Everyone has spirit guides, whether they choose to acknowledge them or not. These helpful entities give us advice, protect us, and, as their name implied, guide us on our journey through life. The name "spirit guides" is a bit of a catch-all, however -- while all spirit guides are helpful, they are not necessarily the all the same type of spirit. Here are the different types of spirit guides, and how to best connect with each:
Ancestral spirits covers a broad range of deceased people. An ancestor can be a recently departed loved one, like a favorite grandmother. They may be distant ancestors from generations past. They may not even be related to you -- cultural ancestors and folk heroes fall under the category of "ancestral spirit" just as much as blood relatives do.
These spirits work to support you from the afterlife. Their assistance is often very practical and mundane, like helping you find jobs, homes, or relationships.
Divination tools are helpful for connecting with ancestral spirits. You may wish to create an ancestor altar set with photos of departed loved ones, an altar cloth, and fresh flowers. Make food offerings to your ancestors, and, when you have need of their advice, light a white skull candle and use a pendulum, tarot deck, or other divination tool to obtain their advice. When you are through, be sure to thank them for their help.
Angels come in different types. There are the guardian angels that every person has, helpful angels, and archangels. Each of these vary slightly in their power and scope:
- Guardian angels are with you from birth, regardless of your religion. You can call upon them for help at any time.
- Helpful angels are spirits who look for people in need. They may dip in and out of your life depending on your circumstances.
- Archangels are the most powerful tier of angel. They don't attach themselves to people, but can be called on when needed. Each archangel has their own specialty.
Angels are fond of communicating through synchronicity. If you begin to notice a lot of tiny coincidences in your life, this may be angels trying to get through to you. One of these coincidences is the appearance of "angel numbers." These are repeated sequences of numbers that have certain meanings. If you find yourself constantly seeing the number 1111 everywhere, for example, your angels are trying to send you a wake-up call.
You can request help from angels at any time simply by asking. If you wish, you may also invoke the protection of your guardian angel by anointing a Guardian Angel candle with Angel oil and lighting it before you enter a risky situation. If you find yourself in need of an archangel's help, there are specific ways to call upon their powers.
Animal guides should not be confused with familiars or spirit animals. Familiars are living animals that work as magical assistants to witches, and spirit animals are a specific facet of some Native American religions. Animal guides, on the other hand, are the spirit of any animal who may have something to teach you or help you with. This can be a beloved pet who passed away, or an animal you feel drawn to.
Connecting with animal guides is a bit trickier than other types of spirit guides. The best way to receive messages from them is to strengthen your intuition, awareness, and ability to remember your dreams. These guides tend to leave subtle signs and reminders of their presence in your life, like finding a feather on a hike or appearing in a dream. Practice keeping your eyes open for signs from these spirit helpers.
Ascended masters are humans who have reached enlightenment or otherwise transcended human existence. Figures like Jesus and the Buddha act as ascended masters. They are powerful figures in the spirit world and act as teachers to the living.
All of the ascended masters were devoted to their spirituality in life. The best way to connect with them is to cultivate some kind of regular spiritual practice. It does not matter what religion you practice, as long as you regularly make time for it. Create a spiritual sanctuary in your home. Light white candles and sandalwood incense (either stick, powder, or chips on charcoal). Make time to clear your mind and listen for signs or messages from these guides. When you are facing a dilemma, surrender it to the ascended masters and allow their insights to guide your decision.
Most people have only a few types of spirit guides. You may have guardian angels and animal guides, but not come in contact with helper angels or the ascended masters. Some spirits will be with you through your whole life, while others will come and go as they are needed. No matter who your guides are, connect with them whenever you are struggling with something in life. Their gentle guidance and protection will help you.