about going into nursing?”

5. Psychic Evaluation/Divination

Ideally, most people find they want to discover their spirit guide on their own. If you’re skilled at divination, you can try a variety of divination methods yourself to see if you can contact a spirit guide – you don’t necessarily have to pay a psychic to do this for you.

However, if none of the above methods are really working out for you, another option is to have a psychic do some divination to help you meet your spirit guide. A talented psychic can often see if you’ve got guides around you – and can help identify them for you. As always, be sure that you’re working with a reputable psychic, and not someone who is simply after your money. If you don’t get an answer within a couple of sessions, then either (a) you don’t currently have a spirit guide, (b) you have one and it’s not ready to make itself known, or (c) you need to find a different psychic.

Remember, some people may not have a spirit guide, and some people have many of them working together or in turns.

If you do have a spirit guide, you may not find them available to you all the time. Often, they only appear when needed – after all, the purpose of a guide is to offer guidance. If you’re doing just fine, there’s a possibility that they’re off helping others who need it more than you do.