Exploring the Types of Spirit Guides in Shamanism

Shamanism is a spiritual practice that dates back thousands of years and is still widely practiced today. As part of this practice, shamanic practitioners work with spirit guides, which can take many forms and have various roles. Understanding the different types of spirit guides in shamanism can help one deepen their connection to the spiritual realm and gain insight into their lives. Each type of spirit guide is unique, with its own characteristics and purpose. In this article, we will explore the different types of spirit guides in shamanism and how to connect with and work with them.

Defining Shamanism

Shamanism is a spiritual practice that is rooted in indigenous cultures around the world. It involves connecting with the spirit world through journeying, ritual, and ceremony. Shamanism is based on the belief that everything in the universe has a spirit, including animals, plants, rocks, and even inanimate objects. A shaman is a healer who works to bridge the gap between the physical and spirit worlds. Shamanism is not a religion, but rather a way of life that is grounded in the natural world. The practice of shamanism involves working with spirit guides, particularly power animals, to gain insight and wisdom. These guides can provide protection, guidance, and healing on the shamanic journey. Through the use of shamanic practices, individuals can develop a deep connection to nature, the spirit world, and their own inner wisdom.

What are Spirit Guides in Shamanism?

Spirit guides are mystical entities that assist shamans during their journey in the spiritual realm. Shamans believe that spirit guides are essential for them to connect with the spiritual world and navigate through different dimensions. A spirit guide can take various forms such as animal spirits, ancestors, ascended masters, nature spirits, deity guides, and shadow guides.

In shamanism, spirit guides are considered as spiritual allies that help in every aspect of life. They can provide guidance, healing, and protection. Spirit guides are believed to have a unique connection with the shaman, and their roles are specific to the shaman’s needs. Shamans often seek the help of spirit guides to gain insight into their problems, provide solutions to their issues and guide them towards a better path.

Animal spirits are one of the most common forms of spirit guides in shamanism. These are animal energies that help shamans connect with the natural world and the underlying consciousness of all living things. The animal spirits have their unique symbolism, and each one has a specific role to play during the shamanic journey.

Ancestral or lineage guides are the spirits of the shaman’s ancestors who have crossed over to the afterlife. In shamanism, it is believed that ancestors hold vast knowledge on how to live a fulfilling life, and they pass on this wisdom to their descendants. The ancestral guides offer their wisdom and guidance to the shaman in the spiritual realm.

Nature spirits are connected to the environment and are often associated with the elements such as earth, water, air, and fire. They embody the spirits of the plants, trees, mountains, rivers, and oceans, among others. Nature spirits help shamans connect with the natural world and gain insights from Mother Earth.

Ascended masters are highly evolved spiritual beings who have attained enlightenment and moved on from the physical realm. They offer spiritual guidance, healing, and support to the shaman during their journey. Deity guides are deities from different pantheons who offer their guidance and blessings to the shaman. They represent different aspects of life, such as abundance, love, wisdom, and justice.

Shadow guides are often considered as the dark aspects of the self. They represent the hidden or repressed parts of the psyche that need to be acknowledged and integrated to achieve spiritual balance. Shadow guides help shamans confront and overcome their inner shadow aspects for their spiritual growth.

Spirit guides are essential for shamans in their spiritual practice. They provide guidance, healing, and protection that assist in navigating the spiritual realm. Each spirit guide has its unique symbolism, characteristics, and role to play during the shamanic journey. To have a meaningful relationship with spirit guides, one needs to be open to the possibilities, listen to their messages and guidance, and trust the process.

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The Different Types of Spirit Guides

The Different Types Of Spirit Guides

Shamans believe that there are different types of spirit guides who can assist and guide them in their spiritual journeys. These guides can appear in different forms, such as animals, deities, or even deceased loved ones. Here are some of the different types of spirit guides in shamanism:

Ancestral or lineage guides are spirits of your ancestors who have passed away. They may have personal connections to you and your family, and they can offer guidance and insight on your ancestral heritage. They can also help you to heal ancestral wounds and patterns that may be affecting your life.

Animal guides are spirits that appear in the form of animals. These animals can be your power animals, or they can be one-time messengers who are trying to deliver a message. Animal guides can help you to understand your personal connections to the natural world and animal symbolism. They can also offer guidance on how to tap into your own instincts and intuition.

Nature guides can come in forms other than animals, such as plants, trees, mountains, or bodies of water. These guides can teach you about the natural world and connect you to the earth’s energy. They can offer insights on how to live in harmony with the environment and how to live sustainably.

Ascended masters are high-level spiritual beings who have lived on Earth in the past or who have never been incarnated. They can offer guidance on spiritual growth and enlightenment and can help you connect with divine energy. Ascended masters may appear to you in meditation, dreams, or during shamanic journeys.

Deity guides are spirits of deities from different belief systems. They can offer guidance on spiritual matters and connect you to the divine energy of a particular deity. Deity guides may appear to you in meditation or shamanic journeys to offer wisdom and insight.

Shadow guides are spirits of our shadow selves who can provide insight on our darkest aspects. They can help you to identify and acknowledge your shadow aspects, which can lead to a better understanding of yourself and ultimately a sense of balance and wholeness.

Spirit Guide Type Main Characteristics
Ancestral/Lineage Guides Connected to ancestral heritage, provide insights on ancestral wounds, patterns, and connections
Animal Guides Appear in the form of animals, help understand personal connections to animal symbolism, offer guidance on intuition and instincts
Nature Guides Connected to the natural world, offer insights on earthly energy and sustainability
Ascended Masters High-level spiritual beings, offer guidance on spiritual growth and enlightenment, connect you to divine energy
Deity Guides Spirits of deities from different belief systems, offer guidance on spiritual matters and connect you to the divine energy of a particular deity
Shadow Guides Connected to our shadow selves, provide insight on our darkest aspects and help us to identify and acknowledge them

If you want to learn more about animal guides, you can connect with your power animal and learn about shamanic animal symbolism. You can also read our guide on how to identify your spirit animal, and learn about the benefits of working with your power animal. To connect with your spirit guides, you can also check out our article on communicating with spirit guides.

Ancestral/Lineage Guides

Ancestral/Lineage Guides are spirit beings that come from the bloodline of the shaman or the person seeking guidance. These guides are often ancestors who have crossed over and provide a connection to the lineage and family history. Ancestral guides can offer guidance on matters related to family and cultural traditions. They can also provide insight on inherited traits and tendencies, helping the person better understand themselves and their lineage. Ancestral guides can appear in dreams or during shamanic journeys, and may come in the form of deceased family members or ancestors from generations ago. It is important to establish a strong connection with these guides, as they can offer wisdom and support for navigating life’s challenges through the lens of ancestral teachings.

Animal Guides

Animal guides in shamanism are beings that come in the form of animals and are believed to have spiritual wisdom and power. They are also known as power animals and are said to be protectors and guides to humans.

There are many different types of animals that can be power animals, and they are often chosen based on the individual’s personality and needs. Some common animal guides include wolves, bears, eagles, dolphins, and horses.

Each animal guide is said to have its own unique qualities and characteristics that can provide insight and guidance for the individual. For example, a wolf guide is often associated with loyalty and teamwork, while a bear guide is associated with strength and introspection.

Animal guides often appear in dreams or during shamanic journeys, and they can also be called upon for help during challenging times. In some traditions, animal guides are also believed to provide healing and protection.

One way to connect with your animal guide is through meditation or shamanic journeying. During these practices, you can ask for your guide to reveal themselves and provide guidance. It’s important to approach animal guides with respect and gratitude, and to honor the relationship through regular communication and offerings.

The relationship between humans and animal guides is a powerful and sacred one in shamanism. Animal guides can offer guidance, protection, and spiritual insight, and they are an important part of the shamanic path. For more information on the role of spirit guides in shamanism, you can check out this article.

Nature Guides

Nature guides are spirits that come from the natural world. They can be trees, plants, or even elements like the wind or earth. They are highly respected because they represent the essence of our earth and connect us to the wisdom of nature.

Characteristics of Nature Guides:

  • Often rooted in a strong connection to the natural world and the elements
  • Can provide insight into environmental concerns and environmental solutions
  • May appear as animals, plants, trees, or other aspects of nature
  • Offer guidance on how to live in harmony with nature and the environment
  • Can help connect you with the energy and essence of natural surroundings
  • Teach us the value of being patient and being present

Nature guides can be found in many traditions, including shamanism, Native American traditions, and pagan traditions. They can help us connect to nature and learn from the natural world in a deeper and more spiritual way.

Connecting with nature guides can be done through meditation or by simply spending time in nature. If you’re unsure of where to start, try taking a walk in the woods or sitting near a tree with the intention of connecting with the energy of nature. You can also try asking for guidance from your nature guide in your meditations and paying attention to any signs or messages you may receive.

By developing a relationship with your nature guide, you can learn to live in greater harmony with the earth and its natural systems. This can be especially helpful in a time where environmental concerns are at the forefront of global issues. It’s important to remember that, like with all spirit guides, respect and gratitude are key in working with nature guides.

For more information on spirit animals and their messages, please see our page on spirit animal messages. If you’re interested in exploring the relationship between humans and animals in shamanism, check out our page on shamanic animal consciousness. Understanding this relationship is crucial in realizing the importance and power of the animal relationship in shamanic traditions.

Ascended Masters

Ascended Masters are highly evolved spiritual beings who have walked the Earth in the past and have undergone a transformative process, also known as Ascension. They have reached an enlightened state and are believed to have ascended to a higher dimension of existence. These powerful guides have chosen to remain connected to the Earth plane to assist those on their spiritual journey.

Here are some of the most well-known Ascended Masters and their unique attributes:

Ascended Master Attributes
Saint Germain
  • Transformation and transmutation
  • Alchemy and manifestation
  • Freedom and forgiveness
Lady Nada
  • Unconditional love and compassion
  • Divine grace and healing
  • Relationships and partnerships
Quan Yin
  • Compassion and mercy
  • Wisdom and enlightenment
  • Protection and guidance
Lord Lanto
  • Wisdom and illumination
  • Intellectual understanding
  • Manifestation and success

Working with Ascended Masters can offer profound guidance and support in one’s spiritual journey. They have vast knowledge and experience in various aspects of life and can help in areas such as manifestation, healing, relationships, and self-realization. Connecting with them can elevate one’s consciousness and bring a deeper sense of purpose and clarity.

Deity Guides

Deity Guides are one of the most powerful and influential types of spirit guides in shamanism. These guides are connected to higher spiritual realms and can provide access to an incredible depth of wisdom and knowledge. They are often associated with specific cultures and religions, and are typically viewed as divine beings or gods.

One of the most well-known Deity Guides is the Hindu god, Ganesh. Ganesh is often invoked as a guide for those seeking inspiration, clarity, and creative solutions to problems. He is also associated with abundance, prosperity, and new beginnings.

Other Deity Guides may include the Egyptian god, Isis, who symbolizes healing, fertility, and rebirth. She is often called upon during times of illness or emotional distress. Another example is the Greek god, Apollo, who represents music, art, and intellectual pursuits. Apollo is a guide for those seeking creative inspiration, guidance in academic pursuits, and personal growth.

Due to their divine power and influence, Deity Guides are often considered to be some of the most challenging spirit guides to connect with. It is important to approach them with respect and humility, and to be open to their guidance and wisdom. Working with a Deity Guide requires a deep commitment to spiritual practice, as well as a willingness to surrender to their guidance.

In order to connect with a Deity Guide, it is important to cultivate a strong spiritual practice that includes meditation, prayer, and other forms of spiritual work. You may also need to research the specific mythology and traditions associated with the Deity Guide you wish to work with.

Deity Guides are a powerful and transformative force in shamanism. They offer a gateway to higher spiritual realms and can provide guidance, wisdom, and inspiration to those who seek it. With dedication, respect, and an open heart, it is possible to develop a deep and meaningful relationship with a Deity Guide.

Shadow Guides

Shadow guides are one of the most unique types of spirit guides in shamanism. These guides are not like the other spirit guides that you may encounter. They are not here to offer guidance or help you through tough times. Rather, they are here to help you face your deepest fears and flaws. Shadow guides are the guides that push you out of your comfort zone and force you to confront aspects of yourself that you would rather ignore.

It is easy to feel that shadow guides are negative or even demonic, but this is not the truth. Shadow guides come in various forms, and their main role is to help you grow and evolve as a person. Sometimes, these guides appear as scary or intimidating figures as they seek to help you become aware of certain negative aspects of yourself that you may be suppressing. They are like the mirror that reflects your darkness back to you, showing you the parts of yourself that need to be healed and integrated.

Working with shadow guides can be challenging, but it can also be a transformative experience. Embracing the shadow parts of yourself can help you to become more compassionate, forgiving, and accepting of others. To connect with a shadow guide, you must first be brave enough to face your fears and acknowledge your flaws.

When working with a shadow guide, you must be fully present. You should also be open to exploring the dark corners of yourself that you may have ignored for years. This guide will take you on an inner journey where you will discover things about yourself that you never knew. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but this is normal. The aim is to embrace and integrate all aspects of yourself.

It is important to approach your shadow guide with respect and not to try to control the process. This guide knows what is best for you, and it will push you to evolve in the way that is most beneficial for you. Shadow guides can be extremely powerful, but they can also be very gentle, nurturing, and loving. They are here to help you become the best version of yourself, and they will not give up until you have fully embraced and integrated all aspects of yourself.

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Understanding the Characteristics and Roles of Spirit Guides

Each spirit guide has unique characteristics and plays different roles in shamanism. Understanding these characteristics and roles can help you work better with your spirit guides and deepen your spiritual practice.

Ancestral/Lineage Guides: These guides are connected to your ancestors and lineage. They can assist you in exploring your heritage or help you heal ancestral wounds. They also provide protection and guidance based on the wisdom of those who came before you.

Animal Guides: These guides are connected to the animal kingdom and represent the qualities and abilities of those animals. They can help you connect with nature, teach you important lessons, and provide you with the strength and power needed to overcome challenges.

Nature Guides: These guides provide a connection to the natural world. They can help you deepen your understanding and appreciation of nature, and assist you in using natural elements and energy for healing and transformation.

Ascended Masters: These guides are enlightened spiritual beings who have lived on earth, and now exist in higher dimensions. They can provide guidance and spiritual teachings, and assist you in developing your own spiritual gifts and abilities.

Deity Guides: These guides are connected to spiritual entities or deities from different cultures and religions. They can help you deepen your spiritual practice, provide guidance based on religious practices, and provide you with a connection to divine energy.

Shadow Guides: These guides represent the parts of ourselves that we may have repressed or denied. They can help you explore and heal your shadow aspects, and guide you towards self-acceptance and self-love.

Understanding the characteristics and roles of your spirit guides is important for developing a meaningful and productive relationship with them. Each guide has its strengths and limitations, and knowing them can help you utilize their help in the most effective way possible.

How to Connect with Spirit Guides

Connecting with your spirit guides is a deeply personal and sacred process in shamanism. Here are a few ways to start building a relationship with your guides: begin by creating a sacred space to connect with your guides, where you feel safe and at ease. Next, set an intention for communication with your guide or guides. Engage in meditation or prayer, and visualize your guide coming forward to meet you. Pay attention to any signs or symbols that come up during your meditation or throughout your day – these may hold messages from your guides. Journaling your experiences can also help to deepen your connection with your guides. Remember to trust your intuition and the messages that come through, even if they do not make sense at first. It takes time and effort to build a relationship with your spirit guides, but the rewards of working together for your personal growth and wellbeing are worth it.

Ways to Work with Spirit Guides

When it comes to working with spirit guides, there are several different ways to establish a connection and receive guidance. Here are some effective ways to work with spirit guides:

Meditation One of the most common ways to work with spirit guides is through meditation. Through meditation, you can quiet your mind, open yourself up to spiritual realms, and connect with your guides in a deeper way.
Dream Work Spirit guides often communicate with us through dreams. Set the intention before you go to bed to connect with your guides, keep a dream journal to record any messages you receive, and pay attention to any recurring symbols or themes that may indicate guidance from your guides.
Divination Tools Divination tools such as tarot cards, pendulums, and runes can be used to connect with spirit guides and receive guidance. Set the intention to connect with your guides before using any divination tools, and be open to any messages that come through.
Nature Walks Many spirit guides are connected to nature, so taking a walk in nature can be a powerful way to connect with your guides. Pay attention to any animals, plants, or natural features that catch your attention, as they may hold messages from your guides.
Automatic Writing Automatic writing involves allowing your hand to write without conscious thought, allowing your guides to communicate through you. Start by setting the intention to connect with your guides, and then begin writing whatever comes to mind. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling – just allow the words to flow.

No matter which method you choose, it’s important to approach it with an open mind and heart, and to trust that your spirit guides are always with you, ready to offer guidance and support.

The Importance of Spirit Guides in Shamanism

Spirit guides have always been an integral part of shamanism, and their importance cannot be overstated. These guides serve as messengers and protectors, helping us navigate our journeys in life. Without them, we would be lost in the vastness of the spiritual realm, unable to decipher its mysteries or make our way through the darkness.

The Benefits of Working with Spirit Guides

One of the primary benefits of working with spirit guides is the sense of reassurance and comfort they bring. Knowing that we have a powerful ally watching over us can help us feel more secure, even in times of uncertainty. They can offer guidance and wisdom derived from their experiences and knowledge that may differ significantly from our own.

Working with spirit guides can also help us gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. Through their guidance, we can examine our thoughts, emotions and actions with greater clarity, helping us to identify patterns and limitations that may be holding us back.

Common Themes Across Spirit Guides

While spirit guides can take on vastly different forms and roles depending on the individual, there are some common themes that appear across different cultures and shamanic traditions.

One such theme is the idea of protection. Many spirit guides serve as protectors, guarding us from negative influences and offering support and guidance in times of need. They can also help us develop our own powers of protection, such as grounding techniques and energy work.

Another common theme is healing. Many spirit guides are associated with the healing arts, offering us energy and support to overcome physical, emotional, and spiritual imbalances and ailments. By working in tandem with our spirit guides, we can tap into their immense wisdom and healing potential, gaining greater clarity and health of mind, body and spirit.

The importance of spirit guides in shamanism cannot be overstated. They are our allies, our protectors, and our guides through the complex and wondrous realms of the spiritual dimension. Whether working with ancestral guides, animal guides, or the many other forms they may take, they offer us wisdom, guidance, and support that can help us navigate this world and the next.

The Benefits of Working with Spirit Guides

Connecting and working with spirit guides can bring many benefits to a person’s life. These guides offer insights, wisdom, and guidance that can help individuals make important decisions and navigate life’s challenges. Spirit guides may also provide a sense of comfort, support, and protection. By tapping into the knowledge and experience of spirit guides, individuals may be able to gain a deeper understanding of their purpose and role in the world. Additionally, working with spirit guides can help individuals cultivate their own intuition and psychic abilities. The benefits of connecting with spirit guides are numerous and can contribute to a greater sense of well-being and fulfillment in life.

Common Themes Across Spirit Guides

Although spirit guides come in different forms and have unique characteristics, there are certain themes that are common among them. Here are some of the common themes:

  • Guidance: One of the primary roles of spirit guides is to offer guidance to humans. They provide insight, direction, and wisdom to help individuals navigate their path in life.
  • Love and Support: Spirit guides are known for their unconditional love and support. They are always there to offer comfort and reassurance in times of need.
  • Protection: Many spirit guides are known for their protective abilities. They can help individuals ward off negative energy, harmful entities, or physical danger.
  • Teaching: Spirit guides are often called teachers because they have a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to share. They can help individuals learn new skills, gain deeper understanding, and expand their consciousness.
  • Connection to the Divine: Spirit guides are seen as messengers and intermediaries between humans and the divine. They can help individuals connect with their higher self, the universe, and spiritual realms.
  • Presence: Many people who work with spirit guides describe feeling a strong sense of presence or energy around them. This can be a comforting and empowering experience.

These themes are not comprehensive, and different spirit guides may embody different characteristics and roles. However, these commonalities provide a framework for understanding the ways in which spirit guides can impact our lives. By recognizing these shared themes, we can deepen our appreciation for the importance of spirit guides in shamanism and other spiritual practices.


In conclusion, spirit guides play an essential role in shamanism, serving as wise and compassionate helpers to individuals seeking spiritual guidance and direction. The different types of spirit guides, including ancestral/lineage guides, animal guides, nature guides, ascended masters, deity guides, and shadow guides, each bring their unique characteristics and roles in helping individuals navigate their spiritual paths.

By connecting with these spirit guides, individuals can tap into their inner wisdom and intuition, gaining clarity and insight into their lives while also strengthening their spiritual practices. Moreover, the benefits of working with spirit guides are numerous, including improved mental and emotional well-being, increased self-awareness and self-esteem, and enhanced spiritual growth and development.

If you’re interested in working with spirit guides, there are various ways to connect with them, including meditation, shamanic journeys, dreamwork, and divination practices. It’s essential to remember that building a relationship with spirit guides requires patience, respect, and trust. Additionally, always honor and give thanks to your spirit guides for their guidance and support.

In conclusion, if you’re seeking spiritual insight and guidance, working with spirit guides through shamanic practices can be a powerful way to deepen your connection to yourself and the world around you. By embracing the wisdom and guidance of these compassionate spirit helpers, you can embark on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth that can transform your life in profound ways.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Shamanism?

Shamanism is a spiritual practice that involves connecting with the spirit world to gain knowledge, healing, and guidance.

What are Spirit Guides?

Spirit guides are beings from the spirit world who assist us in our spiritual and personal growth.

How do I know if I have a Spirit Guide?

You may feel a strong connection to an animal, nature, or ancestral lineage and have a sense of guidance or protection from this entity.

Can I have more than one Spirit Guide?

Yes, it is possible to have multiple Spirit Guides who serve different purposes or help in different areas of your life.

Do Spirit Guides only appear in shamanic practices?

No, Spirit Guides can appear in many different spiritual practices and belief systems.

Can I communicate with my Spirit Guides?

Yes, with practice, you can communicate with your Spirit Guides through meditation, visualization, and other shamanic techniques.

Do I have to be a shaman to work with Spirit Guides?

No, anyone can work with Spirit Guides regardless of their spiritual or religious background.

What is the difference between Ancestral Guides and Ancestor Spirits?

Ancestral Guides are beings who help us connect with our lineage, while Ancestor Spirits are the spirits of our ancestors who have passed on.

Can Spirit Guides change over time?

Yes, Spirit Guides can change as we grow and evolve on our spiritual journey.

Can I request a specific Spirit Guide?

You can set an intention to connect with a specific type of Spirit Guide, but ultimately, the spirit who appears to you will be the one best suited to your current needs.


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