lokkixiix asked: Hello! Do you know much about spirit guides and how to get one? (I am asking for a friend) if you do not know much could you direct me to who would? Thank you!

starlight-and-promises answered: I know quite a lot about spirit guides. I work with all mine very consciously and help others connect to their guides.

You don’t have to do anything special to get a guide – we all have guides with us at any time. Usually you have 1 main guide who is with you from birth to death, although you can have more than one like this, the main guide functions like your protector and companion. Other guides may come and go depending on what you’re going through in your life. Some guides have specific purposes, like you might have a joy guide, a healer guide, a teacher guide, etc. Sometimes your main guide fills more than one role. It depends on the guide.

Your best bet is to reach out to your guide and just tell them you want to start developing a working relationship with them. Talk to your guides and ask them to give you signs. I connected with my guides through the help of another reader. Because of this, it was a lot easier for me to consciously reach out to them and have a conversation with them in my head. Otherwise you can learn to talk to them through dreams or divination tools. The most important skill to cultivate when trying to talk to your guides is learning how to listen to what you receive. Pay attention to how you receive information, and the guide will usually work through those senses to give you messages. If you feel like you’re not getting any response, you’re probably trying to hard. Take a step back and listen.

I answered an ask right before this one with some recommended books, you might want to look at those, too, to help. Hope this answers your question 🙂

Animal Patronuses 101: How to Find Your Patronuses!

booksandtails:

The first, and most important, thing to know about working with animal guides is that they choose you, you do not choose them. This is very important when first working to seek out who your personal patronuses are as you don’t want to force a relationship that is not meant to be. Some times an animal will contact you in reality with a physical appearance of the animal being so obvious that you notice it. But for most of us, a dip into our subconscious is what we need to find out what’s going on.

The following is my personal method for contacting animal guides. Throughout this you can seek out who your patronus/patronuses are. Some people have one singular animal, some have more (I currently have seven constant patronuses). In some belief systems you can have up to 9 animal guides, each representing a different aspect. But no matter the number, you first need a way to contact them. As many of us are city-bound or have affinities for animals that do not necessarily live near us, this spell is a way of reaching out via a mental nature walk. The great thing about a mental nature walk is that you can easily walk from the mountains to the oceans to deserts of any place you think up without leaving the room.

What you need:

– A Bathtub or Bed

– Candles/Incense/air freshener with a soothing scent

– to be undisturbed

– a notebook/journal and a way to write in it (pen, pencil)

  1. First get comfortable. You want to be at a state of relaxation without falling asleep. Personally I use a bath because I’m less likely to fall asleep, but you can use a bed/sofa/anything you can recline on. Light your candles/get that soothing scent around you. It helps you relax.
  2. Take deep breaths and visualize a forest. It can be any kind of forest, just picture one. You need make sure your vision of it is sturdy enough that you can travel through it, so a still photo in your mind isn’t enough. Imagine the sounds you hear, the wind in the trees, the rustling of branches, the way the light filters through. Once you think you have it solid, begin to walk through it.
  3. Travel through the forest and wherever it leads. Let your mind make it up as it goes along, your subconscious is going to guide you to so don’t try to make it go anywhere specifically. Sometimes my forest follows a stream to the ocean, sometimes it opens to a field or desert, sometimes it goes to a cave or mountain. Let your mind take you where it will.
  4. Now here’s the hard part- you will meet animals along your path. Once again, do not try to force a meeting by thinking of specific animals, just let them come naturally to you. You must try very hard to remember these animals and the specific order you see them in. I know that sounds simple in writing, but it’s not. Once you “wake up” from your nature walk, it’s very hard sometimes and it may take practice to get the hang of it.
  5. Every animal you meet, greet them and ask them to come walk with you. Some animals are there to give you a message and be on their way, some will walk with you once but not always, others will appear every time you take a mental nature walk. The last group- those that always show up every time you do this meditation- those are your guides.
  6. Once you reach a destination on your walk, you can thank those that walked with you and “wake up.” You will just know when this is, as you will reach a stopping place and gather for a moment with the animals. Once you “wake up” write down the animals you met in order.
  7. As I mentioned before, remembering all the animals along the route is sometimes very hard, especially in order. I always try to write down immediately a quick list of who I saw and whether or not they came with me. Those who you saw that didn’t come are still important and still might have a good message for you. The order sometimes relates to an order of events in your life, so keep that in mind when you note who appeared first/second/third/onward.
  8. The more times you do this, the more you will notice a certain group of animals always appearing. They will not only be the same animals (for example an owl) but will always be the same individual animal (for example a female barred owl that is always the same personality). These are your patronuses. Your subconscious keeps bringing them back because they are meant to walk with you always.
  9. Spend a week going on multiple nature walks in your subconscious.  Sometimes by the second or third walk you will notice which animals are the same and sometimes it takes more. For me, one of my patronuses has a very distinct personality and I knew immediately on my early walks that the one that kept appearing was the same one. Others took a few walks before I put things together.
  10. Remember to heed the advice of all the animals that appear. Those that appear but don’t come with you might have a message just for that day. Those who walk with you once but not always might have a message for that week. Sometimes if I enter a walk thinking of a specific problem the animals that appear give answers for it. Your subconscious showed you a random group of animals for a reason, so don’t dismiss any of them.
  11. Once you have written down the animals and their order, you can then research what meanings they may have. This site (which outside of it’s use of the word “totem” avoids most other cultural appropriation) has a wide listing of animals and specific types of animals that you can reference. This site is amazing and uses the terms “animal energies” and has a solid list of over 290 animals for reference. As you read the possible associations of an animal, certain things will stand out to you personally. Note those beside the animal’s name in your journal. Sometimes it’s a negative trait you have that the animal is warning you about, sometimes it’s a message about a problem you have. If you look at the meanings of the animal, something there will stand out with meaning to you- that’s what your subconscious was showing you.
  12. Keep the journal so you can always log your nature walks and find patterns in them. As I mentioned, certain animals always walking with you is an important sign. But there are also those who always appear under certain circumstances as well.
  13. Once you’ve thought on your messages, you can now go forward with your day/week with the knowledge your animal friends have given to you. If you are having a rough time, I’ve found it’s really soothing to close my eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine my patronuses embracing me in a hug. These are your patronuses, they are there to protect you from negative energy and to guide you. Do not hesitate to call to them if you are in need, but always thank them for their time with you.

I hope this method works for others as I developed it personally and have had great success with it. My mental nature walks are a great place for me to go when stressed or worried about a problem and the animals that come with me for them always have such sage wisdom to give to me.

Familiars 102: How to Work with a Familiar

booksandtails:

Okay, so you have a familiar– great! Now’s the fun part- working your craft with them.

Safety first!

Whenever working with an animal familiar- the first and most important thing to consider is their safety. Things I always consider when working witchcraft around my animal friends are:

  • Is anything in this spell toxic to this animal?

There’s a lot of little, totally innocent seeming herbs even kept in your kitchen that is best kept AWAY from your animal friends. For example- garlic, even in the smallest dose can be deadly for dogs and cats. And if your animal familiar is anything like mine- they tend to want to taste/stick their nose in it. A quick Google search of “type of animal, ingredient, toxic” will often bring up an answer- like “cat garlic toxic”. But always err on the side of caution- if you are uncertain, do not let your animal near it.

  • Burning things

While you can sometimes find candles and incense that is okay for some animals, do be careful when having anything that can burn an animal near them. Either keep the item out of reach or opt for something else- like an LED Candle. In the case of incense, always make sure your animal stays downwind (the opposite direction the smoke is blowing) of it, and make sure they don’t have any allergies or issues with it. If they start showing any signs of distress- coughing, sneezing, rubbing their eyes, remove it immediately.

Small animals, like rats and gerbils, are especially sensitive to smoke and it can really give them problems, so I avoid incense when near them. Most of your generic tea light candles and scented ones are going to be okay, if they are kept safely away from the animal and the animal is in no way in the path of the smoke from it. Some special notations are: birds are often extremely sensitive to smells and undiluted essential oils (which are often used in scented items) can give them severe respiratory problems. Reptiles have a similar problem with cedar-scents. In both cases (birds and reptiles) I try to avoid anything heavily scented around them to play it safe.

  • Is the animal comfortable with what I need them to do?

In general, your animal being comfortable is going to be best for them AND your spell. Just like you being upset can mess up a spell, so can your animal’s feelings! Sure you might have to rework a spell here or there to accommodate, but if you want your familiar to assist, you need to do so on their terms. Personally, I always ask the animal if they are willing to help me before every spell I work with them. And sometimes I choose not to ask them (curses, anything I’m afraid might rebound in a nasty way, etc) to make sure they stay safe. Always always always put their needs and health first.

Okay, so I’ve checked my ingredients and made sure my scented items are all a-okay with my animal friend. Now what?

Each animal is going to be different, given that they are all their own unique selves, but overall the following are my methods for working with familiars.

  • Your spell space

When working with your familiar, the area where you work your spell is probably not going to be normal. Since we are accommodating our assistants- we often must either choose a place they will come to us at or choose a place they are at.

Sometimes you’ll have an animal that loves to come get pets from you while you take a bath- great spell spot! Use those natural locations when the pet comes to you to create a spell casting area.

Get your ingredients together, then go to the place and wait for your pet to come to your call.

This might mean you are doing a spell in the bathtub, or in bed, but it gives you the bonus of having the extra energy of your familiar to help cast it- so it’s an equal trade off, I feel.

For those animals that either cannot (live in a cage/tank) or will not come to a certain location- take the spell to them.

If your cat loves laying in the middle of the hallway during the afternoon to sunbathe, you’ve just found a spot to cast your spell with him or her!

I always bring along something (a large book, box, TV tray, etc) to put anything burning or seemingly edible a top (let’s face it, most cats or dogs will try to eat just about anything) if I’m working on the ground with an animal, but otherwise, just work from there.

For our tank/cage dwelling friends- depending on their temperament and if they are able to breathe air (hi aquatic familiars!) you can always take them to your normal spell casting space. If not, camp out on the floor near their tank/cage and go from there.

  • Once you have the location figured out, your ingredients are there and you’re ready to cast your spell- do all your normal things.

If you cast a protective circle, call the quarters, invoke deities- whatever your normal method is- go for it. The difference is when you define your magical space, you are now giving the okay for your familiar to be a part of it.

Since I know my familiars might decide mid-spell that something else is far more important at that moment, I often note something along the lines of “May the boundaries of this expand as far as needed to encompass me and -familiar’s name-.” That way if my cat really needs to go get a snack, he can, and he’s still inside the big ole bubble of magic helping me out.

  • The help. During spells you are drawing from your own energy to fuel the outcome, so having a familiar means you have EXTRA ENERGY.

Think of it as that kick you get when your morning caffeine drink finally hits your system, but with magic. Sometimes I consider which familiar (if you have more than one) would be best for a certain spell. Rats, for example, are seen as good luck with money by some cultures, so I might use a rat familiar with a money spell. An extra cuddly dog or cat would be great for a love spell, or anything with warm, positive vibe. And you can bet your fish, frogs and other aquatic animals will definitely help any spells with water-connections.

When you are visualizing the energy from yourself, you can also visualize it from your familiar entering your spell. Sometimes I will touch or hold my familiar while casting the spell to help forge our two energies together into something stronger.

  • When finished, go through your usual post-spell methods (close the space, extinguish flame, etc) and give your familiar lots of love and praise!

All my familiars will vouch for the importance of post-spell treats, pets and love. Just like when you teach your animal a trick, rewarding your animal gives it a positive association with the activity. This way they will be happy to assist you again!

In short, working with a familiar is basically getting a nice helpful energy boost on a spell from a willing animal companion. Make sure they are safe, accommodate the ingredients and space to what works for them, and remember to thank them with love and treats afterwards! 

If you have any further questions about familiar work, feel free to ask!

Animal Guides 101: Familiars, Messengers and Patronuses

booksandtails:

Starting to post some of the basic framework of my practice with animal guides in hopes it can help others.

What Type of Animal Guides Are There?

There are many types of animals who come into our lives literally or symbolically for many reasons. Some of these animals are our guides- there to be with us and work with us on a daily basis. Most importantly, they are there to teach us something about ourselves or for ourselves.

The three types of guides, as I call them, break down into the following:

  •  Familiars (pets and outside friends)
  •  Animal Messengers (real-life and dream)
  • Patronuses (those that choose you and those that you are born with)

Familiars (which I go into a bit of the history of here) are going to be a real-life animal that works with you. These are often what people term “pets”- but the emotional bond is different. These animals are fond of you in a specific, special way. It’s not something easily put into words, and it’s not something that can be forced- it’s just a stronger bond than one has traditionally with their pets. Familiars are the cat that likes to sit on your lap but no one elses, the bird that will only do a trick for you and you alone, the dog that gets extra excited when you come home. These are relationships that even others will make note of- noting that the animal seems to prefer you or loves you more. Sometimes you can also form a bond with a wild animal that lives near you or visits with you frequently (a chipmunk that presses its paws to your glass door so you give it food, a wild deer that is often seen on your property that doesn’t seem to spook as easily when you are there, etc). Once again, it is a considered by “normal” people- a unique bond that makes your relationship with the real animal different.

Animal Messengers are those animals that can be in real-life or dreams/meditations that only appear once or twice. These are the ones that are there to give you a message then be on their way. It’s the random bat you see driving home one night or that dream you had last night with a tiger. Some of these can become a patronus, but when they only stop by once or twice, it’s more “hey here’s today’s lesson, peace out.”

A Patronus is an Animal Messenger that keeps appearing, and literally appears so often you take notice and go “okay, this is getting weird.” These are the guides that walk with you always and are always there for you to call on. Perhaps you always see a hawk sitting on a lamppost every day as you drive to work one week, or the last five meditations you’ve had involve a raccoon trying to play with you. These animals are the ones that are your personal teachers. Something about them is trying to teach you something about yourself. Some of your Patronuses are given to you in a way- those who strongly identify with their zodiac animals may receive visits from them for example. Also, the same can be said of animals representing a deity/deities on their behalf (ie- a cat for Bast, for example). The others are ones you find, but do not choose. Some are animals you feel oddly drawn to or constantly see despite how rare they are to appear to others. Many times, it takes direct personal meditation or dreamwork to find them all. I say “all” because it’s entirely possible to have a lot of patronuses making up your own personal team. Even if your first meeting with a patronus is in real-life, you can meet them easily in meditation or dreams as well. Like the Harry Potter term, I often also visualize them in a blueish white light when I “send them out” from myself to other places to help others.

In short, think of animals as a special schooling course. The Patronuses make up teachers on staff, the Animal Messengers are guest speakers who come to speak on a topic, and Familiars are your own personal home tutor on a subject. Just like every person in the world is not a teacher, not every animal will connect with you in one of these three ways. But being open to work with animal guides gives you an opportunity to seek out what they have to tell us about ourselves and give us aide when we face trouble in life.

As for books on the matter, finding ones without cultural appropriation are very difficult, but I have a few recommendations here!

February 17th, 2015

Super fantastic meditation tonight!

As I walked down the tunnel that leads to the alcove (which leads to my meadows) I notice that the light at the end is really bright tonight.  The Pond of the Universe is awake and happy.  Light shines from beneath and reflects off the walls. The ripples on the surface are joyful.  You know that feeling where you just gotta do a little jig because everything is right where it’s supposed to be? Yeah, like that.

I kneel down and say, “I hope I have honored you in a way that pleases you.”

The Universe replies, “Your very existence honors me.”  If it had a face, the Universe would have smiled.

I walk out to my meadows.  It’s not very scenic right now, as my meditation place reflects the seasons, and sometimes the weather, of the physical world. So grey clouds, bare trees, biting wind, snow-laden grass. The wheat are comfortable sleeping the winter away.  Artemis joins me as I walk toward my little meadow.  I turn around and smile at her, and she smiles back but then tells me, more with the tilt of her head than her words, that there is something in front of me.

It’s the Lady of the Cards.  Since I bought the Shadowscapes Tarot deck, I’ve gotten this feeling of a feminine presence whenever I read.  I saw this woman the last time I meditated but only through the trees, I never spoke to her.

She knows I’m coming to meet her and so she watches us approach.  I do a little curtsey (doesn’t hurt to be polite, right?) and say, “M’lady, how are you?”

She smiles with her eyes.  “You are the one who reads the cards.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She reaches out and caresses my cheek. “You read them very well, darling.”

I smile and blush at the compliment. I ask her if there is anything she needs right now, anything I can get for her.

“Is this place always like this?” She looks around the meadow, at the bare trees and gloomy skies.

“No, ma’am.  It’s just winter. Spring will come soon.”

“Ah,” she says.  “Then no. I’ll wait for spring to arrive.”

I get the feeling that the cards will be clearer for me to read when spring does come.  I say goodbye and notice that Artemis and the Lady of the Cards give each other respectful nods.

I finally come to my little meadow with the log, do my usual perimeter walk-around, and sit down.  Hawk is already there, waiting for me.  He comes to my arm and we embrace. Artemis finds a lounge chair and begins to take out her bow and arrow.

“Do you know about the dream I had a few nights ago?” I ask to the both of them.

Artemis nods.  “Oh yes.”

Hawk agrees.

“Would you by any chance be able to help translate what it said?  ‘Those whom I’m descended from honored the moon’? Did I follow you in a past life?”

Artemis smiles.  “Not quite.”

I look at Hawk, confused.

You are of the Moon, he says.

“I am the Moon?”

“No, you are made of the Moon.” She is checking the strength of her string.

I think about that.  “So, I am literally a descendent of the Moon.”

Artemis nods.

That makes sense. I’ve always been attracted to the Moon. I always thought there was a sense of something more with the Moon.

Hawk shows me the nebula from which my soul was born.  I then see the full Moon, only this time there is a ring of light around it.  A line of silver is coming off it and flowing into the part of the nebula where my soul would be born.  Star dust was needed to help create you, but the direct energies and particulates from the Moon are what make up you. (;particulates; isn’t the exact word he used, but it’s something similar)

I think about this.  “I should probably put something up on my bookcase to honor this relation.”

“That would be nice,” Artemis says.

“And the other part of the dream?  Or the part that my mentor could figure out?  I’m going to meet someone of my spirit-family?”

Yes, says Hawk.  Soon.

“How soon? And do you know if it’s someone I already know or a new relationship?”

“Yes and no.” Artemis is now checking the straightness of her arrow.

“Yes and no… It’s someone I’ve already met…” The image of an audio wavelength that oscillates between high and low frequency comes to my mind. “But I haven’t spoken to them in some time…” The knowledge that this person is female is present.  A spirit-sister.

“Yup.”

“How soon?”

“Eh…”

Give it time.

“So, after the 28th.”

Hawk nods.

That makes sense.  “Cool.  Alright, enough about me. Hawk, how are you?”

Hawk is good.  Things are quiet by him, which he likes.  Relaxing.

I then ask him if he’ll be with me on the 28th.

I’ll be right by your side. He says, puffing out his chest a little.  That comforts me.

“And Artemis?  You’ll be there?”

“Ready to defend you.  Isis, too.”

“Well, don’t do too much damage.  I’ve yet to formally meet Isis.”

Artemis advises me to wait until after the end of the month.  “She’s got a lot on her mind right now.”

Noted. I ask Artemis to give my thanks to Isis as I stand up.  There’s no up-wind so it’s hard for Hawk to really get going on wing.  He’s fine with me setting him down on the log.  I acknowledge the Lady of the Cards as I return home.

Anonymous asked: Hello! i have a question: I’m just starting and I don’t have any deities that click with me,however, some animals do: I’m kind of obsessed with foxes and yesterday I had a encounters with turtles ._. I saw a turtled shaped opalite and I froze, also I dreamed of a sea turtle. Can I work with animal guides and not deities? Must people only have one animal guide?

nightingale-apothecary answered: Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like it’s totally okay to work with more than one animal guide. I did however dig up that Aphrodite is linked with the sea turtle. Anyone have some guidance on this?

mutant-wolf2: From what I’ve read and learned, you don’t absolutely need a deity.

As for animal guides, I have two. One is my constant companion, and the other is there to help me learn, grow, or represent something. The second guide is not a permanent guide, I recently “grew out” of my first guide and now I’ve got another one.

Granted, I only see these guys when I meditate, so I don’t know if this helps you.

Recommended Reading: Spirit Guides, Spirit Communication, Mediumship & Channeling

Ask Your Guides: Connecting to Your Divine Support System – Sonia Choquette

Buckland’s Book of Spirit Communications – Raymond Buckland

Channeling A Comprehensive and Instructional Guide – Ezekiah

Channeling: How to Reach Out to Your Spirit Guides – Kathryn Ridall

Channeling: What It Is and How to Do It – Lita De Alberdi

Edgar Cayce on Channeling Your Higher Self – Edgar Cayce

Gifted: A Guide for Mediums, Psychics & Intuitives – Lisa Andres

Guides, Guardians and Angels: Enhance Relationships with Your Spiritual Companions – D.J. Conway

How to Meet and Work with Spirit Guides – Ted Andrews

I’m Beside Myself!: A Beginner’s Guide to Channeling – Betsy-Morgan Coffman

Intuitive Studies: A Complete Course in Mediumship – Gordon Smith

Mediumship Made Simple: A Step by Step Guide to Connecting With Spirit – Lynn Lloyd M.A.Ed

Opening to Channel: How to Connect with Your Guide – Sanaya Roman

Solitary Seance: How You Can Talk with Spirits on Your Own – Raymond Buckland

Soul Writing: Conversing With Your Higher Self – Joanne DiMaggio

So you want to be a Medium: A Down to Earth Guide – Rose Vanden Eynden

Spirit Allies: Meet Your Team from the Other Side – Christopher Penczak

The Spirit Book: The Encyclopedia of Clairvoyance, Channeling, and Spirit Communication – Raymond Buckland

Spirit Boards for Beginners: The History & Mystery of Talking to the Other Side – Alexandra Chauran

Spirit Guides & Angel Guardians: Contact Your Invisible Helpers – Richard Webste

Where Two Worlds Meet: How to Develop Essential Mediumship – Janet Nohavec

Writing the Divine: How to Use Channeling for Soul Growth & Healing – Sara Wiseman

You Are a Medium: Discover Your Natural Abilities to Communicate with the Other Side – Sherrie Dillard

Animal Spirit Guide Meditation

Your animal spirit is out there, waiting for you to make contact. The process of meditation and getting back to nature can bring you closer.

To contact your animal spirit guide, follow this meditation. It may take a few attempts to make contact, but each time you try you will getting closer to nature.

Natural Surroundings
If at all possible, get out into the open countryside or a quiet corner of a large park. Though your guide can find you anywhere, they will feel more comfortable and you’ll be more accessible when you are open to the sky and nature.

Take Comfort
Wear comfortable clothing. The surface you rest on is up to you, but be prepared to sit for as long as you need. Avoid using distracting incense or music.

Sensory Experience
Look around with your eyes, listen with your ears, smell with your nose, and feel with your skin until you are in touch with the rhythms of this part of the world. Think of these rhythms playing out year after year, century after century.

Open Your Mind’s Eye
Close your eyes. You’ll continue to hear and smell, but your mind will supply your vision without the distractions of the outside world.

Making Contact
Unless you’re an experienced meditator, your mind will wander, and various creatures will appear. The first one you see is not necessarily yours. Talk to each one that comes along and try to feel what its message might be.

Communication
Your true guide has something more important to say to you than just flattery or condemnation. He or she doesn’t want to take over – they have a life of their own – but they can show you ways that you can take charge.

Learning Experience
Don’t be discouraged if at first you don’t feel that you’ve contacted your true animal spirit guide. Consider what you learned from the experience. Would you be more comfortable in different surroundings? At a different time of day? Try again another day and you might be surprised by your success.

A Lifetime’s Bond
Once you’ve found your guide, you’ll see them time and time again. They may be in your dreams, or in the glance of a stranger. But forevermore, they will be your personal guide.