Symbols - What does heaven look like


A guardian is a security creature that prevents unauthorised access to areas of the spiritual world.  It is thus essentially a good spirit, however fearsome it may appear.  Guardians should therefore not be fought.  Apart from being pointless, it rather defeats the whole point of having security in the spiritual network.

Some of the guardians which are seen are truly terrifying, but they have to appear that way to discourage travellers from venturing any farther when they are not allowed to. That said they are not without spiritual teeth.   In general if you are allowed access to an area you will not see a guardian.

But, one of the highly complex aspects of the spiritual word is that demons can look like Guardians.  And demons need to be fought.  A person may encounter truly terrifying monsters in their journey around the spiritual world, but very often these are their own demons or the demons of others they have been unfortunate enough to encounter.  Demons are bad processes, even at worse evil programs.  Usually human invented they are symbolic representations of processes like torture or cruelty  and so on.  The traveller is expected to eradicate demons when he/she meets them.  Thus for demon read ‘evil or bad program’ and if they are your demons, it is for you to defeat them.  When George fought the dragon, it is possible he was fighting his own inadequacies.

How to tell the difference?  Guardians are generally found near portals, demons not.  But challenging them and finding out the context helps too.  The only guardian not found near a portal is a virus checker, but if you are not a virus you have nothing to fear from them.

I know that this sounds as if I am talking about a computer game, but computer games developers have borrowed from spiritual concepts

The Literalisation of guardians

As with all the other sorts of security, the existence of guardians in the spiritual world is celebrated and recognised in our material form based world by physical representations of what has been ‘seen’.  Thus we might find that a statue of a three headed dog is created to show people what the guardian seen in the vision was like.  In an age when people could not read, they were reliant on images and as such painters, sculptors and so on were commissioned to portray these spiritual beings in order that people could understand the spiritual world better.

The culture becomes richer and the understanding better, but the images – the stone figures and paintings are not ‘worshipped’ as some would believe – especially if they represent a guardian.  They are simply celebrated.

For example, in the Shinto religion, shrines are locations and institutions which formally mark the presence of a spirit, known in Shinto as a Kami.  Shrines can be huge, spreading across a mountain, as is the case of the Fushinu Inari shrine, or they can be tiny.  Shrines do not have to be buildings, any place is potentially the abode of a kami, trees, rocks and other natural objects may in themselves mark the presence or be the abodes of kami and can therefore serve as shrines without needing buildings.  Mount Miwa near Nara, for example, is regarded as an object of worship in itself.  There are sacred places where the kami reside and which are empowered by them.  Often it is myth or legend which has determined their significance.

By each shrine, priests and people may place 'guardians'.  These are actual statues depicting the guardians perceived to be protecting the spirit at that point.  They are thus symbolic, but in a sense they are also symbolic of a symbol, as the presence of a fierce animal in visions, for example, is itself a symbol.  Guardians can be dogs, lions usually fierce like komianu or dragons.  Other stylised statues of animals may also be found.

So by looking at the statues and the paintings, we often get a better understanding of what these creatures looked like to a priest under trance or a shaman, than if we read books about them.  I have thus tried to include some example paintings on the website, to show you what the shaman may have ‘seen’. 

Types of guardian

There are literally millions of guardians in the spiritual world, but some have been immortalised because several people appear to have had visions of the same guardian. 

In terms of the classification of these millions of individual security spirits, there are some classifications that appear to occur quite regularly and I have also added to the symbol section a description of thes types, describing any individuals within their main type.  I have also added a ‘hybrid’ section because there are clearly some guardians that are unclassifiable, being a bit of everything.

The main classifications are: 

  • Dragons – guard tunnels and caves
  • Guardians of the diamond
  • Guardians of the underworld
  • Guardians of the web
  • Giants – guardians of the Zodiac
  • Guardians of the Cardinal directions
  • Miscellaneous guardians



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