Spirit Guides vs. Guardian Angels. Who Do You Trust?

Spirit Guides vs. Guardian Angels. Who Do You Trust? May 9, 2024

guardian angels vs. spirit guides
Yoann Boyer via Unsplash

You might already be asking yourself: What’s a spirit guide and how does it differ from a guardian angel? Well, for starters, let’s touch on guardian angels which are probably better known. (I’ve written about them here and here.) Part of the Christian faith, angels are mentioned prominently in the Bible as in this passage from Matthew 18:10:

“Don’t look down on the little ones. For I tell you that the angels always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

But the role of guardian angels in our everyday lives is not clearly defined. One has to look outside the Bible for additional info, like in the following passage from a Christian scholar named Origen who lived from 184-254 AD. Recognized by some as a “father of the church,” Origen penned over 2,000 treatises on Christian theology and wrote:

Every human soul is under the direction of an angel who is like a father … they have the task of directing and guiding our souls. They circulate between the soul and heaven and come back down bringing the good God has appointed them.

Biblical evidence or not, the consensus in many Christian circles is that we are assigned a guardian angel at birth. They may offer us spiritual guidance and physical protection, but oftentimes we are unaware of their presence. Though for a few, they’re a constant presence.

Spirit Guides: A more hands-on approach to spiritual guidance.

When compared to guardian angels, modern day writings on spirit guides show them to be much more involved in our daily lives. For instance, some claim they guide our intuition, a way of knowing that exists beyond our five physical senses. Some call it “the sixth sense.”

In the book Seat of the Soul, Oprah-favorite Gary Zukav explains that many of us are “multisensory personalities” who rely on “impulses, hunches and sudden and subtle insights” for guidance.  These different strands of intuition originate in our soul and are informed by “advanced intelligences that assist the soul on its evolutionary journey.” These intelligences are spirit guides.

Zukav states these “nonphysical teachers” produce a level of truth we would be hard-pressed to uncover on our own. He explains it this way:

Other intelligences inhabit other ranges of frequency. They coexist with us but are invisible to us. In the place that you now sit, exist many different beings, each active in its own reality. These realities comingle with yours … but are undetectable to the human eye.

While the five-sensory person may receive the same intuitive insights, he or she believes they originate from the psyche and gives them short shrift. On the other hand, the multisensory personality strives to increase his or her awareness of this guidance and interacts with it. According to Zukav, when faced with a decisions or challenge, you should:

Ask the Universe to ‘help me to see.’ The answers may not always come in the ways that you expect, but they always come. Sometimes in the form of a feeling—a yes or no feeling—sometimes in the form of a memory, or a thought or a dream, and sometimes in the form of a realization that is prompted by an experience that will occur the next day.

 Zukav believes we can ask for and receive this guidance from a spirit guide at any time. It starts with “approaching the questions in your life with a sense of faith that there is a reason for all that is happening” and that what is happening is for your own good. He writes of the rich rewards of accessing this wisdom:

The ability to draw consciously upon your nonphysical guidance and assistance, to communicate consciously with a non-physical Teacher, is a treasure that cannot be described, a treasure beyond words and value.

            The channeler Paul Selig has a similar take on spirit guides.

Over the past few years, Selig has produced a number of channeled books dictated to him by a spirit guide. If like most people, even those with a spiritual bent, you question whether this is too “woo-woo,” I recommend you listen to a podcast or watch a video where this channeling takes place. If Selig is a fraudster, he has put together one fantastic act. With repeated exposure, I’ve decided to take Selig at his word.

Writing in his first book I Am The Word, Selig compares our head to a radio that is constantly being bombarded by various frequencies. (Zukav uses a similar radio analogy and so did Rick Rubin in a recent article.) Often lost in all the noise, is the guidance we receive. If you’re determined to hear this guidance, you must decide that you are aligned to a higher frequency and that’s what your radio is playing. This is the place where your spirit guides communicate with you, offering guidance and support.

Selig writes that we already hear these guides on a regular basis but literally tune them out. The key is to “trust that you have a spirit guide or an angel or guardian or a personal teacher” and believe that these guides are working with you to support your growth. Once you do this, you’ll be better able to tune in to your own higher knowing. This can result in intuitive hunches, feelings and, in some cases, a clear inner voice that tells you precisely what you need to do in any situation.

In I Am The Word, Selig (through his spirit guide) provides a number of invocations for us to recite to get the ball rolling. They are declarations of our intent to tune into this higher frequency and put it to use, a signal to our spirit guides that we’re open to their assistance. Here’s a portion of one:

I have wisdom now available to me and I will ask myself what I need to know. I have understanding available to me, and I will consciously connect to my understanding in a way that will give me the information and knowing that I require.

Are spirit guides real? Do they work in our lives like guardian angels? Or are spirit guides and guardian angels actually one and the same, different names for the same otherworldly guidance? Feel free to weigh in by adding a comment below.

A slightly different version of this story appeared in my recent book Wake Up Call: Daily Insights for the Spiritually Curious.

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