My name is Ighei Stormwolf. This is not the name I was born with. It is the name which I have come to know myself by, the name which I use to commune with my Guides. I consider myself a Native American Spiritualist, though I have little heritage, and none verifiable, to back that claim via lineage. My beliefs are complex, but straightforward. I believe that the soul is able to exist outside the body, but must know that it can, or it perishes with the body. There are no such things as good souls or bad, they are just souls. Some are predatory, some are defenders, some are leaders, some are teachers. All souls can choose to ascend beyond our plane, and with every birth of every animal, a new soul is born. A soul can also choose to return to us as a guide, or in dire straights, as a leader of men. Few ever make this choice, as it means the sacrifice of a newborn soul to make way for the old. Souls can choose to visit us in dreams, in our thoughts, or even speak to us directly in visions.
Those souls which speak to us are known as Guides. One may have any number of guides, but one does not choose a guide, our guides choose us. That is not to say that we have no control in the matter, as we may choose which guide we follow, and therefore which path we shall walk in life. A guide may choose to visit and lead any number of people. Guides may choose to represent themselves to those they lead in any number of ways, a simple urge in the back of your mind, pushing you towards an action; an animal, leading you to a new experience; or as a more human or deistic persona.
All of us have at least one guide, even if we do not commune or even acknowledge them. Guides grow from experience in life, but also in blood. For this reason, your ancestors will rarely, if ever, appear as your guide, at least on a permanent basis. It is due to this quest for greater knowledge and understanding that our guides choose to present themselves to us in their various forms. Their goals are not solely scholarly in nature however. Some, indeed, are predatory, and elicit such behavior in humanity. This is not to say that we are innocent of acts we commit in their name, as it is our choice as to which guides we choose to follow.
When guides choose to represent themselves as animals, they do so according to patterns. Wolves, for instance, are agile and strong in mind and body, but are primarily protectors, not hunters. Bears also represent great strength and defense, but are more solitary in nature. Eagle guides are wise, with a greater affinity for the consequences of one's actions. There are more possible guides and combinations than one could ever hope to count, and each of us have more than one, even if we don't know them.
Two of my guides are fine with my sharing of their names, one wishes to remain anonymous. The two of my guides that agree to share themselves publicly are Tahl, a wolf, and Imri, an eagle. They have been dear friends to me all of my life, and have chosen to allow me to share themselves with others. For now, that is all.