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A beginner's guide to spirit-work.

Posted by Anna-Maria Ninnas on


Throughout the Month of Alternative Divinations, which was every week of October up to Halloween, I've referenced 'spirit-work'. Especially when it came to pendulums and runes, I skipped over the concept of ancestral divinations or working with your 'spiritual guide'. This might have piqued your curiosity — it sure spiked mine while I was researching for the blog posts! So instead of sending you guys down a rabbit hole of research, I decided that I'll provide you with a post that covers the beginner's things to be aware of before starting with spirit-work.

What is Spirit-Work?

There are several facets to spirit-work, but today's most popular focus is connecting and working with your Spirit Guide — a spirit that helps your soul attain your potential on Earth, learn your lessons and guide you through your current purpose. A spirit guide can be a guardian angel, a spirit animal, even a passed away loved one or an ascended individual like a saint or monk who has passed away but still takes on students under their arms.

You can give or learn your guide's names (and yes, you could have more than one!), get to know their personalities and how they feel about you, and learn to speak to them through divination methods such as tarot to receive and send guided messages. You can learn to recognize their presence by being more aware in your daily life, because spirits are already sending you guided messages in whatever ways they can, be it as subtle as prompting you to tune the radio to a very specific song, or as odd as sending a bunny rabbit in the middle of the city to cross your path!

Pendulum boards are great for quick and direct guidance.

Risks of spirit-work.

There is something to be aware of no matter what your previous experience with esoterics is. Sometimes a wandering spirit might get attached to you and meddle with your guided messages. While you think you're receiving messages from your spirit guides, it might be some random, bored spirit or a spirit that found interest in you. Not that you can't keep communicating with them if you found a liking in them too, but there should be a grain of salt and awareness in that this spirit might not be 'qualified to give you advice. It might just be giving you their own opinions. It might be pranking you.

There are many guides online on how to identify and get to know your spirit guides, but here's my quick guide on how to recognize when you're not speaking with your designated spirit guide. While they might have a tough-love or harsh-truth kind of voice, it should never feel like your guide is judging, impatient or being mean to you. They're always here to communicate helpful messages. 

Creating special greetings to recognize your guides strengthens connection.

Another sign is when, for too many readings in a row, your cards aren't so much guiding you as much as just stating the obvious or mirroring your thoughts. Unless you believe your intuition is just that enhanced that you no longer need cards to tap into it, most likely that's just your random spirit-follower not knowing what to say or thinking quite similar to you, so that's what they speak. 

When you identify and discover your spirit guides, it's best to have a secret code or ritual to make sure you're in sync and both ready to divinate with cards, or to double-check you're addressing who you think you're addressing. And, of course, this is also a reason we always should practice some form of grounding before our readings.

 Runes are often associated with connecting to ancestors.

Grounding yourself.

Working with any kind of divination tools makes us open to channeling energies, thus susceptible to these energies. Being ungrounded can have negative effects on you as you might become overwhelmed by more energies than you are willing to focus on. Think of it as a protective force field around you. An evident symptom of poor grounding is feeling drained during and after a tarot reading, spilling your cards out of your hand too much and general clumsiness, dizziness and even a sense of guilt or paranoia. Guided messages should always feel reassuring and calming.

There are many ways to ground yourself as there are many ways to cleanse your cards, with as little as words and hand gestures or with as much as pre-reading rituals. Recently I've discovered for myself a combination of tarot and chakra-work, and have eluded to this during my gemstones and pendulum post where I spoke of balancing your chakras. Balancing your root-chakra as a grounding practice before a reading is a fantastic way to go! 

Grounding protects your energy and boosts your intuition.

Spirit-work and divination.

When it comes to soul-care, as with any practice, we could always benefit from an advisor. Spirit-work can go hand-in-hand with your daily soul-care routine. While it can begin with as little as simply acknowledging your guides' presence and staying open and aware of their subtle guiding, you can create more clarity and ritual with your guides through tarot. 

On the surface, it doesn't look any different from your usual routine, but instead of tapping into your higher-self or subconscious intuition, you might want to receive a second opinion or wisdom from your designated guides. You can consult with your guides about choices, paths and people in your life. You can even ask them for favors, like helping you find a better job. Whatever it is you are communicating with them about, make sure it focuses on reaching your full potential, manifesting, as well as protection for avoiding bad scenarios, energies and people.

Many oracle decks are designed specifically to receive spirit guidance.

Still, at the end of the day, you are your own person and you have your own free will to do whatever you feel is right. We can sometimes prove even the wisest person's advice wrong. That being said, spirit guides acknowledge the infinite possibilities. Let them offer you the support you need in whatever you set your heart to, and incredible opportunities might start coming your way.

All divination tools suit to communicate with spirits. Check out these guides for:

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