I don’t speak much about my pro bono work, especially before ceremony and healing with whoever is next. I’m making an exception because of how the timing of events is falling into place. It feels as though speaking of the ceremony is a way of honoring recently transitioned Tokitae (Lolita) who literally gave her life to raising public awareness of the plight of Orca in captivity and the wild.
Tokitae was kidnapped as four-year-old, and sold to a marine park. She never saw her family again. Currently, there are approximately 74 Southern Resident Orca (Killer Whales) left in all the world. In 2005, Southern Resident Orcas were designated as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, and they are one of the most critically endangered marine mammals in the United States.
My assistant Becky and I have had a trip to collect the prayers of the Whales and other marine wildlife planned for a couple of months—tickets bought and paid for as part of my pro bono work. That trip takes place tomorrow, Sunday, August 20. Perhaps it is divine timing that we will be in ceremony on the waters where Tokitae’s family live two days after her death. And for an additional twist, we will also be dealing with wildfire smoke that has just moved in to the area. Climate change will be part of the ceremony, too.
My students know that I try to keep my fingers on the pulse of news related to the Animal Ambassadors. I first heard about Tokitae’s passing via an email from my former student Claudine Records who some may recognize from her support for Tilikum, another famous captive Orca (see Holding Space for Dying Orca Tilikum). I wished her well in my Twitter post: “RIP Lolita (Tokitae) May you roam free in spirit and be reunited with your loved ones who have crossed over.” For some reason, I did not feel called to build Tokitae a Bridge of Light. I did send Reiki to the situation. Perhaps her long service as an Animal Ambassador will help create positive change for all.
It has been a very challenging week, and I am tired. Perhaps that is why I did not immediately connect Tokitae’s death with my long-planned ceremony with the Whales (and other marine wildlife). When the light bulb went on, I emailed Claudine and Becky about the serendipity of it all.
This morning, Claudine sent another email, alerting me to marine policy grad-student-in-training Emma Luck’s Twitter post of a Super Pod gathering of Tokitae’s family. Oh, my!
When we travel in ceremony, we carry prayer sticks and invite those we encounter to add their prayers which we then bring to fire on their behalf. I never know what will happen. I surrender to the moment and trust that all will happen as it is meant. I have let the Southern Residents know we are coming. If our paths should cross, I will ask if they wish to participate not only with their prayers, but also in building a Bridge of Light for Tokitae, and if they say yes, it will be my honor to serve.
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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.