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How to Tell The Difference Between Ghosts, Angels, and Loved Ones

identify angels How to Identify Angels & Tell Them Apart From Lower Vibrational Beings

Have you had a spiritual experience? A visitor from beyond the physical?

Whether you are aware of it yet or not, everyone at some point or another experiences visits from those who now exist solely in the realms of spirit.

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Because these experiences are “supernatural” and outside of the range of what is “normal” within physical experience, even when meant to be of comfort, or to support you energetically, consciously meeting a spiritual being for the first time can be a bit unnerving because it is in the realm of the unknown.

This uncomfortableness with the unknown is even further amplified when the being who is present does not serve in alignment with love and light, and is a “cosmic trickster”, or in the case of a ghost has not yet left the earth plane, despite their life ending.

There are spiritual beings who can greatly help you in your life as you continue to walk a path of awakening and increasing awareness.

How can you tell the difference?

How can you identify angels or tell if the spirit who is worth listening to, or if you need to be calling in protection and white light to release them?

It took me a while to learn this… I guess I should clarify and say it took me a while to learn that any spiritual beings were worth my time, because at first I lumped them altogether as “ghosts” and just tried to hide or look away.

It wasn't until after graduating from college, while I was meditating under a tree, that the light filled realms of spirit became apparent to me. It was as if a layer of illusion was pulled back from my eyes and I was finally able to see that yes, there are ghosts and cosmic tricksters, but there are also loving and helpful spirit guides, ascended masters, angels and more.

Some of these beings seek to serve, and some do not. By staying in love and light, and with the right intention we can consciously choose to only connect with and work with those beings who do.

I've first hand witnessed the results of friends and colleagues who chose (consciously or unconsciously) to work with beings who weren't serving in the light (it does not lead to a pretty outcome).

I've also experienced the blessings first hand (and seen the results of others ) who choose to work with high vibrational guides, angels, and ascended masters who do serve with light, love, and in alignment with Divine will.

I personally have been approached by beings on all levels of the vibrational scale at some point or another, and want to take this opportunity to share a bit with you about what I've learned in how to tell them apart, and who you want to avoid… And better yet, whom you want to work with to release lower vibrational beings back into the infinite field of light and love.

I also want to encourage you not to be afraid of any lower vibrational entities, dark beings, or ghosts… These spirits feed off negativity and fear based energy, but the truth of the matter is that love and light are infinitely more powerful. Therefore, if you do feel like a negative being has approached you, or ‘cosmic trickster' is messing with you, just call in a protective shield of Divine light.

You do not have to fight dark beings, but rather by just radiating love, light, joy, and compassion this will automatically dissipate them into the light.

An analogy I like to use is this… If you are in a dark room, there is no need to try to fight the darkness, just light a candle and even the smallest amount of light illuminates the dark. This same principle is true in a spiritual and metaphysical sense. When we shine light, darkness is by default illuminated. The light transforms the darkness into the light as it is released.

Intention and vibration are so important when it comes to identifying spiritual beings.

A benevolent spirit presence may startle you a bit, but it should not be associated with the energy of fear. Rather, you should feel a sense of excitement and well-being or even exhilaration from connecting with loving spiritual beings.

Here are some tips for telling spiritual beings apart.

1. Earthbounds (Otherwise known as Discarnate Spirits or Ghosts)

Encounters with ghosts and earthbound spirits is not a comforting experience, but it is also not one to fear.

My first psychic sense to develop was clairsentience or psychic feeling, which has served me greatly in being able to quickly discern the truth about people and spiritual beings.

When in the presence of earthbound spirits and ghosts, I just feel off… It is like a wave of awkwardness, sadness, fear, or even anxiety washes over me.

You may sense these spirits in a similar or different way. You may see a ghostly human image, feel a chill in the air, or get an eerie feel as if someone is watching you when earthbound are present.

The natural process when humans die is for their souls to cross over into the light. Some souls however resist this transition, especially in the case of sudden shocking deaths, wanting to stay with grieving loved ones, or due to belief systems and fearing judgment from God. ‘

Ghosts and earthbound spirits miss or avoid crossing over into the light, and then they must draw on the energy of people, or physical locations to stay bound to the physical plane.

This is why encounters with earthbound spirits is so draining… Because they are subtly draining you energetically to stay attached to the physical realm.

2. Loved Ones in Heaven

Visits from your loved ones in Heaven, is an entirely different experience than that with ghosts and earthbound spirits. The main difference is that your loved ones in Heaven have crossed over into the light (Heaven) and have returned into direct presence with Source… They have received a great deal of healing, and their energetic being has been restored.

Once spirits have crossed over into the light, they are then able to contact you in the physical realm, with the help of your and their guides and guardian angels.

When a loved one visits you, you may sense, see, hear, feel or even smell their presence. My grandfather still carries the scent of his favorite cologne even though he exists solely in spirit now.

You may also feel a shift in temperature, or suddenly get the chills, as you suddenly think of you loved one, remember certain times you shared with them, or just get the sense they are with you, or watching over you from Heaven.

Ancestors and deceased loved ones may also contact you through a dream, or during meditation to bring you a message of love and encouragement.

Much different from the encounters with earthbound spirits and ghosts, visits from deceased loved ones can be beautiful, healing and positive experiences.

3. Cosmic Tricksters

I use the term ‘cosmic tricksters' to lump together the variety of entities who are not earthbound spirits, guides, angels, ascended masters or loved ones, and who also do not serve according to Divine will in alignment with light and love.

I don’t feel the need to identify them by name here, but rather will just say that cosmic tricksters like to mess with, mislead, and cause all other sorts of trickery and deception for those whom they connect with.

Often cosmic tricksters will be drawn to those who engage in drug or alcohol use, as this creates a subtle (or sometimes huge) crack in the aura field in which they can move in. They also visit those who are engaged in denser vibrational emotions, like jealousy, envy and fear. Or those who want to seek revenge in some way.

Cosmic tricksters may act like angels, or deceased loved ones at first, and they can offer accurate psychic information, and even spiritual teachings while simultaneously draining you energetically or preparing to deceive or mislead you in the future. They cannot however hide their true nature or vibration.

Ask any beings who you connect with if they serve according to Divine will and in alignment with love, light, and for the highest and greatest good. If they do, they will be happy to answer the question and prove themselves, if not… I highly recommend you ask the being to leave, or ask Archangel Michael to release them into the light!

You can also place the intention to only connect with high vibrational beings of love and light. With this intention and by keeping your energy protected with light from the Divine you can avoid unneeded encounters with the cosmic tricksters of the energetic realms.

4. Spirit Guides and Angels

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High vibrational spirit guides and angels on the other hand carry an incredibly high and light vibration, which may even make you feel a bit light headed or disoriented while you adjust to the increase in energy.

When angels come into your presence you may feel a shift in energy, notice a slight breeze, or you may even see a sparkle, orb, or flash of light keying you into their presence.

Your spirit guides and angels are always available to help, whenever called upon… But they will sometimes connect with you without your direct asking, in the cases of emergencies, or when you're in need of an encouraging hug energetically, to help protect and comfort you, or when someone else is praying for you and invites them in.

When angels, spirit guides, or ascended masters make themselves known to you, there is always a reason why. By quieting your mind and opening your heart, you can tune into their love, guidance and healing frequency.

Because angels are protectors, comforters, and healers who are in direct alignment with the Divine, being in their presence will help you to feel loved, uplifted, joyful, and comforted.

Release Lower Vibrational Beings Into the Light

If you do encounter a lower vibrational being, you can simply ask the angels, Archangel Michael, Jesus, and Mother Mary (or other high vibrational spirit guides, angels and ascended masters you’re connected with) to release the lower vibrational beings into the light.

Connecting with the loving guidance of the higher vibrational realms is incredibly healing, uplifting, and will empower you to more fully embody your authentic self and accomplish your purpose.

By staying in a stare of love and joy yourself, and with the intention to connect with high vibrational guides for healing, wisdom, and truth, you can avoid the challenges of dealing with lower vibrational beings while tuning into the blessings of the higher spiritual realms.

To learn more about the angels who work with the deceased, click here and learn about Archangel Azrael.

If you do feel like you've encountered cosmic jokers be sure to check out my post on psychic protection.

You can also learn more about crossing over earthbound spirits into the light by clicking  here! 

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About the author 

Melanie Beckler

Melanie Beckler is an internationally acclaimed best-selling author, channel, and founder of Her books, Angel Messages, Angel Courses and CD's provide a direct link to the love, frequency & wisdom from the Angelic and Spiritual Realms for people around the world.

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  1. Hi Melanie,
    I am not sure where to begin. I am on retirement disability x 4 years. For some reason I am finding myself feeling lost. I have struggled with weight issues, alcohol increases and not feeling good about myself.
    Any suggestions?

  2. i am a healer i feel the energies but i don’t know how to deal with it. please help me . i don’t know what to do. please help me

  3. Ok so back in 2014 I bumped into an earthbound spirit that was cosmic like. To this day I still talk to something but I don’t know what. I use to see the earthbound spirit in a human form. Today I see glitter and orbs in the sky. All the research I be done leads back to it being divine light or angels, etc. So I don’t know if maybe it’s the person on the edge of crossing over or it already did from prayer and good light is watching over me. When I seen the human like form I remember always having conversations with them. But now, its been like a glitter form for a while. But the discussions aren’t really a conversation. So I do t know what I’m talking to. I would really like help. Please and thanks.

  4. Well I believe that seeing pennies around you eg on the window seal floor around my car and on my carpet in my room suggests angels are around you. I am not sure about ghost but in my old house my mother who passed use to live in the home and my house keepers who came to look after me and sister use to say that they saw my mom. I did not really see her but could feel an energy around air. I was not scared slept ok.

  5. I found this article to be very interesting and informative.

    When I was 18 years old (I’m 48 now) I had an encounter that I couldn’t quite explain.

    At the time I was having some pretty deep thoughts about God and “his” true nature. I remember being asleep on my left side and I felt someone put their hand on the side of my head. I could feel the pressure, I could hear the crinkling of my hair and I could hear that muted “sea shell” sound you hear when you cover your ear. As the person took their hand off my head I heard them whisper my name. When I opened my eyes, for just a second, I could have sworn I saw a man standing across the room. He was light gray and somewhat transparent and looked like he was dressed like someone from the 1920’s.

    I could never figure out if he was someone I’ve known previously, perhaps he was my mothers father (he’s the only grandparent I’ve ever met, briefly,when I was 4 years old) or an angel/spirit guide letting me know that my thoughts and beliefs were on the right track. Because of this article I’m beginning to think that he was, in fact, my grandfather.

  6. I have twice had a psychic tune into me. It had a dark kind of paralizing feel to it. I don’t think there was a bad intention though But the feel of Angels is only good and light and joyful.

  7. What a great post! When I was younger I did the Ouija board for fun and for sure encountered a “cosmic joker.” It was a scary experience and I’ve never touched it again! I had no idea about the need for protection or how to feel the difference between spirits and their vibrations. I love this post as it really helps clarify. I hear a ringing in my ears when higher vibrational beings are near and I have come to love the high-pitched sound which is almost like tiny, quick bells. Thanks for all you do with these posts! – Nicole @mindovermessy

  8. Very informative and very rightly timed as today in evening my husband mentioned that he saw some form of cosmic then we immediately prayed and asked for Divine protection and cutting chords ..I think we are trully being watched over by our Guardian Angels and My Sat Guru…Thank You Melanie..Happy New Year 2015..stay blessed ..

  9. I used to see the quick flashes of light once in a while,and never paid it much attention, but ever since my husband had a serious heart attack on Dec. 1st, for which he is not doing well from, I have been seeing the flashes almost every night, when I settle into my recliner to watch tv in the dim lit living room. Saw them several times just this last week, hubby seemed to be feeling worse now, not recovering like he should be doing. Maybe the angels are letting me know they are here for a reason? Thank you for writing this article. I think the flashes I’m seeing is meaningful.

  10. Thank you for this article I really enjoyed it! I lost my husband in a horrible car accident in 2012 on his way to work at the age of 31 and everyday for a year and 1/2 I felt his presence, his energy around me, saw his signs & messages, his face and orbs in pictures all the time, was visited in dreams often and he would communicate and send messages through our 4 year old son. He was earthbound for a year and a 1/2 , he refused to leave because he was trying to help me cope with his sudden and tragic death. I know how long he was earthbound because God blessed me by letting me see heaven open up it’s gates for him that day. The day before this beautiful experience I was speaking to my pastor and I told him that I could feel my husband’s presence all around our home every day and he asked me to talk to him and ask him to please leave and go towards the light so the next morning I went to the beach and did just that. From the bottom of my broken heart I asked him to go rest in heaven and to watch and guide me & our baby always and just as I was talking to him I got the urge to take pictures of the sky. The sky was all dark but there was an opening that was lit up and without knowing why I just started taking pictures. 2 days later as I was going through the pictures on my phone I noticed the sky opening was in the shape of a dove (The Holy Spirit), there was a cloud in a shape of a heart with wings and a huge orb on the sand and each picture after that 1 showed the orb higher and higher until it made it’s way into the sky opening. All pictures were taking from the same exact spot without moving. It was then that I realized why I had taken those pictures… He wanted me to see him going home and automatically I pictured the scene from the movie “Ghost” when Patrick Swayze’s soul leaves the earthrealm and I thought how ironic since this was my husband’s favorite movie. He just had to make his grand entrance the same exact way. After this beautiful experience I stopped feeling my husband’s presence on a daily basis now he comes around during holidays, birthdays, special occasions, anniversaries, when I’m having a bad moment and I’m missing him like crazy or when I call on him for help and guidance. His signs and messages from above are amazing and bring me so much comfort. I never truly believed we could connect with our loved ones until my love passed away and I have to say it’s such a beautiful and heartwarming feeling knowing that he’s always with me and that he waits for our beautiful reunion.

  11. Thank you so much for this article Melanie! This explains a lot for me as I’m learning more and more about my intuitiveness and my empathic abilities to “feel” different energies. As I’ve been learning on my own with these abilities to see, hear, think, and know, I have never come across an explanation of how we can differentiate what energies I feel. I have nobody close to me to talk about these things! However, I do know that there are Angels around me of which I have been working with to strengthen my psychic abilities through Angel tarot cards. Thank you for all of your insight to the other side and Angelic realm! I love your website and articles! You are an Angel! 🙂

  12. thank you so much for the information. Whenever I feel a negative vibration, I always call upon the pure white light of God. I think I’m starting to communicate with higher spirits more now and it brings a lot of happiness and joy.

  13. Good morning,

    I’m not sure if this is relevant to ask . I lost my boyfriend to a sudden heart attack and I held him in my arms as he died..when I use to get into bed being wide awake the bed would vibrate..this happened allot and I use to just lay still and speak in my mind acknowledging him. Is this a good energy vibration or not. Thanks

  14. I woke up around 4:15 am, heard footsteps then felt something gently touch my shoulder . I didn’t feel fear . More like “tripped out” like wow! Then I started experiencing paralysis while asleep I felt an energy lying close to me then as I was waking up I heard a flutter sound! Like something flew away! I didn’t sleep upstairs for a year

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