Photo: Rose De Dan and Puma, Schmitz Park by Rhonda Hanley
It’s been a long and winding road, but the new 2011 Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing website is finally here!
I was amazed to discover how fond many people were of the old site. When I would happily announce (overly optimistically as it turned out) at various points during the year-long saga, “The new website is almost done,” I did not expect people to turn to me in dismay and say, “Oh, but I love your current website!” Then even more anxiously they would ask, “You’re not going to get rid of your logo, are you?”
Allow me to reassure everyone, the logo is alive and kickin’ and feistier than ever. As a matter of fact its feistiness probably helped contribute to my getting fired by the company who had agreed to assist with the redesign—we were about three quarters done when the company handed me (and the website) our walking papers right around Christmas of last year. It was a sucker punch I didn’t see coming, but in all fairness, I believe the company felt they had bitten off more than they could chew.
However, you may be wondering why I felt the need to change the website if everyone loved the old one so much. I had been getting messages from Spirit that it was time to really step out with the messages from the animals, and it was clear that the current website environment could not handle it from a purely technical standpoint. It was old technology. The new technology that experts said were most searchable and malleable are WordPress-based websites. And so I made the decision to create a new website based on the new technology.
I had no real idea what I was taking on when I made that decision well over a year ago. I thought it would be easy. How hard could it be to take an existing site, and lay it out—copy, photos and all—in a better and different technical environment, and while I was at it make some much needed organization and design changes? Ha!
Go, Go, Godzilla!
As the project unfolded (sidelined for quite a few months by the death of my mother and feline companion Saqqara, and by my getting turned around in my life path—hitting a few obstacles and issues that needed to be overcome), the enormity of the task gradually began to dawn on me.
I had been the sole builder and caretaker of the site for so long I had not realized just how big my baby website had gotten—with more than 40 pages of information it had grown into Godzilla! And, like Godzilla rampaging in Tokyo, it caused the company I had hired to flee in terror. They were used to dealing with people who were setting up new websites with simple, basic pages. And, as someone who has a background in graphic design and the printing industry, I am simply not satisfied with just getting it on the page—it has to look good, too—making me a challenging client.
As my giant website and I sat disconsolately among the rubble of rebuilding, abandoned and alone, I said a prayer for guidance. Then, suddenly, I had an idea. I had just done an interview with Kim Greenhouse of “It’s Rainmaking Time.” From our conversations I seemed to recall that she also operated The Rainmaking Company which offered marketing and website design (another piece of synchronicity since shamanism is about planting seeds and nurturing them). I gave her a call and explained the situation, and she and Andy Abang (resident web genius) took pity on us and sprang into action. Bless them, the basic site was set up within a week, and I could finally tweak the look and massage it into its final, relaxed form.
And I had invaluable help with that part, too. Ironically, my virtual assistant at the old company, who I had loved working with, had also left them. I contacted her and discovered that she was not scared by my beast of a site, and so together Caley Walsh and I put the finishing touches on it, and then Andy swung back into action to actually publish the site.
The Road Home: Incarnations
The much loved website I had created over seven years was not the original design. That had been created in April 2001 by Linda Lee, then owner/editor of The Kaleidoscope Journal, and my roommate during my foundational training in Peruvian shamanism. Courtesy of the Way Back Machine you can actually see what my very first website looked like, back in the days when the web was something new! (I still love the pawprints that appear as you mouseover the three categories.) In 2004 my website incarnated for a second time into the site most of my current readers are familiar with.
But I had also changed immensely since the first and second incarnations, the second site no longer accurately expressed who I was. For dramatic impact I compare the transition to the shift in the classic movie The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy shifts from Kansas to the technicolor of Oz. However, unlike Dorothy, the Yellow Brick Road led me home!
A New Website is Born
Once the design work was done the big question was exactly when the new website would officially publish for its third incarnation. In the world of the internet two sites cannot occupy the same URL address at one time. The old site must disappear in order for the new one to be born. Best estimates from the tech folks said 24-72 hours was the average time for the transition. I was told that the fastest site they had seen transitioned in six hours.
Now, here’s where it gets really interesting, and how I finally realized (for sure) that we were on the right path with this new incarnation.
The process was initiated in early morning and eventually, when I went outside to say my morning tobacco prayers, I asked Spirit to bless the new site so that it would be a good vehicle for the messages from the animals that it would carry. When I came back inside the new website was live. Apparently the labor of transition had taken less than two hours!
And synchronously, Linda Lee, my shamanic buddy from the East coast and owner of the magazine that pushed me into becoming a writer, was flying into Seattle that very morning. We would be meeting face-to-face for the first time in 11 years. It truly felt like a cycle of completion and a new beginning—a new incarnation for both of us as Linda had recently completed 10 years of training for her degree—and we both celebrated accordingly!
Hopefully the Beast has now been transformed into a Beauty of a website. Enjoy, and if you have comments, feedback, suggestions, I’d love to hear them!
Here’s a little background on just two of the new features:
Bonus Gift for Newsletter Sign-up: Everyone who signs up for WRSH newsletter will receive the bonus gift of the story “Two Dogs,” a tale of compassion and animal communication from my book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism.
Quotes: In the left hand column on the new Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing site you will find quotes. Every time you refresh the page or navigate to a new one the earth- and animal-based quote changes. These are quotes I have collected over time, and my purpose in featuring them is to include their positive energy—adding to the intention of the website, which is about rebuilding the bridge between people, animals and the natural world to co-create a world that lives together in harmony once again. If you have a quote you think is appropriate and don’t see it, I’d love to know about it—send me an email.
Postscript: There has been another major redesign of my website since this article was written in 2011. The design you see now is its’ fourth incarnation!
Learn how to connect more deeply with animals, restore balance to your life, increase intuitive skills, and help heal the Earth with live Reiki and shamanic teleclasses, available worldwide.
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A WILD WAY TO HEAL
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.
Her book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism features heartwarming stories about animals and their role in her evolution as an energy worker and shamanic healer.