Are you ready for the first official installment of Raising Spiritual Children? In this series, I take you on my journey of teaching my daughter about the metaphysical world – the world of energy and the unseen.
***Links in this post are amazon affiliate links – meaning if you purchase something from clicking on the link I will get a small percentage but the price will remain the same for you***
When I was a kid, probably around middle school, I bought my first set of cartomancy cards – cards used for the purpose of divination – a deck of Animal Cards. Something that seemed rather tame and not too “scary”, as tarot cards or other oracles cards can sometimes be labeled (although we all know that they are not really frightening at all).
With that in mind, I set out to get a set of Animal Cards for my daughter to start with. I feel like children are naturally drawn to the animal world and finding ways to incorporate animals into our spiritual journey is an easy way to broach the topic.
What Animal Cards Teach
With animal cards you can cover two areas of metaphysics pretty easily – the use of symbolism and the use of cards as a divination tool.
Animals have been important to the human race for millennia and the cave drawings in ancient times showed that they were used symbolically as well. See – here is another benefit of starting with animal cards – whenever your history lesson comes upon a culture that reveres a specific animal, you can look to the cards to see what characteristics that animal has and what they symbolize for that culture (like the unicorn on the stamps found in Mesopotamia).
Using animal cards for divination is also a helpful way to get children used to the idea of shuffling or moving cards around and asking their guides or angels or their higher self for which animal guide can help them get through their work for the day. It is easier for children to picture animals helping them with their school work than a general energetic concept.
There are some more practical reasons I chose to focus on using animal cards instead of traditional tarot cards to start. If you are prudish or don’t want to expose your child to naked female bodies, you may want to avoid traditional Rider-Waite tarot cards. Also, tarot cards are 78 cards whereas animal decks normally have less included, meaning it is easier for little hands to shuffle.
This is not to say that I do not let my daughter use tarot cards, they just aren’t our first focus right now. You will have to wait for a different post where I discuss which tarot decks I prefer to use for my daughter (hint, they usually have animals on them), as she does have some favorites.
Animal Card Decks
Okay, but what about animal decks – which decks do we actually use?
My first animal deck was Jamie Sams and David Carson’s Medicine Cards. I loved this deck and still have my original copy today (thanks dad for saving them for me!). These cards would be great for kids that are older and who are comfortable reading a bit (reading as in words on a page not divination). Each card just has a picture of an animal with its name on it. After drawing your animal card, you then open the book and look up what each animal means.
I did not get my daughter a copy of this set, although we still have my original set (it looks like the new version they sell has more cards!) as she is a reader (or words) but not old enough to be comfortable reading long paragraphs of texts – meaning she is going to complain and treat it as “work” if I ask her to look up her animal and read several pages about it. I also don’t actually use the book for this deck anymore…although I think I have it somewhere…as I now intuitively connect with the animal and feel the energy to know what it means for me instead of what the books says.
Okay, so what animal cards does my daughter actually use. I ended up choosing Steven Farmer’s Children’s Spirit Animal Cards. This is a smaller deck of only 24 cards with big pictures of animals on them. Each card also contains a motivational saying on them that is easy to read and understand – meaning my daughter can use these independently and it does not take a great deal of effort to understand what each card means.
How We Use the Cards
Now that you know what deck we use, how do we actually incorporate using these cards into our days?
Most mornings, we actually start with these animal cards to get us ready for our school work for the day. We go to my study, light a candle and some incense, and then take a few calming breaths to get us ready.
Currently, we use a very simple process for connecting with these cards. I let my daughter handle them and move them around for a little bit – she doesn’t have the skill or hand coordination to shuffle yet and these cards are oversized making true shuffling difficult for small hands.
After mixing the cards up in whatever fashion is appealing I have her ask the cards for which animal friend can help her with her school work that day. Usually I will have her draw one card first which we look at together – then, she tends to enjoy picking additional cards…because it is fun to draw cards…so we look at those as well…sometimes she goes through the entire deck. And if she has a doll or stuffed animal friend with her, they normally get their own card as well.
She then asks which animal I got, because it is fun to have animals working together! I use my Medicine Cards to see which animal friend will help me, then explain to her what that animal does and what drawing that card means.
Overall we have greatly enjoyed this little start to our day. It is a way to learn about the symbolic nature of animals and how to use cards in a fun and non-threatening manner.
***If you want to learn the basics of metaphysics yourself, check out the books in my Friend to Friend series for an easy to understand explanation of different metaphysical topics – Chakras and Auras, Dream Interpretation, Psychic Development***
Do you or your child use animal cards? If so which deck do you use?