One of my favorite activities practicing shamanism is communicating with beings on the Other Side. It’s not just the variety of types, but the exposure to new cultures and ideas. Interaction with these beings fascinates me with their wide range of emotion and colorful ways of expressing themselves. Even the more somber beings have some sort of eccentric behavior or tick.
I speak with those I work with, and my guides, every day. I find this imperative for establishing a connection, learning personalities and gaining skill in seership. I also find communication with other beings is a great way to assess people, and myself. It is also nice to have someone to talk with that will not break your confidence. Some beings may be a bit mocking, or have an opinion on the subject, but they tend to stick around after foolish choices or unhappy incidents.
I wish for more people to be in touch with their guides as a way to help with personal revelation. I find, for myself, that they have been a great resource for knowledge and a great help in clearing obstacles to achieve my goals.
There are many different kinds of guides on the astral. I will list a few to give examples, but they do come in all forms and varying levels of knowledge.
Entity, Guide, and Guardian Types
1. Gods and Goddesses/Archetypes: These beings tend to be the most common for many Pagan witches to interact with, especially regarding rituals and goals. Depending on the belief system, these beings may be seen as sentient individuals, or energy that represents an aspect the practitioner wishes to work with in a ritualistic manner. Many beings of this nature are willing to help, but do require an offering, or sacrifice, of some kind. These beings are rarely personal guardians, though they do seem to take interest in certain individuals. For a practitioner that works heavily with one deity, they may choose to set up a permanent altar and gives offerings regularly.
2. Bodhisattva/Ascended Master: These beings are said to be enlightened, but chose not to ascend. Instead, these beings dedicate their life force to teaching and helping humans achieve their spiritual goals. Some people have altars and give offerings to these beings, similar to deities.
3. Ancestors: These beings may be blood ancestors, or entities that follow a family line or clan. Occasionally these beings may be friends of the family while they were living, and have taken a special interest in an individual or family. These beings are more personable and willing to help the practitioner, but they will retain the same traits as when they were alive; this needs to be kept in mind when working with ancestors. Ancestors can usually be cajoled to retrieve or perform more earthly tasks compared to other astral beings. Usually an altar, which includes a picture or representation of the deceased, is kept with an offering of what the person liked, or alternatively with offerings corresponding to the dead.
4. Angels/Demons/Djinn/Celestials: These beings are lower in rank than Gods and Goddesses, and yet they are very powerful allies. They have many powers and ways of achieving goals. While they are similar to deities, these beings are more accessible since they have worked more often with practitioners on this plane of existence. This has allowed for these beings to gain, and obtain, a more extensive knowledge of actualizing goals and wishes. Altars, offerings, and corresponding rituals are appropriate. Most of these beings are summoned and respond more favorably to certain rituals than others. They do expect to be shown the proper respect, as you would a deity. This is fair, as many actually work for specific deities/archetypes and these are sometimes representations and messengers for deities. There are some that do take an interest in individuals and can become constant companions or guardians.
5. Fae: I have not worked very much with the fae, but they seems to be a more earthy lot that enjoy tricks. I have found milk and honey to be beneficial in some rituals, and sometimes just leaving food out over night. Some house elves and brownies do not like offerings, but are said to take sustenance by eating whatever is close to rotting in the fridge, or left out on dirty dishes. They consider it an insult to be ‘fed’, and instead prefer to forage. Every type of fae has different correspondences and personalities, so the difficulty is to determine what type of fae and then act accordingly. When working with fae a practitioner must avoid using iron.
6. The Dead: These are pretty common entities roaming everywhere. They are very prolific, but not always considered to be reliable. Like ancestors they retain the personality they died with, but they are not always willing to help, even with an offering. Many have a tendency to lose interest quickly, unless you can keep their attention. The dead, like the fae, also are tricksters and some love riddles or to play practical jokes when bored. Not all wish to be crossed over, and some are guardians to the places they died, or the family they are ‘haunting’. While the dead can cause mischief and trouble, they are generally harmless unless they have a driving desire or need to communicate, or accomplish a goal.
7. Personal Guides: These are beings that have been assigned, or agreed to work with, a specific practitioner. They come in the form of angels, demons, ascended masters, fae, ancestors, spirit animals, nearly any entity imaginable. These beings are willing to teach and guide a practitioner regarding their goals, spirituality, and magickal practices. There can be an exchange of energy, whether it is a gift, offering, or personal energy. However, though it is polite, it is not always expected in some cases.
8. Guardians: These beings are similar to guides, but unlike guides they enter a contract with the practitioner in return for something. This usually involves an exchange of personal energy on a daily basis, on top of the agreed contractual terms. They usual guard, offer advice and run errands. These are usually beings of free will, and can be thought of as contractors that aid the practioner. If the contract terms are broken by either party, there can be a dissolution of the contract. However, there are usually loopholes for both parties, so that punishment can be avoided and both can leave on somewhat amicable terms. This is not always the case, and it is usually the practitioner found at fault, as the contracts are usually terms that are more geared towards protecting the Guardian than the practitioner.
There as many different kinds of guides as there are thought forms, but these are just a few of the main types.
Working with Guides
When working with guides, as stated before, it is always good to find the proper correspondences. I would suggest that you perform a daily meditation, or ritual, every day to get to know the guides you choose to work with. Though it may sound silly to some, have actual conversations with them and pause as if you were waiting for a corporeal person to respond. This helps your mind establish that you are listening and expecting an answer.
There are many ways to communicate with guides — rituals, prayers, meditation, etc. However, receiving answers is different for everyone. Some people receive a feeling, some feel energy, some hear a voice in or out of their body, some people receive visualizations similar to movies, some are able to smell. There is also the intuition of knowing, and there are even people that can see and communicate effectively with other beings as if they were corporeal. However you are able to communicate, it is important to remember that your communication with these beings is personal and will be different than everyone else’s mode of communication. It is also to be remembered than when beginning, there may be nothing, or only rare occassions of open communications. Not everyone learns to fully see, but everyone can become skilled at their modality of communication.
There are many different ways to meet your guides, and sometimes other entities can unexpectedly take on the role when taking a liking to a particular human. Other topics that will be discussed in this series is how to come into communication with these beings, and effectively open and receive communication from them. I will also be adding a series of posts geared toward ritual and caring for the guides and deities you work with daily.
Photo Credit: Digital Angel by N-One on Deviantart