Experience: Connecting with my spirit animal through guided meditation

15 Sep 2021
By Hazel M., Freelance writer, journalist and total bookworm at Unite Students
Waking up at 5.30am is painful, but, when you’ve booked in for a guided meditation session on the summer solstice, it’s something you’ve just gotta do.

I’ve done various meditations before and, while I’m no expert, it’s something I’ve come to really enjoy and savour as part of my well-being routine. From releasing stress to sleeping better at night, the benefits are worth the required quiet time.

On this particular rainy morning, though, I was about to try something totally different; a guided meditation to help me connect with my animal guardian.

Now, I know it sounds pretty out there, but I have a genuine interest in astrology and this particular meditation session was all about connecting with the cosmos on the longest day of the year.

Think lots of solar energy, an early-morning wake-up call and incense vibes.

What was even more unique about this experience, however, was that it started with something called a ‘cacao ceremony’. Essentially, it means making warm cacao first thing in the morning and drinking it before you start the meditation.

It’s not done with your standard Sainsbury’s coco powder, though. Instead, we use ceremonial cacao that’s been blessed, is less processed and usually costs around £14 (there’s also a certain way to prepare the cacao, too, which makes it thicker and tastes fairly bitter).

The whole point of the cacao ceremony is about opening the heart to find our true selves in order to experience a deeper meditation. So, it’s a pretty key part of the session.

But what was the meditation actually like?

Once I made my cacao, I lit some candles and incense, then nestled into some cosy cushions on the floor with my laptop open and ready to go (my guide, Jasmine, ran this as a Zoom event, but you can also go to studios to do it, too).

When everyone was ready, Jasmine then guided us through the cacao ceremony, which meant lots of deep breathing and opening of the body, while consuming the cacao with our hands on our hearts as we got into the right head space.

At this point, I did feel a little queasy from the rich drink – but, luckily, I had a glass of water on hand to wash it down.

After this, we were then asked to lie down or get comfortable and close our eyes, so we could start the meditation journey to meet our animal guardian*.

*For context, before the session, we were each asked to pick a card that jumped out at us and, as this was done during Cancer season with the element of water, all the animals were water-based. The card I picked was a unicorn.

Once settled, I had a true feeling of calm wash over me; the cacao ceremony had opened my mind and I felt so comfortable and relaxed (and a bit tired, if I’m honest), that I could have fallen asleep.

But then the guided meditation started.

Now, I have a tendency to let my mind wander when I’m trying to meditate and it’s something I’ve been working on. But, for this session, I was completely tuned in as Jasmine started guiding us by painting pictures with her words, and I could feel the energy pulling me closer to my animal.

The experience for everyone is different and it’s really hard to describe the feelings of calm that can overwhelm you when you meditate – but, for this session, I felt emotional in the happiest of ways.

Minutes passed by and I spent time imagining my animal, connecting with her, and finding a sense of freedom in the vast expanse of my mind. It was a truly beautiful thing.

But it’s that sense of being at one with yourself when it’s all over that really gets me every time. Worries from the day before just melted away and I was ready to face a new day with a buzz of positive energy.

In fact, I was so hyped when the session was over that I headed straight to the beach and jumped in the sea for a cleansing swim. There’s nothing quite like connecting with nature in such a primal way after a session like this.

If you’re sceptical, though, I’d say try it for yourself. Even if it takes a few tries to find that sense of equilibrium, I’d say it’s totally worth it.

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When not stringing words together, can usually be found on the local beach with her cocker spaniel pup, Huey.