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What are Spirit Guides?

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

It is fairly common these days to hear the term ‘Spirit Guides’, yet, there can be some confusion as to what they actually are. So, I aim to dispel many of the misconceptions and also clarify the terminology surrounding Guides.

Firstly, everybody has Spirit Guides – even if you think you don’t, you do! If you’ve never worked with your spirit guides before, by the end of the post, hopefully you’ll have a good place to start & a piqued curiosity. For those that have worked with their guides, the below will hopefully help you deepen your connection and offer you a clearer framework.

What is a Spirit Guide?

As the name ‘spirit’ suggests, these are beings that do not occupy the physical realm – if we accept that everything in the Universe is made up of energy, we vibrate at a slow enough rate to exist on the physical plane, whereas spirit oscillates at a much faster, lighter rate and therefore occupy a different level of existence. Most guides were once human, i.e. they once occupied this earth at some point in history, but are now deceased and live in the spirit realm. These spirits have agreed to work with, and you alone to help you on your Soul’s path.

What does “Work with you and you alone” mean?

Generally speaking, there are two types of Spirit Guide:

1) Personal Guides

2) Working Guides

Firstly, everybody has at least three, not one, Personal Guides (in Eastern traditions it is a minimum of four). This is regardless of whether you decide to communicate with them or not, they are still there, gently offering guidance. Occasionally, you may have more guides for certain periods in your life. Also, these guides can come and go throughout your lifetime, or they may remain with you from birth until death.

Your Three Personal Guides:

Main Guide

1) On your right-hand side, you have your Main Guide: this guide is interested in your soul’s development, otherwise known as soul evolution. But what is ‘soul evolution’? OK, let’s take a step back:

  1. Simply put, what is a Soul? A soul is the Consciousness of a living being. In other words, it is everything that the physical body (matter) is not. So, a soul makes up our reason, character, feeling, memory, and perception.

  2. In terms of Soul Evolution: We are trying to overcome the sense of ‘self’, the ego, and unite with God consciousness and see the reality of life as it is – that we’re all connected; what happens in the one happens in the whole. The Soul Evolution is the lessons faced and learned in order to get closer to this realization or Enlightenment.

Guardian Angel

2) Behind you stands your Guardian Angel. Some mistakenly believe that your Guardian Angel is above you, but this is because their energy signature is so large, that they can appear ‘floating’ above your head as opposed to directly behind you, where they truly are. As the name suggests, they are there to protect you in any way they can. Best described as a mother figure – although there is no gender in energy, only how we perceive it through our rational minds; their desire to protect and love is unconditional.

Read here if you would like to read some personal accounts of Guardian Angels.


3) To your Left-Hand side, is your Gatekeeper – sometimes known as Door Keepers: As the name suggests this is your protector, much like your very own nightclub bouncer; he is the one with the clipboard saying, “If your name’s not down, you ain’t coming in”. He makes sure that only energy, which serves your highest good, is coming near (if you ask them to, that is). Your Gatekeeper is not there to have offer advice or guidance; this is what your Main Guide and Guardian angel can do; instead, your Gatekeeper is a protective ‘shield’.

They tend to have a much denser feel to them; they’re often not pretty, they are not meant to be – it is no good having a beautiful maiden as a Gate Keeper; their role is to protect and shut out any unwanted attention.

You can call upon your Gatekeeper at any time; this is particularly important before you undertake any psychic or mediumship work. Similarly, if you’re ever in a situation where you feel uncomfortable or around someone that makes you feel uneasy – silently call in your Gatekeeper to push back anything that isn’t serving you.

In addition, you may have noticed that the positioning of these three personal guides forms a sacred triangle around you – a very powerful spiritual number and shape.

Working with your Personal Guides:

Because your own guides are working with you and only with you, you are linked at all times. Therefore, unlike working guides, you do not need to open up to connect with them (if you have no idea what ‘open up’ means, do not worry). You merely need to set an intention to communicate with them and give yourself a quiet space and time to allow the relationship to strengthen.

Remember, your Master Guide and your Guardian Angel are there to offer you advice and support – they will ‘talk’ with you. Gatekeepers, on the other hand, are like your security guard, their job isn’t to converse or guide, but rather protect.

Moreover, and this is important to remember at all times, your guides cannot break your free will. Therefore, they will only communicate and guide if you ask them to. They cannot tell you what to do, as again this undermines the agency you have over your own life, but they can make suggestions that are in your best interest.


If you would like to develop a relationship with your guards, here is a very straightforward exercise:

  • Find a quiet space, where you know you won’t be disturbed, preferably one that is familiar to you and you feel comfortable.

  • Close your eyes and take your attention to the breath, the steady flow of inhales and exhales.

  • Once your mind has settled, and you feel still, ask each guide, in turn, to approach so that you can feel their presence (Guides always approach you from behind, never from the front).

  • Take note of any sensations, colours, and sounds, however subtle: you may feel the air become denser; a tingling sensation; a pressure in a particular point; or something that is personal to you.

  • Ask the guide to then step back and the next to approach. Note the variance in sensation or presence; they will not feel the same. The more that you do this practice, the easier it will be for you to identify the position, ‘calling-card’ and personality of each guide.

  • Offer your thanks to your guides, gently blink the eyes open. You may want to jot down your experience in a notebook.

I would love to hear how that exercise went for you! Write about your experience and your questions in the comments below.

Questions for your Guides

A lot of people get het up about wanting to know everything about their spirit guides: what their name is, where they lived, what they did as a profession. However, these are earthly concerns and not related to the real purpose of a guide, as a result, do not be dissuaded if this information is not freely given. For example, I recognize my guides, not by their names but rather the way they feel; I only ‘know’ the name of one of my guides. So if it is a colour, sound, sensation that allows you to identify a particular guide, trust in that.

Below is a list of initial questions that can be more in keeping with what a guide wants to offer guidance on, these are split into three main categories:

Questions about my guide:

1) How can I strengthen our connection?

2) Why are we destined to work together?

3) Are you a lifelong guide or here for a particular period of guidance?

4) Guidelines on how to work together?

a) How should I refer to you?

b) How can I call on you?

c) Is there a particular time/place that will work best for us to connect?

Questions about myself

5) What do I need to know about myself right now?

6) What obstacles are holding me back from further progress?

7) Where should I keep persevering?

8) How is my spiritual development going? Are there any areas on which I could be concentrating?

9) Which psychic skill could I be developing?

Questions about the higher order of things?

10) On which karmic lessons should I be concentrating? How do I break this karmic circle?

11) What does ‘higher purpose’ mean?

12) What is a soul journey?

What are working guides?

As the name suggests (the spirit world is nothing if not tidy) these are guides who work with you for specific tasks/practices/development. For instance, I have a guide for:

  1. Psychic readings and mediumistic sittings, he is highly curious, has a strong, energetic force and is insightful.

  2. Healing practices, she has a very gentle and pure energy.

  3. Trance and channelling work (a post covering trance & channelling coming soon). These are messenger guides that need to share knowledge and/or experiences into the world.

  4. Then there are spirit animal and power animals – these are another manifestation of your working guides and/or your personal guides, but they can have a specific function too. For example, shamans tend to have smaller animals working with them, who are more adept and agile so they can more easily remove attachments, cords and/or entanglements.

  5. Teaching guides – these direct you towards the information needed for further spiritual evolution. For instance, they introduce books, classes and even other people from which we may excel in our understanding of philosophical and spiritual aspects.

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