Spirit Guides – You Say Spirit Guide, I Say Power Animal

**On Edit: Here’s an update my thoughts on this subject. 

I apologize if I caused any confusion with my initial post, I have edited it a little.  

When I re-read this post after posting, I felt that I may have confused some key points.  Keep in mind that these opinions are only mine, and yours may be different.   Also, I am human and still learning every day.  :)   The main points of my post:

a)      Upon reflection I do not think power animals are the same as guardian angels, although they may share some similar functions.

b)      I saw my power animal and the guide that Slade saw for me as the same guide (I think they may be different aspects of the same guide, for example power animal may help me connect with lower chakras, the guide may help with accessing my higher chakras, but that is a different post I hope to write…).  I think that power animals and spirit guides share similar functions.

c)      My religious baggage caused me to not to be able to accept the existence of anything associated with mainstream religion, including the existence of “angels”, in my own belief system for a long time.  While I have now done some work with Archangel Micheal, I’m still considering how angels and guardian angels fit into and work with my personal existing cosmology,

d)      I think that because of who we are as individuals, the culture we are raised in, our religious beliefs and world views, we may each view the intuitive world slightly differently, and that is a beautiful thing,

e)      I don’t think our spirit guides, and other teachers, care as much about the names that we call them, as much as that we DO call them to assist us.

Anyways, hopefully this has brought clarity and not more confusion.  I would at least hope it would create some good discussion, to help you clarify how you see your own intuitive world. 


Hello dear readers,

Welcome back!  It is nice to be back with you here again.  I’ve missed being here with you at “Conduit of Joy”.  

Look for new posts to appear here every two weeks.  I will also be answering some of your short questions, for free, with my feature “Answers from the Universe” at least once every two months.

I am still available for readings on a limited schedule, and I’m particularly excited about doing past-life readings lately, as those have been particularly illuminating.  Email me at conduitofjoy@hotmail.com, and we’ll see what’s cooking for you.

Sending blessings and fun to you for your continued readership!  Kara

Earlier on in my intuitive life, I learned alot about intuition and guides from reading the blogs of other intuitives. I was particularly fascinated (and continue to be) about how other intuitives connect with their own angels and personal spirit guides. 

But reading about angels and personal spirit guides that appeared in human form kind of stymied me.  I had learned to access the spirit world in the shamanic tradition, where my guides appear as animals.  In the shamanic tradition, the main personal guide appears as an animal and is known as a power animal.  I was very familiar with my own personal power animal, and my other animal guides, after working with them for years, but I wondered how they would look to other intuitives that had learned a different method.

My curiousity got the better of me, and I sought out a reading from another intuitive to specifically tell me what my main personal spirit guide looked like (the venerable Slade Roberson at Shift Your Spirits.).  He gave me the name of my guide, described as a male person, and my guide’s “physical” characteristics and what his function for me was.  He also described where my guide was usually located in relation to the position of my body.

I was pleased but also confused.  The way my personal spirit guide was described physically was certainly not the personal guide that I was familiar with.  Could it be that I had another main guide? Was I wrong about my own personal spirit guide?

Seeking to get to the bottom of my confusion, I did a reading for myself to communicate with both these guides.  When I invited both guides in by their different names, I could see them individually, one in animal form, one in human form.  When I asked if they were the same guide, they both nodded and then I saw them slowly super-impose over each other, confirming for me visually that they were in fact the same personal spirit guide.  It was then that the lightbulb went on for me.

Since then, my guide has been identified by a different name and form, but the “personality” characteristics and purpose of my guide have been described consistently.  This indicates to me that whatever name my personal guide or guardian angel is given, is probably mostly irrelevant. 

The important thing is that the essence of my personal spirit guide is perceived by other intuitives in the same way. 

What did I take from this experience? 

I believe that all intuitives are dialed into their own unique channel to the Divine.  I find that very exciting, as it is the ultimate in individuality.  Since each of us humans is wired differently, depending on the cultural and religious beliefs we were raised in, we each respond differently to different types of teachers.  We can only “hear” a message when it is delivered in way that we are individually wired to receive it, and understand it.

For instance, because of my religious baggage, years ago when I was starting to open to intuitive experiences, at that time, I doubt that if I would have contacted my personal spirit guide if I thought that personal guide was associated in any way with what I associated with organized religion.  Because of my past, words that were used in organized religion, triggered specific emotional responses in me that would have shut down the intuitive part of me.

However, since I had always been close to animals and nature accessing the spirit world in animal form, was easy for me.  As I have continued to learn about the spiritual realm, I have realized not to judge quickly, and no longer write something off immediately just because I don’t resonate with the label applied to it. I have learned not to make up my mind about something until I fully understand what it is about.

I have come to embrace concepts I would have previously rejected, such as “angels” and other entities, that in the past I would have rejected, or judged as being negative and bad.  I try to stay open to spiritual messages, and to be aware if certain words trigger me, so I don’t miss the meaning of the message.

We need many different spiritual teachers in this world to deliver the universal messages in many different ways since we are all different.  It is the message -  that we all have personal guides that are available to help us if we ask – that is the most important.

Care to share any experiences of your own personal guides in the comments?

** The beautiful spirit guide image on this post is attributed to its creator Clarita Zarate and can be found at  http://gg.tigweb.org/clarita/31177/ **.

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8 Responses to Spirit Guides – You Say Spirit Guide, I Say Power Animal

  1. Hi Kara,
    Welcome back! You were missed.
    I find it interesting how everyone perceives their guides so differently.
    I have “seen” my guides on few occasions and they appeared in a human form, but I feel that they take the shape that “we” need them to. Does that make sense?
    I don’t really resonate to power animals myself, but I don’t think that makes them any less real or powerful either.
    I tend to feel it doesn’t matter what form we see them in, as you point out in your post. I think all that really matters is that we are “dialed” into the guidance of the Universe.
    You always make me think! Thank you for that.

  2. I’m so happy to see you posting here again! :) You came back with an awesome post too, btw!

    I think you’re right when you say all intuitives are dialed into their own unique channel to the Divine. I once had a client who asked me to do a reading for her because she just wanted to make sure another spirit guide reading she had from another intuitive was “right and accurate”. I told her that what I get may differ from the other intuitive picked up on, and that doesn’t make me right and her wrong. Just that we got different information or perhaps met a different guide OR perhaps we just ‘see’ things differently.

    I see my spirit guides as primarily human, but that’s my comfort zone. I also know I have an animal totem…at least one that I’ve seen!

    Not sure what point I’m trying to get at here. Just that…whatever feels right to you IS right, if that makes sense!

  3. Welcome back!

    I agree with you in essence. For example, I did a meditation to meet my guides, and there were 4 who worked as a team. I had a SR reading done (4 guides) with a follow up, and was told that the number had increased in a short time from 4 to 7. For a variety of personal reasons, that made sense to me, mainly because of the way messages come in (in many different forms) and because I was about to undergo a massive change. A while later I had an intuitive reading done and was told I had 7 guides. The guides I met had the same “feeling” to them as the “feeling” the intuitive had – and they were very different from everyone else’s guides that I meet. I got names when I did my own reading and didn’t ever get names from elsewhere, but honestly, what difference does it make? I think people just like to put a name and a face to whomever they are communicating with because it makes it more “real” to them.

    I would love to have you do a reading for me sometime – I have a good guess as to my power animal :)

  4. charlotte says:

    so funny, I have secretly wanted an intuitive reading by either Andrea Hess or Slade, but what if they would describe my spiritual team and they would not at all be what I know about them. I mean I have had trouble myself putting them all together, with names and all…and what if I am sort of wrong and they are right? stupid thinking, I know, but the thought have crossed my mind…
    This year I decided I wanted to identify my spirit with that of a dragonfly, and so I did. My garden is full of them and I felt a connection. Is it possible to “choose” a totem animal or is it always the other way around?
    Good to have you back Kara! I´ve missed your blogposts!

  5. conduitofjoy says:

    Angela, awww…. it’s nice to be missed. :) I also find it so interesting in what form our guides show up. I agree with you that they take the shape we most need them to – almost as if they want to make us comfortable, so that we can “hear” them the best.

    Just like guardian angels, power animals are archetypes. Guardian angels might embody specific characteristics such as guardians or tricksters, and power animals are the same. Certain animals are also considered tricksters and guardians in myths and legend, but characteristics of the actual animal also bear out these traits.

    I think we all view the same Show, through different lenses. Nice to “see” you!


  6. conduitofjoy says:


    Thanks for the compliment! Good insights with your client. I think when reading for someone, it is a “limited time offer” to where the window usually offered is valid for that particular timeframe. Sometimes other or extra animal guides come to help with specific issues, then they leave when they are no longer needed, so I agree there also may be different or extra guides. And yes…we all do have different lenses with which we view the Big Picture.

    I had a few readings where my primary guide has been identified in different ways, and the ways in which other intuitives saw my guide made me look at my guide with in a new light, helping me to see yet another facet of my guide (which I also mirror).

    Thanks for making me feel my point of view is valid. :)


  7. conduitofjoy says:

    Hi Julie,

    Thanks. In readings from others, I too have been guided more by the “feeling” of my guide when he was identified, because that seemed to be the best way of ensuring it was the same guide. The more I think about it, I think the names we give guides are really “our” names for the guides – I don’t really think it matters to them what the name given by us is – it seems like it has to be familiar so we have something to hold onto, and be comfortable calling upon.

    It was interesting that in the reading that you did for me and the way you described my primary guide, although it was one that would have never occurred to me, when I thought about it, perfectly summed up how my guide would act as a human, and what he would do. It gave me a new perspective on certain traits that fit perfectly with the guide’s animal traits, right down to details as mundane as his clothes/colors!

    I would be happy to do a power animal reading for you, when I get a little time. :)


  8. conduitofjoy says:


    Thanks for your kind words. I would highly recommend Slade, and I know Andrea is very good too. However, no matter how good they are, don’t give your personal power away to them – your own intuition is valid! They wouldn’t necessarily be “right”… you may just see different parts of the same thing, or in a different way. If you aren’t confident in feeling some dissonance yet, perhaps wait awhile until you feel more confident in really knowing who your guides are (their essence), before you “double-check” with a reading. As I mentioned in my reading, I suffered from things not making sense to me for awhile and I had to sit with the pieces for awhile.

    As for a totem, my personal theory is that you are assigned one main totem (power animal), but that you can invite as many other animal guides as you want/need to help you. Sometimes dragonfly has been a guide for me too, and has come and gone at different times depending on what I needed help with.

    Good luck!


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