Spirit Allies

Spirit Allies by Jan Engels-Smith

Spirit Allies


Who and what are the spirits? We live our lives often aware of “presences” that do not have normal concrete form and cannot be defined with material specificity. They may enter our consciousness through emotional reactions to events or in the simplest moments of our existence. They are non-rational in the sense that they defy normal physical definition but they are real in that they are present in our lives and affect our feelings and ultimately our actions. A spiritual life is a life inhabited by spirits and the degree to which we can benefit from these beings is directly related to the openness that we have to the possibility of their support. If you have ever felt, at one time or another in your life, that you have had some sort of interaction with the spirit realm or that you have drawn support from an other-worldly life force, you have connected to an important facet of the mystical universe. Beyond this awareness, the next stage of your spiritual development is to learn how to cultivate relationships with these spiritual allies and how to draw on their friendship and power to create a lasting bond that will provide you with newfound strength and joy.

Across all cultures there is a common belief in spiritual help in the form of an intervention from the non-physical realm to the physical realm. This intercession transcends, changes, and heals existing conditions and is accessible to all who are willing to engage openly with the spirit world and are receptive to creating lasting and beneficial relationships. In shamanism, we work with the non-physical beings, spirits, and your helpful allies to alter conditions that cannot be changed by limited thinking but that require recognition of non-rational sources that exist in the spirit world in many different forms. There are infinite beings in the unseen world—as numerous as the stars in the universe and as boundless as the cosmos.

In shamanism we enter into vast unseen worlds and it is important that we make sure that we are working with our helping, compassionate spiritual allies because they are essential to providing the support we need to traverse these mysterious realms.

From Phil CrazyBull a Lakota medicine man I learned that each person is born with 405 helping spirits or allies. You are born with them and they remain with you throughout your life. Their main function is to be of service to you and to aid you in your human experience. We might not consider 405 to be a literal number, but it suggests a vast quantity and abundance of help that is available to you at any given moment. You may choose to use this help throughout your life—or not. We may go through life thinking we have to manage ourselves by ourselves, that we are alone in our struggles with difficult situations, and that we do not have any support, but that is not the case. You have help available to you in great profusion but you may not be fully aware of its presence. Spirits are here to assist you with any type of condition or situation that you want to present to them. There is no good or bad question or valuable or non-valuable circumstance. The spirits are non-judgmental and respond to whatever need you have. Their help in life can be magical, miraculous, profound, guiding, transformative, informative and fun. You can use your spirit helpers for minor things or to gain insight and direction for the major decisions of your life. You can heal yourself and your loved ones with the assistance of your spirit allies.

Understand that shamanism, on one level, represents simply the development of life skills. I believe that in our Western culture, we have moved away from the life skills that were a part of our indigenous beginnings. In an indigenous culture, principles of spiritual connections were taught to the children from birth and throughout their lives. An awareness of our descent from and connection to the spirit world was coupled to the understanding that we are here having a physical experience in a life that extended far before our earthly birth and far beyond the ending of this brief physical existence. We are all first and foremost a spirit or an energy system experiencing a momentary presence in this physical body which is but a part of a longer chain of existence. This condition connected us with surety to the greater spiritual realm and thus afforded us with the link to the spirits, which would provide our much-needed support system. What the limited thinking of our modern culture has taken away, we can restore by reconnecting to our spiritual significance and becoming what we were intended to be.

I asked the spirits once, “What do we look like to you?” They showed me—and there was no body, there was just forms of light, sound and color, all images of energy. We are literally broadcast towers of spiritual energy. The spirits see us as an energy system, which is our true form, which is our spirit form. Our energy system, essence, spirit or soul is the part of us that lives on, and it is the part of us that allows us to communicate with other spirits because this form of us and that of the spirits are the same—one spirit communicating with another spirit. It is ordinary, it is natural, and it is normal. Our understanding and awareness of our natural being was lost or intentionally eliminated in our upbringing.

So, where do we find the spirits? They are everywhere. They are next to you now. The bridge people have to traverse in shamanic practice is the passage from believing only what can be perceived with the physical senses to acquiring an awareness of a spiritual world that can be accessed by an acceptance of greater possibilities. Personal experience will aid you as you navigate this bridge to the side that says, YES, it is real. As you participate in spiritual exercises and expansive thinking, events and phenomena will start happening in your life to demonstrate to you that non-ordinary reality is undoubtedly real. Your own personal journey through this work will help bring clarification and realization. I have confidence in the process because I have seen remarkable transformations in many people’s lives that have come as a result of their spiritual efforts.

Quantum physics states that we “see visually” less than .01% of what truly exists, but you can open your heart to the vastness that surrounds you and use different senses to perceive a far greater scope of reality. Just the intention of expanding your heart to that possibility will manifest new insights and unfold the universe that is hidden from our ordinary perception. If you begin with the intention to “prove it,” you have created a very small window through which the spirits may work. With an attitude of needing proof before trying to understand, you will always be trying to discount what you encounter and the need for proof will hinder your discovery. Non-rational reality can only be accessed if you unlock your mind to possibilities. The spirits will provide the proof through the experiences that you have in the journey. Miraculous things will happen but you might miss their importance if your mindset resists this alternative reality. Allow yourself to see with the eyes of the heart and the proof you need will come in the experience itself.

When we work with the spirits, we begin to engage with the larger picture of reality and we would have difficulty understanding this new world were it not for our spirit helpers. I asked the spirits once why we worked with them. They said, “You may know where you are going and may even be able to see the path, but we travel above the tree line and we can see where the path goes.” We use different spirit allies to accomplish different things. The goal of this work is to learn how to dialogue and interact with them in a friendly and comfortable way. With their assistance you can get guidance, be informed, and make decisions. You can ask anything you want of the spirits and get information that will serve your purposes if you do so with the right attitude and honor the spirits as they deserve. They can direct you to places, decisions, and outcomes that you might not have access to by yourself. With the assistance of the spirits, you can journey to the future and influence your prospects and you can journey to the past and alter your present. There is nothing outside the realm of possibility when you journey.

The spirits also adhere to a universal law. Human beings have free will, or what is referred to as sacred choice. We are not puppets of the universe; in fact, we are quite the opposite. You are a creator of the universe. If you do not choose to employ or activate your spirit connection, it does not happen; it is not forced upon you. As William Jennings Bryan wrote so many years ago: “Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

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How to increase your connection with Spirit

Increase your connection with Spirit by Jan Engels-Smith

Increase your connection with Spirit by Jan Engels-Smith


There is always something going on, some kind of communication from Spirit. But, unless you are awake to that and unless you are aware of that, you think there is nothing happening, and you will miss it.

There are many different ways to get information from other realms, and journeying is one of them. It is like turning the knobs on a radio to tune in to a particular station. One channel is accessed via meditation, and you get information that way. You tune in to another station and its channeling, and you get information that way; another station is journeying. You can also dialogue with things in a daydream. When you journey with drums and rattles, it is a different level of information coming in, a deeper level of information. And, yes you can get it telepathically, but I would ask you to experiment. Get information different ways and write it down, then journey and get information that way and write it down, and compare them. See how they are different and see how they are the same. They all have a different quality to them. They are all good sources of information, like different radio stations are good sources of different kinds of music.

By tuning in, your body will experience different sensations, your whole energy field changes. It is the way we know we are moving out of one dimension of reality, that is very structured, very limited, very controlled by the left side of our brain, and into another reality where the spirits are very active in the right side of our brain. We have the capacity to feel them in our body—shivers, a sense of wind blowing—it is different from where we started. All of the space between the space changes too. It moves into a different frequency of vibration. It resonates with what we are doing and would be qualified as sacred space. You can really feel it.

Watch the video to learn how to activate your right-brain with a simple breathing exercise:

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Spiritual Messages from Animals

How to Receive Spiritual Messages from Animals by Jan Engels Smith

Are you receiving spiritual messages from animals?

The following is a question about how to receive spiritual messages from animals. If you have similar spiritual questions or experiences join LightSong’s Talking Stick Phone Forum each month. The Talking Stick is available to anyone who wishes to access it in the spirit of the ancient tribal council where we all share our thoughts, support each other and recognize our common humanity.


A huge bald eagle suddenly stopped me on the highway today. A large bald eagle traveled next to my car then landed on the road up ahead in my lane. The eagle stood on the road looking at me while I came to a complete stop about 10 feet from where he stood. There were no other cars, it was just me and the eagle. Then the bird turned and flew off. I am still in awe about this interaction. How do I receive the message this eagle was bringing to me? Are there books that offer guidance? -Adeah W., Iowa


We are born with hundreds of helping allies. Many of them animals, birds, reptiles, etc. When an animal/bird makes specific attempts to catch your attention there is reason, usually a message of some type.

Depending on how much you want this message will determine how much you pursue to understand the experience. To me books like Animal Speaks by Ted Andrews or Animal Cards by Jamie Sands are more about animal totems than animal helping allies. The author provides you a pat answer of the “personality/or totem” of that particular animal. It really has nothing to do with a personal message such as this and can get in the way of your clarity.

I always suggest to my students that they ask the animal first and then look it up in a book so the book doesn’t influence through suggestion in their journey.

The way to get a personal message is multi-layered:
•    You can learn to journey for yourself; going into a specific altered stated to speak with spirit allies.
•    You can ask a shaman to journey for you.
•    You can ask internally and wait for an impression to arise. Impression does not mean visual, it could be an impression of a thought.

Each method is good to use, of course learning to journey for yourself opens up the magically doors of telecommunicating with the spirit realm. I believe that nature is talking to us 24/7 telepathically. A few will ever listen with spirit ears/heart.

When an animal specifically offers a personal interaction such as your eagle did I would say yes, I am listening and pursue. Usually there is a HUGE message that has the potential to take you down a new road of understanding your life.


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So, Where Do We Find the Spirits?

So, Where Do We Find the Spirits? by Jan Engels-Smith

Spirits are everywhere

Spirits are everywhere.

There are many different kinds of spirits, and they can take various forms. We can’t know who they all are, but there are certain beings that we want to work with in this study. Can you see them? No, because you see less than 1%. But it is still real. The bridge people have to cross in this work is created by the question, is it real?

Experience will help you cross this bridge to the side that says, yes, it is real. Things will start happening in your life to help show you that it is undoubtedly real. Your own personal journey through this work will help clarify that for you. I can’t tell you and have you automatically believe me. But if you follow these ways, you will definitely see it to be true.

Remembering that we “see” less than 1%…

If you can open your heart to the possibility of that realness, of their realness, just the intention of opening your heart to that capacity, that possibility, will help it manifest and unfold in your life. If you have the intention of “prove it,” that creates a very small window for them to work. You will always be trying to discount it and say, prove it again! They prove it and they show you, and you ask for another sign, and another sign, and forget in between about the miraculous things that are happening.

When we work with the spirits, we are getting a bigger picture than what we can understand on our own, in this realm. I asked the Spirits once, Why do we work with you? They said, “You may know where you are going, and may even be able to see the path, but we travel above the tree line and can see where the path goes.” They can direct you to places, decisions, and outcomes that you might not have access to yourself. You can journey to the future, and you can journey to the past and change what happened.

There is nothing outside the realm of possibility when you journey.

The Spirits also follow a universal law. Human beings have free will, or what is referred to as sacred choice. We are not a puppet of the universe; in fact, you are quite the opposite. You are a creator of the universe. If you don’t choose to employ or activate your spirit connection, it doesn’t happen; it is not forced upon you. I do believe that there is grace. I think that grace falls into people’s lives when they are in a very dangerous or difficult situation, and things just suddenly, miraculously change.

When you are trying to engage the spirit realm, or the non-physical beings, you begin with an intention. Then, they are right there.

We use different spirit helpers to do different things. Who are some of these spirit helpers and how do I learn how to dialogue and interact with them in a friendly, easy way? You can get guidance, be informed, and make a decision. You can ask anything you want and get information about it.

The shamanic journey is filled with mystery, and despite its ancient history, is little understood in Western culture.

The journey is one of the most effective ways to make contact with the spirits. The altered state of consciousness achieved in a journey allows you to transcend the limitations of the rational world and connect with a non-ordinary reality. The shamanic journey is common to all cultures and the nature of the journey is remarkably similar, even in cultures widely separated by era and geography. In the spirit world, both time and place are illusions. The lessons from the other worlds are universally true, drawing from a collective consciousness that is accessible to all.

To learn more, sign up for Level 1 class here.

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