When I first published my book, Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism, I wrote a humorous article entitled Inviting a Tiger Home to Play: Unleashing a Shamanic Book which contained stories that clearly showed that the book had a mind, and a spirit, all its own. Several of those stories revolved around dogs and cats who seemed to find the book’s energy irresistible.
Lately I have been on what seems like a continuous relay run to connect with wild and domestic animals except it is a prayer stick we are passing rather than a baton! I have visited with the animals at a variety of shelters and zoos as well as in their natural habitat both for their personal and global benefit as well as in preparation for this year’s A Walk on the Wild Side at Earthfire Institute.
Last weekend it was a double-header with a visit to Wolf Haven International one day followed by a visit to Olympic Game Park on the Olympic Peninsula. That’s about 500 miles of travel in two days, folks! I was one tired ReikiShaman, let me tell you.
On the 4th of July I was out on the water in the San Juan Islands and on up to Canada on behalf of the whales, orcas and other marine wildlife.
After a lively schedule of clients and classes I am only just getting all the photos organized, but wanted to begin with our time at Wolf Haven and continue in subsequent newsletters.
For those of you unfamiliar with Wolf Haven International they are a non-profit sanctuary that rescues wolves mostly from people who thought they could keep them as pets and then discovered that they couldn’t cope with their needs. They are also very active in conservation efforts on behalf of the wild wolves, especially in Washington state where currently wolves are protected under state law and are not hunted (unless deemed a risk to livestock as in the tragic killing of the Wedge Pack), but that could change as the number of packs continue to grow . Wolf Haven does a lot of research and education to encourage people to find alternatives to hunting, and it is my hope that the ceremonies that we do with and for the wolves also helps to shift perceptions about them.
Recently I felt a call to revisit Wolf Haven. I had not been there for a number of years, and it felt like time—I could feel the wolves calling. When I saw the drawing for a free pass during an education day at the Woodland Park Zoo I jumped at the chance to enter. My friend Debbie entered also, and a few days later got notice that she had won a pass for one person. We took as a definite sign that we were supposed to go and chose the date of June 28. Imagine my surprise when I opened my mail the following day and I discovered that I had also won a free pass! Double confirmation!
Days later Debbie emailed me, “Guess what day this event is taking place in Yellowstone—same day we visit Wolf Haven.” Turns out that on June 28 Speak for Wolves: Yellowstone 2014 was scheduled to begin in Gardiner, Montana to take steps to stop the wolf slaughter that has taken place since wolves were delisted from the Endangered Species Act. Wow, Spirit was really connecting us with the wolves and the planned ceremonies!
On the morning of June 28, after arriving at Wolf Haven, we started with the tour. Tours are very special since only one group at a time is allowed into the area where the wolves live in order to minimize stress. There were only four of us (our guide, another woman, Debbie and I) so the wolves seemed quite comfortable with our presence—indeed some came up to the fence to check us out.
And to my delight we got a very special greeting, too. We were standing in front of the enclosure where grey wolf Spruce lives with his partner Jaque, and we were talking about Yellowstone National Park (where we will be returning again this year as part of our epic journey for A Walk on the Wild Side).
We were just speaking of the relationship of the wolves with the bison in Yellowstone and the very important balance that is maintained in the ecosystem by predators when suddenly all the wolves and the two coyotes began to howl. I had a very strong sense that they were singing that message of balance as well as adding their prayers to ceremony. It was a very sacred moment. Spruce was standing right in front of us and I was able to take one picture through the chain link that was not blurry, and the other posted here expresses the heart and soul that he put into his song. Even better, Debbie managed to record a portion of the group howl.
Note: There is a memorial at Wolf Haven to the members of the Wedge Pack who were killed, created by artist Colleen R. Cotey. The permanent display consists of three adults, three pups and one raven. This photo shows one of the adults.
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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.