There is a lot of conflicting information about angels and spirit guides online, so I thought it would be helpful to write down my understanding of angels and spirit guides, as taught to me by Spirit.

I was prompted to write this when a friend of mine asked me what is the difference between angels and spirit guides? My friend explained that she’d always thought spirit guides and angels were kind of “one and the same”.

It is true that both angels and spirit guides are non-judgemental beings who offer assistance to us in our physical lives. They are spiritual beings of the highest truth and energy, working on our behalf to assist us for our highest good. However they are quite different in the roles and assistance they offer us.

Spirit Guides

The main role of a spirit guide is to give us guidance in practical matters. They do this with compassion and love.

We can have many spirit guides, and the numbers can fluctuate throughout our lives, depending upon what we need at different stages of our lives. Different guides have different specialties, or skill sets. For example, if you have lost your joy in life, one of your guides will come in and help you to reclaim your fun, joy in life. Once you are back in balance in their area of expertise, they will tag-team out with another guide who has skills in another area that you now need help with.

Spirit guides are uniquely qualified to help guide us in our lives because they themselves have had many experiences of a human existence. Obviously they are now highly evolved beings, and no longer reincarnate on Earth, but because of this, they have endless compassion and understanding for our situations and struggles.

Spirit guides don’t need your permission to help you in an emergency situation, however generally speaking you will get the most benefit from asking for help, and working in conjunction with your spirit guides.

People often think that their spirit guide is a loved one who has passed. This is absolutely not the case. As mentioned before, spirit guides are highly evolved beings who no longer incarnate into human lives. We often have loved ones around us and looking over us after they have passed, but as they are on the same experience level as us, they are limited with what they can teach us.

Spirit guides can change throughout your life depending on what you need guidance with, although it is not uncommon to have one guide in particular who stays with you for many decades, if not your entire lifetime.


The main role of an angel is to keep you safe, giving us protection and offering us enlightenment.

Everyone has at least one angel connected to them, and these angelic beings will step in to help us when we are in need.

Angels are able to help us with compassion and empathy because they have experienced a physical existence on the earth plane before, albeit a long time ago. *They are not to be confused with Archangels, who have not existed on the earth plane before.

Unless it is an emergency, angels generally require your permission and acknowledgement to help you.

An angel is not a loved one who has passed over. Same as spirit guides, angels are highly evolved beings who no longer incarnate into human lives. They are more highly evolved and advanced than spirit guides.

Angels are available to you throughout your lifetime. They are not “attached” to us, but they are accessible to us at any time. You can call upon one or more angel or archangel at any point you choose to, and they will guide and assist you.

So, what is the difference between Angels and Spirit Guides?

In my experience, spirit guides are more accessible, more personal. Spirit guides are here to help us with our day to day lives and growth.

I often describe the difference between angels and spirit guides with a school analogy… spirit guides are like the teachers, and angels are more like the principle. Teachers (your spirit guides) are far more hands-on and have direct and frequent contact with you. The principal (angels) steps in with the bigger issues, when more authority is required.

When I am doing a reading, I am connecting directly with spirit guides. When I am doing a healing, I expand my connection to include angels. I do not select the angel; I ask for assistance with the specific situation and the angels that are best suited for our energies and the situation will show up to help.

Both types of spiritual beings have great compassion and love for us, and I hope this has helped you to understand the difference between angels and spirit guides.

Much love,
Carolyn xx