Meeting and working with your spirit guides

Do you need higher level help solving the baffling problems of your life? Do you know that you are never alone? Who are your spirit helpers? Have you ever felt the presence or received the guidance of your spirit helpers?

We are all surrounded by compassionate loving spirits that offer us their support, advice, and guidance, protection and wisdom. I’ve learned as a shamanic healer that no one is ever alone, that we are constantly encircled and supported by these loving beings, and that they will provide help and guidance if asked respectfully. Our spirit helpers and angels will share their wisdom and show us what we need to know for healing, empowerment, and peace of mind.

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All human beings have the capacity to connect with the spirit world and receive help. We have been doing this since before recorded history. In the words of my teacher, it is “in our DNA”.

Shamanic healing is based on our human relationship with the spirit world. You can connect with your helping spirits when you let your body and mind relax and settle down, let go of the busyness, stress and constant chatter, the monkey mind of everyday living.

To Connect:

Create sacred space in your home. Make it relaxing and inviting. Clear all clutter, clean away dust, strike a chime or bowl to clear the energy of your space and set the tone. Make yourself comfortable.

You might put on soft instrumental music and close your eyes. Now sit comfortably and ask inwardly to meet one of your helpers. When you begin to relax, you might see a scene unfolding in which your guide appears. You might hear spoken words, you might feel their loving presence.

Your guide may appear in human form, or as an angel, a mythical creature, a beloved grandparent or ancestor who has crossed to the light, an animal, bird, insect, a bubble of light, a plant or tree… Be open to any possibility and accept who comes to you without judgment.


My Grandparents, both spirit helpers for me

Greet your guide. Ask them a question you’ve been mulling over. Thank them for their presence. Feel the emotions they radiate.  Even if you see or sense nothing, act as if your guide is there and hears you. (If you meet a being who appears to be a guide, but is mean, nasty, demeaning, it is not your spirit guide. Stop the exercise and try again when you are feeling better.)

Formulate your questions:

Your asking for help and guidance is the key to receiving it. If you are skeptical, if you expect your helpers to know what you want without taking the time to form a relationship, without thinking seriously about your questions, you will be disappointed.

To get started, ask them about themselves and how you will work together. After you’ve set this groundwork, you can ask your guides anything. Ask for what you want. Go right to the heart of your dreams and desires and start there.

Ask respectfully and with humility. I like to use the phrases “Show me more about…” “Show me what will happen if…” “What is needed now to heal this situation…? If you keep your questions open ended, you won’t shut down the possibilities that might occur otherwise.

Try to avoid asking your guides to predict the future with pinpoint accuracy. Because you are a being of free will, your free will interacts with all possibilities in the universe and these possibilities can generate many different conceivable outcomes for you.

The compassionate guidance you receive is to be taken seriously and acted upon. Perhaps you receive guidance to have more fun, to lighten your heart. Now it is up to you to decided how to do this. Use your intuition. What ideas are flowing into your mind as you think about this? Consider them all, do not dismiss the guidance you receive.

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Orange butterfly on elderflower

Always express your thanks and gratitude for the guidance you receive.

Of course, if you are advised to make drastic changes, you must take it slow, test what you have been given against the conditions of your life, and move forward at your own pace within your comfort zone.

Connecting with your guides is like a prayer, a heart to heart conversion, or a soulful experience with a wise, loving, compassionate spirit that cares deeply for you and your well-being.

Working with spirit guides can change your life in amazing ways. Remember to take your guide’s advice to heart, open your mind to new ways of thinking and acting, and trust the advice you are given.

Tips for working with power animals

Has a power animal appeared for you? Why did that particular animal choose to work with you? What gifts and guidance do they bring you?

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Monarch butterfly

I thought power animals were the product of fanciful and wishful and maybe even loony minds until Horse appeared at my side one day. I was out for a walk several days before a healing touch class in which I would experience a life-changing healing. It seemed like a normal summer’s day. Suddenly, a chestnut brown horse was walking close beside me. He seemed so real, I thought I could lean against him and smell his horsey scent, feel the texture of his course mane, hear his soft nicker, and scratch around his ears. But he was in spirit form; sent to guide, comfort and support me through my mind bending healing experience that was yet to come. He’s been a helper to me ever since.

If you don’t feel connected to a spirit animal, a shamanic practitioner can do a power animal retrieval for you. Or you can learn to do shamanic journeys and retrieve one for yourself. Remember, the animal actually chooses you, so be open to whoever comes your way offering their services. It could just as easily be snake, vulture, spider, or mouse, as wolf, bear or eagle!

Power animals are compassionate spirit guides that have taken on animal form. Each creature has special attributes and powers (superpowers!) that can help you with your unique needs. No list or book of animal attributes can capture the full meaning your power animal has for you. Be open to listening, learning and building a relationship with your helper. You will be richly rewarded!

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To Connect: You can use journaling to connect, or go into a daydream state with a question ready. Do this at a time of day when you can be quiet for awhile.  Connect directly by learning to do shamanic journeys.

Ask the power animal what you can do for them. After all the relationship is a two way street.

Always be respectful of your helpers. Thank them for their presence, their support, their advice. They have chosen to work with you, and that is an honor.

Questions: When you first visit with your helper, ask how they can help you and what gifts they bring to you. Ask what they want from you. After that you can ask other questions. “Why” questions don’t usually work too well. Try to re-word them: (Can you help me understand…? Show me about… )

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Red winged blackbird

The answers may come to you in several different ways such as a picture or “movie” in your head, words, emotions, impressions, etc. Accept what comes. It won’t always be earth shattering. It might be quiet at times. It might take some time for the answer to become clear to you. The more you work with your helper, the easier it will be for you to know what they are communicating to you.

Follow the advice you are given if possible. Remember that your power animal will never ask you to do something that harms you or another person or living thing. If you get something like this, it is not coming from your power animal.

Disconnect: When you’re done visiting your power animal, thank them, say goodbye, open your eyes and take a drink of water, a bite of food, or dance around a little to get yourself back into this reality.

Above all, enjoy you power animal!  They can bring you humor and fun, spot-on guidance and serious healing if you are open to their messages.




Shamanic journeying by Sandra Ingerman ; Sounds True, Incorporated. 2006

Animal Speak by Ted Andrews; Llewellyn Publications. 2002


Journey to the top of the world

Journey of the week, 1-15-16

(Betty’s note: this journey is long, so the first half will be posted now, and the conclusion will be posted next week)

You enter a hollow tree and slide down a fire pole to reach journey space. Landing on the ground, you tumble a bit after falling out of the tree root.

Danger! Fire- a huge wall of orange flame encircles you. Everything in the path of the fire has been consumed, and the flames are creeping closer. The heat almost burns your face. However, a message comes: “Sit still in the center of the circle.”

You sit in on the heated ground quietly, observing the raging fire with no fear. Blinking slowly, time passes. Opening your eyes, the fire has died out and tiny green shoots poke out of the blackened earth between charred stumps. Blinking again, time passes and your opened eyes see a new forest, new growth, fresh green pine and fir saplings reaching for the sun. Blinking once more, time passes and now the forest is mature. Stately old growth trees tower all around the circle, branches interwoven, providing a habitat for all creatures of the woods.

The beautiful evergreen forest calls out somehow, and you set out on a journey. The ground tilts sharply upward after a time, making it more difficult to find footing. The earth is slippery with fallen pine needles.

There is a rope on the ground. It is attached to a strong little burro. Burro tows you upward, helping you make your way up the steep slippery slope up past the tree line to a magnificent ridge, a continental divide. Burro continues on over the ridge and spirals down into the valley. You wish to stay on the ridge, so let go of the tow rope and allow burro to find her way alone. Wind blows at a gale force, almost knocking you off your feet into the valley below – a dangerous and possibly fatal drop. You realize if you become clear and open, the wind will blow right through and you will stay on your feet. Now rain comes and pours down, washes you. Roots grow from your lower body deep into the earth.

There is a flat stone to sit on. Now lightning strikes with huge deafening bolts, so close your hair stands on end, but still you sit on the stone. Unafraid. Soon the storm passes and the view clears. Every landscape on earth is spread out below- meadows, farm fields, rolling hills, rivers, streams, estuaries, the seashore, deserts, caves, rocky places; and every form of aggression know to man plays out in the panorama of life at your feet. You see war, domestic violence, ugly things in several places. The ugliness is dwarfed by the light, beauty, love, kindness, generosity that fills the earth below.  You see, feel, and know these blessings.

To be continued—-




Journey: Flying with eagle


Journey of the week, first week of January, 2016

What do we need to know for the first week of the new year?

We enter journey space through a hollow tree. You stand on a fragile ledge of ice and snow dressed in your cold weather gear. Somehow, you have gotten trapped here in this dangerous place above a deep snowy valley. The ice begins to crack and buckle under your weight . You feel yourself slipping, slipping. You feel fear as your body slides uncontrollably toward the snowy valley far below. Just as you fall, bald eagle appears above, soaring effortlessly in the clear blue sky.

Your spirit is transmuted to pure energy – a golden bubble of light. You float upward and merge with your guide and helper, bald eagle. As you become one with the bird, you see with eagle’s eyes, feel the air beneath your wings, smell the sharp scent of evergreen. You can see for miles from this height – distant snowy mountains, rolling hills, harvested farm fields dusted by snow and valleys coursed by silvery frozen rivers. You see fish beneath the ice, you see tiny rodents tunnel through the snow. You see the towns, buildings and busy roadways built by humans through eagle’s eyes. All is seen without judgment or thought.

Now, still merged with eagle, you fly down to one of the frozen rivers and follow it downstream until the ice breaks up and the water flows freely. You spot a salmon below the surface and dive, capturing it in your talons. As you rise and land in a nearby oak tree to feast, you find a large pearl inside the fish. This is a spiritual gift for you – tears and grief transformed into a precious jewel.

After the feast, you continue downstream and descend sharply as the water falls many feet to huge boulders below – a beautiful waterfall. Bear is fishing at the surging pool below the fall. You/eagle simply take in the scene and move on.

Now you/eagle perch atop another oak. All the moons, suns planets, and stars that will appear this year encircle you around the horizon and shine with amazing brilliance, surrounding you and filling you with amazement and awe. Now you are shown on the surface of the moon, roots growing from you through the moon, down to the earth and through the core of the earth itself. You soar above, yet you are still rooted to the earth, your physical home.

Now, again perched on the oak tree, eagle’s feathers begin to drop, one at a time. The shedding speeds up until eagle has no feathers left. Now eagle’s body dissolves and only spirit remains. Eagle’s indestructible energy separates from you and expands to encircle the earth. Sun and moon dogs are the light refracting from the energy of eagle’s spirit.

Once again, you are in human form and you climb down the tree to solid earth, knowing that you are pure spirit in human form. You know you belong to this earth but with new expanded consciousness.

Thank you to eagle and all the compassionate helping spirits that made this journey possible.