Signs and symbols.

I get a lot of questions about how best to connect and communicate with Spirit Guides. Things like, "How do I know who my guide is?" and "I think I know who my guide is, but how do I communicate with them?".

And, to be honest, sometimes Spirit Guide work is subtle. Then again, sometimes it's not. Our Spirit Guides communicate in ways as various and unique as themselves. The key? Tune in, pay attention, and don't dismiss something just because it's in "mundane reality".

This past week, I got a reminder of just how in-your-face some Spirit Guides can be in the material plane, and it has been AWESOME. On Sunday, we had a blast in our Divination 2.0 Workshop, practicing basic channeling and mediumship skills at our Oak Park space. Spirit Guides- including deities and ancestors- were popping up all over the place. When it came time for my turn, I enjoyed a quick visit from my grandparents, and then things started to get weird- in a good way! As my client- and workshop participant- started to describe this other Spirit Guide's energy to me with words like "knowledge" and "power", I immediately knew who it was: Odin. Of course, her eye felt "weird" during the session, giving us a fairly overt litmus test to confirm that this is, indeed, Odin (he's famously missing an eye).

Odin has been a Spirit Guide for me for many years, coming in and out of my life at various points, bringing tremendous spiritual growth, the occasional shamanic "illness" (like temporarily losing sight in one eye), and a great sense of humor. Early on in my shamanic practice, I found myself face-to-face with Odin on the astral plane during a Shamanic Journeying Meditation. He was in a suit, sitting with a drink inside of the astral version of the Green Mill- a northside jazz club here in Chicago. I asked him the standard beginner questions: "Who are you?" and "What are you here to teach me?". At the very end, I asked him, "What I am here to do?". His response to that last question was: "You're here to f*ck shit up."

Now, I didn't really know what that meant, but I liked it. I decided that, as of that exchange, Odin was a fan favorite.

In the years to follow, Odin would pop in and out of my journeys and my waking reality- always with a bit of a wink. Once, I was talking to a client about their Tarot Card Reading and the presence of the Hanged Man (i.e. Odin) card, absentmindedly saying something like, "I would love to meet Odin. Meet him in real life and have a beer with him." I forgot about this chat nearly as quickly as it happened, and went to Momotaro for a lovely dinner alone. At the restaurant, a man sort of invaded my alone time (a hazard of dining alone), insisting on walking out with me to "get me a cab". Now, this is the West Loop in the time of Lyft and Uber- I kept saying, "I'll just order an Uber" but he was relentless about it.

Oddly enough, a cab pulled up right then and there. The drunk dude that interrupted my dinner leaned in to the driver, saying something strangely Victorian like, "Make sure she gets home safe". The driver wordlessly rolled the window up and started to drive away, immediately saying to me, "That's not your man. You'll know when your man comes into your life. He will always open the car door for you." I thought this was a statement on chivalry, but fast forward a few years and my now husband always opens the car door for me- because it opens with proximity to the key in his pocket;)

That taxi driver and I had a VERY interesting conversation and, as I was getting out of the taxi, he said to me: "May the force be with you, Rachel." I instantly got the chills. I did not tell him my name, and it wasn't a Lyft or Uber, so there's no way he would know who I am. In that moment, I knew it was Odin. I asked to meet him and he actually showed up. I started to feel the details of the experience start to slip away, like a dream evaporating upon waking to an alarm. I ran upstairs, started to frenetically write it all out and, crying, called my best friend to document the experience with a third party. I had talked to Odin. He was the taxi driver. And he wants the force to be with me.

This past week- since the weekend workshop- Odin has been showing up in a big way again. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll note that I posted a license plate that said "GOD LOL"- I noticed this while talking about Odin on the phone with someone that attended the recent workshop. Then, yesterday, I was talking to my husband about a restaurant concept we've been working on- the name of which, hilariously, is "Odin". Just then, I looked down and saw another license plate that said "RAVENS2".

Now, Odin has two ravens: Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory), and it is just beyond coincidence that this message came through at that point in the conversation. These experiences are so affirming, inspiring and help me feel like I'm on the right track. And while not all guides are this overt, they will show up when you ask them to. And this connection with your Spirit Guide(s) is the primary goal of all shamanic work- and our TOTEM workshops and services.

Do you want to identify, connect and communicate with your Spirit Guides? If so, our entire Spring event agenda is centered on this primary goal, and we're offering approachable, pragmatic in-person and online opportunities to engage with your invisible friends:

This Sunday, March 14th: IN PERSON Shamanic Journeying: Totem Animals and the Lower World. TOTEM has designed this guided meditation workshop- leveraging the ancient technique of Shamanic Journeying- to put you in touch with your unique Spirit Guides and Totem Animals of the Lower World. In Shamanism, the Lower World is the world of Totem Animals, Ancestors and helpful Spirit Guides willing to offer advice and guidance. The Lower World is very relaxing and healing, ideal for grounding, gaining insight, and reconnecting with the energy of the earth. Learn more and secure your spot here:

March 21st: ONLINE Spirit Guides, Ancient Gods & Archetypes: Forces of Nature. Our next module of this interactive online course will equip you with tips and tricks to connect with some of the wilder Spirit Guides and their related Totem Animals, including the ancient Scottish Goddess Mab, the Germanic figure the Erlking, and the Greek Oracle at Delphi. Even though this class is online, we've been experiencing big shifts and great channels of communication with spirit! Learn more and secure your spot here:

April 4th: IN PERSON Shamanic Journeying: Angels, Ascended Masters and the Upper World. TOTEM has designed this guided meditation workshop- leveraging the ancient technique of Shamanic Journeying- to put you in touch with your unique Spirit Guides, Angels and Ascended Masters in the Upper World. In Shamanism, the Upper World is the world of Ancient Deities, Angels, Ascended Masters and other Divine Beings. The Upper World is illuminating and inspiring, often giving us insights into our spiritual development and psychic abilities. Learn more and secure your spot here:

And, if you want to dig into Odin in particular, we have a special, Odin-tastic module of our online course coming up in June- check it out here:

If you're not a workshop person, remember: you can always get this data from a 1:1 TOTEM Energy Session, too, so email me to discuss anytime:

And, if you want to learn more about Odin, I cannot recommend Neil Gaiman's American Gods enough. Check out these clips of "Mr. Wednesday"- i.e. Odin- being a loveably mischievous deity:

Odin always brings a smile to my face and makes me feel like the wind is at my back. It gives me great pleasure to share some of my stories about him. All of us have these "invisible friends", it's just a matter of getting in touch. And if TOTEM has a mission, it's putting you in touch with your resources...and watching you blast off on your own spiritual journey.

And, if all else fails, just remember to keep your eyes open to the signs and symbols. They're always there.