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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Spirit Guides

(Last Updated On: January 15, 2019)

Have you been wondering about spirit guides?

Maybe you want to know what they are.

Or maybe you’ve been getting signs, but you’re not sure how to work with your guides.

How would you like to feel protected and loved every moment of every day?

Sounds pretty awesome, right?

That’s exactly what you get when you develop relationship with your spirit guides.

What are Spirit Guides?

Spirit guides are beings who inhabit a different plane of existence from you and I.

They’re typically thought of as animals or plants in shamanic cultures, but can also be mythical creatures such as a phoenix or angels.

In rare cases, your spirit guide may take on the form of a deceased loved one.

More often, when a deceased loved one appears to you, they’re appearing as themselves.

That doesn’t mean they don’t have helpful information!

But it’s different than a spirit guide.

How are Spirit Guides Different from Other Types of Beings?

Connecting with loved ones who’ve crossed over is a beautiful experience.

But unless one of your spirit guides has chosen to take on the appearance of your loved one, that person is presenting as him or herself.

They appear as the person you knew in life and speak with you from that perspective.

Spirit guides have known you longer than you’ve been alive in this lifetime and communicate with you from a deeper understanding.

They know the past, present, and future.

And they know you in ways you’re yet to know yourself.

Because of this, they’re able to offer deeper insights, lessons, and growth.

Who Has Spirit Guides?

The short answer is, everyone!

Spirit guides are assigned to every soul on the planet.

People may not be aware of their presence and thus think they don’t have any.

That’s a question of awareness, not proof that spirit guides don’t exist.

If you raise your awareness, you will be pleasantly surprised to discover that at least one of your spirit guides has been waiting for you.

What is Awareness?

In spiritual terms, awareness is akin to a higher understanding.

As you become more spiritually aware, you will see and understand connections between humanity and every other being on the planet in new ways.

You will sense yourself as part of a much larger collective consciousness and begin to interact with the world differently as a result.

How to Raise Your Awareness

For most people, raising your spiritual awareness begins with meditation.

A consistent meditation practice peels back the veil between the concrete world we inhabit and the spiritual realm.

If you don’t already meditate daily, free resources such as Insight Timer can be an excellent place to start.

You can also check out my quick start guide to begin meditating with just three simple steps.

What Do Spirit Guides Do?

Spirit guides have three key roles in our lives.

Return Lost Power

First, they return lost power.

By “power,” I’m not talking about ruling the world of having power over others.

Power refers to personal power.

That feeling of being centered and sure of who you are and your place is in the world.

Throughout the course of our lives, humans give up power – often without realizing it.

Sometimes, that power was given up in a previous lifetime, but is ready to be returned in this one.

Every time you allow someone to make a decision for you or you don’t speak up when you feel uncomfortable, you’re giving up some power.

Sometimes, it’s okay because it’s temporary and situationally appropriate.

Other times, it’s actually allowing others to take control when they shouldn’t.

One of the most important and empowering things spirit guides do is return that lost power and help you reintegrate it into your life.

This is a bit hard to understand until you experience it, but let’s give it a try.

When a piece of your personal power left you, one of your guides found it and has been keeping it safely for you.

When the time is right, they will bring it back to you and teach you how to use it again.

This often includes challenges that teach you the necessary lessons to work with this returned power.

Provide Guidance

As the name suggests, spirit guides also provide guidance on your life path.

Think of it this way.

There’s a Universal plan, but humans also have free will.

Spirit guides are here to help us make choices that are aligned with the Universal plan.

That Universal plan was created before you were born, but you don’t have any insight to it.

This can be very frustrating.

How many times have you felt like “I wish I had a dang map for my life!”

It would be really helpful for making decisions, instead of worrying that you’ve made the wrong one.

Spirit guides help point you in the right direction and give you a peek at that map!

And when you don’t make the choice that’s aligned with the Universal plan, spirit guides run around like elves right before Christmas redrawing your life map to help you get back on the right track.

Provide Comfort

Many people aren’t aware of this, but spirit guides also provide comfort in times of distress.

Whether you’ve lost a loved one or you’re having a horrible day when nothing seems to go right, spirit guides are there to wrap you in an energetic, loving hug.

It gives you a moment to rest and re-center.

Plus, who doesn’t love a hug on demand?!

Maybe you’re thinking, “how is that even possible?”

When you’re having a lousy day, do you turn to a friend or loved one for support?

Maybe the give you a hug and let you vent for a while.

But what happens if your go-to person isn’t available for some reason?

Spirit guides are always there and they can give you that same hug and comforting ear – anytime you need it!

All you have to do is ask!

How Many Spirit Guides Do People Have?

I get this question a lot.

The thing is, it’s not one with a concrete answer.

Spirit guides are assigned to us before we’re even born and appear at the right time in our lives.

Sometimes they choose you and sometimes a higher power assigns them.

So, depending on your journey, you may come to know and work with one guide or many.

Being a shaman, I work with three to five guides at a time, usually.

But most people work with only one at a time.

It can be overwhelming otherwise.

This is because, in the process of returning our lost power, spirit guides challenge us and push us.

They put situations and people in our path that feel difficult (or impossible) to deal with.

It’s done with love and with the intention to help us grow.

Being challenged and pushed in too many ways all at once isn’t always good for your mental health.

Go slow and work with each guide in the right time for the biggest benefits.

Honestly, you don’t have a choice.

They won’t work with you if you’re not ready.

Preparing to Work with Your Spirit Guides

Being ready to work with your spirit guides is essential to the process.

Begin by being open to the idea that they exist and want to help you.

Open your heart and your mind to their love and guidance.

It’s as simple, and difficult, as that.

How to Connect with Your Spirit Guides

It takes faith to begin connecting with your spirit guides.

You may feel like you’re not getting anywhere at first.

And then, all of a sudden, it will happen.

You’ll know when it does because the signs and messages they’ve been sending will be obvious to you.

And you’ll consistently feel their loving presence. Sort of the same way you can tell when someone else has come in to a room even when your eyes are closed.

Stick with it.

To start, try these five steps. And snag your free download.

Step 1 – Ask

Connecting with your spirit guides starts with something as simple as asking them to connect with you.

They’re always ready and waiting to work with you, but they need to know you’re ready and willing.

Send out a clear intention that you want to connect with them.

Step 2 – Be Still

Turn off your phone.

Shut the laptop.

Get away from electronic distractions of all kinds.

Find somewhere you can sit quietly and just be.

All those distractions prevent your spirit guides from getting through.

They come quietly and subtly.

You need to make space for them.

Step 3 – Look

It’s quite likely that your guides are already trying to connect with you.

Look around you.

What do you see?

That cloud in the sky that looks like a sheep…or that butterfly that just flew past?

Those could be signs from your guides!

Same with the feathers you just found in the middle of the city or the smell of baking cookies you drove by on the highway.

It will trigger an emotion, a thought.

Pay attention to that. However slight or fleeting it is.

Step 4 – Listen

If you’re a more verbal person, that’s okay!

Your guides already know this and will send you messages you can hear, rather than see.

Find somewhere quiet you can sit and be still.

What do you hear?

You may hear your name being whispered or the rustle of leaves in the breeze…anything!

Those too, are signs from your guides.

Step 5 – Get Comfortable with Metaphors

The images and sounds (or scents or tactile sensations, less commonly) you experience as messages from your guides need to be interpreted.

They do not communicate using direct language the way you’d talk to your best friend or partner.

You’ll need to become comfortable with the idea of metaphors as a form of communication and be willing to interpret them.

Quick Word of Caution

As you open yourself up, many beings will begin to enter your space.

They do not all have your best and highest good in mind.

While none are actually evil, they may be a bit lost and not be able to serve you at this time.

Be aware of any spirits the contact you and say, do, or ask you for things that don’t feel honest.

Also, be aware of any spirits that appear in human form or as relatives.

As mentioned before, most human spirits have their own interests in mind, not yours.

How Spirit Guides Communicate

Senses as Pathways

Spirit guides use our five senses as pathways to connect with us.

It takes time and practice to develop them.

Just like any other skill.

Until you’ve developed all of them, your guides will use your strongest sense to reach you.

One of the easiest ways to build these pathways is with meditation.

In a meditative state, the veil between our world and the spirit world is thinner so it’s easier to reach across the divide and connect with your spirit guides.

There are specific techniques for doing this, which I cover in great detail in my online class.

The Basics

The basic steps to creating sensory pathways in meditation involve bringing awareness to each sense individually and in specific groups. Click here to get started. 

When you do this, that particular sense is heightened, making it easier for your spirit guides to reach you through it.

Over time, that heightened awareness can be transferred to your conscious state.

At that point, you’ll be in direct communication with your guides at all times.


As noted above, spirit guides use metaphors to get their point across.

They have to because they don’t occupy the same plane of existence as we do.

Because of this, it’s critical to learn how to interpret the messages they send.

Again, this takes time and practice.

Keep reading for more on this.

Understanding Messages from Your Spirit Guides

Because spirit guides use metaphors to communicate, you will need to interpret what they’re trying to tell you.

The messages are also very personal and specific for you, though someone else may see the same images or hear the same sounds.

Their message is different because how they interpret the sign is different.


Let’s look at an example.

You’re seeking guidance about something and you look up and notice a cloud that resembles a shark.

To you, the shark represents being tough and digging your teeth into something.

To someone else, the shark may mean being stealthy and moving quietly.

Both are valid.

It’s about what feels right to you.

Here’s another example.

You’re driving home from work and randomly smell baking cookies.

They remind you of your mom.

Someone else thinks of buying their house because there was cookie candle burning when they first viewed it.

Again, both are right. It’s about what that message means to you on a personal level.

Where the Metaphors Come From

These metaphors are very personal to you.

Because of this, your guides use symbols or words/sounds that have meaning for you.

You may associate them with:

  • someone in your life
  • an event in your past
  • a strong emotion about the metaphor

Whatever way it winds up resonating with you, that’s the message.


Let’s look at the shark cloud again.

For you, it means being tough and sinking your teeth in.

This message likely signals that you need to be strong about a situation.

Perhaps you need to stand up for yourself and say no.

Or maybe you need to dig deeper and work some extra hours to get that big project done.

For the shark, if you’ve always been reluctant to stand your ground, but your spirit guides have returned the power of self-confidence, you’re likely being pushed to say no and stick up for yourself to practice using that newly returned power.

Now let’s look at the scent of baking cookies.

It reminds you of your mom.

Perhaps you need to call her.

Or maybe there’s a specific moment baking with her.

She may have said something to you while you were baking together that holds the key to what you need right now.

Again, the specifics of how the metaphor applies to your life will depend on your situation.

And it’s highly likely that the guidance you receive is related to returning power to you.

Because of that, it may feel unnatural and challenging to follow.

Remember, to fully incorporate that returned power, you need to work with it.

Your guides will find ways to push you into using it.

Getting Help Connecting with Spirit Guides

It’s clear that connecting with spirit guides is vital to becoming fully empowered and living in tune with the Divine plan for your life.

If you’ve read through all this and you’re still struggling to connect with your guides, don’t fret!

Snag your free download and check out these other resources.


Taking a class can be a great way to learn more about connecting with your spirit guides.

Do a Google search for in person classes in your area, if that’s your thing.

Or, if you’re into self-paced classes you can do online, this class is the perfect solution for you!


Building those sensory pathways to your guides is most easily done during meditation.

This is because the barrier between our world and theirs is thinner.

Give it a try with this guided meditation.

Spirit Guide Retrieval

Maybe you want to fast-track your connection to your spirit guides.

Patience is necessary to truly have a deep connection, but you can quickly discover the identity of the spirit guide you most need right now with a spirit guide retrieval.

You will still need to develop the pathways, but many people find it easier when they know who they’re looking for.

Final Thoughts

Spirit guides are always available.

To everyone.

At any time.

Everyone can benefit from a great connection with their guides.

The empowerment and growth that comes from a loving, lasting relationship with spirit guides is unlike anything experienced in human existence.

The more you work with them, the more clear your path becomes and the easier it is to navigate daily life without unnecessary stress.

There will be challenges along the way to help you reclaim your power and learn to truly trust your guides.

Have faith that it will all work out and that each challenge is given with love.

If you’ve tried working with your spirit guides before, I’d love to hear your stories!

Or if this is all new to you, what other questions do you have?

Share in the comments!

I read and respond to all of them.

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