Power Animal Retrievals for Children Full Transcript
(This transcript has been lightly edited!)
Hi everyone, my name is Kim McLaughlin. I am a shamanic practitioner living in practicing in North Ayrshire, Scotland.
My business is called cedarlighthealing.com. Today I wanted to talk to you about my absolute favorite thing to do in the world of shamanic healing, and that is to do power animal retrievals.
Now, I have done a podcast and I’ve written blogs, and I’ve done all sorts of things on what is a power animal retrieval, but what I really wanted to get into today, is to talk about the importance of power animal retrievals for children and for babies.
Should you do shamanic healing on children?
I am sometimes asked if I will do shamanic healing on kids, and children. In terms of intense healing work, no, it’s a rare day that a child is going to need any type of shamanic intervention.
But having said that, there are things that we can do with children that can empower and help that child form a sense of identity, and certainly power animal retrievals fall into that category.
So, power animal retrievals are my favorite thing to do, bar none, no matter who I’m doing it for!
And again, the reason is because doing a power animal retrieval for someone is always an incredibly positive and affirming ceremony.
A power animal retrieval is often the first step in a child’s spiritual health
When I look back to my time spent at Anishnawbe Health Toronto, it’s an indigenous community back in my hometown, And I remember time after time when somebody would come to the teachings, and when I say someone, it could be a child, it can be an adult, anybody, but whenever they would come to the teachings for the first time, the first thing that the medicine person would do would be to go into the spirit world and find out what that person’s spirit animal is, and what their spirit name was.
That medicine person would come back into this world and share that information with the person. And it was always an incredibly moving moment, when that person learned for the very first time, what their spirit animal was, and what their spirit name was.
I mean, imagine how incredibly empowering it is to learn how the spirits see you, to learn that the Spirits SEE you, that they have a name for you, to learn specifically which spirits are protecting you and walking with you.
It is just such an incredible experience.
And you know, it’s the same with children. I can remember the first time that my son ever saw a medicine person, and the first thing out of that medicine person’s mouth was, do you know your spirit animal?
And of course, my son didn’t, and so that medicine person went and retrieved that spirit animal.
Power animal retrieval as a core component of Core Shamanism
This idea of retreating a spirit animal – and in core shamanism we refer to these as power animals – this is in many cultures, and it is a core component of core shamanism, that when a client comes to see us, or maybe I should just speak for myself here, but when a client comes to see me, no matter what they’re coming to me for, generally speaking, I’m going to see if I can find out their power animal.
The way I see it, if I’m already journeying into the spirit world for someone, why wouldn’t I do that, right? Because I know that when that power animal shows itself, is present, and may even have a message or two for the client, again, it is just such an incredibly powerful experience for them.
And this is one of the few shamanic healing practices that I’m not only super comfortable doing on children, but I think that every child should know its power animal. It is such an important part of that child’s developing their self-confidence and developing their sense of identity.
Our children are often so spiritual, right? They are already connected to the spirit world; they’ve not been out of the spirit world for that long so that connection remains.
And we all know that often our children may have imaginary friends, they could be talking to spirits. Sometimes our children have the gift of dreaming, and that can be both a positive thing for them but can also be sometimes a frightening thing for them, if they’re having nightmares, or they don’t really understand how to interpret the experiences or the dreams that they’re having.
How a power animal retrieval can help your child
A child like this knowing their power animal, and understanding that that power animal is walking beside them every day, and that that power animal spirit is protecting them, is really their best friend, watching over them…
And then for them to have the opportunity to begin to develop a sense of identity that is not necessarily reliant upon their parents, or other people, but really comes from within, and comes from that very grounded, solid and authentic spiritual place within them.
As a mother, I saw the change in my son, when he didn’t have the spiritual teachings and didn’t know his spirit animal, to the time when he did.
Now I can’t speak about how it felt for him, but as a parent, I certainly saw the shift in confidence. It was like he took up more space in the room, you know, didn’t hide so much. (My son is when he was a young lad was quite timid.)
So, it is a joy to be able to do this for all children. And again, you know, in the community where I was taught my spirituality, it really is the first thing that happens. A child is born, it is named, and it is told its power animal or spirit animal.
And they grow up understanding their relationship with this spirit and developing their relationship around the Spirit. And because it happens at so young an age, these relationships, they tend to evolve quite naturally.
This is such a beautiful gift to give to a child. And you know, I’ve had a number of clients where when they get pregnant, I will say to them, ‘look, I would be happy to do a power animal retrieval on your baby when it’s born,’ And I do!
Power animal retrieval can be a family or community ceremony
And again, it’s always this wonderful experience, not just for the kid or baby, I mean, the baby’s two months, you know, he’s not gonna remember it, but certainly for the parents and for the family to come together for this ceremony.
Back in the day, shamanic ceremonies, were not these one-on-one experiences that we tend to have nowadays.
They tended to be community ceremonies. And even when I learned my spirituality within a traditional indigenous setting, there were two ways that one could experience these kinds of ceremonies.
Certainly, one could see a medicine person one on one. Maybe if I had a complaint, for example I was having headaches, or I wasn’t sleeping well, or I was stressed, or whatever, I would see one of the medicine people and they would do work with me one on one.
But there were also community ceremonies, where it would be me and I don’t know, ten other people, 20 other people, 55 other people, and we would all witness the healing that was taking place on behalf of individuals.
The importance of witnessing shamanic ceremonies as a community/family
For example, if it were a large ceremony, and I went up to speak to the spirits through the medicine person or the ceremonial conductor, everybody else in the room would be watching that, they’d be listening to that, they would be holding space for that and witnessing that.
And there’s great power in that [witnessing.]
So, when we do power animal retrievals, (and when I say ‘we’ now, I’m not talking about the indigenous community, I’m talking about within the core shamanism world), I think that the more people who can be present for the for the ceremony of retrieving a power animal for this young person, the more powerful it’s going to be.
It’s almost like a welcoming ceremony, when a new child comes into the world and a reminder to the family of the sacredness of not just the baby or the child, but the family unit as a whole and a reminder of the sacredness of the community.
Almost done talking about power animal retrievals, but not quite…
I don’t know that I have really have anything else to say on the topic of power animals for babies and power animals for children, other than it is something that, if you are a parent, and if your child is young enough that you can make these decisions for them, power animal retrieval can be an incredibly positive and affirming way of teaching them about their spirituality and empowering them not just as spiritual people, but just as people in general.
And regarding power animals, what I will often say to the children that I get to do this work for, depending on their age, but if they’re if they’re old enough, is to remind them that this power animal walks with them all the time.
So when they’re having a hard day at school, or maybe they’re getting a little bit bullied, or they’re in a situation if they’re older, so maybe 12, 13 or 14, where they’re starting to have to make tough choices, around things like drugs, alcohol and sex, that having this sense of identity and having this sense of spiritual health and support can empower our young people to make better choices and to live a life that is aligned with who they really are.
That’s a pretty sophisticated thing to say of children. But I think that, when we give our children these tools, they are more than capable of taking it from there.
How I do power animal retrievals for children
So when I do a power animal retrieval for a child, it’s a much quicker ceremony.
If the child, for example, comes to my flat (obviously with their family), I’m not doing an extraction with them or anything like that.
What will happen is I will sit on the floor, in front of the child, and the parents will be there, whether they’re on the floor with us or on the couch is totally up to them. I will beat the drum and do my journey in front of the child. It doesn’t take too long. I mean, it’s not meant to be this big, heavy, intimidating thing!
And when I will come back, and I will share the basics [of the ceremony] with the child [and parents].
If there’s any messages that I’m worried being interpreted oddly or may require a bit more of a sophisticated explanation, then generally, depending on the age of the child, I will talk to the parents about that.
So that is how power animal retrievals for children tend to work!
I’ll bring it up that a number of times that I’ve done this – and I love this – the whole family will come in. And often I will do a power animal on the parents at the same time. So, the child gets to see that happening.
Often what will happen is, maybe if I’ve got two parents or two family members in the room, I’ll do one family member so the child can see what’s happening, and then they know what to expect.
Then do the child, and then we do the second adult and so that the child really gets to experience that and feel that sense of equality and that inclusion within the family unit and within a community as well.
Should I do shamanic healing if I’m pregnant?
And you know, I’m also asked sometimes whether I will do shamanic healing work, including power animal retrieval on someone who is pregnant.
That is actually the opposite.
So no, this may vary from shamanic practitioner to shamanic practitioner, but this is the way I work with my spirits.
For me, I generally will not do a heck of a lot of shamanic healing work with a pregnant person. And I want to share with you the reason for that, because again, I think this is such a beautiful, beautiful teaching and so empowering.
So, you know, if you happen to be pregnant, listen up!
The three most important spiritual ceremonies in existence
Of the three most sacred ceremonies in existence, the first one is creation. The second one is moon time, (our period, a woman’s period) because it is linked to creation, and it mimics the ceremony of creation every month.
And the third one is death.
So, a woman who is pregnant is already in ceremony. In fact, not only is she in ceremony, but she is in the most powerful, beautiful, and important ceremony there is.
You won’t have two ceremonies at one time. You don’t have two competing ceremonies. There’re all sorts of teachings around that, and I won’t get into them, but suffice to say that one ceremony, for one person at one time is more than enough.
And that ceremony of creation, of pregnancy, of birth, is so sacred that nothing you could do could [could be stronger].
You could try to have some other kind of ceremony, but it just wouldn’t work. That woman will never be as powerful as she is in that moment.
So even if she does have things going on in her life, her level of spiritual protection, and her level of personal power, when she is pregnant, is just off the charts.
There’re other teachings as to why we won’t necessarily do it, but suffice to say that when a woman is pregnant…
And I’ve had so many of my clients, who’ve called and said, ‘well, Kim, we were going to do this work, but I just found this out. Should we continue?’
And usually the answer is, congratulations! And no.
Why you’re shamanically and spiritually powerful when you’re pregnant
You know what, [if you’re pregnant], you don’t need a shamanic healing session anymore, because right now shamanically speaking, spiritually speaking, you are so powerful that so much healing is going to come to you during this time, and it’s going to come to your baby too, no matter what happens in your pregnancy.
It is a powerful, powerful time. So that’s why I won’t do shamanic healing work on women who are pregnant, kind of like I won’t do shamanic healing work -with the exception of power animal retrieval- on children.
Usually they don’t need it.
So, I’ll summarize this by saying, if you are wondering about power animal retrievals for babies or for children, yeah, they’re a beautiful thing to do.
Any other kind of shamanic healing for babies or children, I would shy away from that. I would be very careful with that and only under very exceptional circumstances.
I can’t imagine doing a soul retrieval on a child. Not to say that there aren’t sometimes those circumstances; I do know that there are shamanic healers who do that work, but I would say they’re very specialised in that work.
That is a very special gift that has been given to them. But it is something that I don’t think everybody could do or should do.
I’m going to leave it at that! If you’ve any questions about power animal retrievals, shamanic healing and children, babies, pregnant people, then, feel free to reach out to me.
I’m at contact me here or you can go to the website which is cedarlighthealing.com. I would love to hear from you, and I would love to get your questions. Thank you so much.