Talking to Spirit Guides: Dialogue Journaling

I believe that when we undertake to channel Reiki, or conduct any other significant spiritual endeavor, we stand on the shoulders of giants. Our teachers, ancestors, guardian spirits, and the great Source all support our soul-centered journey, and I always invite clients to call their own guides into the room. There are many methods for connecting with supportive wisdom both during and outside of a Reiki session. Here we look at what I call “dialogue journaling.”

Connecting with my guide, Snake

Green Driftwood Snake

Hand-painted driftwood representation of my guardian Snake

One particular guide that I often call upon is my “power animal,” a Green Snake. In recent years I have been lucky enough to open up an active dialogue with this totem, so that I do not only pray for help but actually receive answers. This is what Tim Kelly calls “direct access” to Spirit, or two-way communication. One very straightforward, consistently successful, and profound way to do this is through dialogue journalling.

Unlike traditional journaling, in dialogue journaling, you wait for a force outside yourself (or inside yourself – if you like, you can think of it as your deep subconscious), to answer. Like a screenplay, you use role names and colons to engage in a dialogue. You name the second player and create space for her to answer your questions. Your dialogic partner can be a deceased ancestor, a power animal, your God, or any other force you believe in. You could simply call it “Spirit,” or wait for an unknown player to identify itself. The method is somewhere between Voice Dialogue and Jungian active imagination, but it’s you and your Higher Power. (In another post, I will share how I came to know the Snake and methods for doing the same for yourself).

A Real Example of Dialogue Journaling

Here is an example of what it looks like:

Seth: Snake Father, I sit quietly on this bench under this tree, on this Thursday afternoon. Will you come speak with me?

(pause and wait)

Snake: Will you listen?

Seth: I will listen. I will try to keep my cloudy mind out.

Snake: Good. Your cloudy, overthinking, planning mind is a distraction to me. What if there were no to-do lists, just strawberry fields? What if you stopped trying to fix your finances, fix your pants, fix your calendar, fix your community? What if for one, brief, brilliant instant you KNEW that it was perfect, as it can only be, and you simply celebrated the act of being alive? Stay with me…

Seth: Something makes me uncomfortable.

Dialogue Page from Seth's Journal

Page directly from my journal showing dialogue between my everyday self (“I”) and higher power (“S”)

Snake: The removal of will.

Seth: Sure. My temple aches.

Snake: Because you exert control you were never granted. It’s like ESP for your whole life. False straining against a world you cannot control. Getting and spending we lay waste our powers. Your power is to build, to create, to heal, to cook.

Sizzle. Pop. Cry. Celebrate. Dance. Stimulate.

Don’t downgrade yourself or others.

Don’t be so f*#%!ng drama. Be fulfilled.

and so forth…

Until the conversation slows down, the wisdom ebbs, and you gratefully and graciously take your leave.

It can feel a bit odd at first, but it really yields magic. There isn’t space here to address the question, “Is it for real?” But notice the cadence, the pushiness, the teasing forthrightness, and the odd use of phrases like “strawberry fields” and “ESP for your life.” Spirit doesn’t talk like normal folks – for those who know me, the Snake voice is definitely not my daily speech pattern.

I encourage you to try it out if you like. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear much at first. Spirit can be reticent to talk. I am happy to answer questions if you have them. Email me at or use the online inquiry form.


(Credit be to Jonathan Gustin’s Integral Awakening Group in SF and Tim Kelley’s True Purpose book for introducing me to this technique)










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