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How to Distinguish between the Higher Self, Ancestors, Spirit Guides and lower self

Hetepu (Peace & Blessings) Family.

Do you talk to yourself often and if so, are you sure you know who you are talking too? If you’ve read any of my articles and books then you know that we all have ancestors and spirit guides, and that they are actually pretty easy to communicate with! Because the philosophy and theology behind our cultural tradition was lost, metaphysics was rarely taught in the church so a couple of common questions are “how do I know who is talking to me?” and “how do I know if the voice speaking to me is evil or not?” Hopefully, this post will help clarify the subject for you.

First, let me reassure you that you are not crazy. There are spirits that exist all around us and they communicate to us all the time. Communicating with spirits is actually a natural ability that we all have. It is believed that there are three ways that spirits communicate to us and you need to understand the method that works best for you because usually we each have one or two methods of receiving spiritual communication, rarely does an individual possess all three abilities.

If You Talk to Yourself and:



  • You hear voices speak to you in your own environment or within your mind. You are probably clairaudient, which means you receive intuitive information through hearing.

  • You see images, colors, symbols and/or you have prophetic dreams, visions, etc. You are probably clairvoyant, which means you receive intuitive information visually.

  • You have a gut feeling, hunch and/or a sense of knowing. Then, you are probably claircognizance, which means you receive intuitive information through your thoughts.


  • So the question is how do you know the DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPIRIT GUIDES, THE HIGHER SELF who all communicate to us intuitively?


    Well, for starters lets explain all of them.

    The Higher Self or Osar

    Unless you are involved in a spiritual tradition that seeks to make a more active use of your higher self. For the most part, the higher self is usually low key and only intercedes in our daily upon request by delivering us random insights and warnings, which is the reason it is personified as the mummified Osar. Usually the Higher Self speaks to us when we are totally unfocused and doing menial tasks such as taking a shower, washing dishes, driving, folding laundry, etc.

    The higher self usually uses your own voice so when it speaks, it will sound like you are talking to yourself. The only difference between you and your Higher Self is that it will not discourage you or tell you to do something that will bring you harm. The Higher Self usually tells you what you don’t want to hear in a calm and peaceful manner. It is the voice that encourages you to do the right thing. Your Osar usually rests on your right shoulder, as he corresponds to the right hemisphere of the brain.

    Ancestors & Spirit Guides or Aakhu

    Ancestors and spirit guides or aakhu on the other hand speak a little bit differently from our Higher Self because they each have their own personalities. It can be a little hard to distinguish messages coming from your Higher Self and aakhu especially if you are a newcomer.  The best way I have found to distinguish between the Higher Self and aakhu is simply by building a rapport with your aakhu through regular veneration at an ancestral altar (het aakhu), which allows you to ask your akkhu questions and observe their responses. Here you can ask your aakhu to give you special cues to help you to know when it is them. If you are clairaudient you can ask them to identify themselves through their voice, some sound like a bell, etc. If you are clairvoyant you may ask or notice your aakhu through particular images, and so on with claircognizance.

    For instance, I have a particular group of aakhu who announce themselves through ritual drumming, while I have others who make themselves known through old bluesy gospel music, I am talking like Rosetta Tharpe.

    Knowing how spirits communicate with you will help you to better identify them because unlike the Higher Self.  It is my experience that our aakhu do not randomly pop into our awareness unannounced. The aakhu are pretty much on standby like good parents who do not intrude in our life (unless it is an emergency) but allow us to live however we wish.  When called upon they help us to learn from the choices and decisions we have made.

    For instance, as I have mentioned in previous articles, I discovered the Maa Aankh cosmogram through observing my grandmother’s obituary. I attribute this discovery solely to my aakhu (my grandmother, other ancestral spirits and spirit guides) because I had a very loving and strong relationship with my grandmother before she had passed. She was a very religious woman who had always wanted to be a teacher, which she instilled within my mom and myself. Although she was not able to attend college and fulfill her dream, she was an avid reader.  However, I do not recall her reading anything about the Kongo people or the people of Kemet while she was alive. This is not to say that she didn’t but I don’t recall, which leads me to believe that it was a spirit guide that helped me to make this cultural connection. It was my grandmother who acted as a bridge between myself and the spirit guide, and this is how I discovered the cosmogram.

    Another thing I noticed about aakhu is that unlike our Higher Self because they have their own personalities. They also retain their personal likes and dislikes. For instance, our aakhu may not care how we live our life but if they do not agree with a choice we made. They may or may not choose to assist you.  I remember for the longest time I felt as if I was hitting a brick wall until one day I went before my aakhu and told them that Christianity was not working for me, for x, y and z reasons. Almost immediately afterwards, I felt as if I had a breakthrough because I convinced them that what I was doing was going to benefit our family in the long run. However, understanding that our aakhu were once people means that they understand spiritual development, which is the reason they do not intrude in our lives and unless it is an emergency, they will not intercede until called upon. But, like the Higher Self, the aakhu tell us what we need to hear. They are encouraging but real, which is why it is recommended that you speak to your aakhu as you would if they were still physically alive. The one thing to remember about the aakhu is that they support our Higher Self or Osar and encourage us to do what is right.

    Lower Self, Ego-Self or Set

    Now, your lower self or ego-self is the devil or Satan spoke of in most religions but it is not the epitome of evil as organized religions portray it. The lower self or ego-self has gotten a bad rap mainly because most people do not understand that it is tied our subconscious, which means it is totally focused on our physical survival. The reason our ego-self is arrogant and selfish is because it wants to play it safe. Some things you have to understand about the ego-self is that it does not like change and it is very logical to the point that it is illogical. I have told people this before, that I used to work at this job and although it was a decent job. I complained and sometimes after late nights, I would say “I wish I did not have to go in today.” Well, one day I got my wish and was laid off because my ego-self could not discern that I just wanted more sleep. This is why people who understand it describe it as being like a computer that is only as good as its’ programmed or an animal that has to be trained. In the Kemetic tradition, the ego-self was described as being an immature, chaotic and stubborn child, whom the Kemetic sages called Set.

    Now that we understand that our ego-self or lower self is connected to everything we have subconsciously learned from birth (both good and bad). We can see that we all have a Set who does a great job when it comes to protecting us, protecting our interest and helping us to physically but anything beyond that, Set fails "epiclly".

    Now, we have all met our Set and probably did not know it. Anytime you want to do something and there is an opposing voice that comes and discourages you from doing so, that is our Set. Set is our personal saboteur. For instance, you see someone you are interested in talking to, Set will discourage you by using whatever you subconsciously fear. If you think you are not tall enough, then you Set will tell you the person is not interested in you because you are too short.  If you think that you are a 5 and the other person is a 10. Set, will tell you this person is out of your league, and so on. Set is the voice who discourages you from reaching your full potential. Your Set is usually perched on your left shoulder, as he corresponds to the left hemisphere of the brain.

    Negative Spirits or Aapepu

    Just like there are positive spirits, there are also negative spirits and these spirits are called Aapepu. Unlike aakhu, aapepu are unevolved human spirits. Many of them made costly unwise choices while alive and they will usually encourage us to make the same mistakes that they made in their life. Most aapepu do not communicate very smoothly and when they are around the environment is usually stressful, uncomfortable, unpleasant, depressing or vampire-like vibe that sucks the joy out of things.

    Another thing about aapepu is that unlike aakhu who understand that growth is the result of maturity and development. Aapepu support the lower self or Set and encourage us to do what is Easy, which is the reason why their advice usually leads to accidents, mishaps and all sorts of chaos.

    Usually, most aapepu are very invasive and you can sense that they are near because you will feel as if you are being spied upon, watched, and/or touched by someone who is yucky. You may feel the hair on the back of your neck stand up or you may feel as if you just walked into some cobwebs.

    Although the horror film industry has convinced the public to fear these entities. The reality is that we bump shoulders with aapepu all the time but, because they are low dwelling spirits.  They will not stick around us for long. It is sort of like children being in a room full of adults who talking about budget and finances. It aapepu do happen to stick around, it is because we are actively engaged in low energy activities. For instance, if you are hanging with people who engage in criminal activities, then you will most likely encounter a number of aapepu and probably need to do regular spiritual cleansings. If not, you may have a string of bad luck experiences such as being in the wrong place at the wrong time, sudden unexplainable losses, etc.

    Just to recap.

    The Higher Self or Osar

    If you receive a brilliant idea, message, flash of insight, etc. just out of the blue, most likely it is coming from your Higher Self or Osar.  Remember, the Higher Self pops up during mundane and menial tasks to give you encouraging, supportive and wise words, like “Stop here”, “Turn right!”, “Do ____ to change _____.”

    Ancestors & Spirit Guides or Aakhu

    Unless it is an emergency, they usually appear when called upon but do not dictate what you should do with your life.  When your aakhu appear you may see their face in your mind's eye, hear their voice, reminded of them through a favorite cologne or perfume they used to wear, etc.  The aakhu offer encouraging words like a good parent such as, “You may not want to do ____ because of what happened the last time.” “It’d be wise for you to stay at your current job instead of taking the other.”

    The lower self, ego-self or Set

    Gives you discouraging and negative advice based upon your subconscious fears to play it safe by saying, “I can’t do _____.” Set sits on your left shoulder.

    Negative Spirits or Aapepu

    Give you that creepy feeling as if someone is spying or watching you and will make you feel as if your hair is standing up on the back of your neck. To remove these spirits a simple prayer and the burning of high energy incense (e.g. frankincense, etc.) will encourage them to leave.

    Hope that helps.

    Hetep

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