Have you ever noticed that children have a deep connection to a particular animal or a few animals? When a child is asked why she is so in love with the animal you may hear a variety of characteristics that make the animal so attractive to her… but when asked to go a little deeper I often hear, “I don’t know… I can’t explain it.”
Well, perhaps I can help.
My experience practicing Shamanic Reiki has given me humbling encounters with animals, or the essence of the animal so to speak. I always tell the child that the feeling comes from the heart, and we can learn a lot from seeking animal guidance. Steven D. Farmer is a world-renowned healer and shaman. If you’d like to read more about him or about how it works, visit his website, HERE.
To bring this magical healing art to children, he has created Children’s Spirit Animal Cards. These beautifully illustrated cards can act as daily affirmations for the child. They’re easy to use, fun to work with, and will give the child a sweet and helpful message by drawing a card anytime she is curious or needs some advice.
They’re easy to use, fun to work with, and will give the child a sweet and helpful message by drawing a card anytime she is curious or needs some advice.
Farmer’s explanation of spirit animals in the guidebook provided with the cards, helps me to describe their purpose to children:
As for Spirit Animals, they’re not just the animals themselves, but the essence of those animals. They’re an extension and a unique expression of Spirit/God and will convey their messages to you through these cards as well as in other ways. Whenever animals show up in an unusual way, whether in physical form or as a symbol (picture, dream, statue, or a card), you can be sure that Spirit/God has an important message for you that is being communicated through that animal…
My daughters love these cards. Any child, even the more suspicious ones, have found them to be helpful and has drawn their interests. At our home, we often draw one each day. In my classrooms I have set them in a basket with small animal figures, similar to the one that I have with my Parts of a Fox post. The seeds being planted help the child to find peaceful messages, mindful affirmations, and a healthy respect for nature and wildlife.
Here’s how we’ve used them:
The guidebook and the cards are contained in a sturdy little box. Fan the cards out in a long line. The guidebook gives you the option of choosing one, two, or three cards. The child can even ask a question, such as, “How can I feel good about my first day of school.” Or, “What can I do to help my mommy?”
Choosing a single card:
After fanning the cards out, choose one card from the line-up…
And flip it over to see the picture. Read the message that it’s giving you…
Then find the animal in the guidebook. They are in alphabetical order to make it easier. The explanations in the book are child-friendly, and give a natural and emotional description of the animal essence.
One of my ultimate favorite things about these cards is that they give a list of activities to help the child with the message. Butterfly insists that the child should consider the changes/metamorphosis she has experienced, and to be mindful of these emotions by journaling and talking about them.
Choosing two cards:
Choose two cards from the line-up.
And place them side by side. I like to talk to the child about the similarities of the animals and see if the child can interpret what the message is before we read it from the guidebook. This helps the child to trust his intuition and interpretations.
Choosing a three card spread:
I like to show the child how to hover her hand over the cards very slowly to see if there is “heat” or an “energetic change” over a particular one. I’ll play around and tell the child to find the one that is pulling her hand towards it, almost making her hand itch.
Pull one card at a time, each time hovering the hand over the cards.
I always laugh out loud to this one.
Lay them side by side and consider the animals and their messages together as a group before consulting the guidebook.
Most importantly, believe in the magic. As I always tell the child… you will feel it in your heart more than you’ll see it with your eyes.
An audio of spirit animal stories are also available: