This year will be my second visit to Earthfire Institute, and while there are many good friends there, I am especially looking forward to spending more time with Windwalker the cougar.
Windwalker has a powerful presence and a great heart that is both awe-inspiring and humbling. His love for wildlife expert and friend Jean Simpson of Earthfire is very clear as you will see in the photos.
But Windwalker is something more—in my opinion he is a spiritual Master Teacher/Healer. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Other workshop attendees and workshop leaders/animal communicators such as Penelope Smith and Polly Klein have expressed the same opinion.
It was that belief that caused me to offer Windwalker a Reiki attunement after the 2010 A Walk on the Wild Side event concluded.
It was an experience that had its moments of humor as well as energetic depth and spiritual connection. I thought to offer Windwalker a distance attunement using a plush stuffed animal as a surrogate. However Windwalker wanted my Tiger—big time. And he did not have spiritual intentions—Windwalker wanted a play toy—an encounter I doubted that Tiger would survive.
Once Tiger was moved out of Windwalker’s sight I again had his full attention, and I mean FULL attention. He took up a position where he was looking directly at me, into my eyes, and he barely blinked the entire time. I could feel the intensity of our connection in the energy of the attunement and it moved me deeply.
Windwalker and I have stayed in touch in the almost year since, and he makes requests of me from time to time, or offers opinions (sometimes out of the blue). Lately I have felt a very strong pull from him, and the feeling that he was going to play a larger role in the upcoming workshop.
That feeling was confirmed when I spoke with Polly Klein upon her return from her August workshop. She’d had a conversation with Windwalker where he expressed his determination to remain in his body, no matter the cost, so long as the people kept coming, for he had a mission. And his request to me was to assist him in staying in his body as long as possible (he is an elder, at least 13, and has the pains of old age). And so, Windwalker has now been added to my weekly client schedule and is also receiving daily Reiki from Debbie Noyes and myself (he has requested that others not send Reiki directly, preferring to work with only a few people, but is open to Reiki and prayers for the situation).
Not long after, Diane Stringfellow signed up for the 2011 A Walk on the Wild Side: Answering the Call of the Wild at Earthfire and shared her experiences with Windwalker.
I was so moved by the synchronicity of experiences and Windwalker’s desire that I asked Diane if she would be willing to be interviewed, and she gladly agreed, feeling that it was important (as I did) to get Windwalker’s call to the people out.
And so, I present a transcript of our interview which I hope you will share with others. Read or listen to the recording and learn how one person heard and responded to Windwalker’s Call.
This is Rose De Dan, and I’m talking to Diane Stringfellow about her experiences at Earthfire Institute with a cougar named Windwalker.
Hi Diane, how you doing?
Diane: I’m good, Rose, thank you.
Rose: First, I’m curious, what drew you to Earthfire Institute in the first place?
Diane: Well, it was kind of odd, actually for me, I’m a very kind of practical person, and I was looking at not working for a year, and was starting that process last fall/spring. My daughter had gone to a psychic and she kept encouraging me to go see this woman, she thought it would be fun and interesting. So I went and saw this woman, and during the session she said that they (the people on the other side) were telling her that I needed to check out Earthfire Institute, and I asked her what was that and she said, “I have no idea, this is what they are telling me that you need to do.” And I kind of went, ‘Okay, yeah right.’
And I came home and I Googled Earthfire Institute and there really was a place. I mean it was like there really was this place. And the hair stood up on the back of my neck—I just could not believe that there really was this place. So I started looking at the 2011 programs and they weren’t posted yet, but I actually saw yours from last year and I was really drawn to it. And so I kept checking, waiting for the calendar for 2011 to come up and eventually I phoned and spoke to Linda the office manager there. She was telling me about the various programs, and I was really drawn to do yours but it wasn’t until the fall. I was going to be stopping work mid-May and wanted to kind of do a trip and go to Earthfire.
So I signed up for the Heart-to-Heart with Susan and Jean, and I started off on my road trip, went down the coast of the States, up through desert up to Driggs, Idaho.
I ended up kind of building this whole kind of journey, this kind of walkabout around ending up at Earthfire, right? But I really wasn’t clear. I was attracted, I’ve always had a really strong relationship with animals, probably more so than people. I’m more comfortable with animals than people. I was inspired by what was happening at Earthfire and I wanted to go see that, but that was as much as I knew at that point. So that took me to Earthfire in the middle of June.
Rose: And so, I understand you had a powerful experience with one of the resident Animal Teachers there. What was your experience meeting Windwalker like?
Diane: Windwalker? Oh, it was profound! We went up to his compound, and he was laying up on top of his house, or den, or whatever the right word is for that. And he kept calling to Jean, he really wanted Jean to go in, and Jean had a different idea of how the day was going to look, so he really didn’t want to go in, but Windwalker was really persistent.
Finally Jean went in, and he went up to Windwalker and Windwalker reached out his paw and touched Jean’s face. The love and reverence in that touch, I mean I just (I’m going to cry again)…I just lost it, I just started crying. The beauty of his spirit, of Windwalker’s spirit, was just, I mean it just…I don’t even have words for it! It was like this profound, energetic emotional connection that I had with Windwalker, I mean it wasn’t about words it was about something much different than that. I realized in that moment that it was Windwalker that had called me to be at Earthfire. It was really clear to me but I was kind of just reeling.
We were there with him for a while, and Jean was in with him for a while, and then I look up at Jean and said, ‘Hi, can I just have a hug?’ I mean I was trying to get grounded, I mean it just knocked me over, you know?
And I’m usually pretty stoic—part of me was embarrassed that I was bawling my eyes out next to Windwalker there. But I mean he’s just…Windwalker’s amazing. He’s just this wonderful old soul. You know, I think that he’s a healer. Kind of what’s come through to me later—it took kind of a while for me to kind of find words for that. I think he’s a healer, I think he calls people to be awake, that he calls people to be in a circle. Yes, my time at Earthfire, my time with Windwalker—all the animals were really special but he was kind of the big piece on the end of an amazing few days that I spent there.
Rose: Yeah, it is a really incredible place.
Diane: Kind of in hindsight it was like the redwoods called me. When I was standing in the redwoods on the coast there, I realized that these trees had called me. And then when I was in the desert it was the same thing; I realized that the desert had called me, and I’ve never had a lot of interest in the desert. So it was really interesting that there were all these pieces, including Windwalker, that kind of called me on this, this journey that I did.
Rose: Yes, indeed.
Diane: So after the workshop it was kind of like Windwalker kept kind of saying, ‘Well, you’ve got to come back—you’ve got to come back in September.’ And I went, ‘Well, I’m not sure the money’s going to last…you know there’s other things that I’m going to be doing.’ I mean you, know, all those justifications that we make.
Rose: Mmm-hmm (agreeing)
Diane: And then the other week —it was actually Sunday night (Aug. 21)—I was almost asleep, and I saw these paws, and I instantly knew that they were Windwalker’s. And then his face came into view and it was like he filled my bedroom—he was there, he was there with me. And he said, ‘You have to come back. I’ve been calling and you’re not listening. You have to come back.’ And I said, “Well, why?’ And he said, ‘Well, you need to be in ceremony with Rose, you need to come and meet Rose. You need to be in ceremony with her.’ And I said, ‘Well, why?’ And he said, ‘Well, that will be revealed when you get here.’
But I mean, like his presence, his presence was like…I mean it was just amazing. I mean there was no doubt, it was just absolutely no matter what I have to go back to Earthfire. So I actually went online and booked your seminar, your workshop.
Rose: A Walk on the Wild Side
Diane: Yes, that’s right.
Rose: And the subtext on that one is Answering the Call of the Wild and it certainly sounds like that’s what you’re doing by answering Windwalker’s call.
And I would definitely agree, I too believe that he is a Master Teacher/Healer, but his time is growing short, and so this call may be his last. We don’t know.
Diane: I think that’s true, I think that’s true. I hope not.
Rose: I hope not, too. We will sit in dialogue and ceremony with him once again and we’re planning on building the ceremony, as much as we can, involving him, around him, with him—he’ll be a central focal point.
Diane: The purity of his spirit, to have been in an enclosure for most of his life. I don’t know if somebody locked me in a bathroom if I could maintain that kind of generous spirit that he has. Not that I am faulting Earthfire in any way, because he is where he is because that is what needed to happen for him.
Rose: And Jean treats him really well, they do treat him really well. He does get to come out for walks with Jean and that is really a sight to see.
Diane: I know that but you know what I am saying? I was just struck by the beauty of his spirit, you know?
Rose: I know—you won’t get any argument from me. I’ve got my own stories to tell about Windwalker, which I’ll probably talk about in the article that I’ll be writing.
Diane: Oh, that will be wonderful!
Rose: So, thank you. It is my understanding that you have not had many psychic or visionary experiences prior to this?
Diane: Truthfully, there’s always been times in my life at different times where there’s been inspiration kind of from the universe. But I’m a very practical, pragmatic kind of person in the world. So I tend to go okay, yeah, that’s interesting, but…So it’s interesting that this came through loudly enough that there was no ignoring it. And it’s still amazing to me that I found Earthfire based on going and seeing a psychic. That this woman was telling me about this place—she did not even know what she was telling me about. She said, ‘I have no idea, this is what they are telling me.’
And that was Windwalker. I think that was Windwalker putting it out to the universe on behalf of Earthfire or his own need, whatever that is. Sorry, to sound vague but I don’t have a lot of words, it is like this feeling, this energetic feeling as opposed to something I have words for.
Rose: (laughs) I understand. So, I look forward to meeting you in person and sharing that time together with Windwalker, and of course Susan and Jean and all the other animals at Earthfire—it’s coming up soon!
Diane: I know, it’s going to be wonderful to be back, yes, absolutely.
Rose: Thank you, Diane, and I’ll be seeing you soon!
Diane: Thank you, Rose.
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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.