Our first field trip for Listening to Zoo Animal Ambassadors class was to Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. I did some reading on their site, and when I saw octopus Gertie (named after the infamous “Galloping Gertie” Tacoma Narrows Bridge which is now a marine wildlife sanctuary under the waves) my guides told me that I was to pay special attention to her. Sometimes that means that the Zoo Animal Ambassadors need extra time for the collection of their prayers and possibly have a message to share. This time our meeting was all that and much, much more.
Student Ralee was in front of one of the exhibits, collecting the prayers from some of the smaller ZAA native to Puget Sound. I was standing to her left. I shifted a little more to the left, and something made me look away from Ralee and to the exhibit, we would be going to next. The moment my eyes focused on the resident Pacific Giant Octopus I now knew was called Gertie she dashed toward me and I heard, “YOU’RE HERE, YOU’RE HERE, YOU’RE HERE!!!” Gertie’s color was a bright orange-red—a sign of excitement, and that was the feeling she was flooding me with. Her feelings came through so strongly that it caused me to grab Ralee’s sleeve and tug her toward Gertie (truly something I can say that I have not done before).
We had a very memorable time with Gertie, who was incredibly interactive with us. I was in awe of the connection and felt guided to ask her if she would like some Reiki. She immediately said yes, and I let Ralee know.
I had thought that Gertie was done teaching us, but I was wrong. The exact instant that the Reiki energy began to flow Gertie’s color immediately shifted from orange-red to a muted gray-red and she swiftly tucked herself into the rock nook closest to us and closed her eyes. Gertie was not only prepared to receive Reiki, but she was also embracing it with a full state of relaxation.
Gertie clearly showed me what being willing to receive really looks like, and that is an important lesson for all of us, not just healers. Too often we lovingly give to others while not embracing our own healing and self-love with similar gusto.
Gertie is not just a powerful Zoo Animal Ambassador—she is also my Octopus Teacher!
If you would like to learn Reiki or refresh your Reiki skills, I have a new Reiki 1 class starting February 2, and I would love to share my passion for Reiki with you!
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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.