- Religion and Philosophy
How to Help Your Child Contact Their Animal Spirit Guides
Spirit guides are an indispensable part of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. They are since our birth, and sometimes even before that. They come to help us when we need them, and are skilled at knowing just when to stay out things. It is there role to ensure that we get the most out of our human experience, and they are very good at what they do.
Which makes them a great first lesson to teach your children about if you are on a pagan parenting path. I know my son is eager to learn about magick, and that was with no pushing from me. He keeps asking me to teach him spells and various magick, and it's taken me some time to figure out what sort of magick's are safe to teach a child of such a young age. Though after some searching, I realized exactly what kinds of things I could teach him now, that would not only be safe bits of magick, but would be useful lifelong skills.
Those magicks are: Meditation - Smudging - Spirit Guides
The easiest way to teach... is to do...
So while considering ways that I could show these magick's to my son, a situation presented itself that was perfect. My son has been telling me lately that he's afraid to go in his room when the tv is not on, or when it's dark, because he's worried about ghosts. Now, I don't know how much of this is his extensive-imagination, but I do know that real or imagined, his problem can be helped through smudging, meditation and contacting his spirit guides.
This opened up the great opportunity to show him a simple cleansing and help him connect with his spirit guide, who can help keep him protected and reassured that he is always in good hands.
How to do it...
Now, it is my belief that we have plenty of spirit guides who come in and out of our lives as we need them, though I believe that we have one main animal guide or totem who is with us at birth and meant to stick with us throughout our lives. You may have other beliefs and chose to design this ritual to your own families preferences, that is fine.
- You and your child should sit down and do a Grounding & Centering. Speak aloud and walk them through it with you, using easy visualizations.
- Light your smudge stick, or get your sage going in your shell until it's thoroughly smoking. Then take your child around the house in a counterclockwise direction, explaining to them that you should both envision all imbalance leaving your home, spreading the smoke onto everything you can.
- When you reach the spot in your home where you started banishing any imbalances, then take your child back around your home in the opposite direction, explaining to them that you are now calling balanced energy back into your home to protect you all, again spreading the smoking onto everything you can.
- Find a place in your home where you and your child can sit comfortably on the floor with a lit candle. It doesn't have to be dark, and it should be comfortable for both of you.
- Cast a basic circle of protection, being obvious in all that you do so that your child gets a sense for what you are doing. Simplify your circle casting for the level of understanding you feel your child has. A good example would be to help them visualize a strong white bubble forming around you two or your whole house as you cast and call. Nothing comes in or goes out with your permission.
- Light the candle (of any color you think appropriate, I would use white myself), and ask for the protection of your preferred deities and ask that your animal guide and your child's come to connect with you.
- Have your child close their eyes. You can do so also, or you can keep an eye on your child if that feels better. Take them through a short meditation journey to meet their animal guide. You could use a journey that goes something like this: "Focus on your breathing, in and out. Now picture yourself in a place where you feel the most happy. Where are you?..." (wait for answer).... "Good, now I want you to picture yourself getting comfortable in this place. It's safe, warm and has everything you need... Now I want you to ask your animal guide to come and say hello. You can do this out loud or in your head..." (wait a moment for child to ask out loud or in their head)... "Sometimes you will hear them say hello, but most times you will just see them at first. Do you see your animal guide?" (wait for reply, which will hopefully be yes.) "Good, do you know what kind of animal it is?" (wait for reply) "Good. Do you feel safe around your (insert animal here) guide?" (wait or reply, hopefully yes) "Now I want you to ask if your animal guide has a name, and what that name is if they have one." (wait a few moments) "Does your guide have a name?" (wait for reply) "Good. Now I want you to really look at your (insert animal here) guide named (insert name here if they have one). They are here to help you with anything you could possibly want help with.... They will do their best to always keep you safe and prepared.... Is there anything you want their help with now?" (wait for answer) "Good, now ask them politely if they will help you with your need." (wait) "Now thank them for their help, and for showing themselves to you."
- Allow your child to take a few minutes to chat with their animal guide if that feels right to them. When they are done, have them help you close the circle. Thank any deities you invited for protection or magickal aide, snuff out the candle, thank the elements, and whatever else you would normally do while closing your circle.
- Have them help you put away any ritual supplies so they can learn proper care for them.
- Then assure your child that their guide will help them with anything they asked for, no matter how strange, silly or imaginative you may think the request to be.
Alternative Meditation Journey
If you feel your child would benefit more from structure in their meditation, I do have an alternative option for you....
"Picture yourself in a forest. There are lots of tall trees, pretty flowers and it's bright and full of sun light.... Look ahead of you, and listen, you can hear water ahead of you.... You go that direction and find yourself now in an open meadow near a slow moving river. It's beautiful out there by the lake and there is a log just by the waters edge, that looks perfect for sitting on... Go sit on the log and calm yourself. Take a few deep breaths (wait) and then ask for your animal guide/totem to come and greet you. Have they appeared? (wait for reply) Good, what type of animal is your guide? (wait for reply) Wonderful, do they have a name you can call them by? (wait for reply) Good. (Insert name here) is your (insert animal here) guide, and he/she is here to help you whenever you need them. They will protect you and keep you safe as best as they are able. (pause) Do you have anything you would like your guide to help you with? (Let them ask or say they do not have a request) After you have a moment to ask them, if you feel it's right, you can hug (insert name here) like a favorite aunt or uncle.... Now it's important to thank your guide for their help and then let them know it's time for you to go."
"All ya have to do is call...
When ya need me... I'll be there!"
Okay, enough with the mo-town. It's important after taking your child through all this, to remind them that whenever they need help, their animal guide is there for them. Whether they need help with homework, getting in contact with other people, working magick or getting rid of boogey's under the bed, their spirit guide can help them. All they have to do is close their eyes and meet with them again, and remember that even when they can't see their guide, he/she is always there with them.