Spirit Guide

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Portrait of disembodied soul drawn by a spirit guide controlling the hand of 19th century medium Ferdnand Desmoulin. Courtesy Fortean Picture Library.

Spirit Guide

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Sometimes referred to as a Spirit Control, a Spirit Guide is a personal connection with the spirit world. Rita Berkowitz said, “Spirit Guides are here to watch out for us, help us understand life lessons, and help us find joy and wonder as we journey through our earth plane existence … Spirit guidess are always with us, whether or not we realize it, and that they are there to guide not to control.” This is why the term “spirit control” is something of a misnomer. Yet at a séance the medium’s guide is in control to the extent of acting as a master or mistress of ceremonies; contacting other spirits and arranging their access to the medium.

Some people have more than one guide. For example, if a person does healing he or she might have a guide who is specifically connected with healing; perhaps someone who was a doctor in their earthly existence. Someone who paints might have an artist guide for that aspect of their life.

Spirit guides once lived earthly lives. Some are, or were, related to the person for whom they now guide. It could be a deceased family member or close friend. It seems that many people have Native American guides, while others have Orientals. In This Is Spiritualism (1959), Maurice Barbanell wrote, “The North American Indians were masters of psychic laws, with a profound knowledge of supernormal forces and how they operated. This qualifies them, after their passing, to act as tutors and guides to their mediums.” Certainly most Spiritualists acknowledge that by their very lifestyle, being close to nature and working with the earth, Native Americans were probably much more in tune with the forces of nature than most.


Berkowitz, Rita S. and Deborah S. Romaine: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Communicating With Spirits. New York: Penguin/Alpha, 2003
Bletzer, June G.: The Encyclopedia Psychic Dictionary. Lithia Springs: New Leaf, 1998
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