Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism
Eleven years in the making, Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism features 45 true and heartwarming stories about animals and their role in the life and evolution of animal communicator, Reiki and shamanic energy healer Rose De Dan.
This inspiring collection of tales, featuring dozens of black and white photographs by the author, is brought together here in one place for the first time.
“What I do for a profession may seem exotic, but the emotions and perceptions portrayed in these stories are universal. I share my experiences because I think people are hungry for validation of what they already know at a deep level, namely, that there is more to this world than meets the eye. It is my hope that this book will help people regain the sense of wonder and awareness they enjoyed as children—and the belief that they, too, can connect with animals and the world in magical ways.”—Rose De Dan
As the wheel of the year cycles and the season turns from summer into fall and from fall into winter, the sky turns darker and the pattering sound of leaves falling heralds the death of one season and the advent of another. It is a time of transition and I find myself experiencing and assisting, in a shamanic capacity, with the difficulty that we all face in letting go.
Death, as many of us are aware, comes not as the end but as a beginning to another part of the cycle. Yet no matter how much we hold this thought consciously, when we experience the loss of one we love, no conscious knowing can assuage those feelings of sorrow.
Our society recognizes loss and has ritual processes that we call funerals for humans. But sometimes these are not enough. What happens when your loved one is not a human relative or companion, but an animal? It is apparent in the greater numbers of people turning to ceremony and ritual, that something important is missing from our modern, supposedly civilized lives.
Today, I conducted a ceremony for a friend, to honor her loved equine companion of 22 years. A few weeks ago, I conducted a similar ceremony for a client’s beloved cat companion.
Both ceremonies were beautiful representations of the strong bond and connection that can exist between different species. I felt honored to have been chosen to conduct these loving releases and learned much in doing so. Animals often share our lives selflessly, and the one refrain I hear over-and-over again from them is that they have no fear of death—they worry more about how much we worry about them.
My connection to She Walks gives me some insight into the spirit world. During the course of these ceremonies I have felt nothing but positive energy surrounding these transitions, and the same goes for all the actual deathbeds at which I have been privileged to assist. I have seen rainbows in the smoke of the fire ceremonies, been brushed by love and memories as the smoke curled around me, and been embraced by the spirit of one who has passed over.
Animals are so accepting of the cycle that we fear so much. At one death despacho (a ceremony for honoring the dead) I was assembling the despacho in ritual when a small bee flew into my hair. I assumed he would extricate himself and fly off, instead he died and fell into the despacho (strong shamanic drum roll, please). Needless to say my client wished to know the significance of this. So I asked the spirit of the bee, and his reply was, “Summer has ended, the cycle is turning, it is a good day to die.” These were words both my client and I needed to hear, and I try never to consider the source too small to teach me something important.
On a day-to-day basis I watch people struggle (as I myself struggle) with letting go, and with emptying out as they strive to be better vessels for the energy we call Spirit. While this transition may take a different form than the loss of a loved one, it still involves the emotions of fear and grief that we experience in the face of any change. Whether it is our death, the death of a loved one, or a stage in our evolution on this plane, transition means we leave some aspects of ourselves behind, but expand to encompass others. Shapeshifting in a very real sense.
So this year I shall embrace the change of the cycle as we proceed into the winter season, welcome it with ritual and ceremony, and acknowledge my place and connection to the wheel of life.
Originally published in The Kaleidoscope Journal, December 1998
©Rose De Dan. All Rights Reserved.
Dancing the Shamanic Jitterbug
by Rose De Dan
Well, I have survived my first book reading, and I am happy to report, I actually had fun!
When I arrived at SoulFood Books in Redmond, and toted in my shamanic gear, I got my first look at where I would be reading, and seriously questioned if I knew what I was doing. For some reason I had imagined that I would be ensconced in an armchair somewhere among the bookshelves (perhaps I had delusions of being Alistair Cook on PBS). Instead I was led over to the café area and a STAGE, complete with a chair, spotlights, and a microphone on a stand. More the kind of setup I would expect for a musician, rather than an author, and indeed there was a guitar case lurking nearby.
So riveted was I by the idea of having to appear on that stage that I completely overlooked the overhead sign announcing “Rose De Dan, Author.” If I had not been so deer-in-the-headlights I might have taken a moment to appreciate the first-time joy of seeing my name, if not in lights, at least paired on a chalkboard with the lovely title “author” for all to see. Instead, I can thank Rhonda Hanley, who documented the evening photographically, for the opportunity to at least savor it in private later.