One often hears Spiritualists, mediums and others refer to "spirit guides" and other terms. The following is written to clarify things for people.
The Guardian, or as has been referred to by orthodox religions as the Guardian Angel is, in most cases, the most important spirit looking after us. They are often understood to be the most enlightened spirit helping us as an individual, as compared to more highly evolved spirits who help groups, countries, planets etc. Guardians are responsible for the overall spiritual guidance we get, and are usually with us for the whole of our physical life.
The Guardian has access to the "akashic record" or what is sometimes called the "Book of Life", and is often the one to remind us of our past lives. Another job they have is to help protect us when we intentionally, or unintentionally, leave our bodies (OOB, Astral Travel etc). They will be there to help us get to the spirit dimension when we die.
Guides. These are spirits of like spiritual age to ourselves, working on the principle of "like attracts like". They are usually not with us all the time. They come when we are "receptive", or when they feel that their attempt at guiding us might help. They, like the Guardian, often have a love link with us. Knowing us in this and/or a previous life/lives as a brother, sister, wife, teacher, friend etc.
Helpers. These people are like guides, but often they are interested in some facet of our life rather than ourselves particularly. For example, if we are a carpenter, and a spirit who was a carpenter is aware that we are doing this, then he/she may take an interest in what we are doing.
Doorkeeper. If we do a form of mediumship (channeling) that involves us getting in and out of our physical bodies then a spirit is often appointed to help us get in and out safely and to stop other spirits taking over our physical bodies ("possession").
Most spirits show themselves to people who have clairvoyant sight as some "form". Rather than their true "spirit light" image. This form is usually human but can just as easily be alien. This image usually represents the physical image that they had in a past life, not necessarily their last one. Therefore a guide, for example, might look like a Red Indian, Chinese person etc. Naturally, they are none of these things. Spirit is spirit. However on our side of life it makes identification easier. Otherwise it might be hard for us to tell one spirit light from another while we are still physical ourselves.
A number of people, who are beginning to see clairvoyantly, see spirits as lights, and don't know what is going on. This should finally resolve as seeing images in time. Particularly if we ask our "guides" to show us the "image" that they wish to be identified as. The spirit, once identified will usually look the same whenever you see them. Otherwise, if they changed their looks weekly, you might think you have 52 guides !
Practical considerations usually govern how guides look. If we had a happy life with a guide as a Red Indian, and an unhappy life with them as a Spaniard, it is easy to see which way they would identify themselves. Also, if one had six guides, then it might be sensible for them to show themselves as belonging to different cultures. To help differentiation. Lastly if a spirit person has had a life with you as a monk, and also as a bloodthirsty soldier, and they want to help you spiritually now then the former memory is usually the one encouraged.
These things are often discussed in what some call "Spiritualist" groups/churches. Spiritualism can be a complex subject, and the advice that I would give anyone studying it is not to replace the dogma of orthodox sectarian religion for intentional, or unintentional, Spiritualist dogma. If you question, and use common sense, in the physical world then continue to do so when a "spirit" tells you something. Remember that a an idiot when he dies become a non-physical spirit person BUT is still an idiot ! Listen to what a message says, NOT who gave it. Any dead person can "say" they are "wise".
If you want to consciously communicate with spirits then you should learn how to do this in a properly run group. As things can go wrong. At the very least read our cults page before you start your search. Even if you don't end up in a cult you could still open yourself up to obsession and/or possession situations and/or end up communicating with "earthbound" or "negative entities". Some of whom may purposely pretend to be guides of the Light.
Trying to communicate directly with spirit sources, without proper training, is not much different than using a ouija board. One may end up with psychic and/or psychological problems. In some situations ending up in a psychiatric establishment.
Apart from looking for a competent teacher, ideally you should read some of our books on psychic protection and ask your guides for sleep guidance. Our suggested approaches to spiritual growth should help here. In fact one can combine an improved psychic protection situation with an improved "spirit guidance" one. With step four of our "Growth" prayer one can request that Divine Love, Light and Healing energies go to those people who are attempting to "guide" us.
What that does is to discourage negative people (incarnate as well as discarnate) from guiding us. It also makes it easier for positive people to do so. Some people learn these things in a spiritualist group. Check our Spiritualism page for initial contacts. Some teachers work within a "church" situation while others prefer to teach in what some people call a "home circle" situation.
Either way, pray to find the very best teacher representing the Light, that you can. Some teachers are better than others. At the very least try to find someone who knows about psychic protection, and spirit rescue work.
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