Use this comprehensive guide to learn how to identify and contact your spirit guides, to receive the guidance and assistance you need to lead a happy and fulfilling life.
All of us have our own unique gifts and abilities, and therefore communicating with spirit guides isn’t always a one-size-fits-all process. Fortunately, spirit guides can be contacted in a variety of ways. If you haven’t had luck with the methods you’ve tried so far, then you will find a method for contacting your spirit guides that work for you by the end of this article.
Spirit Guides - Feeling Safe and Trusting the Process
Spirit guides are nonphysical beings assigned to us to help us fulfill our greatest potential within this lifetime - to guide us, protect us, and support us. A true spirit guide will never intend to hurt us. There are methods we use to prevent anything other than spirit guides from contacting us. Although repetitive experiences are the best way to develop trust and comfort, meeting a spirit guide should feel calming and positive. If you are not feeling calm or positive while reaching out to these beings, then don’t push yourself - close the practice down and either try again at a different time or try a different method on the list.
What Can I Expect When Working With My Spirit Guides?
Spirit guides can come in a number of forms. They may appear as an angel, an animal, a ball of light, someone you know, and so on. Try to have an open mind when contacting your spirit guides - trust what you see or feel and the way the information is being transmitted to you. The same spirit guide could appear to you as an angel one time and your favorite animal the next. The idea is to slowly start trusting the process by trusting what you experience during these methods - don’t get caught up in doubt.
Spirit guides are always with us, waiting for the opportunity to communicate better and help further, and they absolutely will not leave you hanging when you are attempting to reach out to them. If you call on them, they will always answer. There’s an actual being on the other side of that metaphysical call. Trusting and believing in that concept will only make it easier for you.
Spirit guides have a certain level of omnipresence - meaning you can call on them for help or spiritual guidance at any time, and if you speak to them, they will hear you. The more you practice your methods of choice, the more quickly you’ll be able to get in contact. Practice makes perfect, and it might be a bit of a strain at first, but eventually, you’ll be able to contact them on a flip of a dime. They can be contacted for any problem, big or small.
Where Do I Begin When Working With My Spirit Guides?
The very first step is actually giving our spirit guides permission to contact us and help us. This universe is one of free will, meaning the more permission you give to a spirit guide the more they can help - they can’t perform certain functions if your permission hasn’t been granted. For example, if you are very set on things going one way and are closed off to outside opinion or help, you will remain closed off to your guides too. So we grant our spirit guides permission to help and guide us by saying, “I give my spirit guides, those with my highest good as their intention, permission to contact me, help me, guide me, and protect me. I ask that my spirit guides be in greater contact with me now.” And you can gauge this statement based on what you are comfortable with as time goes on. For example, you might want to frame your words as “I allow my spirit guides to contact me through meditation” if that’s what you’re currently comfortable with, or restrict certain methods that you don’t yet feel comfortable with such as “I don’t allow my spirit guides to contact me through my dreams”.
Every person is different, and the methods you will feel comfortable with will differ. You don’t need to jump full steam ahead where you are not yet comfortable, and you can adjust your “statement of permission” as your practice progresses and you gain comfort with it.
Second, always cast a sphere of protection around you. Doing this is simple - just imagine a sphere of bright white light surrounding your body, and you can extend a second larger sphere around your home to secure the area. And again, with this being a universe of free will - your word dictates how the spirit world is allowed to interact with you. For example, “Only my spirit guides of the highest good may communicate with me through this sphere of protection. I am safe and protected within this sphere of light.” From here, we can continue with any of the methods of contact listed below.
Asking Your Spirit Guide for a Sign
You can ask your spirit guides for signs. You can be vague and simply say “Show me a sign that you are with me”, or you can be as specific as you want such as, “Show me a yellow butterfly to indicate that you are with me.” Once you have asked for a sign, all you need to do is keep an eye out to receive it. Asking for signs and receiving them is a great way to build faith in your spirit guides being close to you and involved in your life. Here are some of the most common signs to look out for.
Common Signs of Spirit Guides
- Repeating numbers. For example, you may look at the clock and see the time 11:11, or your receipt may show $33.33 as your total. These repeating numbers are a sign that your spirit guide is with you, and the numerology meaning behind that number may carry an additional message for you. Research the “meaning of ___” when you see a recurring number, and that is a way spirit guides can give you a specific message without you needing to have active psychic abilities to hear it. This method is quick, easy, and accessible to anyone, regardless of skill level. Our free guide to repeating numbers also explores some of the most common numerological occurrences.
- Seeing animals in odd places or with odd timing. For example, maybe you’re having a tough day when a butterfly flies right by your face and lands on a nearby bush. Spirit animals all carry their own meaning, which can be researched as well when encountered to give you a more specific message. These are signs to cheer you up and interrupt negative thoughts or emotions - to remind you that you’re not alone.
- Vivid dreams, with or without significant meaning, can be a sign that your spirit guide is in contact with you and expanding your perception to be able to receive messages.
- Odd physical experiences such as ears ringing, chills down the spine, or other out-of-the-ordinary physical sensations, as well as electrical interference. These kinds of signs are just to show that they are with you, and to show you that your gifts and abilities are developing to be able to sense their presence.
- Some sort of divine intervention in your physical life. That could be getting all green lights on your way to work, preventing you from getting there late. That could be finally having that conversation with someone that you’ve been waiting on. It could be as simple as someone in your life going out of their way to be kind, such as a compliment from a passing stranger or a friend buying you your morning coffee. This is your spirit guide showing you that they are able to orchestrate divine miracles of any size to help guide you toward your happiest life.
Using Divination Tools
Divination tools are a great way to channel information from spirit guides without needing developed psychic abilities to do so. Through the use of divination tools, you are able to receive more detailed spiritual guidance and messages. My personal recommendation would be to purchase a Tarot deck or an Oracle deck. An oracle deck of cards has distinct imagery from a tarot deck, with some of them specifically focused on positive and uplifting messages to boost your mood. Tarot decks have established imagery with nuanced meanings that can help you navigate difficult and complex situations in life. Most people who are new to divination feel more comfortable using an oracle deck, but using both a tarot and oracle deck is recommended to get as much information and spiritual guidance as possible.
Other methods of divination include:
- asking a question and flipping to a random page of a holy book and reading the message of that page
- using a pendulum to ask yes or no questions
- asking for a sign that answers your question
All methods of divination should be programmed the same way your sphere of light was, with some sort of binding statement along the lines of “I only allow beings of the highest good to communicate with me through this tool for the purpose of my highest good.”
Meditation to Contact Spirit Guides
Guided meditations to contact spirit guides are a great way to help you get into a relaxed state of mind where you can open yourself up to receive information. It is important to mention how most psychic abilities are perceived - there are many misconceptions that cause people to doubt their experiences. While some psychics do see things with their physical eyes, most things are seen with their “inner eye” - meaning images are visualized within their mind, and the psychic is opening their mind to receive these images from a divine source. The same goes for psychics who hear messages - these messages are normally only heard within their mind, and the voice normally sounds no different from the voice inside your head. Psychic insight is the ability to open yourself to see or hear these messages, and intuition is what allows you to differentiate thoughts from true psychic insight. This can take practice, but when you’re doing these simple practices, just do your best to empty your mind, open yourself up to communication from spirit, and remain open-minded and unbiased about the information you receive.
Visualization to Contact Spirit Guides
Visualization isn’t too different from meditation, in the sense that you’re withdrawing your senses from the external world and shifting your attention to the internal world. In meditation you may be asked to imagine you’re at a beach - visualizing would be seeing the beach inside your mind, maybe bringing to mind the image of rolling waves or sand, the sound of waves crashing or birds flying above, the smell of salt in the air, and the feeling of the warm sand beneath your feet or the sun on your face. Don’t get caught in specifics - your internal image is unlikely to be anywhere near as vivid as your external sight, so catching a wisp of sensations here and there is normal - being able to imagine the sight or sound of crashing waves for just a second is completely normal. All you’re doing is setting the scene, and creating peaceful imaginative energy within your mind and internal space.
To visualize your spirit guides, for quicker access to spiritual guidance, close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths. Set the scene by imagining a place in nature that feels comforting to you - take in the sights, the sounds, and the sensations. Now you can proceed to imagine a particularly bright beam of sunlight, shining a few feet in front of you, and from that beam of light emerges your spirit guide. Can you see anything about their appearance? Or feel anything from them such as kindness and compassion? From this space, try asking a question or asking for something. If you want to ask for healing, you may see light moving toward or through your body, you may feel physical sensations such as tingling in your limbs. If you choose to ask a question, clear your mind and remain open to any thoughts or images that appear after you ask. If you’re feeling frustrated because you’re having trouble receiving any answers, just ask that this answer be delivered to you outside of the visualization in your day-to-day life, as a sign or message through another person or situation.
Receiving Spiritual Guidance Through Your Dreams
Before you go to sleep at night, speak to your spirit guides either out loud or in your mind. Request and give them permission to give you guidance through your dreams that night. If you have any specific questions in mind, write them into a dream journal, so that you can remember what you asked the next day. Compare that against the dreams you had. You can ask a specific question, you can ask for general guidance, you can ask for healing and good rest, you can ask to see your guides, the possibilities are endless. The next day, record anything you can remember from your dreams, even if all you can remember is a crow or a conversation with a stranger, or if you wake up feeling well rested, etc. If a certain animal appeared in that dream, research the “spiritual meaning” of that animal, and see if it appears in your waking life too. Animals that appear in dreams either hold a symbolic meaning, which could in itself be the answer to any question you had, or it could be a spirit animal that you will see in day-to-day life when you are asking for a sign.
Communicating with guides in any method gets easier with repetition, but dreamwork gets especially get easier. By keeping a dream journal, something that maybe seemed inconspicuous at first can turn into a message after seeing it appear in a dream multiple times. Perhaps a conversation with a stranger in your dream is a conversation with your spirit guide themselves, so stay open-minded.
Trance and Automatic Writing
Trance is a semi-conscious state of awareness, not fully awake but not fully asleep either. Trance states can be induced intentionally through meditation or hypnosis, but they also occur naturally when you first wake up and are still in that groggy and incoherent state or when you’re relaxing in bed and about to fall asleep. To take advantage of either natural or induced trance states of consciousness, practice methods of contacting your spirit guides such as meditation or visualization immediately upon waking up, or when deliriously tired right before bed.
Trance is considered an “altered state of consciousness” where your mind is more “open”. The mind isn’t flooded with thoughts as it when you are wide awake, you’re slipping either in or out of the dream state so your mind is already in imagination mode making visualization easier, and because you lack focus on anything in particular, you become open to communication and information in a way you wouldn’t normally be. Trance states can also be used to induce intentional astral projection.
You can also take advantage of this trance state by using automatic writing as a way to channel messages from your spirit guides - normally best done in the morning right upon waking up, or perhaps if you’re up at an odd time in the night. All you need to do is grab some pen and paper and write in “stream of consciousness” format - writing down whatever comes to mind, one thought after the other. Maybe it’s about your dreams, or any thoughts or revelations you’re having at the moment. Then, revisit what you’ve written when you’re more awake - take what spiritual guidance or knowledge you can from this writing.
It’s recommended to combine dreamwork with trance work for the best results. For example, start by asking a question or setting an intention before going to bed. Then when you wake up the next morning, you can immediately jump into automatic writing, journal your dreams, or connect with anything else flowing to you through the trance state.
Creating a “Safe Space” in the Spirit World
By using this practice, you create a home base in the spirit world where you can do anything - process difficult emotions or trauma, summon spirit guides, sit in peace, manifest, and so on. To do this, sit or lay down somewhere you won’t be disturbed, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Relax your body and mind. From here, imagine the most peaceful and calming natural setting you can think of - a beach, a forest, a field of flowers, a river, or whatever soothes you. Is it just wilderness? Or is there some sort of structure or home for you there? Create it however you’d like, there are no limits here. For me, it’s a small clear lake surrounded by fields of green grass and spring flowers, on a sunny day with blue skies and fluffy white clouds.
This place you create is your safe space in the spirit world, warded to protect you and keep you safe while there. Only spirit guides who serve your highest good are allowed to enter, and only with your permission. When you decide to use visualization to meet your spirit guides - imagine yourself in this safe place, taking in the sights and the sensations, and then invite your guides into this space to speak with you.
Ways to Deepen Your Connection to Your Spirit Guides
Repetitive contact is the surest way to deepen your connection. Some things just come with time, but there are other ways to supplement your practice to strengthen these bonds. Asking for and receiving signs is a way to strengthen your bond on a daily basis. Every time you receive a sign, pause and mentally connect with your spirit guides, maybe meditate for a second and see if any messages come through. Or just bring them into your mind and say hello and thank you for being here, for guiding and protecting me always.
Your guides are a constant source of guidance and protection. Spirit guides are nonphysical beings, meaning they are solely made of energy. This means you can connect through the energy of gratitude. They are in the vibration of love and gratitude - so the more often you feel love and gratitude in your day-to-day life, the easier it will be to connect with them. Take a few moments throughout your day, maybe using signs from your guides as a reminder, to remind yourself of what you’re grateful for in your life, for feeling the gratitude you have for your spirit guides, your loved ones, your friends, and your life.
You can also connect with spirit guides through nature or certain elements. For example, if your spirit guide has expressed that they are connected to a particular element such as fire or water, a practice to connect with their energies could be sitting in front of a campfire, or swimming in a river, or putting your bare feet on the earth. A spirit guide may send you a particularly rainy or sunny day when you need it. Feel the rain or sun on your face and absorb whatever energy or messages your guides are sending you through the good weather.
Another great way is to use astrological events as a way of repetitively working with spirit guides, such as full moons and new moons. New moons are seen as the time when you set intentions, and full moons are where you reflect on the changes of the last month - what has manifested and what is in process. Ask your spirit guides to join you in this process by overseeing your manifestations and helping them progress. It can feel good to know someone is on the other side helping you with your day-to-day life and creating the reality you wish to live, and they’ll give you signs along the way as it all comes together. They’ll remind you what you’re working towards on a rough day, keep you accountable, and help you hold the vision and keep your faith in it.
The last thing I would recommend is creating some type of altar, with candles, burning herbs, incense, pictures, statues, and anything else you’d like to use to set the space. Create a space where you can come to when you communicate with your guides or meditate. By creating a physical space to pair with the spiritual safe space you created, you create a pattern in your mind that allows you to reach trance states easier and therefore receive guidance and messages clearer through this physically induced transcendental state. For example, if you burn a space-clearing herb such as sage every time you sit down to communicate with your guides - the smell of sage alone will help you feel clear, calm, and connected. The smell will lead you into a trance, letting your mind know that it’s time to quiet down and connect with spirit. You can also leave any type of offerings for your guides at this altar to let them know your gratitude and appreciation for them, such as fresh or dried flowers.
How to Identify Your Spirit Guide
Now that you have the method of contact, let’s move into discussing what we can do now that we’re in contact with our spirit guides. Most of the time we are in contact with our guides looking for some form of spiritual guidance, but it’s always best to start with the basics when meeting a spirit guide that you’re new to.
First, learning their name is as simple as just asking. Trust the first name that pops into your mind. A spirit guide may go by many names - not so different from the various names and nicknames we go by when living. The name they give you is their identifying calling card that you can use to summon their presence and help anytime it is needed. The name is usually going to be something simple, easy to remember, and a somewhat common word or name for the language you primarily speak. Trust what you hear - could be “Rain”. It could be “Snow”. It could be “Janet”! Whatever it is, remember what name you receive and write it down somewhere to remember. If they don’t give you a name quite yet, then assign them a nickname for the time being, and ask them if it’s OK for you to address them by that name in the meantime. Sometimes guides will withhold their true name until a more significant timing.
Second, pick out any identifying factors you can about your spirit guide's appearance. Do they look like a person? Do they have any non-human features? Can you make out a face, or does light shine through their skin instead? Have they appeared as an animal or something as simple as a bright ball of light? What energy do you feel from them - is it grounding or uplifting or healing or comforting? Can you sense any color from them - maybe the healing green of the heart chakra or the uplifting purple of the crown chakra?
Third, identify the type of spirit guide they are. You may be able to determine this from the way they look, such as the signature white wings of an angel, otherwise, you can just ask the spirit guide themselves. Are they an ancestor? Which side of your family or part of the world are they from? Perhaps if they look like a human but have some non-human features, you may be able to identify them as a “star race”, meaning they come from one of the many other places of life we have been able to identify in the universe so far (through spiritual means, not scientific) such as Pleaidian, Lyran, Arcturian, etc. Perhaps they either resemble or identify as a deity you are familiar with or an ascended master you are familiar with (Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, etc). If they appeared to you as an animal, they are likely to be an animal guide of yours, meaning the archetype of that animal race is a helper and protector to you and your purpose.
Lastly, ask them what they are here to help you with in this lifetime or present moment. Be open to any messages or sensations that come through. You may be able to hear a message, such as your guide saying that they are here to protect you. Or you may feel a sensation of being safe, protected, and held - which would be another way of showing that they are here to protect you. Beyond what you’re able to discern through asking the spirit guide one on one, external research can also help to get you those answers. If you have an angel as a spirit guide but are unfamiliar with the purpose of angels, researching is a quick way to get an answer. Another example would be researching the spiritual meaning behind whatever animal appeared before you in order to know what qualities they contribute to your state of being. If a deity or ascended master has presented themselves to you, then researching them to further acquaint yourself with their abilities, intentions, and purpose will help you to work with them easier in the future.
What Can I Expect From a Spirit Guide?
Spirit guides are here to help with an assortment of things and can chip in on nearly any task at hand. But of course, using the steps in the above portion to identify your spirit guide and their abilities can really help to maximize their efforts when directed towards their specialties. For example, calling upon a spirit guide of protection when you are feeling like you need it, or at the very least need the feeling of comfort and safety. Other examples would be a healing spirit guide being called upon for healing, or a wise spirit guide being called upon for their wisdom, advice, and spiritual guidance.
A spirit guide can help you with a variety of issues from big to small - from large problems like divorce, career, spiritual healing, life purpose, etc - to small problems such as getting to work on time, finding a parking space, or just the motivation to do the dishes! A spirit guide is a being who has transcended past judgment and therefore is able to hold space for you no matter what situation you are in and what role you play in it.
Whether you are the perpetrator or the victim, know that all roles are on the path to spiritual enlightenment. They will not judge you because they can see the bigger picture of the path you walk, they can see all karma that will rectify or balance your actions. Their agenda is to minimize your suffering by helping you learn your life lessons in an easier manner. Imagine trying to jump hurdles in the dark. This is how it is to live your life without spiritual guidance or clarity, always crashing into obstacles. Compare this to jumping hurdles in full daylight. Spiritual guidance and clarity now light your path. Obstacles will always come in life, but the clarity of greater spiritual awareness and guidance from our guides can give us all the tools we need to navigate this battlefield called life with ease.
Hand your problems over to your guides, and in return, they will offer you some sort of support, clarity, or guidance. Have faith in this process, and know that when you hand over a problem of yours to a spirit guide, it will be sorted out for your highest good, and they will do everything within their power to give you the guidance necessary to navigate those waters. You are not and cannot be a burden to these beings, so leave any shame or guilt on the coat rack when you walk in!
Every human eventually walks the path of spiritual enlightenment in their own timing, within their own purpose. These guides serve that same purpose - the evolution of your soul, and the enlightenment of our world and universe. They are here to help, and using their help from the spiritual realm will only improve the path we walk. Don’t forget to thank them and honor the sacred gift that they offer you in this lifetime. Know that you never walk your path alone because of them. You will never face a challenge alone because of them. Honor this divine partnership and use it to help yourself, to help others, and to help the world. Forward we press, towards the vision we hold, may all blessings guide you to your next step.