What is a Spirit Guide?

What is a Spirit Guide?

Many of us have experienced a spontaneous action that made no sense at the time but turned out to be exactly what was needed at the proper moment. We scratch our heads and think, “what made me do/say that?” This is an example of a spirit guide stepping in to help you in some facet of your life.

There are many types of spirit guides that are able to provide advice and assistance in any situation. Be confident that the right guide will present itself at exactly the right time in order to help you in the best way possible for your life without hurting anyone else.

Spirit guides can be labeled as Archangels, Angels, Guardian Angels and Guides, Goddesses, Ascended Masters and Enlightened Beings, Ancestors, Spirit Animals, Elemental Energies (Sylphs, Undines, Salamanders, and Gnomes), or something residing upon the earth such as a tree, mountain, or body of water. Anything that holds energy has the ability to use that energy to communicate impressions, feelings, thoughts and healing.

The term spirit guide infers that these energies are positive in nature and become known to us to offer assistance in one way or another.

Guides are always there to help in any situation; implanting a thought to assist in keeping you safe and they can become a constant part of your life if you remember to ask for their help.


In the Hierarchy of Angels, the Archangels are the highest of all. They are said to be made of pure love and bring us much needed messages. Some of the better known Archangels are:

  • Archangel Ariel is Nature’s Protector and connects you to the Earth
  • Archangel Chamuel is the Nurturer, teaching self-love and love of others
  • Archangel Gabriel is the Messenger and helps you to receive clear messages
  • Archangel Michael is the Leader and aids in most everything; you can also ask him to direct you to the best Archangel to help you deal with your situation
  • Archangel Rafael is the Healer and can be called upon for any work healing mind, body and spirit
  • Archangel Uriel is the Transformer and brings truth, light and wisdom to bring about transformation
  • Archangel Zadkiel is the Forgiver bringing you the strength of compassion and forgiving

Angels and Guardian Angels

The term Angels can be any spiritual being in the angelic hierarchy. Angels communicate messages, give direction, comfort, protection and can conduct rescues. A Guardian Angel is said to be assigned to you at birth to help you throughout your lifetime; this guardian can be any Angel within the angelic hierarchy including an Archangel.


Guides are any spiritual beings that help you at any time during your life for any length of time to become a better person. Guides may present themselves when you are in a stressful situation or have been with you your entire life.


Goddesses are revered in all areas of the world in vast numbers. They offer help in a myriad of areas that affect human existence. Familiarize yourself with the goddesses that handle the particular facets of particular situations you are dealing with. A few examples are:

  • Amaterasu the Japanese Sun goddess
  • Durga, the Hindu Divine Mother
  • Fortuna, the Roman goddess of fortune
  • Freya, the Norse goddess of fertility, sexual liberty, abundance, and war
  • Gaia the Greek primordial Earth Mother
  • Isis, the Egyptian mother goddess and matron of nature, magic, and creativity
  • Quan Yin, the Chinese goddess of mercy and compassion
  • Pelé, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, both destroyer and creator
  • Sedna, Inuit goddess of the sea and queen of the underworld
  • Shekina, Hebrew goddess of compassion

Ascended Masters

Ascended Masters were enlightened beings upon earth who spiritually transformed (a.k.a., ascended). They make their presence known to us to guide us in our work to raise our vibrations in order to bring about the greater growth within ourselves. Having us become more enlightened is their goal. Aside from this they are also able to assist us when we ask for help. There are many ascended Masters who have traversed the enlightenment route through existing on earth in human form. Among the many are:

  • Babaji, the immortal master of the Himalayas promised to stay in his physical body to help all humanity after Ascension
  • Confucius, born in 551 BC, was a well-educated scholar. His teachings emphasize the growth towards perfect virtue in every thought, word and deed
  • Gautama Buddha, one of the great enlightened ones, represents wisdom energy
  • Christ Jesus, the world’s Savior and teacher, to bring peace and brotherhood
  • Maitreya embodies loving kindness and works diligently to enlighten humanity
  • Mother Mary, Mother of the World, is an ascended Master of great love, wisdom and compassion
  • Melchizedek works towards establishing heaven on earth and is said to hold the secrets of God, Universe and Earth
  • Ramtha is said to be the first human to ever ascend 35,000 years ago and now leads the teachings of Enlightenment and Ascension
  • St. Germain assists in the transformation of one’s human consciousness into the Higher Self

Shamans, Sacred Elders and Wisdom Women

Shamans, Sacred Elders, and Wisdom Women all share the energy of spirit guides who carry the knowledge of the ancients. They are more than willing to share these valuable teachings of the past to those residing in the here and now. They communicate in ceremony and storytelling is their method of teaching. Frequently, they show up asking you to understand and teach the shared information with others.


Ancestor spirit guides are connected to you through genetic memory. They can fill the role of a guardian or protector for your lifetime. Occasionally, they assist in repairing genetic scarring from an intense trauma that has persisted through the generations. This work repairs that of the past, bringing it forward into the present, and perpetuating the repair through the future.

Spirit Animals

Spirit Animals share information you need to help you balance and grow in your life. The qualities of a Spirit Animal are all the inherent attributes of the particular animal’s entire species. As you research a particular species, you understand which qualities her talents the Spirit Animal is suggesting that you adopt for your benefit in order to grow in your life.

Elemental Spirits

Elemental Spirits are said to be the spirit of things that inhabit Nature such as trees, mountains, rivers and waterfalls. All things contain energy vibrations including humans and communication with all spirit guides is accomplished through this energy. These elemental energies follow Natural Law which may be an obstacle to understanding the messages they bring. People who are extremely close to Nature are most likely those to receive messages from this group of spirit guides.

How to Connect with Spirit Guides

Learning to connect with spirit guides is similar to learning any Oracle. You must seriously invest the time and effort to broadly learn about the kinds of guides in which you were interested. Create a sacred space to use and try to keep to a consistent time of day to do this work. You can sit quietly or meditate. You can also set up a special place within your meditations in which you meet and greet your guides. Think of it as showing up for an important appointment each day. When working with Spirit Animals, Elementals or the Natural World a place out in nature may work to your advantage (example: embracing tree communication by sitting up against a tree).

Think Like an Animal

When you start communicating with spirit animals don’t approach it with a human point of view. Learn about the animal and its qualities and behaviors. Start thinking like the animal, getting familiar with how they move through their environment, what sounds they make, how they use their senses, and what skills they use. What about this animal can protect, guide, and/or teach? Once you become closely familiar with the animal(s) you will be increasingly receptive to the spirit animals’ telepathic messages. Use your inherent intuitive gifts, animals do. Remember as human beings, we are also spirit animals and have the capacity for the same power and gifts.

Show Your Dedication

As you seriously work with any type of spiritual guides to develop life balance and purpose, these guides get to know that you are serious about your personal growth. This may show up as increased communication. Spirit guide communication is a practice and your ability to listen and receive messages increases with dedication. The most common forms of communication with spirit guides are through your intuitive gifts, meditation periods, dreams and telepathy. Occasionally a ‘heads up’ shout out is given through an actual appearance. This in-depth work also makes you more aware of Spirit Messengers that show up to add a certain piece of needed information of any kind. They can show up in real life, briefly in a dream, or during a meditation.

Build Rapport

Having some background information on any spirit guide that presents itself is most helpful in building a rapport. Sitting quietly, walking in nature, or meditating are the simplest ways to connect. Have no expectations of whom or what will present itself and have patience. If nothing shows up at first persist and dedicate your time and effort, you may have to show the guide(s) that you are not here just for entertainment but are willing to accept and trust what comes through and the messages they bring. Remember: have no specific expectations.

Keep a Journal

Keep a journal to record impressions, pictures, feelings, smells, specific messages, sensations, and information of any kind that you experience. Do not analyze or judge what you get and write it down as soon as possible otherwise you may forget things the longer you wait to record it. What transpired may not make sense at first but possibly may in the future; this is why writing everything down is so important. If you ask specific questions make sure to jot it down in your journal before you start your session of attempting to contact a guide.

How to Ask Your Spirit Guide Questions

Once a guide starts coming through you can start asking specific questions. When you have established a trusting and nonjudgmental rapport with a consistent guide you can also ask if there is a guide to better assist you to answer certain questions moving forward. Your guide may answer the question itself or bring in another. Don’t try to second-guess this process. This will also help to expand your contacts within this realm of guides.

Another method is to ask to meet one of your guides just before falling off to sleep. Something may come through within your dreams. Keep paper and writing implements at the bedside to jot down anything that may have transpired in your dream state.

No matter what types of guides present themselves, remember that you have a circle of guides around you at all times to help you grow as a person. You may not be aware of them, you may not see them, but have the trust that they are there. All you have to do is have faith and ask for their help.

Synchronicity or Animal Guardians?

Synchronicity or Animal Guardians?

Not long ago, I came across a post from a friend of mine which told me about an experience she had while hiking a trail in Ireland. The post read as follows:

I was rushing through the last 2 hours of my hike on the Atlantic Way Trail, getting nervous about the dying twilight and empty trails. The last person I passed had been hours ago, and I still had no glimpse of Doolin. I was experiencing fatigue in my leg stabilization muscles and needed to watch my feet closely, when I looked up again I was startled to see this black dog silently watching me. I called out to her, and she timidly snuck into the high grass. 5 minutes later I turned around and she was following me a ways behind. Although I was a little unnerved, I again crouched down and called to her. She never let me touch her, but eventually, she was accompanying me into town a couple of paces behind me. Then, at the trails end and roads beginning, as suddenly as she appeared, she disappeared. It was strangely comforting to have this shadow sharing a length of the dark trail with me, and I’m thankful to her for the company.

This story reminded me of another that I had heard countless times. It was a story from my dad’s childhood in Greece. He and his friend were climbing a rocky mountain in order to avoid taking the long road from a village to the monastery where they were staying. After climbing for some time, they realized that they had reached a point where they couldn’t climb any further, but it was also too high and too steep to go back down. As the sun started to set, their fear took hold and they began wondering how long it would take people to find them once they realized they were missing. Suddenly a mountain goat appeared before them and began to walk along a path that they hadn’t seen before. They followed the goat just long enough to feel they were safe again before it disappeared just as suddenly as it had appeared before.

These stories aren’t unique. There are endless accounts of people in far more dire situations who were rescued by animals that appeared at just the right moment to ensure their safety.

In 1974, the Philippine navy published an official account of an unusual rescue. On June 2nd an inter-islander passenger ship had sunk off of the coast of an island in the southern Philippines. Two days into the search and rescue effort a woman was spotted clinging to what appeared to be an oil drum. As soon as they started hauling her up, they realized it was actually a giant sea turtle that had been propping her up. It was witnessed by Lt. Cesario F. Mana along with practically everyone else aboard the ship. Mana was quoted in the Montreal Gazette saying “The Sea Creature even circled the area twice before disappearing into the depths of the sea as if to reassure itself that its former rider was already in good hands.”

In September of 2000, 19-year-old Kevin Hines had made the decision to end his life by jumping off of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. He immediately realized after launching himself past the guardrail that he had made a mistake and he didn’t really want to die. He managed to turn his body so that he was no longer falling head first, and miraculously survived the impact. However, he was in indescribable pain as he sank below the water since he had broken his back. He was struggling to keep his head above water when he felt a creature brush against his leg, he claims that the creature kept circling him and nudging him, keeping his head above water until he was rescued by the coast guard. He believes that the creature was a seal but one man on the bridge claimed that it was actually a sea lion that was circling Kevin and keeping him alive.

There’s no question that we have a special connection with animals, but are these stories just a case of being in the right place at the right time? In Kevin Hines case, he believed that the sea lion who came to his rescue was a guardian angel, and my dad claimed that the goat leading them to safety was divine intervention as well. In Kate’s case, she was just grateful to have companionship during a part of her journey where being alone could have been dangerous.  

Is it possible that these people manifested their guardians in a time of need?

Read Article

More In Spirituality

Our unique blend of yoga, meditation, personal transformation, and alternative healing content is designed for those seeking to not just enhance their physical, spiritual, and intellectual capabilities, but to fuse them in the knowledge that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.

Use the same account and membership for TV, desktop, and all mobile devices. Plus you can download videos to your device to watch offline later.

Desktop, laptop, tablet, phone devices with Gaia content on screens

Discover what Gaia has to offer.

The video streaming platform exploring Spirituality, and Spirit Guides

Testing message will be here

Discover what Gaia has to offer.

Testing message will be here