I love working with spirit guides and in general, I prefer working with them over deceased loved ones because they are specifically focused on the client’s spiritual growth, which really suits me as a spiritual counselor. Spirit guides are like invisible friends that guide your spiritual and personal development as an incarnated being. I like to imagine that they are looking after my birth-plan for me, helping guide me in the right general direction.
Guides assist us in all areas of our lives in order to help us become more well-rounded, balanced individuals. You might have one guide helping you with your relationships and another helping you with your career. You might have one guide teaching you better communication skills and another that is teaching you how to develop financial intelligence and the discipline to save money. Some people say we have a set amount of guides, like one, three or seven. I personally haven’t found this to be true.
I guess, like most things, I think of guides in two ways. On the one hand, I think of them as being very real, independent spirit-based beings who are acting like personal coaches from the spirit realm. On the other hand, I think of them as being symbols which represent or personify ideas, archetypes and aspects of the clients own personality. I’m quite comfortable seeing them as being real and symbolic at the same time
This dual perspective doesn’t create any kind of conflict or confusion for me. While I personally enjoy thinking in an ‘and’ kind of way, rather than an ‘or’ kind of way, I do understand that this can be challenging for others. I always tell my clients that whether they think of guides as being real or symbolic is entirely up to them. It doesn’t really matter which way they look at it because both perspectives are equally useful. The important issue is the message being delivered and whether or not the client can relate to it and use it in a practical way to improve their quality of life.
What people believe matters less to me than how that specific belief serves them. The Haiwaiin Shamans have a saying for this; ‘Effectiveness is the measure of truth’. I add my own little bit onto the end of this philosophy by saying ‘If it works, use it’. Beliefs are perspectives which shape your interpretation of reality. An effective belief, is one that causes you to interpret reality in a way that enhances your spiritual well-being, your psychological health and your general quality of life.
When I was younger, I would get tangled up in my own mind, trying to work out which of the many perspectives I could see on any particular issue was the ‘correct one’. This stressed my nervous system and seriously impacted my ability to make decisions, resulting in problems such as insomnia, self-doubt and procrastination. When my female guide was teaching me about the high priestess colour (Shaman Blue), she helped me move past this pattern by teaching me to select the perspective that was the most empowering for me, rather than getting hung up on wrongs and rights.
This is often what is happening for people who are hung up on prediction. They have to make a decision they don’t want to make because they don’t know the outcome. From their perspective, one decision is the ‘right’ one and maybe the psychic can tell them which one is ‘right’ so they can avoid all the pain of a ‘wrong’ decision. My guides tell me that life is all about learning how to make better decisions, based on an assessment of how well your earlier decisions worked out for you. So there isn’t really any such thing as a wrong or right decision, so long as you are learning from them!
Up until recently, whenever I drew a guide, it would look like a spherical ball of coloured light suspended above the clients head, because this is exactly how I see them. I also get a sense of their presence standing behind the client, but the image of the coloured ball is more real for me. I guess this is the way I think of people in general, as balls of light! In my more recent sketches, the presence of a guide is implied by certain colours and shapes.
The colours inside the ball of light represent the personality of the guide and sometimes also a subpersonality within the client. My favourite analogy for the connection between a human and a guide is based on my year 12 biology class study on enzymes. Enzymes act as catalysts for biochemical reactions in the body, by binding to substrates. The enzyme and substrates fit together very precisely like a lock and a key. While bonded, the substrate undergoes an incredible transformation. Eventually the enzyme releases the transformed substrate and goes on its way.
I think of spirit guides as catalysts activating enhanced change and growth within the human through the process of bonding. The connection between the human and guide is like the enzyme-substrate complex. The better the fit, the better the transformation and a good fit is dependent on rapport. There needs to be some kind of shared value, personality trait or interest to help the guide connect effectively with the human in order to facilitate growth and transformation.
This is not to say there needs to be complete agreement or similarity between the guide and human. While a little rapport is needed to enable to initial connection, it can be the differences between the guide and human that then effect the most change in the human. Think of the guide as being like a tuning fork with a specific pattern of frequencies, like a unique song. This song is a pattern of behaviours, values and attitudes we call ‘the personality’. When the guide connects with the human, the guides ‘song’ resonates with the client, reaching deep within to activate a similar personality pattern within the client.
I must admit, that just like people, some spirit guides are easier to get along with than others and some are more fun to work with than others. My favourite guides are those with humour, warmth and a unique character. I really enjoyed reading for Shaylee because her guide had all of these qualities and he was an excellent communicator, enabling me to access extra information that wasn’t being communicated by the colours themselves.
In every reading, I’m not only cross-referencing colours with positions to get more clarity and information, I’m also cross-referencing the aura sketch with impressions provided by the client’s spirit guides. The guides use colours to communicate with me because it’s my primary psychic ‘language’ and they build on the colour information by providing additional feelings, words and visual images.
Shaylee came for her second sketch about a year after the first. Strangely, most repeat sketches seem to be spaced about a year apart. I think this is perfect because this time-frame allows time for the lessons and issues from the last sketch to be cleared. Clients tend to go away and work on their issues over the year and then come back when everything has changed for them. The new sketch gives them important feedback about their growth and confirmation about their new direction.
Between the first sketch and the second, Shaylee had been coming to see me regularly to discuss spiritual and personal issues and had also attended one of my workshops. During this time I had been astonished at how fast she was growing on personal and spiritual levels. For example, Shaylee had a great fear of death and it only took one session of us talking about this for her to completely move beyond her fear and come to peace with the idea of dying.
When she arrived that day for her session, Shaylee was excited. “I’ve got so much to tell you I don’t know where to start but I also want a sketch. Do we have time?” I suggested we do the sketch before she told me anything, because I prefer to do what I call a ‘clean read’, with as little prior information influencing me as possible. This being Shaylee’s second sketch, I didn’t worry about running through my introductory talk with her, I simply did my meditation and then tuned in to find out who would be guiding us through the reading.
My first impression was a visual flash of a big round, white-yellow face. The flash was very brief, but it was enough to give me the vague impression of a moon-face. Many of my visual impressions come in the form of brief flashes that are so fast I almost don’t see them. If I need to, I can get my mind to repeat or ‘recycle’ the flash so I can get more information.
In this case, the one brief image was enough, because it triggered a series of associations that I was able to follow, like a detective hunting for clues! Have you ever played free-association games? It’s not that different to day-dreaming really. A word or an image leads to another word of image because they seem to be related in some way, but the sequence of thoughts doesn’t really follow any logical pattern. In this case, the moon face reminded me of an image from childhood.
When I was a child reading Enid Blytons ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’, there was a character named Moonface who had the body of a man and a very round moon-shaped face. This was probably the strongest male moon-associated image my spirit guides could find in my memory, because in western society the moon is usually associated with women. Like most people, if the moon was going to be personified, I’d think of a Moon-Goddess, not a Mood-God.
Now I knew she had a Moon-God with her but I didn’t know his name. Suddenly a memory came to me. Shaylee had come for a healing about a month prior. During the healing, a Spirit Guide had introduced himself as ‘Thoth’ and presented me with an image of a man dressed in ancient Egyptian dress. When I looked the name up in the dictionary, I discovered he was an Ancient Egyptian God.
Again, I checked through my reference books and found that Thoth was indeed known as a Moon-God. Since then, I have done more research and found that the Moon God was probably the most popular God during a certain period in history throughout the Middle Eastern area. He was known by many different names, but in essence, the names were probably all references to the same character.
In over ten years of sketching, I have drawn plenty of Moon-Goddesses into sketches, but only once before had I met a Moon-God. I don’t clearly remember the first meeting but he certainly made an impression on me this time. How different he was from a Moon-Goddess! Female versions are always mystical, serene, deep and quiet. The only time I remember a variation on this was the time I met the Goddess of the ‘Rainbow around the Moon’. She was much more expressive!
My new-found friend was anything but quiet. He had a uproarious sense of humour and Shaylee had to very patient, waiting for me to stop laughing so I could catch my breath and share the joke. Our Moon-face guide asked me to draw him as a halo of light around Shaylee’s sketch and that pointed out that it really did look like a halo of light around ‘Saintly Shaylee’s’ head, as Thoth put it.
This was a tongue-in-cheek jab at Shaylee’s sometimes rather poor opinion of herself. Obviously, like me, Thoth had a different opinion. The ‘saintly’ reference was such an exaggerated opposite to her actual self-image that it was bound to press her buttons if not delivered with her own, very self-depreciating humour which I thought he pulled off beautifully.
Jokes aside, the way the white ball of light was sitting over her head had its own very special meaning. When a ball of light representing a guide is actually touching the head, it means the client and the guide have connected beautifully and are working well together as a team. This is the guide-human complex at its best. The more of the ball touches the human, the better the connection.
I commented to Thoth that his personality was so much more extroverted than I imagined a Moon-God to be and he said to think of him as being more like a Sun-God in personality. In Egyptian Mythology, the Earth is male and the Sky is female so maybe they reverse their sun-moon associations too. Thoth insisted that I draw a crescent moon in gold, rather than silver, to honour these insights. To me, gold represents the sacred masculine, whereas silver, a far more moon-like colour, represents the sacred feminine.
Thoth then talked with Shaylee and I about how he was helping open her mind to new ideas and a sense of universal connectedness. He also talked about how he was helping Shaylee open a small part of her heart to others so she could move beyond her judgments and fears and begin to experience a sense of being part of one big happy family, on both personal and spiritual levels.
He paused for effect and gave me a series of images and sounds along with the feeling self-depreciating humour, once again. I felt myself focusing on her heart and I heard the sound of creaky hinges, as though a rusty door was being opened. I saw him straining with the effort, but he was really hamming it up, pretending it was very hard to open the doors of her heart. He was teasing her about her self-image again, because she thought of herself as being stingy and closed-hearted.
Thoth then asked me to tell Shaylee that she was entering into the second major ‘purpose’ phase of her life and that this purpose was to be of a highly spiritual nature. According to him, Shaylee had been an oracle or orator in many past lifetimes but had lost confidence in this ability at some stage. In response to this message Shaylee told me she had been terrified of public speaking ever since she was a child.
Shaylee’s guide told her she would be helping other people through the power of the spoken word in the form of spiritual messages and spiritual guidance. He told her she had a gift in this area and that her words would be uplifting for others, helping them to see their difficult experiences in a more positive light. He told me that he had already showed Shaylee a vision of this new purpose.
As I sketched, I noticed a fresh stream of the ambition colour emanating from her hands, so I knew she had recently developed strong feelings about pursuing a particular career. Lower down in her sketch, I could see a pumpkin orange, eye-shaped colour behind her knees. This is the ‘practical-action’ colour so I knew she had already taken concrete steps towards making this dream a reality.
Around the pumpkin colour was the Destiny colour, a very pale violet. I don’t see this colour very often. Its presence told me that this period of time in Shaylees life is a cross-roads and the decisions she makes now will transform her life in dramatic, powerful ways. This period of time and the issues being faced are one of the major events in her ‘birth-plan’.
Her guide told me that the next thirteen months would be quite challenging for her and she would need to keep reminding herself of her original vision and use this stay motivated. He said that she would probably get distracted and struggle at times with self-doubt and loss of motivation. Once past the first thirteen months, there would be very little risk of her reneging on the deal and it was almost guaranteed she would manifest her intention.
After the reading Shaylee said to me “In the past few months my whole life has changed. I’ve discovered my spirituality, and my intuition has been strongly guiding me towards changing my career path. As you know, I haven’t been happy in my job but until recently I was too scared to try something else.”
“Now I’ve decided to quit my job and yesterday, with my husbands encouragement, I enrolled in a three-year psychology degree. I’ve decided to become a holistic counselor. The first year of study probably will be difficult for me because I’m doing it by correspondence and I haven’t studied for many years. So much of this has been an exercise in faith, but I feel like I’m being magically guided in exactly the right direction for me”.
I’m not sure if she ever did finish that particular degree, but taking this step led her to where she is today. Shaylee has become a natural therapist, well loved by her clients for the amazing and accurate spiritual messages she passes through to them.
There are many different kinds of spirit guides that can help us. Mythological characters like Thoth and other gods and goddesses can be thought of as archetypes that exist in our collective consciousness. So too can the magical creatures of myth, such as unicorns, dragons and mermaids. Unicorns seem to be particularly fond of children (I think the love is mutual!) and they can also help adults get in touch with their inner child.
I worked with a child yesterday who was having trouble with being overly fearful and timid about life. She was afraid of change and had been, as is so often the case in modern society, a little over-protected by her parents. She quite happy clambered up onto my healing tables with crystals in hand and was delighted when I introduced her to her unicorn. I didn’t say anything about the unicorn being her spirit guide, I just asked her to imagine a unicorn and tell me what colour it was.
The look of wonder on her face was so beautiful. “Purple”, she told me. Then I asked her to imagine giving the unicorn a cuddle and made a suggestion about the purple colour being the unicorn’s courage. With a little more visualisation, the child was absorbing this purple colour from the unicorn who was ‘lending her his courage’. I asked her mum to keep working with way with story-telling to help her daughter build inner courage resources. Essentially, we are teaching her how to use her imagination to help herself, rather than letting it run away with her in ways that frighten her.