Spirit Allies Demystified

This post is part 3 in my What is Magic series, click here to read parts one and two.

Ancestor and Animals make great spirit allies

Ancestor and Animals make great spirit allies

The topic of spirit allies is one that can leave some people squirming with discomfort.  It’s one of those things that if you talk about openly in the wrong company could definitely get you labeled a wacko.  If that’s your fear, don’t run away, I’m gonna break the subject down for you in a nice digestible, non-wacko way.

Any discussion of spirits is always going to make some folks a little squeamish, because we can’t see them or touch them.  But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there, and once you start tuning into the subtle ways that you might be getting messages from your allies, you will see that it really isn’t so mysterious.

I believe we are all born with a team of spirits who are here to help us in this lifetime.   I call them Spirit Allies.

Before we go any further lets get some myths about spirit allies out of the way.

  1. You don’t have to be a special kind of person to have them.  Everyone has them, that includes you. Whether you choose to recognize them and work with them is completely up to you, but they are there helping you out regardless.
  2. You don’t need a shaman to find yours:  Having someone help you figure out who they are can be helpful, especially if you are like I used to be, and believe that there is nothing  magical about yourself.  But your allies are yours, and even if someone does give you information about them, always make sure it fits with your own intuition about who they are, don’t just take someone’s word for it.
  3. You also don’t need to pay $3000 and go to a weekend workshop to find them.  While classes and workshops can be helpful in getting over the blocks you might have to believing the information you are getting intuitively, your allies are always there ready to reveal themselves if you only ask.
  4. If they are an animal, they aren’t always predators.   Sure it’s cool to have an African Lion or a Bald Eagle as your spirit ally, but any animal may be an ally: a wren, a snail, the dragonfly, or the common house cat might be a powerful ally to you.  In fact, one of my teachers, Colette Gardiner teaches that the first step to finding an animal ally is to notice what animals you see on a daily basis.  Crow, cat, dog, squirrel, fox, but sadly for those of us outside of Africa, no lions.
  5. They are not ghosts.  Ghosts are the imprint left by humans who have not fully passed through the gate into the afterlife.  They are not allies.  They are usually stuck trying to work through something left-over from their lives.  Allies on the other hand are humans that have fully passed through to the afterlife and learned the wisdom they needed to learn about their human life.

Getting Started

First and foremost in working with any spirit you want to be sure of two things.  One that you set a boundary to only deal with spirits that ‘love you beyond all reason’.  There are plenty of spirits out there, and many of them have agendas of their own, not all of them have your best interests at heart.  So whenever I call a spirit into a circle, or magical space, I make sure to qualify it such.

The other thing to keep in mind is that it is a two way relationship.  Our allies are here to help us, but in return we also are here to remember them, honor them, and if needed speak up for them.

Next week we are going to discuss the two easiest group of allies to get to know: Ancestors and Animal Allies.  But for now I want you to ponder two questions:

  1. what animals do you see on a daily basis?  Do you ever have an animal visit you in dreams?
  2. Is there an ancestor that you feel a particular affinity for? or who’s story has always captivated you?

Leave a comment below, and be sure to share this article if you find it helpful.

How to create and use Altars

How to create and use Altars

Want a simple easy way to infuse a spiritual element into any aspect of your life? Try creating an altar.baby altar

Altars are a simple easy way to create or bring an element of the sacred anywhere. They can be simple or ornately complex. They can fit on the a small corner of your desk at work and no one will even notice they are there, or they can take up an entire room in your house, if you have rooms to spare, that is.

Setting up an altar is simple, and they can be profoundly powerful for changing the entire space that surrounds you.  I like to  think of altars as giving a place for spirit to rest in the room.  When you bring that element in anywhere, it changes everything.  Set one up at work to be a visual reminder not to get stuck on the small stuff.  If you are having a particularly hard time with something, set up an altar for yourself and a wish that you work through it.

I like to think of altars as the slow cookers of magic.  Sometimes we want something, or we want to see things happen, and we know its gonna take a while.  Set up an altar for that thing and think of it daily. In my house right now I currently have 4 official altars set up. One is for the spirit of my child, due to be born this July, another is for the goddess of abundance (its in the kitchen), one is just a collection of pictures of my and my partner’s ancestors above the fire place, and the other is a small collection of crystals near my bedside, which is just a reminder to love myself.

Here are the extremely simple steps to creating an altar.

  1. Clear space for them.  I like to start with a clean slate.  You don’t have to dedicate an entire table to the altar but clear and clean whatever space you are going to use.  Remember you are making room for something new in your life, by physically making that space, you will open up more opportunities for it to come into your life. If you feel called, smudge the area, or use clearing herbs like rosemary to clean it.
  2. Set an intention for the altar.  It can be a simple as having a place to remember what is sacred, or it can be as specific as I want a new job doing X.  I like to be as specific as possible with my altars while still leaving room for something better than I imagined.  So for instance if I were going to make an altar for a new job, I probably would focus more on the qualities I wanted in a job, rather than a specific position or company.  That way I leave room for miracles, like finding my dream job in a field I had never ever considered.  If there is a specific interview or job I’ve applied for, I would definitely put a reference to that job on the altar, but with the intention that I get it only if is really the best option for me.
  3. Use your intuition and a playful sense of creativity to create physical altar. I like to emphasize p
  4. kitchen altarlay when creating an altar.  Make it pretty, make it something that YOU like.  Just trust yourself when it come to colors, objects, arrangement.  I like to play with an altar until it feel right in my body. If you aren’t used to creating them, self-doubt and any self criticism about your own aesthetic sense is bound to come up.  Just acknowledge  it, and try anyway.  You can’t get this wrong.  Remember no one else has to know this is an alter, especially if you set one up at work.  Somethings to consider when making an altar: candles, incense  rocks, shells, a leaf, flowers, sacred images you love, pictures of you, those you love, statues of religious figures or deities.

Here’s a little homework, set up an altar and leave me a comment about how it went.


Allison Carr LAc believes that healing yourself makes the world a better place.  Learn more about her work and classes at http://allisoncarr.net/