The first time I met one of my guides, I had no idea that’s what he was.

He was a strange, hooded figure that showed up in a “journey” during my first weekend shaman workshop. The workshop was full of people I’d tried my best to avoid in life – tribal yoga pants and feathery spiritual auras abounded. I smoked cigarettes on the break and reassured myself I was different.

There were no psychedelic substances involved. It was based on the simple power of the drum and rattle. I was clean, clear and sceptical.

The figure I met (who later turned out to be a guide) was like a half human-half reptile, hooded and carrying a staff. He sat me down in front of a fire, in a cave next to a great underground lake and stared into my eyes. I don’t even remember if he said anything, but I remembered him.

The practice I was taught during the workshop – soul flight – is a foundational practice of shamanism. You journey to the other realms, and there meet with spirits who guide and heal you.

I did further training that year with the same teacher in England. And then I went home and experimented for two years.

Voices through the Veil

I was riding home from the park. I’d been seeking council from “hooded-shaman dude” (who by this point I’d worked with in a number of ceremonies). It had gone deep, but now I was done and heading home for dinner.

As I coasted along I “melded” with his memories. And suddenly I was riding a horse across a savannah in a magical landscape. The significance of both the scene itself and the fact I was melding memories, was running through my body. I felt alive. The wind was no longer cold it was magical. The movement of the ground under my feet was the dry sand under the horse’s hooves.

Then he did the thing that was the pebble that started the landslide change in my worldview. He spoke directly into my mind—like a call being patched through straight to my brain, with an accent.

He teased me.

“You know it is pretend horse, right?”

He made me literally laugh out loud.

I can’t fully replicate his humour in writing. It’s in the absolutely perfect timing and tone of his jokes. Like when someone lands the perfect line and it strikes right in your weak spot, but it feels really good and opens your heart. He did that.

And then I knew. Because I can’t do that to myself. The point of that perfect joke is that you don’t see it coming. I hadn’t, and now I was really laughing.

Something opened then and he really started speaking to me. Inside my mind, like all the other voices do, but now I knew it was someone else, and the signal got really clear. We began to have a back-and-forth conversation as I cycled home.

And by the end of the bike ride, I was starting to get a bit freaked out. I asked him to “please leave me alone and stop talking to me!” Which he did, and my mind returned to its normal “alone” feeling. Which was a relief. Like stepping off the rollercoaster.

I knew things were going to be different though.


A couple of days later I sat on a bench in the forest, and we started talking again. I’d done some integration, I’d re-assured myself I wasn’t doing something terribly wrong, and I’d decided it was time to have a frank conversation.

There’s something about me. I fundamentally trust people’s hearts. And, I have an incredibly sensitive alarm system for stuff that is off-key or dissonant. It’s a capacity I’ve tuned and cleaned over the years.

And here was a particularly weird new challenge. I was readying myself to talk with an “imaginary friend” who wore a hood and seemed to have a crocodile’s tail protruding from the back of his cloak (though it’s hard to tell sometimes in dream time). My rational guardians were on fucking edge.

“This is fucking weird Ewan. And you know it! Test this fucker out.”

And yet while I trusted the cautionary advice, what was really curious was that my alarm system was not going off. This is a pattern which would repeat itself many times – the rational alarm beeping, my intuitive trust knowing it was right and true.

So, I dived in and I asked him some really fundamental questions. I wanted to know who on earth I was talking to, and how deeply I could trust this strange character.

I wanted to get a read on him. My intuitive capacities were in trust, but my map of the world didn’t have a good explanation for what was happening, and who he was.

“Are you alive?”

“Of course. I am talking to you aren’t I?” He enjoys my questions. Like a loving school master encouraging a student. “But not in the way you think of as alive”.

“Do you have a name?” I ask him. I can feel his presence, as though he’s sitting next to me on the bench.

“Yes. But I will have to teach you some things to tell it to you.”

He then proceeded to show me what “names” were to him, in his life. They were really quite different to ours. He showed me how to visualise it. I closed my eyes, and I found myself sitting in a big stone chair and carved into the rock around me are symbols. He points to the ones above me.

Above my left shoulder was a strange beast head, lizard like.

“What is this symbol on the left?” I ask him?

“This is a dragon.” he says.

Above the right shoulder was a symbol I definitely knew: a moon.

“OK, and so what does this have to do with your name?” I still hadn’t grasped it.

“This is my name. Or at least one I am giving to you to call me with. But you must read from the other perspective.”

I stood up, took a few paces, and looked back at the bench where he was sitting. I could see the symbols above his shoulders.

“Read left to right”. He pointed first to one symbol, then the other. “My name is Moon—Dragon.”

Well fuck. I was amazed and delighted. How fun! A name made from special symbols. I loved it.

But fuck. My rational alarm system could foresee the implications already. I was going to be one of those people who talk to spirit guides with weird names. Fuck, fuck.

“Were you once alive as a human?”


“How long ago did you live?” I ask him.

“How do you measure time?” He replies.

Well, that was a bloody good question.

I did my best to draw out some diagrams in my notebook that explained about solar years, and then how we wrote numbers.

After a bit of back and forth, and number sequence translation he gave me the answer…

“Moon—Dragon died 39,327 years ago”.

Well, that was a lot more precise that I was expecting.


Over the following months he showed me how to do things. Little rituals in the woods. The key was to be like a child. Which is more accurately: ‘be child you’. This is where the innocent knowledge of the other side already exists, and where we instinctively know how to “play with the spirits”.

And concurrently to all of this I was fiercely analysing my experiences with scepticism and logic. I wrote regularly in a “magic journal” where I would attempt to secularize my experiences and make sense of them without relying on anything I considered woo-woo hoodoo. In other words, could I rationally explain my irrational experiences?

In retrospect I can see that it’s mostly my mind catching up. The experiences were real and deeply meaningful. Which my soul knew, but which my model of reality and its egoic keepers, were still trying to salvage as the boat went down.

Awakening to the World of Healing

Moon—Dragon was the first of four primary guides that have introduced themselves to me.

I say introduced themselves, because they gave me names to call them, and they told me about who they were and what they were here to help me with. But these are just names for my ease. Souls don’t really have names.

I needed their names to help me develop intimacy and trust with each of them.

It was in January this year that things went to another level, and where that trust was to be utilized.

It started with a (delayed) trip to Turkey to meet up with a very old friend with whom I had discovered a shared fascination with all things magical.

The delaying of the trip is a story for another time, but let’s just say it was an unplanned initiation into shamanic healing, through my own transgenerational trauma.

When I got to Turkey, we spent 5 days catching up while visiting Göbekli Tepe and other ancient temple sites. We talked magic, we reached for it. And when I returned home, it showed up.

I was innocently performing a simple ceremony that one of my other guides had showed me. And then in the midst of it all hell broke loose. She guided me through a spontaneous healing session – one that I had been trained in technically by my shamanic teacher in England, but which I had never actually performed.

Before I knew it my world had been changed once more.

I had been dispossessed of a certain family illness that I had hitherto had absolutely no knowledge of, and which turned out to reveal some very interesting results, once healed.

For that was the real world-changer. I had discovered what healing really was.

Honestly, I’d had little interest in “healing”, even though I had trained in many methods of shamanic healing, I felt it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t drawn to it. In a sense, I didn’t believe in it.

This was the real stuff though. What shamans call “direct experience”. I’d already tasted the depth of information possible through my guides. Now I was having direct experience of their healing power.

This ceremony was the first in a series (that’s till continuing). I’ve been led through a kosmic network of esoteric knowledge, all revolving around my own healing process.

Chapter one was lineage work. Trans-generational illnesses. Each one took me back into the lives of one of my ancestors and (often) a moment in their lives when something got all wonky.

My task was to travel back in time, through the astral passages, and heal it. Which I did (I think!). At least enough to get me to chapter two, which is still in operation as I write these words and concerns the traumas of my own childhood (which inevitably lead back into my family history once more).

I didn’t know any of this was possible.

I had no idea guides could actually facilitate ceremonies. For that’s exactly what they did.

“OK Ewan. Just feel your heart. Do you feel how much I love you? It’s your choice. There is no rule. Feel yourself and your own truth.”

When I was feeling scared, they’d reassure me.

And when I had no idea what I was doing, they simply talked me through the steps, just like a workshop leader would. Except they were talking to me inside my heart-mind, and the scenes around me were of other times and spaces.

“Now comes the healing, are you ready?”


“OK, take a breath – yes. Now let yourself dissolve into the moment. Ready? Turn to your left and meet it.”

It was almost never what or who I expected it to be. It was always simple and beautiful. And something I could never have found alone. Each one changed me in some way, though it’s hard (mostly) to say how. The combined effect however is undeniably different. More me.

The (Meta)Physics of Guides

My worldview on the other side of these experiences is different. Some parts of reality map have been re-written, and huge new swathes of what I now know are “real” have been sketched in.

Here are a few travel notes.

We’re definitely not alone. In fact, some of the voices in your head, that you know well, are none other than your own guides. They hide out, covertly doing good.

When we die, we don’t die. The opposite. We return and remember who we are, which is an eternal soul, with a lifetime of lifetimes of memory.

This one—the soul (me without the amnesia)—is also the one who planned out a great deal of what I’m now living through incarnation. Certainly not all of it (soul plans are just that – plans, which have a whole lot of potential for going “off-map”), but the key stuff? Oh yes.

The stuff I repeatedly bang my head up against was all anticipated and “set-up” for me to learn through. Those are (by definition) the particular challenges that my character in this life needs to learn through, in order to unlock the higher character upgrades. That’s how the system is designed to work.

Incarnation in this three-dimensional reality is a choice (for sovereign choice it always is). Certainly not all souls choose to do so. Why? It’s intense! Particularly here in Earth school – Gaia is a particularly potent and challenging spot to come and play. And particularly now!


Certainly not for me (as I found out), and indeed for many of us who are discovering there is more to this “reality” than meets the eye. That the “fantasies” we love to see in movies are not actually so fanciful.

Who and where is a guide?

They’re not in this world I see and touch. My shamanic teaching tells me they exist in “non ordinary reality”.

Most directly, they are souls who have chosen not to incarnate, and instead play the role of guide for those of us down here in the physical world.

They live in a different dimension to us, one outside of physical limitation. They are in effect, all-seeing and all-knowing. But they are not gods – their power is incredibly limited (here in the physical).

Their power is in their guidance of us, for they see the whole picture, and the great web of possibilities. They know our hearts inside and out, and what we’re here to do.

When a shaman or psychic “talks with the spirits” they are (usually) connecting with their guides. In many traditions, the guides are the ancestors (which is usually literally true of course). The Christian name for them is guardian angels (though they are not in fact angels at all).

They are specialists at guiding us. In fact, it’s their job or more precisely their role. They help us walk our own evolutionary path. There’s no “control”. There is no coercion.

Quite the opposite.

The purpose of their role is to guide us in our own sovereign choices. And at the same time, to guide toward the soul path (the things we planned to do, but may have forgotten about, or be scared to face).

Some things guides are not

The kinds of guides I’m talking about here are our personal guides – specific to us. We each have (at least) one.

This is different from, for example Jesus. Who is not my personal guide. He is a soul in the category that the esoteric schools call the “ascended masters”. He’s up there doing his thing with Buddha, Merlin etc. They are beings who are available for communication with anyone who wants it (if you can receive such high frequencies)! But they’re not specific to you like your own guides.

You could think of it this way. If you want the most direct coaching on this life incarnation—what you’re here to do, and who you’re remembering you are— then you’re going to get maximum effectiveness with your own guide team.

If you can’t find them, Jesus is like a “universal guide” that anyone can use. Kind of like if you forget your gym clothes and need to borrow one from the shared box.

So your personal guides won’t be “famous”. If Jesus is telling you that you’re the special one and you’re the only one that can hear him, then you’ve definitely missed the point, or the identity of the actual speaker, and therefore the implications of your own egoic grandeur.

They are also not “one person”. Souls are of course not “one person”, they are beings who have lived thousands of lives, and remember them all. So restricting them to a name, or a particular person is useful but not quite true.

Guides also regularly show up as collectives. “They”.

Some psychics and mediums don’t have differentiation between their individual guides. They are simply and always a collective. Sometimes even without names. “The guides”.

Others are personally guided by their own ancestors or relatives. The grandmothers and grandfathers. Even someone who knew, when they’re on the other side, they’re the “transcendent version” of themselves.

Guides are also most definitely not gods. Any soul on the other side looks, feels and sounds completely enlightened to us. Because they are—by our standards. But they are definitely not gods.

Guides are not the answer to everything either. But they are a game changer. Here are some of the reasons why.

Understanding the Utility of Guides

Imagine a cast of enlightened masters who sit on your guidance council, and whenever you’re unsure of what to do, or where to go, or who you are, or what’s true…

You can go and ask them.

And they’ll answer.

They are an access portal to your soul power. They help you understand where your true power lies, and gently ease you away from the mistaken assumptions you’ve made as you’ve stumbled along unguided, and developed habits that while necessary to create, are now the obstacle that is the way.

They are so good at guiding you because…

One. They live outside of time and space.

As souls not bound to the physical dimension of reality, they are not bound by time and space. These are very challenging concepts to write in language. Their awareness and consciousness are not limited to a single point of time and space (like our embodied consciousness), thus, they are able to see all spaces, and all times simultaneously.

This is utterly minding bending to us, but utterly normal to them.

The result is that they see it all. In English we would say they are omniscient – they see everything. Therefore, you can trust that wherever they’re guiding you, they’re working from a complete data set.

They really do see the whole game board. And they’re “non-physical entities” (which is a rather ugly term), which means they’re not limited by matter. They can “be” anywhere, because “where” (spatial location) is a construct they live outside of. This means…

Two. They see the purpose of everything.

This is the nature of their dimension in fact, and where the whole “outside of time and space” thing starts to bear fruit. They see the purpose of the movement of things (beings) through space and time.

Why do we evolve and change? What is the purpose of life? Where are we heading? Why is life so damned challenging!? Why does something exist, rather than nothing?

They see it all. Like a great mirrored river delta, they see why one molecule of water flows from here to there. It is self-evident from their perspective.

Purpose starts with the end in mind. Literally. It’s hard coded into the deep structure of reality. When you see the whole game board—why the river flows into the ocean, and its circular life—then the neuroticism of the water molecule who “doesn’t know if he’s on purpose”, is easily solved.

“Keep going little watery one! You’re doing great!”

This is often the spirit of the answer they give me when I ask them the question I’ve asked them most over the last few years.

“Am I on track – on the soul path? Am I doing the right things?”

“Yes, you are on right track Ewan. Keep going!”

This is a complete game changer.

Whenever the existential doubt clouds your life, and shit gets hard, and nothing seems to be working the way you thought it would, then you can just go and ask straight up. And they can give you a straight up answer. And it will be true (or at least exactly as true as you need).

Three. They have no judgement.

None. It doesn’t exist in their reality (its actually exclusive to ours). For judgement to exist, it must be fed by its twin flames of fear and pain. When you see everything and its ultimate purpose you are no longer governed by these things, even though it is hard for us to imagine such a reality.

No, your guides will never judge you. They will never punish you. There is zero retribution in the “afterlife” if you don’t do what they say.

The one and sole purpose for their guidance of you is love. They love you deeply, utterly and unconditionally. This is their motivation in its entirety. And the most loving thing they can possibly do in their 5th dimensional reality? Help you be you. This means…

Four. They are the perfect coach for you.

In fact, you mutually chose each other before you were even born (well, some of them at least). They know you – the very heart of your soul. They have complete access to your embodied memories from every single moment of every single life you’ve ever lived (outside time and space remember). And most importantly, they know what you’re here to do specifically.

They live in the purpose realm, where the purpose of everything is revealed. And they’ve signed up to coach you specifically in achieving the purpose you came here to live.

They coach you away from distraction (the false path) and toward the golden path of purpose (the direction your soul decided to go in this life).

They know when to be gentle and when you need to be challenged. And because it’s all done through unconditional love, it’s unbelievably skilful guidance. Because they’re not just coaching you toward your mission objectives. They’re coaching you toward yourself and your own awakening. They can do this because…

Five. They know how to unlock all your magic powers.

Because they know you inside out, future and in past, they know exactly how to unlock your soul gifts (and of course in particular, the one’s you’re set up to awaken in this life).

They principally do this by helping to plug you into your own inner knowing and being. Then they guide you (at the pace you want) along the path, down into the shadows where the roots of your gifts lie, through their illumination and unfoldment, and into the fruiting of your magical powers.

This used to be the norm, back in the day. It was the most unremarkable thing for folks to be chatting along with their guides and doing magic. It’s only because of our current cultural location on the great archetypal wheel, that we find this utterly remarkable (or outrageously preposterous).

They can do this for you, in this moment in history precisely because this dimension of ourselves has been culturally hidden (supressed). In other words, we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be as a culture on the cusp of a great remembering of our magical nature.

This is all to say that they are a game-changer

They change the game the game of life, in which we are all players.

Imagine playing a deeply immersive multiplayer VR computer game. And you’ve been playing this game for years.

And you discover a secret setting on your console that dials you into a team of other folks who are outside of the game (think outside the matrix), know the game inside and out (they’re ex-players, total pro league), and are signed up to help you play, specifically.

They know the cheat codes. They know your character strengths and weaknesses (and those of everyone else). They have all the walkthroughs for the missions and quests. They know every line of every piece of code. And they know the actual purpose of the game – which is not what the payers take it to be!

Would this change the way you played the game?

Well, when you realize that this “imagined game” is the actual imagined game, and that imagination itself is one of the master keys to the deep code of the game…it will.

The Astral Keys and the Initiate’s Path

Why am I really writing this?

First for me. This article is me coming out of the closet to myself. There’s nothing like writing it down to make it real! And simply the process of doing so has changed me further.

It’s also of course, a coming out of the closet to you. In the specific case – you dear reader – and in the general, to the public world at large. I am very aware of taking this step.

Most honestly though, this is for us.

The collective soul-plan is getting stuck into a whole new chapter of our story.

We’re getting the astral keys back – the ones that give us direct experience of the world of spirit and soul. Our world is going to look very different in the coming decades. And holy fuck is it intense and challenging down here right now. For all of us. Difficulty level 10 and still rising.

I have come to understand that the capacities that will be a foundation of that new world are essentially magical — things our culture doesn’t believe in, but which many of us are currently awakening to.

In other words, I know I’m not the only one.

And so much of the path ahead has to do with our togetherness, a community not created upon old empire structures, but a tribe—a soul family.

It is also a return to a deep structure of the spiritual path. One that isn’t based upon scripture or social hierarchy, but upon the structure of reality itself. This is what alchemists mean by the “initiatory path”. That is, the teacher of the path is you and your own soul.

As moderns we can think this means doing it all ourselves. Or at least with the help of therapists, books, spiritual teachers, weekend workshops etc.

But the truth that the hermeticists, shamans and yogis knew is that the true teachers of the initiatory path are the spirits themselves.

They are the “non-physical” teachers – the guides that truly know exactly what we need to awaken. They’re just as real as you or I. But you have to practice the old technologies to remember how to communicate with them.

We need the human teachers too, and our brothers and sisters who walk the same paths. My shamanic teacher Simon said that his teacher, Michael Harner, said that the greatest gift you can give another is the gift of “shamanic journeying”.

He’s given me that gift. And it has been a most marvellous and precious one, opening up the gateways to the kosmic highways.

But I can’t give you the same gift. My way into these realms has been (in typical Ewan fashion) somewhat idiosyncratic. And I can’t in all integrity give you “the methodology I use”, because I don’t fully understand it myself yet.

The greatest gift I can imagine giving you, is the phone number for your own spirit guides. Unfortunately, I don’t have a list of those either. So what do I have?

I have a conviction that the number does exist. And the astral telephone you require to dial it is real, and you already possess it. And that the choice to believe that and create the intention to speak with them is yours to make (basically whenever you want).

How can we trust them? (I had to work a lot with this).

For all the reasons I’ve given, and because they are us. The guides are us. They’re just the same. Our brothers and sisters. They’re just in a different part of the cycle, playing a different role in act of the great play. It’s completely obvious when you meet them.

They constantly surprise me and make me feel like a little child. But one who is loved and adored completely, without exception, and with the encouragement to be and express.

I heard a man who had had a NDE (Near Death Experience) describe the meeting with some of his guides on the other side. He said it was like meeting someone who you idolise – and your admiration is just off the charts. And they feel the exact same way about you.

That’s how invested they are in your success – you succeeding at the things you came here to do and learn, the person you came here to be and feel. This is the focus of their motivation, why they are your guides. And the substance of the whole thing is love. Pure spiritual love, with no ifs or buts.

As a culture, we now like to moralise about the “human rights” that each of us is entitled to. Well, this is even deeper than a human right. It’s a soul right. And exercising your right to spirit guidance is something you can actually do (no external permission required).

You simply have to be aware that doing so will initiate a soul rite. A rite of passage into your deeper nature, and all the memories of who you are, that you’ve forgotten.

So I hope that somehow, over the next (probably years) I work out how to get really effective at helping you meet and have a relationship to your own guides (if you want to).

I tried being a coach. I was pretty good at it. I had to stop, I didn’t know why. Now I do.

It’s not because I don’t believe in coaching (I really do, in fact very deeply in a very material way). It’s that the most effective coaches I now know are “non-physical beings”. They’re spirits. Souls who have mastered the incarnation game such that they choose to give themselves to the guidance of their brothers and sisters – us.

There are more specific things they are asking me to share. Both big picture stuff, and detailed code.

But I first had to set the stage for all of that. Which is to say, that from now on it won’t really be a solo record. Many of the words I want to share are “from the other side”.

So, let’s say it’s going to be a collaboration from here on out. Me + Guides.

And the purpose of the collaboration is to help – to serve those of you that are having your own far-out journeys. And those of you that are called to and confused about how to do so.

To bring back the magic that was lost to us, we have to remember who the original teachers are—the guides, the spirits.

So may it be.



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Ewan Townhead

I hope you enjoyed the article. If you're interested further in my work, you can find out more about me here, and my coaching here.

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  1. Avatar

    Great to read, Ewan. So how might I contact Simon and follow in your footsteps to find my own path, please?

    Annie 😊

  2. Avatar

    Interesting Ewan. Has a few echoes for me and the timing is also interesting. I feel like I am being prepared for my next steps which I am not totally clear about but I mostly trust the process I am in. Courageous and helpful writings. Thanks, William

    • Ewan Townhead

      Thanks William. Glad there was synchronous timing for you! Very curious to hear about your own explorations whenever ready to report!

  3. Avatar

    Hi Ewan
    Great story
    Puja and I have talked about being in touch with our guides for many years.
    But after reading your article, I would love to deepen that connection
    Any suggestions would be gratefully received
    I feel, I am entering a new phase in my life’s journey

    • Ewan Townhead

      Delighted to read this Udgar. I’ll message you with some suggestions.

  4. Avatar

    Thank you, Ewan. I am glad to see that you have reached your next stage. Thank you for sharing that with the rest of us! I am looking forward to hearing more of your journey.


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