Why I don’t have a spirit guide

Once upon a time, many years ago I went to a workshop where we had a guided journey to meet our spirit guides. I’d never really tried to do this sort of thing before. So, I lay down, followed the instructions, and went headlong off script.

I was met with incredible anger. I was supposed to know better. I was supposed to know that this wasn’t for me. I have no idea who or what was angry with me. I then had a very intense experience of being fruited from a tree and dropped on the ground to rot, over and over again. I had no idea what it meant at the time, I still don’t know, but it was alarming and uncomfortable in the extreme. As soon as I could, I pushed out of the visualisation and waited quietly for the session to end.

Everyone shared their experiences. Everyone in the room aside from me had found something lovely, affirming, uplifting and so forth. I felt very alone with what had happened. The chap running the workshop didn’t have much to offer me beyond his own confusion and his feeling that what we were doing should have been totally safe.

That belief in the inherent safeness of spiritual endeavours continues to perplex me. A glance at any folklore or tradition from pretty much anywhere makes it clear that there are risks. The universe is not made of light and fluff and a desire to make us feel comfortable at every turn. If the universe has our best interests at heart, it does not operate from an assumption that our best interests are served by being really nice to us.

Many years later, I’m still not sure what to make of that experience. I have however, taken the clear message to heart and have never since sought any kind of guide.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

7 responses to “Why I don’t have a spirit guide

  • Lucy

    I agree with this. I don’t think spiritual experiences have to be positive. I don’t even think they necessarily have to be taken as truth. I think it’s like figurative imagery in how we interpret what we see.

    That being said, I agree the universe is not all love, marshmallow fluff, and hugs. It can be scary, it can be dark. Your experience sounds vivid and I’m sorry you felt alone in it and that it was uncomfortable. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think the guy running the workshop shouldn’t have expressed confusion at your experience. You saw what you saw and if it’s different from everyone else’s, so what?

    Spiritual endeavors can be good or bad. I’m confused why everyone thinks you either (1) must learn from it or (2) that it must be a pleasant experience. I don’t think it has to be, and I wish more would understand that.

  • OrderInTheQuartz

    Long before I was Polytheist and long before I knew I was Forseti’s, I tried spirit guide meditations. I kept getting a mental image of a hawk shrieking at me in anger and rapidly flying away. Definitely not the sort of “answer” I’d hoped for or been taught to expect. Now, though, that image makes total sense. I was asking the wrong question (hawks are very much associated with my God).

  • M.A.

    Yeah, the whole “spirit guide” thing is very New Age (not knocking it; that’s how I came to Paganism) with it’s emphasis on White Light, peace and happiness. All very comforting, but then there’s all that other stuff. I never got yelled at, but I was very firmly ignored until I could recognize the value in that other stuff. (I’ve long suspected my spirit guide is Mr. Natural, R. Crumb’s comic guru.)

  • treegod

    Sounds like you found your spirit guide: yourself.

  • potiapitchford

    Hmm. Wrong time or wrong question Or something angry that you weren’t recognising something they felt was obvious? Either way the one that led it shouldn’t have been so surprised, spiritual things are never completely “safe”. You don’t learn as much from safe as you do from other things.

    A fruit drops
    Rots on the ground
    Creatures enticed
    Carry the seed away
    In space unsheltered
    It grows free.

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