I spent this past Valentine’s Day with the many different species of animals, birds, and other marine wildlife at the Seattle Aquarium. It was the third field trip for Listening to Zoo Animal Ambassadors, and we had let all of the animals know that we were coming to be with them to listen, collect their prayers for ceremony, and perhaps offer a little Reiki here and there.
I don’t choose the dates for these classes on my own—I ask for guidance. This year the date Spirit chose happened to be Valentine’s Day. I knew that February 14th was the beginning of Octopus Week at the Aquarium. However, I did not realize that it would also be a very special day for Pacific Giant Octopus’ Franklin and Hazel, who were ready to have a romantic encounter.
I’m certain that in the wild Franklin and Hazel would not have decorated their aquatic homes with heart-shaped red lights or the bouquet of roses suspended in the Aquarium tank. Nor would they have chosen the Barry White and Marvin Gaye songs piped through the PA system, but I give the Aquarium props for attempting to set the mood.
Franklin and Hazel did not need all of that romantic human-stuff, but when their 16 arms wrapped around each other in an “octopus hug” it was still awe-inspiring, humbling and emotional. Amazingly it happened right in front of where we were standing and we got it on video thanks to Stacey Doyne. See Octopus Love: Franklin and Hazel.
There were many other incredible encounters which I did my best to document (click here to see all the photos), but there are a few stories that I would like to share.
The first involves an elegant shrimp and a hermit crab.
When we arrived at their tank the hermit crab was hanging out on a rock next to the nearby cave where two shrimp were hanging out—one inside and one out. The prayer stick was presented to all the residents, and one shrimp emerged from the cave to take a closer look. Meanwhile the hermit crab decided he needed to be closer, and began making his way slooow-ly toward the front of the tank and the prayer stick. The first shrimp quickly moved past the slow-motion crab, put in her prayers, and went for a little walkabout before the hermit crab finally arrived triumphantly and added his. It was rather like an underwater version of the tortoise and the hare!
The Red Octopus was quite happy to see us, and hung out at the front of her tank where she changed colors several times as she added her prayers. The volunteer remarked that she was putting on quite the show for us (and we felt blessed to witness it). Toward the end she folded two of her eight arms underneath her—looking very like a person resting their chin on their arms. She finished up with an offering of Reiki.
Everywhere we went the animals greeted us. Surprisingly, the most eager was a Sea Cucumber who sent me a feeling very like a really happy puppy wagging his tail in delight. Amazing playful energy from a being that I don’t think I have previously noticed much. I shall never look at Sea Cucumbers the same again!
One of the Harbor Seals was delighted to show us how graceful he was—spinning and turning and making sure that we were getting his best side.
Prayers were collected from every inhabitant—sleeping river otters, scallops, lumpfish, barnacles, sea anemones—to name just a few.
Sometimes the energy of the prayer stick sparked an outbreak of celebration. Once again we witnessed Puffin Pandemonium as one fellow came right up to the glass to share his enthusiasm.
We finished up the day in the Underwater Dome—one of my favorite places. The Underwater Dome is exactly what it sounds like—a dome that you stand inside, and all around you is water and all the fish that you could ask for. It is as though the people are in a fishbowl—letting the fish engage in some people watching!
I always enjoy sitting quietly in front of a section of window and watching everyone swim by. Fish are very aware of energy, and water transmits energy quite well, which means that over time fish began to cluster near us. Most notable was the flounder who propped himself up on his front fins so that he could get a good look at the prayer stick while adding his to it.
And then there was the rockfish who also wanted some Reiki. During his session he came to rest on the window ledge, using it as a kind of Reiki table. It was the perfect end to a very energetic and loving day.
And in the next few days each human participant brought the prayers of the animals to ceremony and added their own for a shamanic Valentine for All Our Relations.
Rose De Dan
Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing
Interested in creating stronger connections with All Our Relations and helping heal the Earth? Take a look at live 8-week teleclass Bones, Stones, Feathers and Fur, available worldwide. Click here to learn more.
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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.
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