Shamanism and Animals: Companion Animals 101


More coming VERY soon about a LIVE six-week class in Seattle. A search for the right venue has commenced!

This is the class to teach you to not only learn to talk to your animal, but learn from her. As animal devotees, We KNOW about our companion animals innate abilities to love and to nurture us.

And your animal is with you FOR A REASON. In addition to being best friend and beloved, your animal has a very special and specific reasons for being with us. While some of us are engaged in doing classes with our animals to help train them, to help them live their happiest lives, we need some training on how to both listen to what THEY want. And how they can teach us to live in reciprocity and as better members of the one tribe only.

Please contact me if you live in the greater Seattle area, and are curious. This is a six-week class that will meet once a week for 2.5 hours.

No worries if you LOVE this idea, but do not know how to journey. I can teach you how. Long distance and LIVE. There are huge advantages to learning how to journey while working in your very own home.

A whole new reality is calling you, asking you to please come to work with your own, unique helping spirits, made of love and compassion. Omniscient beings who can cure, teach and prescribe when you need help. 

Want to chat about your interests? Please contact me by writing me at 

Woofs and butt wiggles from my Lily, one of MY greatest teachers.

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.  Anatole France

            All of us who love animals know this quote is true.

            But I think it doesn't quite say it all in today's world. What I say is that when we engage with animals and nature as practical Teachers -- capital T -- our souls will begin to mend.    

            Our souls need to mend? Yes, yes, yes. We are overwhelmed. We go and go and go until we drop. We are on. On-line, on our to do lists, on our exercise programs, on our diets. On our business plans or on the streets looking for work.

sad lonely girl.jpg

           And many of us are exhausted. We are numb. Depression is growing at an epidemic rate. Those who of us do not get depressed, well, we seem to cycle from ennui or despair to re-engaging to fight the good fight. The cycle repeats over and over, sapping our energy. 

            What is the result and the cause of all of this? 

            Soul brokenness.

             Not soul loss, and not even depression. But soul brokenness.  Our souls need tending, but we don't know how to mend them. How to reawaken them, how to move from the center of our best intentions and not from our fears.

            This Shamanism and Animals: Companion Animals 101 workshop offers you a way to tend your soul, to reclaim your humanity, to live in greater resonance with the one tribe only. A way to rediscover grounded self-compassion, and a way to reignite your hope, energy and desire.

            The most important challenge facing us all is this: we have to find new ways to live humanely within the culture even as we work to create a world built on reverence and reciprocity, on compassion and not commerce. Your animal can begin to teach you about how to become the best animal human. And the most humane Homo sapien. 


This is the work the world needs now.

             There is a gentle, sweet reframe for our lives that can inspire a real shift, and it all begins with a simple acknowledgment.

              You, my dear, are an animal.

            Make no mistake. To say "I am an animal" is a radical proclamation in today's world. It smashes the notion of species superiority

            It means you are ready to be on equal footing with the bear, the frog, the thrush (as well as the tree, the sky, the stone) -- the one tribe. It means living as a part of and in resonance with nature.

            It means invoking a new humility, and embracing reverence and reciprocity.

            It means recognizing our animals are not our fuzzy children, but equals. And that they have the abilities to be Teachers because of the magnificence of their species' unique gifts. 

            It means finding a way to transmute our communal shame of being the only species that intentionally causes suffering for all the other species. This shame is too big a burden to carry anymore, but we need help to understand how to honestly put it down and reclaim our membership in the tribe again.

            And because you have a companion animal you love, you have the perfect Teacher to show you  how to salve your heart, tend your soul, and help you begin to listen for your soul whispers. Not to think what your desires really are. To feel them again.

            Can you remember what that feels like? The joy of that? The hope? This is the true essence of your humanity.

            This new class is one way to find a way back into your whole soul.  To quell the feeling that you are fighting the good fight alone. To nurture your soul, and to learn how to mend it again and again and again as you face the ongoing trials of our times.


Your Guru, Your Dog

(Or cat or horse or rabbit or….)

Lily, at twelve weeks, showed ME what sheer joy drum dancing is. 

Lily, at twelve weeks, showed ME what sheer joy drum dancing is. 

             Those of us who adore animals have a remarkable advantage. You KNOW your companion animal is not only your best friend, but is a being with unique intelligence. 

            While we may sense that our animals teach us about love and play and a million other things, we do not understand how to delve into their deepest teachings as life curriculum. 


You already know something empirical that validates all I am saying.

Have you forgotten  how to do this?

Have you forgotten  how to do this?

        Without any effort at all, no matter how your day was, you grin and open your arms to your dog as she races across the room to welcome you home  – your pleasure is effortless. It’s who you are.

        Your breath goes deeper and softer when you sit astride your horse and walk down a path through the woods – this isn’t breathing exercises, this is simply breathing.


Our animals see who we are, and can help us reclaim who we are.

Our animals see who we are, and can help us reclaim who we are.

            You laugh (or curse) at your cat as she plunks her body down on your computer keyboard when you are working – you may try to keep going, but the cat usually wins, and once she does, you’re happier.

       Our bodies organically respond to our animals. And that is only the tip of it. The smallest glimpse into what they have to share.




You Gotta Learn Their Language 

This is Star Gazer, my first, beloved animal Teacher. My most loving, most playful AND most profound shamanic Teacher. He died long ago, but his teachings live on.

This is Star Gazer, my first, beloved animal Teacher. My most loving, most playful AND most profound shamanic Teacher. He died long ago, but his teachings live on.

            Decades of work have shown me something miraculous: our beloveds WANT to be our Teachers in ways we have not understood. 

            Our companion animals have the capacity and intention to teach us how to reclaim the very parts of ourselves that are the most illusive, the most beautiful, the most soulful.

           Still, there is a real, practical barrier. We have to work with our animals using their language.


The beloved animal in your life CHOSE you.

           You may think it was your decision when you chose your animal, but I say there's more to it than what you think. What the two of you share is unique because you share a unique relationship.

            Think of this class as a way of opening a door to gorgeous  mystery that you both can inhabit. This mystery? It's a place of wholeness, of unity. It was born in the bond you forged with your animal the moment you met. This is point A in your road map.


Your Teacher is ready. Are you?

I KNOW bears are not companion animals, but if there ever was a photo that illustrates what I am saying... 

I KNOW bears are not companion animals, but if there ever was a photo that illustrates what I am saying... 

           In our eight-week class, you will learn how to use core shamanism to work with your own companion animal as a Teacher, to remember what your soul needs to rekindle.

            No matter your beloved’s species, she has very specific gifts to offer you, ways to help you become a better animal human. Working with your animal this way will deepen your relationship with your animal, of course, and it will also help you relearn what is and has always been true – you are a part of the one tribe. You are not alone.

            And the sweetest way back into that union is to rediscover what all children know how to do  -- to talk and listen to the animals. Once upon a time, you knew how to do this.

            This class is a first, but is grounded in decades of working with animals, both companion and wild. It's been tried and road tested. 


This Workship is a first, but it has a long history


            All of the tortured moon bears rescued by Animals Asia Foundation (AAF) were Teachers that seeded this work. 

        Six years ago, I originated and orchestrated a project -- The Star Gazer Shamanic Moon Bear Project.

          For almost thirty months, I had the privilege of  working with a group of hugely brave and compassionate shamanic volunteers from all over the world. We were dedicated to using our shamanic skills to ease the suffering of tortured moon bears rescued by AAF in China.

          No volunteer left that project untouched. They all learned -- from the spirits of the wounded bears themselves -- what true compassion looks like. 

          But no one expected -- least of all me -- that the bears would heal us. That although we thought we were there to serve them only, they had unfathomable grace and teachings to help us to heal. You can read more about this at The Radical Teaching That Changed Everything: With Love From The Moon Bears.

            I was forever changed. Am I "fixed" now? No. I go in an out of soul brokenness still. But that is NOT wrong. If you live an examined life, and if you pay attention to what is going on in our culture, your soul is going to ache with grief sometimes. Actually, if your soul DOESN'T ache sometimes, then this class is not for you.

             To expect you can "fix" your soul and freeze it whole is not what this is about. I know part of my work as animal human living in today's world is to let my soul be broken again and again. The trick is to mend it.

            These breaks? These are your what make you unique, and are life prompts to call you home to yourself. 


In this workshop, we will go far, far beyond simple animal communication (a most handy skill), and dwell in tribal experience, ancient wisdom.

what you will learn and practice

 In our class, you will:

  • Renew you rusty practice or just expand your already honed skill by taking the classic shamanic journeys to meet your unique compassionate, all-loving and omniscient Power Animal in a safe, nurturing environment. Yes, on-line CAN be a great way to work!
  • Bow to the essence of your soul, and begin to mend it with self-compassion -- with love and teachings from your animal.
  • Work with your helping spirits -- and with the spirit of your companion animal as the Teacher -- to discover what she specifically wants you to understand about being an animal human.
  • Practice ways to live in better resonance with your in-born grace -- day by day. 
  • Discover how to talk to your animal in her language to both serve her and to understand her seminal teachings, which will enrich both of your lives in unique ways.
  • Unearth why your animal chose YOU, and learn how to become a better, more human and humane animal (exactly what the world needs now). 
  • Receive shamanic prescriptions from your animal and your helping spirits to practice ways to become more empowered AND serene through these ever-more challenging times.
  • Delve into weekly homework to deepen your work. Do all the assignments as class proceeds or save some, and do them after the workshop has ended. It’s all yours to use when the time is right.

            By the end of the workshop, you will have learned to use a methodology that you can explore and deepen for the rest of your life. 

The Important Details

  •  This workshop will be offered on the Ruzuku (my favorite online platform) in summer, 2015.
  • The live, beta class rocked, and the online will keep you happily working at your pace.
  • This class? Buy it once, and it'll be there for life. I love to revisit good classes, and get grumpy when I pay tuition for a class, and can't take it AND re-take it.
  • Your only additional expense will be a a CD or MP3 download of shamanic drumming so you can work at home.
  •  Once class has concluded, you’ll be invited to keep the work going on a closed Facebook page where our community will grow and thrive.
  • Some surprises! A few unexpected treats here and there...


You have a choice to make

             My first, brave pioneers have now graduated the beta class. And more than a month later? Almost ALL are STILL rocking the work. 

             Interested in knowing more when I launch? Fill out the form below. Check back in the summer of 2015 to see when it launches. Better still, sign up for my blogs. For sure, it'll be announced there.


THIS CLASS will have a prerequisite.

You will have to know how to journey to take it, and have an established relationship with your power animal.

Don't know how to journey? I can teach you -- long distance -- in three sessions (typically -- everyone is different, but 85% can learn in three).

I only teach beginning journeying one-on-one when I work long-distance. This is initiatory work, and requires this level of personal attention to be sure you both can really dive into this ecstatic practice safely.

It's just me, but I believe learning to journey can only be taught ethically long-distance through one-on-one. The work is BIG, and you need an experienced teacher. After 20+ years and 3,000 clients and students? Yes, I have the experience you need.

Your initiation will be unique to you, and tailored to the way you work through the lessons.

And usually three sessions is all it takes. 


One of my specialties is power animal retrieval. This is almost always only a one-session practice, and I do the work as often long-distance as I do in-person.


Do you want me to come teach where you live as a weekend workshop? Have an idea for a core shamanic class you would like to take? I bet I have taught it somewhere. Or would love to design it with your needs in mind (this is a get-in-line process, and as I work like an alaskan malamute in HARNESS to creat good curriculum? I need time to really create ultimate experience).

Fill this out and let's Talk. Woof!

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