In December 2017 I began teaching annual class Listening to Zoo Animal Ambassadors where students learn how to engage and connect with the animals as respected, equal spiritual beings with the support of shamanic and Reiki energy and animal communication. Skills they can use for future visits with animals wherever they go.
In addition to training, the class series includes monthly field trips to four local zoos: Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Northwest Trek, Cougar Mountain Zoo, and Woodland Park Zoo. (If you are new to Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing, you may want to read Why I bring people to the zoo.)
Here are some highlights of our time in ceremony with the zoo animal ambassadors on our last three field trips:
NORTHWEST TREK – ambassadors for native wildlife
• The moose showed up in force to add their prayers to ceremony. Our guide told us it was the equivalent of hitting the lottery to see that many.
• We try to collect the prayers of all, no matter how small. When we were asking ourselves where the frog in the exhibit might be hiding, he peeked out and said, “Here I am.”
COUGAR MOUNTAIN ZOO – the smallest of all we visited, but that meant we could have more personal encounters with the Ambassadors
• Greeting the trio of brother/sister mountain lions, and having them vocally respond back was a definite delight.
• Having one of the reindeer leave the herd and walk down to add his prayers touched our hearts.
• Our face-to-face encounters with Bengal tigers Taj and Almos were intense and touching. They came out in the rain to be with us, and offered us lots of cheek rubs through the screen. It is an incredible piece of serendipity that three of the zoos in ZAA have tigers—Sumatran, Bengal and Malayan—all highly endangered in the wild. Bringing their prayers to ceremony is an important focus of our shamanic work.
• Alpha wolf Kalman came down to greet us (a first!), made eye contact and added prayers from right next to us. A very powerful moment. He is part of a pack of four males, which balances the four females at Woodland Park Zoo. All four zoos that are part of Listening to ZAA have wolves, including the highly endangered Red Wolves at Point Defiance Zoo. Wolves are the most highly persecuted and misunderstood of any native wildlife in this country, and I am so happy that we can include their prayers in the ceremonies.
Attendee, artist and shaman Patrick Corrigan shared an amazing drawing he did of three of the encounters. Years ago he was a volunteer at CMZ, and during our visit it was powerful to witness two of the long-lived parrots remember and greet him through the glass, inviting him to come in (which we could not do as they were off exhibit that day due to the cold temps).
WOODLAND PARK ZOO – largest of all the zoos, so we were not able to visit everyone personally, but their prayers were collected nonetheless!
• The ostriches made a fanfare appearance to meet and connect with us. A first!
• Baby giraffe Lulu was happy to see us, and mom Tufani shared with me what the yummy forsythia blossoms they were eating tasted like (pollen and nectar were sweet, blossoms were nutty).
• Komodo dragon Selat demonstrated how good Reiki felt for his aging bones by giving a big stretch as soon as we started sending, and then relaxing into a contented sleep.
• Baby gorilla Yola interacted and communicated with us in a way that made it clear that she appreciated our grounded and peaceful energy. Sadly, patriarch silverback Leo passed away suddenly two days later. I am grateful that we got to see him one last time in ceremony.
There were so many special moments that it took me a long time to share all the stories with the virtual participants in our call afterwards. If I were to sum it up, I would say that the animals made it very clear to us that they appreciated our showing up and making ourselves available to listen to their messages and to collect their prayers.
I feel so honored to have shared those moments with the wonderful folks who attended Listening to Zoo Animal Ambassadors, and hope to see you all again in December!
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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.