Mood: Odd to say, my incense is being currently used in an attempt to counteract it. I'm burning some traditional Japanese incense, Kyo-nishiki or known as Kyoto Autumn Leaves. This scent is intended for reflection, inspiration, energy, and insight. I definitely need a pick me up this morning, plenty of incense, cocoa, and zen music for me today before I attempt my Yule ritual.
Today, my topic is going to be Spiritual Guides. Many tribes and religions throughout the world believe in these guides.
A guide is exactly that - a GUIDE. It is not a deity you need to give yourself over to, it is not a being who's will is law over you. In my eyes, a spirit guide is merely a friend from a spiritual plane who is here to watch you, urge you towards the path you are seeking, to aid you and hold you up in your times of trouble. I am aware that my beliefs may vary from another, so keep what YOU believe, I am merely offering my view.
Many people view spirit guides are angels or divine beings, or any symbolic creature that to them, is what pertains to protection or guidance.
The first time I had ever heard of a Spirit guide was in the Native American beliefs, a common aspect of shamans or shamanic religions. I only had a vague bit of information to run on. A spirit guide was an animal, everyone had a different one, that guided them through their life. The animal was said to be an embodiment of an ancestor. In most tribes, it was at the age of adulthood that they would discover what their guide was, usually paying homage to them through sacrifice and amulets to help focus their guidance. The adorable movie Brother Bear, is very good at showing a glimpse of spirit guides and a certain view of them.
To me, to discover your spirit guide, you are to look inside yourself. Strip away all things that make you who you are. Take away your birth name, take away the material things you have, your appearance, all the things in life that we are so attached to and look at yourself. Look at those primal and basic needs that all of us have but we have made ourselves so refined from. Imagine yourself in the wildness, no towns, no noise, no humans, nothing but your survival instincts and nature. What animal do you feel calls to you? What can you visualize yourself running through the forest as? A strong wolf? Protecting your pack and family, loyal, fierce, infinitely beautiful? An eagle, soaring above the skies, not bound to the land, caring for your young, a vicious and noble mother?
Another way I've noticed is to focus on the experiences you've had, some will view them as spiritual, some will not. If there is a constant occurrence of a specific animal in your life, take in consideration the connection you have to it, your feelings when you gaze upon it. I'm sure there are other more accurate ways to discover your spirit guide, but these are the ones I stand by.
I'd like to share a story with you all, a story of personal growth and a step towards a better life.
I had recently suffered a bad relationship, it had ended and there were hurt feelings still there. I was at the point where I was ready to move on though. I was ready to forgive, forget, and to expel the hurt feelings from me. This was even before I had stumbled upon anything about Pagans or Wicca. I had done a ritual of my own. My intent was that since I was planning on moving away, starting a new and deep relationship with another, that those hurt feelings could not come with me. It was not just the hurt feelings of the old relationship, it was the hurts of others from where I had grown up, the bullying, the hardship I had gone through with my family, I intended to leave all the hurts behind, take the memories, but not the emotional attachments. I would no longer allow it to hurt me.
There was a small creek not even a five minute walk from my home, I grew up in a rural area in Pennsylvania. I gathered what I needed, which was myself and a ring that was given to me by someone who had hurt me. I took the ring and headed to the creek. When I arrived at the creek, I went to a place I referred to as my 'spot'. It was a natural made bench of rock, a tree had it's branches hanging over the small slab of stone, hiding it from prying eyes and making it a warm niche. I had come there several times before to mediate. Before the stone slab the creek ran in front of me. I stood before the water, the ring held tightly in my fist and closed my eyes. I then thought of all the pain, the hurts, the memories, everything I wished to purge myself and leave behind. I did this for several minutes...and then I threw the ring as hard as I could into the water, banishing it from me, along with the thoughts.
I knelt down and washed my hands in the water, it was autumn, it was cold, but it felt cleansing and purifying to me. I left the water on my hands to dry as I left, feeling the chill, but knowing that it was refreshing me. The path back to my home was a long hike, I preferred to take the forest path, a very steep climb upwards, over logs, rocks, it would be a task in itself to climb, but I wanted it. This would be proof to myself. The ring was now in the creek, this climb would represent to me my journey to my new life, it would show the trials I would overcome before finally reaching my goal at the top.
Well, the climb was harder than I thought. I struggled, fell several times, and by the time I got half way I was extremely discouraged. I stopped in the middle of the path and stared at how much more I had to climb. I didn't know if I could do it and I was extremely upset.
It was then I heard a rustle in the bushes nearby me. A beautiful small orange, brown, and white muzzled fox appeared next to me. I was so close to the creature I could have reached out and touched him (I'll assume it was a male). The fox and I locked gazes, it never occurred in my head to be afraid, that there was a wild animal with very sharp claws and fangs inches from me. It felt like the fox and I stared at each other forever. My distress that I had been feeling quieted, even the forest seemed to grow quiet. I was calm, at peace. I felt a connection. He knew me, and I knew him. The fox then broke his gaze with me and raced away, up the path I was going. He stopped once, half way to the top and looked back, to see if I was following him. He then disappeared into the forest without another glance once he saw my gaze.
I was awe-struck. It was the only way I could describe it. I didn't know what to make of it, so I began with new energy up the rest of my path. The climb was still just as steep and difficult, but I had confidence I could do it, the fox had shown me the way. Almost as if he was saying 'come on, don't give up, you are almost there.' Before I knew it I was at the top of the path. I glanced back once into the forest, seeking out my furry friend, but he was no where to be found. I headed home with my head held high, peace in my heart, and a spring in my step. I was ready for whatever chapter of my life was opening. All the hurts had vanished in the bottom of the creek and sunk away from my thoughts, I made the climb with a little helping hand.
Since then, foxes have always been endeared to my heart. That incident made me believe that fox was my spirit guide. When I take that event in account, when I strip away all my thoughts and head into the primal side of myself, I see myself running through the forest, orange fur and all.
I hope that this as opened a door to maybe finding your own spirit guide or given you something to think on, or merely you just enjoy the interesting story.