I have a card deck named The Wild Unknown – Animal Spirit created by Kim Krans.
I bought the card deck at a bookstore when there were a number of young students on my caseload whose life circumstances sucked. There is really no other way to describe it. When children are living in the chaos of undesirable (toxic, dangerous) life circumstances, it may not be reasonable to teach skills, tools, and strategies. There will be a time when it is reasonable, but sometimes one just has to be with the other and trust in possibility while at the same time accept what is happening. This can look like side by side coloring. In my experience, it also looked like climbing trees, or hanging out inside a group of Evergreens. One student named the Evergreen space the ‘calming cave’.
Sometimes the adult provider’s only job is to be present and allow the suffering and possibility to silently coexist. No fixing. No meds or treatment plan. No words. One is open to all of it, but in the moment, it’s unreasonable to act as it would only add to chaos.
It’s my experience that most kids love animals. I bought the deck as an option to side by side coloring. I thought the kids would like to look at the pictures. I also liked the magic of possibility in spirit animals. If you pay attention to kids books, games, shows, there are a lot of talking animals with special powers. There also seem to be a lot of hidden rules attributed to various ‘games’ (ie Pokemon) that adults don’t understand.
I found the deck in a drawer last fall. Depending on my mood, sometimes I pull a card and read its meaning in the guidebook. I followed one of the deck suggestions before the holiday break. It was spot on. I decided to use the deck to create a focus for my monthly blog posts.
Since I had the deck on my desk, I used it for my nephew’s birthday video.
It’s my experience with kids that spirit animals are widely accepted to be a thing – it’s not an argument over a belief system. “Of course I have a spirit animal – duh.” Speaking of, I’m convinced the magpie (bird) is a symbol of connection to somethingmore in my life. I made the mistake of once mentioning to my brother how the magpie shows up when I am in a space of contemplation or vulnerability. He pointed out it being native and/or abundant in Colorado. This is why I suggest selfcare and the somethingmore is best when practiced anonymously. (#deflate)
I picked a card for my nephew. I made the video. When I was putting the deck away, the bottom card caught my eye. Since I already had the idea to use the deck for focus, I decided to learn a little more about the card.
I picked the next eleven cards to use for this year’s monthly focus.
Here is January: