If you are not currently working with deities or spirits but are considering it, its generally recommended to begin with your spirit guides. Spirit guides are spirits you have selected to work with in this life prior to incarnating, and they are always on your side. They are there purely to help you reach your highest good possible in this life.
Some spirit guides are here with us through the whole experience, others will come briefly, then leave.
Spirit guides may be ancestors, so there’s some overlap there, but not all of them are. Most of the time, they are souls who have agreed to be our guides before we are born into the physical world.
Spirit guides can be actual human souls or spirits, but can also be animal totems, and some people also may find that one or more of their guides are faeries, angels, or other non-human entities.
Protecting Yourself When Initiating Contact with Spirit Guides for the First Time
You don’t need to protect yourself from your spirit guides, but you do need to know that when you do not yet know who or what they are and are not yet acclimated to their energy, you usually will not immediately know if an entity that appears is really your spirit guide or just someone/something that wants to bother you, enjoys playing tricks, or other less helpful agendas.
A recommendation I’ve heard from friends and even read in several books is when asking for your spirit guides to present themselves to you, you should ask any spirit or entity something along the lines of:
“Are you here for my highest good?”
Ask it three times and you must get 3 ‘yes’ answers. If you get anything other than a ‘yes,’ whoever that is, is not your spirit guide, no matter what they tell you, and you should at the very least be suspicious, and probably would be best to tell them to leave.
Some people recommend casting a circle first, to create a cleansed and sacred space in which to make contact, to lessen the odds that you will meet someone you don’t want to or who has their own agenda.
When calling upon your spirit guides to appear to you or give you messages or confirmation of who or what they are, you can and should use specific phrases like ‘Are there any spirit guides here who would like to speak with me and have a goal of my highest good?’
How to Meet Your Spirit Guides
You will need to set aside time and find somewhere that you will be undisturbed.
Cast your circle if you plan to do that. You may want to have a candle to light to aid you in a focal point for your mind and communication.
Center and ground yourself first, and begin to relax, falling into a more meditative and open state to receive messages.
You may light the candle at any point. State out loud that you would like any spirit guides present to introduce themselves and include any protective statements you feel are necessary.
You may or may not get any messages the first time or first hundred times you do this. Its okay and that’s normal.
Not everyone has the ability to easily receive those messages, and they could even be occurring outside your attempts to contact, such as messages on billboards, odd animal appearances across your path, phrases you hear repeated multiple places, etc.
Pay attention in the days following your attempt to make contact, because at first, it may be common and easier for spirit guides to communicate with you through non-verbal messages and synchronicities, and particularly even dreams.
If you still feel unsure of whether a spirit you make contact with is really there for guidance, you can ask them questions that nobody else besides you would know the answer to, to confirm their sincerity, but generally the method I mentioned above of asking them to state three times they are there for your highest good is plenty sufficient.
There are plenty of books you can read for further more in depth information on working with or contacting spirit guides. Here are a few I’ve read and can recommend, but feel free to peruse what’s out there, because there are a ton of options:
Spirit Guides by Mia Rose
How to Meet and Work With Spirit Guides by Ted Andrews