Powerful Spirit Allies Greet Children at Dancing Jaguar’s Spirit Camp
Updated: Sep 12
The life and wisdom that exists in all things are honored and acknowledged in shamanic practices. Everything has something to teach us, and animals are thought to have a wealth of wisdom and protection to offer. It is believed that everyone has power animals – animal spirits that are part of our lives, watching over and protecting us, much like a guardian angel.
When children face challenges, they often don’t have the tools, skills, or self-awareness to cope with them in ways that make them feel confident about themselves. Shamanic journeying can increase a child’s positive sense of self and empowers them to trust their ability to find their answers within as opposed to looking outside themselves (asking others). They discover a powerful way to connect to their own innate wisdom, allowing them to gain insights and find solutions to situations that may have previously overwhelmed them.
Power Animal Day is the favorite day at Dancing Jaguar’s Spirit Camp for almost all Spirit Campers. Most children have a strong connection to animals, starting with the stuffed animals they treasure as infants and toddlers. There is a powerful bond between children and their family pets that strengthens each year. When I am in nature with children, I witness their love of animals as they explore insects, birds, and other animals.
Meeting their Power Animal is exciting and empowering for children. Knowing they have a spirit helper who loves them unconditionally and will provide support, encouragement, and healing is an important discovery for young people. One child mentioned feeling less alone because he knew he would always have someone to turn to when he needed help. I have witnessed amazing shifts in children after they discovered their Power Animal.
Jordan was an eight-year-old child with special needs. At Spirit Camp, he discovered his power animal is a lion. Jordan’s mom emailed me sometime after Spirit Camp and said when Jordan came home from school, she asked him how school was that day. His reply of "Fine", surprised her. Jordan had been bullied during recess, so she didn't understand why Jordan seemed so casual. She asked, "What about recess?" He replied, "Mom, it was fine. I had Lion with me!"
Jordan shifted from being bullied at recess and disliking school to feeling more confident and secure because he knew he had spiritual help from Lion. He had found a powerful ally in his Power Animal.
Jennifer was a six-year-old child who was very anxious about going to sleep at night. Her bedtime routine had become challenging for her and her parents. She feared that she would die during her sleep and not wake up the next day. This led to Jennifer fighting her body's natural urge to go to sleep, which led to her being overtired, sleep deprived, and miserable. The family was living in a downward spiral and was at their wit's end.
Jennifer had attended Spirit Camp, and I was aware that Owl was her Power Animal. We had practiced rattling and drumming on many occasions and she was experienced in rattling with me to call in the Spirits at the beginning of ceremonies and workshops.
I suggested that when she gets into bed at night, she rattle and call in the essence of Owl. I explained that she could ask Owl to stay at the foot of her bed during the night, watch over her while she is sleeping, and be responsible to wake her up in the morning.
Jennifer was thrilled to discover that her power animal could be of service to her when she is struggling with an issue that is difficult for her to deal with. Once rattling to call in Owl had become a part of her nighttime routine, Jennifer no longer had trouble going to sleep. She loved and trusted Owl and understood he would protect her and wake her up in the morning as she had asked him to.
Every one of Dancing Jaguar’s Spirit Camps is filled with children who have profound experiences that impact their lives in positive ways. The wisdom toolbox that children create while attending Spirit Camp serves them for the rest of their lives.