Reader Questions about Spirit Guides

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Can we talk about our spirit guides and their names once we discover them? Or would that be breaking a sacred trust of privacy between our spirit guides and us? Should we ever share these names with anyone, or are they meant to be kept for our personal knowledge only?
— Kevin

I’m wondering in what circumstances it might be “dangerous” to do so… and I can’t think of any context where the spirit guides themselves, or their relationships with you, could possibly be negatively impacted by simply sharing their names.

I can also think of many examples where professional intuitives discuss their spirit guides and identify them by name, myself included. However, while there are a few of my guides I might write about publicly, or talk about with friends or clients, there are still more guides that I do not.

My reasons for not speaking about some of them is simply that it is difficult to articulate details about some of them, while other guides have personal qualities that are relatively easy to describe.

Some simply “come up in conversation” or there is a context to why I may speak of them.

I think the bottom line is: it’s a personal choice.

Is it better to find out who your spirit guides are on your own, or is it equally valid to ask someone about who your spirit guides are? I’m not at the point where I can visualize them in great detail during meditation on my own, so I’m interested in getting a professional intuitive reading to discover more details about them.
— Christy

As for discovering information about your spirit guides on your own versus through an external source, such as another intuitive — honestly, a combination of all potential sources would be ideal.

While some external information can corroborate your own, there are also multiple guides around you, and sometimes different people pick up on different guides for different reasons…

I believe you want to “patch it all together.”

And, keep in mind, your intuition is never “wrong.” If you run across a conflict of information that you cannot justify, never “demote” your own wisdom for someone else’s. Go with your own.

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The Souls of Our Pets

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This week, we lost a beloved family member, my mother’s cat Hannah, who was twenty years old.

With all the strays that have come to us, and the older cats we’ve adopted from other people over the years, Hannah was unique in that she was the one who was adopted from her feline mother shortly after being weaned, lived two full decades in love and abundance, and peacefully left this world in Mama’s arms.

As my friend Seth describes it: “a life loved to completion.”

Driving home, pulling into Mama’s neighborhood, a tiny bright orange fox crossed the street right in front of us. This was only the second time in my entire life that I’ve seen a wild fox in person. In suburbia, it’s not a common occurrence. No one else in the world saw it but the two of us. Only minutes after leaving the vet, the timing was special.

One of my life long friends and animal lovers, Catherine, shared the meaning of Native American fox medicine. It meant a lot to my mother, who interpreted the sighting as Hannah’s confirmation that she had safely made her transition.

This is the happiest ending any of us will ever get. And boy, does this reality suck when you’re living through it. It feels like a bill that has finally come due on years of joy.

It’s worth it.

In honor of all our “angels with fur,” here are some of my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about familiars.

What is a Familiar?

Some of our pets are guardians incarnated in animal form.

In Wicca, the elevated relationship between human and animal souls is called a familiar. This is not to be confused with an animal totem or a “spirit animal.”

In a literal, tangible way, there are no relationships on earth that teach us more about the benevolent spirit entities who attend us in this life than our animal familiars. Not all our pets or domesticated animals are familiars — the designation is special and unique.

The cat familiar is the most popular or well-known — the “classic” — but this spiritual relationship is not limited to pagan faiths or to any particular species of animal.

I believe:

When you connect to an animal as your familiar, your love elevates her spirit to the human sphere of consciousness. You willfully lift the soul of your animal companion up to our level. You know the ones you’ve done this with — they stand out clearly among your pet/caretaker connections; they become more human than animal.

As a kid it greatly disturbed me that most Christians tried to teach us that animals do not have souls. There could be no doubt to me, that, if there are souls to be had at all, period, by any living entity, then animals have souls. And familiars have a spirit markedly different from wild animals.

Like a spirit guide, ancestor, or guardian angel might do for you, you become the patron of this creature’s spirit. Unlike a human child who emerges from your physical body, but has an independent soul — and so only requires a temporary dependence — you bring your animal familiar into your spiritual body. You lend a piece of your aura to her — she actually becomes part of your soul.

Your animal familiars are the most obvious, visible form of “guardian angel.” They may even be the only kind of spirit guide that manifests a form you can easily perceive.

When she leaves her physical body behind, her spirit remains tethered to yours in a unique way.

You are here to learn how to love, how to transcend suffering, and how to experience joy.

Your animal familiars are pure, unconditional love incarnate. They are “sure things” — their love transcends human judgment. Anyone — no matter their physical appearance, personality, handicaps, abilities, talents, grace, or lack thereof — can have this relationship.

The miracle you have manifested with your familiar in this lifetime is one of your greatest love lessons learned. It can never be reversed. It will never go away. She is your guardian and guide for good. Her form will one day change, but then she will become a small piece of your love — your power — that is no longer bound to the physical world.

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Do Spirit Guides Lie?

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“Is it true that spirit guides often lie to you?” Virginia asks. “I just read in an article on another psychic’s website that she does not ask her clients’ guides for information when she does readings for them because they often lie. Do you think this is true? And if they do lie, why would they?”

No, I do not think that is true. I disagree.

All intuitives are people and we have our own subjective experiences and opinions, which clearly can differ greatly. I can’t say how the psychic you speak of might have arrived at such a conclusion, but it does not make sense to me.

It’s simple logic or semantics:

By definition, a spirit entity who lies is not a “guide.”

That would be a complete contradiction to the entire relationship.

Can spirits generally lie to you? Yes, I’m sure they can; you can potentially contact and communicate with all kinds of random spirits — that doesn’t make them guides.

Ghosts are spirits, not spirit guides. This is why we constantly warn against using Ouija boards. A spirit entity pretending to be a guide … is not a guide.

Spirit guides might sometimes be vague, give an answer that is hard to decipher, or they may be unable to properly communicate a specific concept … but intentionally lie?


I have never encountered that.

Communicating with Your Spirit Guides
You’re not likely to encounter deceitful spirits either if you approach your guides with the right intentions and proper techniques. All of the meditations, lectures, and tutorials at Shift Your Spirits — beginning with the free ebook Contacting Your Spirit Guides 101 — are designed to support you through the specific process you intentionally seek — simply, practically, safely.

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Talking to Your Spirit Guides and Automatic Writing Lessons are two of the most popular courses on this topic.

Click the thumbnail cover art or use this link —

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How Many Spirit Guides Do You Have?

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Your Personal Guides & Guardians
Each and every one of us has a team of benevolent spirit entities who attend us on our life’s mission. This entire team is comprised of many different types or “species” of spirits, at various levels of vibration — technically, there may be no limits to how many spirits may be around you at any given moment — but there are three main types of spirit entities that can communicate with you at advanced levels of language and consciousness:

  • spirit guides
  • ascended masters
  • angelics

These entities, as separate individuals, are unique to you and you alone. The consensus belief is that before you chose to incarnate in this lifetime, in this physical body, you contracted an entire network or crew of beings to assist you. I refer to this group collectively as your God Posse or your Chorus.

Who’s Who in Your God Posse?
Depending on a lot of factors and circumstances, you have a personal panel of guides and guardians working for you. You may call them a god posse, spiritual chorus, guide team, guardian council — any conceptual name that works for you.

When you communicate with this group yourself — or when a professional intuitive performs a spirit guide reading for you — we are connecting generally looking at a profile that consists of:

  • 4 to 10 spirit guides — Most of the people for whom I conduct readings have an average of 5 or 6 spirit guides in this category.
  • 6 angelics — These include your personal guardian angels, as well as other higher dimensional beings such as (1, or at most 2) ascended masters.

Generally, the higher or lower the vibration of the entity, the less likely they are to be communicative in a way we can easily recognize. They are also less likely to present with specific gender, humanoid appearances, individual names, or even use human language.

The half dozen or so spirit guides (human souls) attending you are tuned to a “sweet spot” of potential communication. Even within this narrower group, there is usually one entity — your Primary Spirit Guide — whom you can count on to communicate with you consistently, and on behalf of all the others.

These are the ones who are talking when we talk about talking to your spirit guides.

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Spirit Guides, Angels, and Ascended Masters

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Spirit Guides

Spirit guides are human souls who, although not incarnate at the present time, have chosen to assist those who are living as part of their own spiritual development.

  • Spirit guides have previously incarnated as human beings.
  • Spirit guides have lived an earthly experience (just as you are living, right now).
  • Spirit guides have worn physical bodies.
  • Spirit guides may still present as having a human gender.
  • Spirit guides often have decidedly human personalities.

Spirit guides have known the same complex power that all human souls must wield — free will.


  • Angels have never officially incarnated or lived as human beings (although in some circumstances, they may physically manifest, assume a temporary humanoid form, or take illusory human bodies).
  • Angels technically have no gender (although human history and lore surrounding angels often gives them predominantly male names and characteristics; many works of art and contemporary illustrations depict angels as decidedly female or male).
  • Angels do not have the free will tested in a human context and experience.
  • Angels exist at a different spiritual frequency, on a higher dimension of reality, closer to the Source energy of the Creator.

Ascended Masters

Ascended masters are human beings who have ascended or transcended the human experience. These souls have “graduated” (for lack of a better word) but have chosen to continue working for the ascension of the entire human race.

Ascended Masters are sometimes called Master Teachers. Many, if not all, of history’s most well-known prophets, martyrs, and saints are among this group.

A simplification of the basic ways these different types of entities affect our lives:

  • Spirit guides counsel, advise, and retrieve information.
  • Angels physically guard, protect, deliver prayers, and perform interventions and miracles.
  • Ascended Masters are human souls who manage campaigns; they organize the Bigger Pictures; they direct larger groups of spirit guides, guardian angels, and living human beings within the context of their special agendas.
  • Archangels hold similar positions of influence and power as Ascended Masters, but they are not (nor have they ever been) human.

Human souls may ascend to the role of spirit guides or master teachers, but they do not become angels.

Spirit Guides are not

  • Spirit guides are not angels.
  • Spirit guides are not ghosts or earthbound spirits.
  • Spirit guides are not anyone you have known in this lifetime who has recently crossed over.

Spirit guides are the least likely type of spirit entity to manifest physically.

Phenomena such as full-body apparitions or orbs — balls of light or energy that are visible to the eye and sometimes able to be captured with photography and other sensitive equipment — are probably manifested by either ghosts or angels, depending on the context or circumstances.

We discuss how to identify and discern the different types of entities that surround someone in the professional intuitive mentoring course.

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Spirit Guides Names

Do spirit guides have names? What is your spirit guide’s name?

All names are assignations. We have a name for the names for things — words.

Words are the foundation of human language; language is a form for human thought. The task of naming everything in Creation was assigned to us.

Can you think of something without silently recalling its name?

Look around the room you’re in right now — as your eyes glance across each object, do the names for those objects come to you? Can you suppress those names?

Can you think about anything without thinking of the word for it?

Spirit Guides Names

Do Spirit Guides Even Have Names?

Some psychics readily provide the names of spirit guides and other entities during readings. Sonia Choquette does. Sylvia Browne always has. I tell my clients their spirit guides’ names, too, when they ask. I’m certainly in good company among those intuitives who do.

There are intuitives who are absolutely vehement in their blanket statements that spirit guides do not have names.

I will not name names here. It has bothered me (just a little bit, in the past ) if they ridiculed those of us who do. I’m totally fine with agreeing to disagree, with recognizing that we have a different philosophy about the subject, with accepting the possibility that I receive a type of information during readings that they simply do not.

I can at least follow the logic others set forth about why spirit guides might not have names — but I’m not going to make their arguments for them here.

I do wish that rather than making “absolute” statements and passing judgments and declaring “facts” about Mysteries that can never be completely known, that they would just tell their clients “I don’t get names for spirit guides” and leave it at that. Maybe even refer those people to those of us who do.

Want to know the real, bottom-line reason why I give out spirit guide names during readings?

My clients ask me.

It’s really as simple as that — clients ask me questions, and I give them the best answer that I can. So, if a client asks me “What’s my spirit guide’s name?” (they always do; nearly everyone will throw this in before we get off the phone) and I hear a very distinct and clear answer, how could I do anything other than pass it on?

I never intended to offer professional readings when I started Shift Your Spirits — I blogged about my experiences with angels and spirit guides and I referred to them by name because… in my perception, they have names.

During the month of September 2006, when this blog was only a month old, I was already receiving an average of five emails per day — all asking some form of the same question:

“Can you tell me the name of my spirit guide?”

My response was to try. It seemed that I could. So I did.

Sure, there was a philosophical debate playing in my head, especially when I read or heard other intuitives publicly dismissing it. I did think “How do I know I’m not just assigning these names? Or somehow creating them?”

I name everything — I name my computers and my cars… How did I know that I wasn’t willfully attaching names to my clients’ spirit guides or putting thoughts in their heads?

There was a point only a few weeks into answering that first wave of requests for spirit guide name readings where I even thought “Maybe I shouldn’t be telling people this…”

But I received email after email after email from almost all those clients with some story about why or how those names were significant.

  • Sometimes, they were the very “nicknames” they had given their angels and guides.
  • Or the names by which they already knew their guides.
  • The names other psychics had told them in the past.
  • Sometimes they were recurring family names.
  • Or names with which they’d always felt a special connection.

And even with those names that were a bit “odd” or “random” — or even the ones that the clients might not have chosen for their spirit guides to go by, if it had been left up to them — phenomenal instances of synchronicity would occur.

I would hear back from my clients in a day or two, or maybe a week, about the Signs they experienced surrounding the spirit guide’s name that I had shared with them.

  • The name started popping up in a rapid succession of common events — name tags on worker bees in fast food drive-thrus and big box retail stores.
  • Emails from people with that name (some of them strangers).
  • Talking heads on TV with those names in digital ribbons at the bottom of the screen.
  • Books nearly falling off shelves by authors with the same names as their spirit guides, or at least a close spelling.

You can invite your spirit guides to do this — right now, yourself. Ask them for clear, physical, unmistakable signs.

These experiences delighted my clients. They still do. It’s spiritually empowering and emotionally positive. It feels like Something Great is winking at you, just letting you know It’s there.

It can allow someone to feel that there is magic and wonder in the world.

Do I know how these serendipities find us or what is generating these synchronicities? Do I know why it happens?

No, I can’t say that I know such a thing (anyone who uses the word know to describe the Mysteries is a delusional fool or a liar).

What I do believe — what I certainly feel — is that there is something to it, that it’s meaningful to others, and that I’ve been given the opportunity to participate in that.

Why would I refuse?

Names are powerful tools. Language is a technology.

Thoughts are things; and words are the handles by which we carry meaningful ideas around within us and hand them over to one another.

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