I will never forget Peaches, a small, black and white female cat who was left in my care when her person left town. She was a "scaredy-cat," hiding from people and other cats in the neighborhood. A few weeks after arrival, she came in with a bloody bite on her back, delivered by another cat in the neighborhood. I cleaned and put ointment on the wound, expecting it to heal with no problem. However, as soon as it would scab over, Peaches would scratch it open. A variety of first aid attempts failed, as she was determined to get at that wound. Eventually, the bloody area extended from the original 1/2 inch to a gory 2-3 inches, and the hair around the area was falling out.
photo by Sally Burr
This was 1971, and I was a spiritual counselor for people. I had communicated with animals all my life, never losing the inborn ability to understand other beings telepathically, no matter the species. I was about to expand the healing power of that telepathic connection.
Peaches became my first non-human client. I sat down and counseled her as I would a human being in trouble. I asked her specific questions, and she answered me telepathically, transmitting mental images of other cats scaring and attacking her along with her accompanying emotional distress. Facing these frightening incidents released a lot of accumulated emotion, and she visibly relaxed.
As we continued our session, she discovered that keeping the wound there and making it worse was actually a solution to her problem of being afraid of people and other animals. She figured that if she made her body very ugly, people and cats would stay away from her. It was working, though making her life miserable in the process. When she uncovered this past decision, she purred contentedly.
By the next day, her wound had scabbed over. Within a week, the hair had grown back so you couldn't tell she had been hurt. Even more amazing was that Peaches no longer ran away when people entered the room, but instead she curled up on their laps and purred! And other cats no longer picked on her.
In counseling animals and their people since that time I have seen countless similar "miracles" of healing. Here’s another example:
I was called to consult with a dachshund named Charlie who had broken his leg, which was in a cast. The problem was that no matter what the veterinarian or anyone did, Charlie managed to get the cast off. The vet warned that the dog would be lame the rest of his life if the leg was not allowed to set properly. photo by Carole Devereux
When I arrived, Charlie was limping and rather grouchy. During our consultation Charlie communicated to me about how he broke his leg and how upset he was with his person. He had been placed in the front seat of a truck at a ranch that his person was visiting. As the truck pulled out of the driveway, he saw her walking away. Thinking that she was abandoning him, he jumped out the window of the moving vehicle to get back to her, and fell on his leg at an angle.
By fully communicating about the trauma, reviewing the events, emotions, pain, and thoughts surrounding the injury, Charlie released both his emotional and physical distress. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he started running around playfully. He was so enthusiastic that we had to calm him down to ensure the leg wouldn't be overstressed. Charlie was now very affectionate with his person, when he had previously acted very distressed around her. His leg healed quickly and in perfect alignment. His person realized how intelligent and loving her little dog was and how necessary it was to communicate her intentions and actions to him to prevent future misunderstandings and consequent mishaps.
I could give numerous everyday examples of happier animals who visibly changed after being communicated with and understood by people. People also benefit from the understanding, and deep connection that occurs.
Our animal friends have so much to teach us about our own physical, emotional, and spiritual natures. They reflect back to us our joys and our pains, our clarity and our unawareness. All species can benefit from the harmony that occurs with good communication. The healing power of interspecies telepathic communication, a birthright that has been lost to many in our culture, is well worth restoring.
Healing a Grizzly Bear through Telepathy video Susan Eirich of Earthfire Institute wildlife sanctuary tells the story of how grizzly bear, Teton, and Penelope communicated and worked long distance together energetically to help heal his paralyzed state.
NATHAN Robin Nichols
In the late 1970s, I was working at a health facility where I met Penelope Smith, then a health and spiritual counselor for people, and also an animal consultant. At that time, I had a little Welsh corgi mix dog named Nathan. He was about a year old. My two young daughters found him when he was a puppy, running down our busy street, and brought him in.
The entire time Nathan lived with us, we had a thick layer of newspapers by the front door for him to use if he needed to go to the bathroom in our small apartment between walks. He NEVER used them, preferring to go anywhere and everywhere else in the house, especially on the carpet, which was by then ruined. I had pretty much given up on ever training Nathan to use the papers and was in the process of throwing the carpet out when I heard that Penelope might be able to help. I honestly thought it was pretty far-fetched that she could communicate telepathically with Nathan and in any way get him to understand and use the newspapers, but I thought it was at least worth one try.
Penelope came over a few days later, and I introduced her to my daughters and to Nathan. Everyone liked her right away. She greeted all of us, and then sat down with Nathan, and just looked at him, and he looked at her. This went on for about ten minutes. The whole time I was thinking... mmm hmmm... well... we'll see.
Finally, Penelope started laughing and said she understood the problem. She said Nathan had been in a litter of puppies a few blocks from us, and kept with the other pups on the screened-in back porch, which was covered all over with newspapers. Of course the puppies used the newspapers for their bathroom. The owners of the mother dog and the pups kept saying, "If they don't stop pooping and peeing all over the place, I'm going to get rid of them! Take them to the pound!"
The small children of the house heard this and decided to save the puppies. They started placing them on people's doorsteps around the neighborhood. Apparently, Nathan just took off and ran down the street where my daughters intercepted him. Penelope said that Nathan had definitely gotten this idea: “IF I PEE ON THE PAPERS, THEY'LL GET RID OF ME."
After explaining to Nathan that we had no intention of EVER getting rid of him, and showing him the newspaper area and putting him on it and praising him and letting him know that we'd think very highly of him if he peed there, she smiled at him and at us and left. I thought to myself... hmm... well... we'll see... uh huh... ahem... until about thirty minutes later, when Nathan peed on the newspapers! We were all happy, and Nathan lived with us for twelve more years and always faithfully used his papers.
That was only the beginning of many consultations with our animal friends, which were all the same miracle. It took me years to understand how sentient, conscious, and intelligent our animal friends really are, and that OF COURSE they understood Penelope and could communicate with her.
CONDUCTOR OF THE ORCHESTRA Joan Fox
photo by Starr Taovil
I communicated with a 175-pound pot-bellied pig. He spoke right up about how annoying his pen mate was. He told me that she "gets in his space" and it is very irritating. He was perfectly fine as the human's only companion and kept attacking her (the human) to try and get across how unhappy he was now, being a "duo." He longed for the old days, when he was a baby and lived in the house. He missed snuggling with the human.
We worked out an agreement that he would be allowed out of the pen each day to spend time alone on the patio with his human. His human said he could cruise wherever he wanted in the backyard when she was out there as long as he didn't eat the bushes. (The yard looked like a park at Disneyland, perfectly manicured.) No more biting or attacking, but nudging for attention was acceptable. He was so-o-o-o happy. He promptly lay down next to her and fell asleep. The human said she'd be happy to bring her sleeping bag out when the weather was cooler and snuggle with him again.
Then she had me ask him why he got so upset and wouldn't let her trim his toenails. She reported that she has resorted to giving him beer to calm him down. He said that he loved the beer so he particularly looked forward to trimming time so that he could cause a big stink and get this drink. I told him that beer wasn't especially good for him and throwing a fit to get it would not be in his best interests. She then told him that she would give him a sip of beer occasionally if he would stop fighting her on the toenails.
Later, the human had not fully latched the pen gate and the other pig came wandering out. In one of the sweetest moments of my career, he ambled over from across the yard, nudged me with his snout and ever so shyly and softly said, "Excuse me, but you promised me that I could be out here alone." We promptly locked up the other one, until it was her time out of the pen.
I then spent another hour talking to the human about spiritual books, essential oils, and my own spiritual journey. This is something that I rarely do. I usually wrap up the consultation and leave. With tears in her eyes, she asked how she could find a meditation group to join. I said that she was welcome to visit ours as we have an open door policy for anyone interested.
Now here is the kicker. That night the pig came to me in my dream with this message, "I orchestrated this whole aggressive behavior act so that my human could meet you. I knew that you would invite her to visit and eventually become part of your meditation group. She is ready to blossom spiritually and needs contact with people like you. She has been searching for people of "like mind" unsuccessfully. Thank you for helping her. I really love her and I know you will too."
This is where I began to think that I had gone over the edge. It took me a long time to come out of the closet and not think that I was nuts talking to animals. So when I get messages in a dream, I think that I have lost it. Yet, the message was absolutely clear and to the point. I now accept that it is in the realm of the Universe for a pig to orchestrate a meeting.
Buddha Boy & Penelope
A GENTLE, GEM-LIKE JOURNEY Nancy R. Sondel
The thrill of communicating telepathically with animals appears, like the animals themselves, in many distinct forms. As I've become gradually more free of limiting, judgmental thoughts — such as "I can't communicate with this animal because I have no rapport with its species," or "I'm terrible at receiving messages, so it's no use" — I've been treated to diverse, delightful experiences with a variety of beings. Three encounters, described below, reminded me that I must only remain open, and the Earth's creatures will respond, trusting and teaching me, all in their own fashion.
As I was exercising in a fitness center, a robust robin came hopping 'round the full-length window.
"Please come closer," I thought. "Let me observe and admire you." She kept picking at the ground, apparently oblivious to or ignoring my request.
"Oh well, telepathic communication doesn't always work!" I was quick to tell myself. Then I pictured exactly where I wanted the robin to stand — closer to me, a little to the left, next to a fallen pine cone.
To my surprise, she went directly to the target. Alone in the fitness room, I whistled loudly, cheering and thanking her.
Then I told her that I raise parakeets (which I described), and that if she'd hop toward me again — this time toward a big twig I was focusing on — I'd know for sure she understood. And, through me, many readers would also know.
Mademoiselle Robin barely looked up from her worm — searching, while hopping to the exact spot I had pictured. She could see me swinging my arms as I exercised, but it didn't scare her.
"Okay, would you consider playing this game with me just once more? It is a game now. You don't have to prove anything..."
With that, my robin friend hopped toward me not once but three more times, still foraging — the last two hops unsolicited, yet propelling her to the precise spot I had visualized — until she was nearly pressed against the window, closer than any wild bird I had ever seen there!
Recently I visited a "power place," an intensely fertile, spiritual environment steeped in natural beauty and profound, healing energy. Ambling along an open trail, I observed a tan pony with a long, cream-colored mane. He stood alone in a grassy, fenced field overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The area included a small gazebo for a few resident children. I walked slowly toward the pony, talking softly to let him know my intentions.
I'm rather timid around horses, due to my unfamiliarity with them (and also because of their imposing size — my being a short, lightweight, parakeet-oriented person!). But I knew this fellow must be gentle, living amidst children. So, to boost my self-confidence, I pictured myself as one of several kids playing with him.
As I approached, he seemed to feel I was bringing something to eat (didn't everyone?). So I said, "Hi. I just came over to meet you. Sorry if I'm disappointing you, but I don't have any food with me." To my surprise, I got the distinct impression that he was hinting, "Oh yes, you do-oooo!"
Before I could wonder if I had imagined this message, his enormous mouth reached toward my sweatshirt pocket. Laughing, I realized I had understood, and he was certainly right. I reached deep into my pocket, and, baring his big friendly teeth, the perspicacious pony quickly consumed my favorite, fresh-picked wildflowers!
Descending steep steps and jagged rocks to meditate by the sea, I glimpsed two tiny, tan creatures. Unused to reptiles, I could only guess (and later confirm) that they were lizards.
I didn't want to startle the pair as I walked through their "home," so I told them telepathically that I'd pass by without harming them. To my delight, they stayed. I removed several layers of clothing and sat on a warm rock, surrounded by sand. Something in the lizards' throats now moved up and down, as they concentrated on me.
I began speaking aloud, thinking I could direct my communication better that way. One — Lizzie, I called her — got scared and ran away. Her friend or mate, Leandro, remained, never taking his eyes off me.
I thought maybe he was too scared to run, but instead he seemed to be actively listening. His eyes were such tiny slits I could barely see them, but our visual contact told me I had his full attention.
"I know you understand me," I said, admittedly glad no one else was within earshot. "Are you surprised I'm talking to you? Bet you've never interacted like this with a human before! You're very brave to hang out with me."
I paused. He waited.
"There's a woman named Penelope," I continued, "and she communicates with all kinds of beings. Maybe you know her?" (Half-kidding, half-not!)
Leandro listened a while longer, then ran — toward me! Now we had both pushed beyond our respective boundaries or instincts. Humility and gratitude filled me as I continued, telling him about my birds at home — much smaller, I explained, than those seabirds perched nearby.
Soon Leandro ran toward me again, continuing to stare into my eyes. Now he was about five feet away. I asked him to come closer, to the sweatshirt I had strewn two feet from my body.
"That would show me you really understand. Won't you, please?" Leandro didn't move as I repeated the request.
My mistake. I had asked too much, or he was uncomfortable with the "test." Leandro scurried up the rocks and vanished.
I was disappointed, but then, almost instantly, Lizzie reappeared!
"... and you're very brave, too," I told her. Though she had been out of sight, I suspected she'd "overheard" my whole conversation with Leandro.
"I'm a writer," I explained, now thoroughly comfortable conversing with a lizard, "so I'm going to tell people how you and your buddy have been listening to me. Many of them will be really surprised to hear about this!"
A bird flew overhead; Lizzie looked up, then back at me. She lifted her leg, barely wider than a toothpick, resting exquisitely tiny toes on the corner of a jutting rock — as we humans might rest our elbows on a tabletop, concentrating, head in hand.
"Please continue the discourse," I envisioned her saying.
I chatted a bit longer about how I viewed life, marveling at her attentiveness. What subtle, inner wisdom did she possess? How honored I felt, adding morsels to her world of knowledge!
Soon I realized, wistfully, that it was time for me to go. It had been so satisfying to sense Lizzie absorbed in my thoughts; I didn't need precise, reciprocal messages to validate our communion.
To avoid scaring Lizzie when I stood, I told her I would quickly grow "very, very big," but that I wouldn't touch or hurt her. I visualized my giant form moving slowly and quietly past her, then away.
I donned shoes, socks, a sweater and sweatshirt. Despite the movement, Lizzie didn't leave. I stood and walked in front of Lizzie, past Lizzie, repeating that she was safe and didn't need to go away. She trusted and understood.
"Thank you," I said, climbing the rocks. "I'll return in a few days, so you can look for me then. If not, I may never see you or your friend again!"
I continued to climb, turning back often, watching Lizzie watch me. "But," I added telepathically, "I want you and Leandro to know that this experience will always be with me. I'll never forget our connection."
Chilly and rushed, I stopped near the top of the cliffs. I wanted to look down one last time, yet dreaded the sight of bare rocks. Already I was missing the gaze of my ancient, newfound friend.
But there in the distance, though she seemed a mere speck, Lizzie remained, listening...
LOST AND FOUND Starr Taovil
I received a call from a woman in tears. Her cat, Si Mu, had been missing for three days. I took a description of the kitty, got descriptions of other animals in the area and did a deep meditation and prayer session. I then received images from a horse. This horse was sending me pictures of herself and the surrounding area. The woman, Francesca, did not mention there was a horse there but only told me of a bull, cow, several dogs and three more cats. I also saw a sunrise and light coming through wooden boards. There was a dark hole and tall trees. During this communication I also felt cold, dampness, and live energy from Si Mu.
I called Francesca back and told her what I had seen in my meditations: the horse, tall trees, the eastern direction, the dark hole, the sun coming through wood boards, and my bodily feelings. She was amazed. She had forgotten about an old mare on the property to the east in a back, fenced pasture surrounded by tall poplar trees. I told her to check all structures like wells in that area. I knew the kitty was stuck somewhere and could not come home but that she was alive and Francesca needed to go out and find her.
The next morning, I had a nearly incoherent message from Francesca. She had walked to the property to the east, passed the horse, who came to the fence to meet her and nuzzled her body as if to tell her she was on the right path. She walked through the tall trees to an area where there once was a reservoir. After about thirty minutes she saw an area that was covered with wooden slats and several were broken through. Twenty feet down this earthen shaft were beautiful kitty eyes looking up at her.
A TREE'S JOB Kenneth G. Urquhart
I was in a service station deep in the Bronx, getting a gearbox changed. The dingy waiting room was awful, but far better than what was outside. In it already were two African-American gentlemen and one Hispanic.
Their conversation seemed listless. They took no apparent notice of me. I picked up a tattered magazine.
After some moments, the Hispanic gentleman suddenly sparked into life. His voice started to vibrate with intensity. He had a story to tell. I listened.
At some time in his past, he revealed, he had been in the US Army and had got into trouble. He and another miscreant had been sent to a military place of correction in upstate New York. His offense was evidently not serious because after a while there he and the other man were free to walk around. It happened that the other man had been brought up in an orphanage on a large estate, and that orphanage was right next door to the military place they were staying.
The other man took our narrating friend for a walk into the orphanage property. It included a hospital in a building set apart from the orphanage itself. They approached the hospital on a path bordered by a line of stately old trees.
As they made their way along this path, our friend noticed that out of the bark of the trees was oozing some very dark rather slimy substance. The nearer they got to the hospital, the more he saw coming out of the trees.
"I kept asking myself, what could this stuff be?" he told us.
I could see that the very last tree, the most magnificent of them all, had far more of it than the others. I got to that end tree, and by this time I was very curious. I really wanted to know what was going on. I stopped by the last tree, looking at the slimy stuff, asking "What is this?"
He paused, like a good storyteller. His eyes opened wide.
"Do you know, that tree answered me? I distinctly heard it say to me:
'I take the poisons out of the people in that hospital over there, so they can better. I process it and put it out of me in this liquid you are looking at and wondering about.'
I was just amazed. A tree talking to me! A tree taking poisons out of people's bodies? And talking to me about it?
"I didn't know what to say. I was speechless. Imagine, a Hispanic man who can't say a word!
"But then," he continued, suddenly becoming a little solemn, introspective, perhaps regretful. "The tree said something that really stopped me in my tracks. That tree really made me look at my whole life. That tree then said to me,
'Yes, here I am doing my job. Tell me, are YOU doing YOURS?'"
He came back from his memories and looked sadly at his two companions.
"You don't believe me, do you?"
"I do, I do!" I cried. "Every word ! Thank you!"
TO BE EARTH Paloma Baertschi-Herrera
I was about to go to bed when I saw a mosquito on the wall. I wanted to put her outside when I heard her say.
I can show you what it feels to be earth
"What? Did you just talk to me?"
Yes. I can show you what it feels to be earth. You humans consume and use the earth but you do not give anything from yourselves. I can show you what it feels like to be food for another being.
"You must be crazy to think I am prepared to let you sting me." Despite what I told her the mosquito kept talking.
I can sting you without you noticing it. All you must do is allow me to do my job and I will show you how beings can help each other to survive without hurting each other.
Even though I was feeling like I was crazy to proceed, I agreed to let the mosquito show me what it felt like to be earth. The next morning I looked for sting traces but could not find any. The mosquito showed up several times during the day and also before I went to bed to show me that she was still around.
After three days of co-existence with the mosquito during which she showed up several times every day I couldn't find any sting trace on my body. It was hard to believe what was happening and I figured the mosquito had to be stinging my rabbits instead of me.
That night the mosquito woke me up by flying around my ear. I angrily told the mosquito that our agreement included that she let me sleep without waking me up. She just wanted to let me know that she was stinging me and not my rabbits. I was amazed but managed to keep on sleeping.
The mosquito lived with me for another four days and showed up at least once every day. Then she disappeared. When I contacted her she said that her last task before leaving the earth was to show a human what it felt to be earth and that she had completed his task. I thanked her for giving me a huge lesson I will never forget.
THE WEB Dawn Baumann Brunke
I don’t understand it. But for that matter I don’t understand how a spider learned to spin a web in the first place. When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle. ~ Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
As a child, one of my favorite books was Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. I especially loved Charlotte, a quick-witted gray spider, who spun words into her web in an attempt to save her friend, Wilbur the pig, from an untimely death.
"Some pig!" boldly exclaimed the words in Charlotte’s web. "Radiant" and "Humble" were other adjectives Charlotte displayed on her web to describe Wilbur. Most of the farmers and townspeople believed the words were miracles, supernaturally inspired messages that could not be explained. They looked to the pig, certain that he was the one behind this mysterious event. Charlotte smiled, delighted that her trick had worked.
As Charlotte later explained to Wilbur, spiders have been weaving webs for generation upon generation. "I don’t know how the first spider in the early days of the world happened to think up this fancy idea of spinning a web, but she did, and it was clever of her, too," said Charlotte. I thought it was equally clever of Charlotte to be a spider who understood how words could so greatly influence humans.
photo by Starr Taovil
There are some modern thinkers who believe that spiders spin webs not merely from instinct, but are graced with the collective memory of all spiders who have ever spun webs since that ‘first spider in the early days’ spun hers. As more and more spiders spin their webs, it is thought that it becomes easier for all spiders to create their webs. That is, webs are spun with less effort and, perhaps, with the potential for more intricacy.
In much the same way, it is believed by some that human evolution follows a similar path. As a new talent is discovered by one individual, others may either simultaneously or quickly thereafter find the new talent within them. As more and more individuals engage in this new behavior, it becomes easier for others to also participate. Call it the hundredth monkey, or the hundredth spider or even the hundredth human, it is all variation of the same pattern in the grand Web.
The Web of Life reminds us that every thought and action affects everyone and everything. An idea comes to one of us and a thread on the invisible web begins to quiver; circumstances conspire to bring about events, ideas, people, animals and countless other forms of assistance into our lives. As the German philosopher Goethe once wrote concerning acts of creation, "…the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too."
One of the central messages of this book is that we are all connected. It is a startling insight to realize how one small connection can lead you to places not only in location, but in mind, emotion, spirit and being that are altogether amazingly far, and yet paradoxically near, from where you began. Such is the nature of the Web of Life.
For myself, this book began as a simple interest in animal communication. The writing of the book, however, has proved to be a widespread collaboration. Not only have many very talented communicators offered their thoughts and insight – not to mention the vehicle whereby many animals speak – but many animals have also lent their energy, wisdom, humor and blessings for this book to unfold.
Just as the barnyard animals brought Charlotte word suggestions to display on her web, just as E. B. White collaborated with the subtle energy of spiders and the fictionalization of a wonderful female gray spider he called Charlotte, we are all, consciously or unconsciously, working together to create something quite spectacular, something that propels us into a new creation of Being.
The story of how I was brought to this book begins with a gentle unfolding, in very ordinary ways. Where the writing of this book has taken me are most definitely extraordinary places, heart-felt, humorous, amazing and sometimes barely believable.
In 1995, my husband and I moved from a small town in northern Wisconsin to Alaska. Ever since I met him, my husband had been talking about Alaska, his spiritual home. After a year in Hawaii and five years in Wisconsin, it was calling him back. We had no definite plans, neither one of us had jobs, but away we went, following the call, toting along our very young daughter, two dogs and a twenty foot trailer.
Not long after arriving in the state, I picked up a copy of Alaska Wellness, a small quarterly magazine that focuses on alternative healing modalities and the mind-body-emotion-spirit connection. There was a tiny notice in the back of the issue advertising for an Editor. Though I had never done any professional editing, I loved to write and here, in the land of new opportunities and creative spirit, I felt an urge to call about the ad. Surprising to me, I was hired.
One of my first duties entailed going through a box of "hold" articles. These were articles that had been submitted to the magazine but either had not yet been published or needed work, or for some other reason ended up in the box. One of the articles in particular caught my eye. It was about a guinea pig named Geisha who had given birth to a litter of babies but refused to care for them. The article was written by Chrys Long-Ago, a woman in Anchorage who claimed to talk with animals. Not only that, but the animals talked back to her! I was incredulously fascinated and simultaneously touched by the genuineness of the writing. The story detailed Chrys’ conversations with Geisha and how she came to understand the lesson Geisha was experiencing in allowing her babies to die.
I wanted to print the article right away, but Jackie Kosednar, the publisher of Alaska Wellness, shook her head. "The public isn’t ready for this sort of thing," she said firmly. As the magazine went bimonthly, I pestered Jackie nearly every issue about the article. A year later, she finally relented, and we ran "Guinea Pig Seminar" as a feature.
One month later, I interviewed Chrys, the animal communicator who had spoken with Geisha. I found her to be intelligent and candid, and when she told me stories about a writer named J. Allen Boone, whose primary teacher in animal communication had been an award-winning German shepherd war dog in Germany who became a leading film star in America, I was intrigued. I found two of Boone’s books at the library and read them with a growing sense of wonder, amazement and deep respect. Boone and his writing became a motivating inspiration to me, a grandfatherly guiding light for much of this book.
Though the interview with Chrys was published shortly after it was written, I found myself reluctant to let go of the subject. Thoughts about human-animal communication playfully poked at my brain. Was it really possible to have an intelligent conversation with an animal? Did animals truly have a capacity to understand the world beyond themselves? Did they have a sense of spirituality? Did they know something we didn’t? What would animals tell us, both about themselves and about us, if we approached them with serious intent? Was a deeper, more vital relationship between humans and animals – and all of life – something we had forgotten about, something we had left behind in the course of our evolution?
Through the Internet, I found Buddy, a horse who works with communicator, teacher and writer, Carole Devereux. Buddy was the first animal who agreed to an interview with me. It was a curious set-up: I posed my questions to Carole, who then connected with Buddy, asked him my questions, wrote down his responses, and then read back to me what he had said. A part of me couldn’t help but wonder if the whole thing wasn’t one quick step away from farce, though another part of me was exhilarated, feeling as if I had just walked across the border into a new world. When I asked if there were other animals who worked as Buddy did, Carole put me in touch with Jing, an African gray parrot, who works with Jane Hallander, also a communicator, teacher and writer. Jing agreed to an interview as well. Jane gave me the names of other communicators, who gave me more names, and so the connections began.
Around the same time as the animal interviews, I was given the assignment to talk with Ilizabeth Fortune, a woman who swims and works with dolphins in Florida. Though the interview was supposedly to help publicize a workshop Ilizabeth was doing in Anchorage, her trip fell through, though not before I had a chance to talk at length with Ilizabeth and make my first connection to what I would fondly think of as the dolphin-people.
It soon became apparent that what I was involved in – this "project" as I hesitantly termed it then – was something much greater than myself. As I thought about it, meditated on it, dreamed about it, I realized with growing surprise that not only was this something I had chosen; it was something that had also chosen me.
Ask for something with the deepest part of your being and the Universe responds. This is a thrilling realization, though you often discover that the Universe may respond in a way that is not exactly in line with what you had in mind. My central focus throughout the initial interview process was to ask communicators if they would be willing to be the medium through which animals might answer the basic question, "What would you most like humans to know?"
It was all going quite well until one night as I was saying goodbye over the phone to Marta Williams, a communicator I had just been referred to, I was stopped short. "If you’re going to write a book about talking with animals, maybe you should try it too," Marta suggested gently. A deep sense of unease shuddered through me. Surely I would not be asked to do that! It was one thing to interview animals through professional communicators, but certainly such a thing would never happen to me!
Like a seed that had to be planted, a few weeks later an event occurred that led to my direct communication with a flock of birds. It was an extraordinary event for me, one that changed the focus of this book dramatically and brought me to a deeper place of understanding how this thing called animal communication really works.
From my initial opening with the birds, there was no stopping the flow of communications I received, though I sometimes considered trying. Most often it happened spontaneously, when I was least expecting it.
Deeper and deeper the process unfolds. Are we ever really in control? I no longer believe that I was the one who had the idea to write this book. On other levels, I know there was mystery afoot, that the idea was presented to me through a series of challenges. Was I willing to let go of an old worldview in order to learn something new? Was I ready to begin living with a sense of wonder? In truth, it seems to me now that I did not write something so much as open to an experience that I now share with you.
My heart has been touched by all who speak in this book as well as by those who have offered much in the way of feedback, help and support. It reminds me of the Web, of Charlotte and how all manner of extraordinary events conspire to create a world in which a pig and spider can become best of friends. Are we ready to see that we too are living in such a world, that we are capable of creating such a world? As many animals remind us time and again, we are all more intimately connected than we can imagine. Perhaps more than anything, this book is about trusting that connection, trusting the flow of life as we open to and feel the deeper union between each one of us and All That Is.
As a very special group of animals I know once remarked, "It is essential that humans begin to awaken to their connection with all of life. As you open to animals, you will also open deeper to yourselves. This is one of the roots of your return home."
May we open to the Journey. May we trust ourselves and the unfolding of our paths just a little bit more. And may we all Re-member.
Animal Voices:Telepathic Communication in the Web of Life by Dawn Baumann Brunke ISBN 1-879181-91-6 Bear & Company (Inner Traditions) 2002