Taken from the book How to Meet and Work with your Spirit Guides by Ted Andrews.
If our spirit guides can assist us in every endeavour, why can’t we perceive them? Why do we have to go to a psychic or medium to meet them? Why will they reveal themselves to a psychic or medium but not to us personally? How can some people see them when others can’t?
These questions often arise when people begin to explore the unseen realms of life. The answers are as varied as the individuals who ask them. Some may have shut the doors to those subtle realms. Others may not recognize contact with this realm for what it is. This often happens with children. Their not-so-imaginary friends are usually treated by adults as if they are just the product of uncontrolled childhood fancy – often they are not. This causes the child to close down that perceptive ability.
Individuals are often unprepared to perceive spirit beings. In the Western world because of the fundamental religious background that permeates most aspects of our society, spirit beings are often treated as being evil or unbalanced.
Our society is also very rationalistic. Anything that is not immediately verified is either ignored, scoffed at or assumed to be the product of imagination. It is fortunate that the mysteries of the human mind are revealing greater powers of perception than previously accepted. This includes the perception of other realms and dimensions of life.
Another reason people don’t readily experience the spirit realm is that our guides are not always with us. They do not follow us around every minute of the day. (My personally, Glynis, I would disagree with this, but have to take into consideration when this book was written). We need to learn to establish specific times and means of communication and perception. This entails the conscious development of the psychic abilities of the mind for greater contact with those spirit realms. The degree of perception will vary according to individual efforts and the amount of persistence.
Many times there is great spirit contact, but we don’t recognize it for what it is. Spirit can come to us through any of our sensory organs. We may physically see them as actual beings, colours, images, animals, creatures or even symbols. They may appear as a shadow passing by or as a subtle, indistinct form. They can be seen physically or intuitively. This will vary according to the development level of your psychic ability.
We may hear spirit guides as well. This also can be internal, as well as external. Often those who are beginning to hear spirit (clair-audience) will hear soft buzzings, whispers, ringings, pops and cracks that cannot be explained through physical problems or the house settling etc. Eventually, the sounds become distinct voices *
It is not unusual for individuals who are developing clairaudience to awaken at night thinking they heard someone in the room or in the home. Once the adrenaline slows and they are sure no one has intruded, they need to become aware that they have simply begun to perceive audible sounds. This occurs most frequently when the individual is in that state between sleeping and waking. This kind of hypnogogic state is one conducive to hearing the subtle voices of spirit.
Many individuals experience the spirit realm through the sense of smell. There have been many cases of individuals who will smell the particular perfume of a deceased relative or catch a fragrance that is either associated with a guide or a family member who has passed. It can be an excellent form of personality identification and verification. When my grandfather comes to me in spirit I can identify him by a strong tobacco smell. That smell was a part of him and his room in the house in which I grew up. When I catch that unique smell I know he is around.
Some experiences the spirit realm through the sense of touch. It is not unusual for a person to be out in an open field and begin to wipe at spider webs across the face. The only problem is that in an open field spider webs are not at that height. What the individual is experiencing is the touch of nature spirits.
When we come into contact with our guides they may touch us with their energy. We might feel a tingle on the arm. We may feel a warmth or coolness encircle us. Our head may feel like a fly is walking across it. We may feel the urge to scratch an area of the body repeatedly. With practise you can learn to identify different guides by where they touch you. You can even direct them to touch you in a specific place and manner so that you will always be able to identify the guide.
*Schizophrenic personalities, wherein individuals are haring voices continually, can be brought on by trauma, personal chemistry and a wide variety of other possibilities. It still is not fully understood. One theory is that this kind of schizophrenia indicates a hole in the aura or energy field of the individual which allows outside energies (and entities) to enter and play upon the individual.