Robert Bremer of Ohio is certified hypnotherapist, reflexologist, and podcaster who covers topics from healing to spirituality. In his research Bremer has found that throughout the world, various cultures have all possessed traditions related to spiritual guidance. In the following article, Bob Bremer highlights a few poignant spirit guide traditions in several cultures.
Every society, regardless of where they are in the world, has its own set of beliefs when it comes to higher powers. Some believe that there is only one higher power that watches over all of mankind, while others believe that individuals have their own spirit “family”- with guides that direct them through life explains Robert Bremer of Ohio.
Spirit guides have a strong presence through history and are celebrated throughout many different cultures around the world. Though each representation is similar in multiple aspects, it’s in their nuances that the beauty of each individual tradition lays.
Native American Spirit Guides
Commonly referred to as “totems”- spirit guides in Native American culture are held to the utmost significance. In the beliefs of some tribes, it is thought that each person has numerous animal spirit guides that help them maneuver through life providing support to the individual when needed says Bob Bremer of Ohio.
Despite the number of guides, there is an overarching belief in a majority of tribes that each person has one singular totem that serves as their main astral substance. This is said to be bound to an individual for life and will serve them through each hardship as a continual navigator and support system.
Robert Bremer of Ohio says that these guided energies can aid in the cultivation of skillsets, act as a source of comfort during particularly rough times, give courage when needed, and serve as an extension of self-overall. One of the most important aspects of Native American belief is that they are not chosen – the link between guide and person occurs naturally.
Philippine Spiritual Entities
Prior to Spanish colonization, the Filipino people were strong believers in the fact that all things have spirits. They believed that spirits encompassed not only human lives, but inanimate objects and natural materials well reports Robert Bremer of Ohio.
It goes without saying that the Filipino people had incredible respect for these spirits, human and otherwise, and believed that they existed to guide those on Earth long after their human journeys have ended.
Known as ninunó, ancestral spirits could be more than just deceased relatives in a family line says Bob Bremer of Ohio. They could also be significant cultural figures, or even a universal spirit of protection.
Depending on the circumstances in which the spirit passed on, they may have negative ties to a family or individual, in which case, seances, or pag-anito’s would be held in order to help send spirits to rest on the other side in peace.
Others, identified as “Diwata” are known as nature guides according to Bob Bremer of Ohio. There are various, unique forms of Diwata, some who “own” portions of land, some who watch over families, and some with a mischievous element who exist solely to cause trouble.
Though a bulk of Filipino spirituality was lost following Spanish colonization, there are some rural and native areas of the Philippines that believe deeply in spirit guides and keep them in their practices to this day.
Robert Bremer of Ohio explains that African spirituality is deeply rooted in the country’s culture, and despite that many regions of Africa lean towards traditional Christian belief systems, it doesn’t overpower that there are areas of the continent where they lean into their traditional, more spiritually inclined, religious systems.
The importance of ancestral intervention cannot be forgotten when discussing African spirit guides. It’s believed that the individual’s bloodline gives the person the guidance and support they need to get through hardship and strife, and that they can give advice and good fortune when honored through shrines, offerings, and rituals.
Some question whether African ancestors are looked at as equal in power to deities and Gods, and the answer to that depends on who is practicing. Some believe that ancestors should be revered to the same importance as a “God”, while others think of them simply as a guide separate from a standard theological system explains Bob Bremer of Ohio.
Africans who practice these beliefs are mainly indigenous and are not bound by one spiritual text (the Bible, etc.), allowing for a flexibility that other cultures do not have.