Spirit Guides: Understanding Communication Styles

Spirit Guides: Understanding Communication Styles October 14, 2019

When I first began honing my skills as a psychic medium, I balked at working with Spirit Guides. Even though I had actively prayed to the Holy Spirit as a kind of “guide” while a Christian, the idea of relying on unknown (to me) spirits felt risky. How would I talk to them? Would it be like prayer or a chat over coffee? Was it mandatory as a psychic medium to have a spirit guide or was it optional? I just didn’t know.

As it turns out, there are schools of thought within mediumship which promote both ideas. The Spiritualist Church (a religion with mediumship as its foundation) is a proponent of working with guides, for instance. However, there are those who prefer (and recommend) not to work with guides or believe it’s better to rely on individual gifts for discernment during spirit communication.

Over the years, I have used both approaches to mediumship. Eventually, it became clear that I enjoy working with spirit guides. Any hesitance I felt in the beginning of the relationship has been layed to rest. In fact, the real trick has been learning to understand what my spirit guides want to convey to me because they are all unique. Some times the communication is crystal clear. Other times, it’s a bit more challenging. Here’s why. Most spirit guides communicate in a “language” as individual to them as our language (and ability to understand) is to us. Therefore, I thought I’d share a little bit about my own experience of communicating with spirit guides.

Spirit Guides
Hello Brother Marcus!  Image by geralt via pixabay.com

Spirit Guides: Meeting Brother Marcus

My first experience with spirit guides came after reading a book written by a spiritualist medium. I don’t remember the title of the book or the name of the lady who wrote it but I do remember the description of how she met her spirit guides. At the time, I’d still been re-programming the dogma of my former religion. Introducing myself to “spirit guides” felt risky. However, upon reading her description, I decided to follow the steps of the book’s guided meditation to meet my spirit guide(s) and go from there.

In my mind’s eye, I created a place which felt safe and announced my desire to meet my spirit guide(s). Almost immediately, a spirit being came forward. A man, wearing a monk’s robe with a hood pulled over his head and shadowing part of his face. The spirit being introduced himself as “Brother Marcus.” He did not speak in words to me, per se, and never has. His lips don’t move. There is no “sound” when he “speaks.” I don’t “hear” Brother Marcus’ voice so much as “know” what he means to convey. For instance, I knew when he sat down he’d lived at one time (Medieval Period) and upon his death chose to become a guide for others. And that I had the choice to accept him as a guide or not.

As my guide, Brother Marcus opens the way for other spirits to approach, he is a “mentor” of sorts, and (according to him) has been with me since early childhood. He is as you might expect a monk to be — quiet, humble, wise and apologizes when he makes a mistake (because even though he is in spirit, he’s not perfect). Brother Marcus also has a wry sense of humor which I experience as a feeling of mild amusement. When he “approaches”, rather than simply “telling” me something, I sense his presence on my right side and “feel” his hand on that shoulder. Other guides communicate with me differently. And I’ve learned to adapt.

Spirit Guides
Several guides or just one or two? Up to you. Image by geralt via pixabay.com

Spirit Guides: Each Has Their Own Way Of Communicating

Through the years, I’ve had more than one spirit guide. I’ve worked with as many as five. One acted as a protector during my work as a medium with a ghost hunting team. He was similar to an archangel. A warrior. He communicated with me through the strength of his presence (which translated to me as “Michael” with a sword). This spirit guide stood in front of or behind me. Occasionally, he “waved me off” or prevented me from entering  an area he deemed unsafe with a physical sensation like a “hand” on my chest. I don’t sense him as I used to do, but I believe he’s still in the background, watching out for me.

Another spirit guide helped me with navigation if I got lost (because I’m not good with maps or directions). She used phrases and words, sometimes as a flash across my mind’s eye and other times I heard her “voice” as a kind of “whisper” in my ear. She was a sort of “GPS” before I had the real device on my phone or in my car. I counted on her for backup in (literal) unfamiliar territory. Who knows, she may still be helping me in the background as the “Guardian” does, without me asking directly.

The other spirit guide with whom I (knowingly) interact has an unusual name. She and Brother Marcus are my main guides now. “You”, (and yes, that is what she calls herself. I think it’s because I’m a Marvel Comics/MCU movie fan-girl) assists me with readings –people, locations, etc., –and gives me a “heads up” when coming up on a spiritually “active” home or location. For instance, we were invited to a party at a home with alot of spirit beings and place memory. As we approached the home, “You” showed me an image from a Stephen King miniseries called Rose Red, which flashed in my mind’s eye. Then, she directed my attention to the top floor windows and the spirit beings looking out of them. That is how “You” communicates with me. Through images (which may or may not include pop culture references) I’ll understand or figure out.

Spirit Guides
There are many guides/spirits with whom you might interact. Image by Lothar Dieterich via pixabay.com

Spirit Guides: Speaking A Language You Understand Or Can Learn

How does a spirit guide (or any spirit for that matter) speak/communicate with us? I’ve attempted to show that human language rules and skills don’t neccessarily apply. Most of the time, spirit beings/guides seem to articulate their conversation/meaning to us in correlation with one of the eight psychic “clairs.” Abilities which (I believe) all humans possess to some degree. The eight clairs are as follows:

Clairsentience: Clear-feeling. The ability to feel or sense spiritual/emotional/psychic energy (can “read” the atmosphere of a room or around a person). A sense of “knowing”, which includes a physical sensation of prickles on the arms, tingles down the spine, butterflies in the stomache, etc.  Strong intuition (for instance, forming an instant impression of a person, place, or object).

Clairvoyance: Clear-seeing. This is a form of discernment of information. People with clairvoyance have a very strong intuitive knowledge (or seeing beyond the five senses) and know how to interpret the information for themselves or others. They visualize the information or “see” the spirit world.

Clairaudience: Clear-hearing. This is someone who has the ability to “hear” messages from Spirit, the dead, angels, guides, etc.

Clairgustance: Clear-tasting. This is someone who can taste “phantom” food and/or drink when a spiritual being is present.

Claircognizance: Clear-knowing. This is a person who can know something as if the information has been downloaded out of nowhere without knowing why or how they know.

Clairtangency: Clear-touching. A person who can receive facts and information by touching an object, person (through a hug, handshake, etc.) or being in close proximity to a person.

Clairsalience: Clear-smelling. An ability to perceive the odors of a person, place, animal, etc., not present in the immediate, physical area. Phantom odors.

Clairempathy: Clear-emotional feeling. The ability to experience or pick up on the emotional state of those around them.

Experience, study, and conversation leads me to believe that most people who are more tuned into spiritual energy are dominant in one of the clairs. However, we can also learn to “hone” or increase our ability in the other psychic senses as well. Which is a good thing if you have a spirit guide who’s spiritual language tends to run more in sharing images in the “mind’s eye”(such as when I work with “You”), wants to “tell” you important info (such as my spiritual navigator), or just wants you to “know” their intention, history, or what they mean to say (such as with Brother Marcus).

Some “languages” are easier to interpret than others but there can still be a learning curve. Learning to understand “You’s” images took time (and a little help from Brother Marcus) because of the speed at which she shares them but also sometimes I just don’t understand the reference. Personal associations are involved in the interpretation. I’m sure those who work through clairgustance or one of the other abilities which require interpretation have a similar situation.

Spirit guides
Spirit guides are meant to be “Team Go You!” Image by geralt via pixabay.com

Spirit Guides: Should You Work With Them?

Whether or not a person works with their spirit guide(s) is a personal choice. There is no mandate which says you have to work with spirits. However, having spirit allies (whether they be plant, stone, animal or any kind of spirit guide) can be an important asset to any Witch, Wiccan, or Pagan. Not only in their Craft, but for those who find themselves working with or encountering other spirit beings/entities.

Learning the “language” of spirits, be they “guides”, allies, or something else can only be a benefit. Regardless of whether you work with personal guides, take the time to learn “spirit language.” In my experience, doing so can only help expand one’s knowledge base and help create a better “communicator” overall.


For a great resource on working with spirits (guides or otherwise), check out Devin Hunter’s The Witches Book of Spirits.

3 Pagans and a Cat highly recommend this book!

Gwyn is one of the hosts of 3 Pagans and a Cat, a podcast about the questions and discussions between three pagan family members, each exploring different pagan paths and how their various traditions can intersect. The most practiced pagan on the path, Gwyn is a Modern Hekataen-Green Witch, Devotee of the Covenant of Hekate, and Clairsentient Medium. She loves working with herbs, essential oils and plants. In the past, she has been a musician, teacher, and published author. Now, together with Car and Ode, Gwyn is a teacher/presenter at multiple Pagan events and loves to chat about witchcraft, spiritual things, and life in general. You can read more about the author here.

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