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Otherworld Guides

“I was guarded”. Many people share this experience. It might happen in extraordinary circumstances, but also in everyday situations and in near death experiences. Some people are convinced that their whole life was shaped by some sort of Guardian, as the famous psychologist C.G. Jung. The guide figure or protector (guardian angel) is related to Greek and Roman ideas of the personal daimon. These otherworld guides however are much more than friendly guardian angels.


Carol Zaleski writes in “Otherwordly Journeys” the advent of a guide is therefore a crucial event for most medieval otherworld vision; she says that “mere departure from the body does not suffice to make the (newly deceased) soul a fullfledged citizen of the next world…in Victor Turner’s phrase, ‘the soul is bewixt and between…an otherworld guide is usher the immigrant soul into its new surroundings. In the return-from-death-story, the soul’s assimilation into the other world is, by definition, incomplete, yet the temporary visitor would be lost without the services of an experienced escort, capable of interpreting alien sight” (Carol Zaleski, Otherworld Journeys, pages 52-53).

If we take this further there are a lot of implications about the true meanings of Guardians and the hidden patterns in our lives.

If the Otherworld Journey is a crucial moment for the guiding angel what’s his function during our life-time? The most common belief is that guiding angels are protecting us; “my Guardian Angel saved me”.

But maybe this is part of a larger pattern, the preparation of the soul for the next world during lifetime. It’s interesting that the guide is also an interpreter; it sounds like the guide who helps you to understand rules and conditions in an exotic country.

Some visionary encounters and modern unexplained (UFO) encounters could be seen in a different light if we assume that we have a companion in life, either a personal daimon, a guardian angel or a psychopomp. This guide might visit us in different disguise. Perhaps he wants to teach us something about the otherworld in our lifetime. Certainly a lot of supernatural encounters in the forest look like some reminder of the nextworld.

The aliens or former fairies and demons might be not some strange visitor, but something very familiar. It could be somebody who was already here all the time.

Carol Zaleski says, “at the same time, the presence of the guide is a sign of continuity between the otherworldly journey and the spiritual path in life” (Otherworldly Journeys, page 55).

The need for a guide appears not only in Near Death Experience but also in dreams or meditation, Mrs. Zaleski thinks. “A spiritual guide is as necessary for the living as for the dead”.

It would be an interesting question if when this spiritual guide makes his first appearance in our lives if this has to be always a pleasant experience. It might be also frightening. It could be a moment of recognition, changing our life forever. This is a theme I am dealing with in my movie project.

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