Testing Spirit Guides

When a medium delivers a channeled message to you, the claim is often that the entity doing the communicating is one of your spirit guides. A spirit guide is a developmentally advanced being who takes on the task of assisting you in some psychic capacity. Some groups teach that you have an inner circle of spirit guides who remain with you as mentors for the entire duration of your life — including, in some cases, the durations of your past and future incarnations.

Since a person is more inclined to trust and value the opinions of a spirit guide and consequently be more willing to make life decisions based on its advice, exposing a false guide is especially important.

Testing channeling and testing spirit guides go hand in hand. You need to establish that your channel is indeed authentic before the words of a spirit guide can hold any cosmic weight (and if you find such a channel let me know). But even if you already trust your channel and don’t feel compelled to go through the process of validating it, I implore you to take these simple steps with your guides just to see what sorts of results you get. Your findings, positive or negative, can only carry you closer to the truth.

A spirit guide knows you very well. Some of them have more insight into your inner and outer lives than any embodied person could. There are only so many questions you can ask an unfamiliar entity that you can reasonably expect it to know the answers to, but with a spirit guide you have a goldmine of testing opportunities.

One approach is to ask it for details about your day to day life. Think of it as just another person who spends a lot of time with you. Like an embodied person it has its own life and isn’t always present, so a question like “what was I doing at exactly 2:48pm last Tuesday?” wouldn’t be fair. Remember, we want to design a test that’s almost impossible for a made-up entity to pass, and almost impossible for the genuine article to fail.

Ideally you don’t want to make the answer to your question guessable. “Did I have waffles or cereal for breakfast this morning?” gives a fraudulent medium a 50/50 chance of getting the right answer. These odds are far too generous. Leave the question open-ended. Ask the entity for a description of a recent scene of its choice and see what it comes up with. Be very wary of a vague, ambiguous response, and try not to let yourself shrug and decide “well, that’s close enough” because you want so much for the guide to be real. There’s no reason the answer couldn’t be just as specific and accurate as one your mother or your best friend would give.

I checked in on you while you were at the grocery store yesterday. You were upset about your breakup with Allison and I came to provide emotional support. You were mumbling bitterly to yourself about her not returning the DVDs you loaned her. You walked past that ice cream your grandmother used to give you (against your mother’s wishes) to make you feel better. I nudged it into your awareness hoping you would put it in your cart, and you did…

A little snapshot of one minute of your week that the medium wasn’t around to see is all it would take. I would find the above extremely compelling if the medium didn’t know any of these details about my life. And it’s not a lot to ask for if the universe is as the medium says it is; it’s downright trivial.

If the medium claims that you can contact your guide telepathically (as is commonly believed) you don’t even have to go this far. You can simply send a message to the guide on the spot and ask it to repeat it through the medium. Telepathy may not be as precise as verbal communication, so you could even cut the guide a little slack here. If you pick a message that’s completely random and off topic and the medium still gets the gist of it, that’s an interesting piece of evidence. Make sure the medium can pass the test more than once.

In my own experience with spirit guide communication, I’ve had two reasons to be very suspicious. The first was that every time the medium channeled a guide for me, it was an entity I was being introduced to for the first time. Other people in the group I practiced with who had known the medium for years got messages constantly from guides they were familiar with. Because the group spent so much time discussing these messages between channelings, the medium came to learn the names of all these different guides without having to receive them psychically upon making contact. As an ongoing experiment I made it a point never to remind the medium of the names of my guides if I could help it. When messages came to me I didn’t want him to be able to just pull a name from his own memory.

As a result I ended up collecting a large number of one-shots who I never heard from again. Sometimes even a guide with a very important, long-term role would be replaced by a brand new guide a few months later, as if the medium had forgotten he had already filled that slot in my entourage. Unfortunately I wasn’t as gung-ho about testing mediums in those days so I didn’t delve deeper into this disparity, but it’s something to watch for.

The second thing that always nagged at me was the fact that I would never get messages from a guide I was familiar with through two separate mediums. Your guides are your guides; it shouldn’t matter which medium they speak through any more than it should matter whether a friend emails you or calls you. Alarm bells should be going off in your head if you’re maintaining a different circle of guides for every medium you work with, especially if those guides have overlapping roles.

I’ve only witnessed guides speaking to someone through a second medium on one occasion: during the Spiritualist workshop. And, surprise surprise, the names of those guides had been revealed to the Spiritualists at the message service the day before. I withheld the names of my guides and I was contacted by strangers yet again.

To hear a spirit guide start a conversation through one medium and finish it through another — without those mediums ever coming into contact with each other — could make for spectacular validation of the existence of these beings. And it should be a ridiculously easy feat. For a person who regularly interacts with a lot of mediums, this should happen on its own without encouragement.

If the mediums and the entities are genuine, why wouldn’t it?

If you’re currently under the counsel of the disembodied and are as frustrated as I was, this is an illuminating question to ask yourself.


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