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The Advantage of Shamanic Spirit Guides: No Ego, No Posers

shamanic spirit guides, wisewomanseer blog

Authentic spirit guides versus malicious poser entities have been a topic of discussion lately, and I’d like to add my somewhat opinionated and shamanic 2 cents worth. Now this is simply what makes sense to me, based on my training and spiritual biases, so don’t take it as gospel, just as additional perspective to consider.

Personally, I work strictly with shamanic animal archetypes as my spirit guides and guardians. They surround me 360 degrees, and one of their main jobs as a collective is to prevent intrusive energies from getting into my energy fields. Of these 7, all but 1 is a natural predator as critters in the wild. So it’s a very strong team, and each has volunteered to keep me safe and on the good red road.

I also work with a half human/ half animal spirit teacher, as well as with a medicine woman spirit ancestor, but not with angels, archangels, saints, gods, goddesses or other so-called ascended humanoids. There is nothing wrong with working with these latter sort. They just aren’t part of my spiritual belief system.

I tell you this so you know where I’m coming from. In shamanic terms, this is akin to outlining your lineage, your clan associations and sources of knowledge. It’s a way of letting others -- who may be inclined to follow in your footsteps -- know where your ideas originate. In my opinion, if an advisor can’t identify where their ideas have originated – what belief system – you best do some digging before adopting their perspective whole hog.

Working with shamanic animal archetypes as spirit guides eliminates the problem of whether some random humanoid entity is an angel, a spirit, a ghost, or a poser. It also prevents the possibility of human personality disorders and power trips. My colleague Holly Tagg so rightly pointed out the other day that “poser entities” not only are lower vibration energies, but that they can also be carrying narcissistic tendencies. I might add that they may be severely disordered, psychopathic, or ego-maniacal.

Animal archetype guides have none of those problems. But they do have species-specific behavioral tendencies. Snake or Scorpion, for example, may protect by striking and injecting venom, which in your own behavior -- if one of these is your guide – might manifest as lashing out in dripping sarcasm or stinging yet well-warranted criticism that is otherwise uncharacteristic for you.

As I write this blog, I look out over the top of the computer to a beautiful spider web and its owner sitting patiently in the center. As a spirit guide, Spider may act to help you literally catch others in the lies they spin, and protect you by providing just enough pattern-recognizing cynicism to keep you from being overly gullible and trusting about everything you hear.

There is a lot of desire in the popular culture to believe that deceased loved ones act as guides or even as guardian angels for those who are left on Earth. As a former psychotherapist, I understand the grieving heart’s need to have loved ones on the other side still connected, concerned, and participating in our lives. But I’m not convinced of this particular spiritual theory.

Colleague Bonnie Polk, who works with angel energies, has said that angels have never been human, but rather are a special class of being. That made immediate sense to me. So Uncle Sal is not spirit guide or an angel, but rather an ancestral entity who might pop into consciousness on occasion to offer advice. If he was a mentally stable and wise individual in life, his advice may be worth considering. But if he was a crackpot in his Earth life, he’s likely to be more of a poser in his interactions from the other side.

In shamanic practice, I was taught to challenge a being that may try to present itself as a guide – rather than accepting one that just shows up out of the blue one day, or in a dream one night. There must be a mutual trust and an ongoing relationship needs to be cultivated for spirit guides to work well for you.

This is why most shamanic practitioners prefer students to go through the personal work of gaining their own guides, rather than any third party telling you who your guides are. Even when that third party is highly ethical and reputable as a psychic, it’s too easy for a poser to piggy-back on a being that is identified for you as your guide – in my opinion. Psychics have off days, can get things wrong, can be fooled or compromised by posers themselves, and some don’t have the client’s highest good always in mind.

I‘m not saying don’t consult psychics. I am saying don’t give your power away. Accept their input as one perspective, perhaps as a starting point, and then do your own vision quests or meditations to confirm and develop your spirit guide collective yourself. A true spirit guide or spirit ally / teacher can take being challenged and questioned, and in essence asked to prove themselves to you.

Genuine spirit guides will be doing the same with you – assessing whether your intentions are sincere, and if you are ready in terms of your knowledge and integrity for their help. If not, different legitimate guides may show up to help you develop in your spiritual growth. There is no judgment or karma about not being ready for a particular guide – it’s simply a matter of effectiveness.


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