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Death Of Cecil The Lion And The Path To Healing

Death of Cecil the Lion and the Path to Healing

The last few days have challenging for me. There was an incident with one of my neighbors that resulted in damage to my garden, and violation of my trust. The incident deeply affected the plants and their quality of life—resulting in my happy garden becoming much less happy——which made me very angry.

Yes—for those of you who think I sit on the mountaintop dispensing advice from a place of Zen-like balance all the time—I can get knocked off kilter just like everyone else!

Getting angry is the result of an old story getting its button pushed—in this case by my unwitting neighbor. As a healer I know it is not personal—but when that button is pushed it sure feels like it.

As a healer I also know what steps to take to clear the stuck energy so that I can rebalance myself and move on. I did some of the work, but not all of it. And then another layer came up, and I found myself wallowing in the story once again, creating dialogues and strategies in my mind on how to get what I felt was my due so that I could heal my feelings of hurt and betrayal. Old, old stuff.

Before I could clear the old stuff I discovered that Greenpeace activists have suspended themselves from a bridge in order to block Shell’s rig from passing to the Arctic where they will set up for offshore drilling. Offshore drilling in the Arctic has a great deal of potential to destroy the pristine beauty of the wilderness if there is ever a spill. I felt my anger spike just a bit more.

And then the story broke about Cecil, a beloved wild lion who lived in a Zimbabwe and that was recently killed by a hunter. A dentist from the U.S. paid trackers $50,000 to shoot a lion, and the trackers baited a truck with meat and lured Cecil out of the park where he is protected, and onto land where he was not. Cecil did not fear the hunters—people loved him and came to see him, why would he? His trust was betrayed—Cecil was shot, and eventually killed to become a trophy. My anger was now reaching critical mass.

But the universe does not want you to remain stuck, and sends you messages that can help you shift—if you remain open to the possibilities.

I received an article from fellow animal communicator Janet Roper (see Remembering Cecil the Lion), and realized that other professionals were struggling, too.

I stumbled across a video posted by one of my Facebook connections of Jimmy Kimmel talking about Cecil the lion. Yes, Jimmy Kimmel the comedian. He spoke out on behalf of Cecil and in support of wildlife conservation, and he had a tearful moment in expressing his caring. My awareness of Jimmy Kimmel as a human being went up a few notches, and an important moment of connection and perspective was made possible for me.

I felt Jimmy’s pain, and that of many others around Cecil’s untimely death. I recalled how hurt so many people were over the death of Marius the giraffe (see Messages from the Other Nations), and how many are upset daily by the rape of our environment by business interests that don’t seem to be listening to those of us who are terrified that we are in danger of possibly irretrievably damaging the Earth that sustains us and losing the animals we love.

I wanted to set up another telecall as I did around Marius’ death—to help others make sense of the seemingly senseless, offer healing for the pain, and listen for messages from Cecil—but Spirit said no, that was not where I was needed. Spirit said my focus right now has to be on the whales I will be meeting with very soon for Whale Teachers #3: The Humpbacks.

So, what could I do? How could I help?

In reviewing the reasons why someone would kill an animal for a trophy I had an insight from when I dated someone who did just that. People that knew me asked how could I possibly stand to be around him?

He was not a trophy hunter when I first met him, and I knew something about him that that they didn’t—he had deep unresolved childhood trauma. Trophy hunting was one way he coped with the feelings of powerlessness that had left very deep emotional scars. While I did not condone how he coped, I felt his pain, and I had compassion for him and the boy who had been so deeply traumatized. People aren’t born uncaring—they are made that way by life circumstances, and they stay that way through lack of awareness that anything can be done to heal the pain.

In that moment I truly understood that I would never know what motivated the dentist and the trackers who killed Cecil, and that I would never know what personal history motivated my neighbor, or the people behind the corporate interests seeking to invade the Arctic. And knowing what motivated them was not important. What was important was healing my pain. Each time I took those steps and released my anger I freed myself and stopped feeding and helping the anger of the world grow—which offers no positive benefits.

It’s a big step to take. When you are angry you feel righteous and important which gives you a false sense of power—the opposite of the way you feel when confronting the underlying feelings of helplessness and vulnerability. Confronting those feelings and healing them is an act of courage, and a true act of power.

I have now done more of my own personal clearing work, and will keep doing it until I reach a place of forgiveness and understanding about events with my neighbor. And I have a much better personal understanding of the lesson that how you live at home impacts how you walk in the larger world.

For everyone who is grieving and angry, Jimmy is right—we need to shift the tragedy of Cecil’s death into positive actions.

First, do your own personal healing work.

Second, support conservation efforts that work toward banning hunting of all endangered animals, not just lions. Then Cecil’s death will have saved so many more from a similar fate.

Finally, send Reiki to the situation, do shamanic ceremony, or offer prayers that we can walk together on the path to healing and compassion. That is path that Cecil—and all the other animals—truly want us to take.


In memory of Cecil, whose tragic death sparked so much positive change.


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©2015 Rose De Dan. All Rights Reserved.

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.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Dear Rose,

    Thank you so much your article today about Cecil and how to cope/help. I am sorry you are having a challenge with your neighbor. I was so upset yesterday when I read about Cecil and I am just so overwhelmed about how animals are abused by humans but you are right, we need to focus on positive actions now. In meditation today, what came to me was that Cecil’s death was part of a huge transition that is happening now with the shift of consciousness in the world to bring more awareness of helping animals and the environment. Maybe Cecil’s soul plan was to help mobilize people to stand up and say “no more” to the horrific realities of trophy hunting. I really appreciate all of your insights and thank you for being open with us today about what’s going on in your life. It seems like all of us are on this wild roller coaster ride now with our emotional wounds being triggered to heal and the whole world seems to be reflecting this as so much is going on everywhere. Blessings and love. Marla

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