Spirit Guide Etiquette

How do you know Who -- or What -- you are communicating with? Are there ways to confirm the identities of spirit entities, or to protect yourself from nefarious beings?

None of the common methods for communicating with spirits guarantees any type of psychic protection, or a way to confirm the identity of the entities that may be contacted. Many people are introduced to communicating with spirits through some form of divination or parlor game. The Spiritualist Movement of the late 19th century popularized many of the ways we still attempt to speak to spirits -- such as ouija boards, automatic writing, table-tapping, rapping, seances, etc.

Deep trance channeling, Tarot card reading, and scrying -- crystal ball and mirror gazing -- are all more ancient but persistent forms of soliciting information from spirits.

Some devices and technology used in communicating with ghosts of the dead or spirit entities have only been around for a relatively brief part of human history -- such as photography, recording EVP (electronic voice phenomena), or measuring electro-magnetic frequencies. These more modern, techno-enhanced methods are commonplace among parapsychologists -- ghost hunters.

Are you behaving like a beginner? When we first attempt to talk to spirits, we are like toddlers who have just discovered telephones - the novelty of using the phone is the primary motivation. A toddler will speak to anyone on the phone, just to be doing it.

Using a communication device with intention and purpose -- as a tool, not a toy -- comes later. Phone etiquette is even further down the list of priorities, and must be learned. Phones today have evolved in features -- Caller-ID, Contact Lists, and Ringtones all let you know who's calling before you even answer.

One of the biggest "dangers" associated with communicating with spirits is that you might naively contact an angry spirit, or an entity that may try to "mess with you" -- pretend to be something or someone it is not.

But you may be over-looking the more likely possibility that even your own god posse -- the benevolent spirit guides and personal guardians that attend you -- the Good Guys -- can still scare the beejesus out of you.

They may not mean to, but friendly spirits and angelics can startle you just like anyone can -- by catching you off-guard. They may also be eager or overly-enthusiastic about the communication you've established, and start popping in more frequently or creating physical manifestions to get your attention.

If you're not expecting it, even an angel dropping by to say hello could cause you to have a heart attack. The only time in my life I have ever literally fainted was as a result of a well-meaning, enthusiastic guide leaning in over my shoulder while I was on the computer and speaking suddenly and loudly right in my ear.

It wasn't his fault -- we'd been communicating regularly for months; he assumed I was open to any and all interactions with him. I realized, after-the-fact, that I had never indicated anything to the contrary; I required boundaries -- but I had never considered my expectations, let alone, told my guides what they were, or how to honor them.

You can and should protect yourself. Some general examples of protective rituals you can include before engaging in spiritualist activities:

  • Do a calming exercise -- such as meditation, or a simple breathing technique.
  • Pray to or invoke a Higher Power -- this may be the Source you call God, Ascended Masters, Saints, or Archangels.
  • Visualize yourself surrounded by a bubble of energy or bathed in a glowing light -- you may hear this referred to as The White Light of The Holy Spirit.
  • Ask that you (and, when it applies, others present) be protected.
  • Ask that your activities serve the greatest possible outcome for all affected, and that they bring harm to no one.
  • State exactly who you wish to speak with.
  • State who is not allowed or banned from the proceedings.

You Are the Authority Your spirit guides will defer to your judgment and free will. With the exception of intervening in times of great danger, your guardians will not go against your wishes.

Your Intentions Rule Like attracts like. You are less likely to attract negative entities than you may fear. If your intentions are positive -- to call on benevolent spirits -- they will be the ones who answer.

How do you tell if you've got a Bad Guy on the line? It's usually pretty simple to tell the difference between malevolent and benevolent entities:

  • Ask yourself: how does this interaction make me feel?
  • Don't confuse excitement or heightened awareness with anxiety, dread, or fear. All these emotional states can cause physical responses, such as release of endorphins or "fight or flight" hormones like adrenalin. Changes in breathing pattern, body temperature, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, perspiration, etc. are all physical responses to emotional stimuli.
  • Examine the nature of the messages: what is the content of the messages I'm receiving?Are the messages friendly, useful, or practical? Or are they disturbing, malicious, confusing, or contradicting?
  • If you feel at all anxious about the connection, the messages you're receiving, or doubt that the entities are who they claim to be, tell them to Go Away. I trust my Guardians to handle this for me, and act as spiritual bouncers - anyone they don't trust, or that I have stated that I do not trust, are simply not welcome. I ask that they handle these negative characters however they wish, on my authority, and that I need not even be bothered to know about it.
  • When in doubt, simply stop.

Beyond these general guidelines, establish some old-fashioned rules for Best Behavior. You can't expect anyone -- whether a spiritual being or a living person -- to treat you in a specific way if you haven't told him exactly what you expect.

Teach them some manners. I now have established "boundaries" with my Guides:

I request that all members of my personal spirit team -- especially if they're planning a physical manifestation - an apparition, or moving an object -- to always "appear" approximately 6 feet directly in front of me.

I know that when I "see" something -- and sometimes it's not a ghostly human form, but just flashes or something to get my attention -- when it's my guides, it will be in front of me, as I've requested. I have woken up before, nose-to-nose with a ghost. This can be a little nerve-wracking.

I usually initiate the conversations, but sometimes they will try to get my attention: I may see a white flash in front of me -- like someone "waved a white flag of surrender" around the doorframe. They will repeat it every few minutes. Usually by the 3rd time, I realize "Oh, wait a second, they must want to tell me something."

I'll stop whatever I'm doing and investigate, by inviting them to approach and speak.

Delegating to Your God Posse I also request that any entity that I am not familiar with be intercepted and trained in this protocol by my guides. If and when something approaches me outside these established boundaries, I know I'm not dealing with "family" and to be on my guard.

I don't experience dark entities much, probably because, unlike people who ask for anything out there to speak to them, setting themselves up for anything to approach them, my guides know how I prefer to operate, what kind of behavior is expected in SladeSpace.

I trust them to turn away any entity that refuses to behave according to our agreed-upon etiquette. It seems my Guardies do a great job, without need for micromanagement on my part.

It all sounds more formal than it is -- I speak to them in exactly the same manner as I would a friend -- conversational and informal, to the point of shocking irreverence. I joke, whine, cuss -- whatever the situation calls for.

They're on your side -- they aren't here to judge you.

My guides and I have developed these rules -- patterns, signs, and symbols -- to function as a kind of short-hand or sign-language, in a broader sense. The details and examples would be too numerous to mention here.

They are forever inventing and co-authoring this system with me. Remember that you are engaging in long-term relationships with these entities. Their mission is your mission.

Etiquette and manners govern peacable interactions between well-intentioned entities from different backgrounds and circumstances. Over time, established expectations of behavior builds trust, encourages cooperation for the good of all involved, and, at the very least, keeps fear, confusion, and misunderstanding to a minimum.

Consider how you might implement these concepts in your spiritual practices -- play with them, experiment, be flexible -- adapt them to your lifestyle -- and see what develops.