Timeless Spirit LogoTHEME Healthy new Age Ad

A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. January's Theme: "Self"
Volume 7 Issue 2 ISSN# 1708-3265

Index Meet Our Staff Free Subscription Donations Come Shopping Advertise in TSM Archived Issues


A Multitude of Selves: Who's Talking to Whom?

with Dawn Baumann Brunke

There are so many ways to talk with animals and so many animals and animal groups with whom to talk! We might speak to an individual living animal (the cat, goldfish or rabbit living in our home) or an animal in spirit form (our best canine buddy from childhood who has long since passed on). We may contact the larger wisdom of a species voice (Elephant or Whale) or tune in to the underlying tone of an animal totem or guide (specific suggestions from Coyote or a teaching from Dragonfly).

Just as each animal species holds a particular wisdom or 'medicine', there are also groups of animals who work together with a shared focus. These may be smaller groupings within a species (such as sled dogs), or members of different species who band together with a common teaching goal (for example, marine mammals working to awaken humans to issues of pollution or global warming).

So, how do we know what 'voice' or aspect of an animal we are hearing? The short answer to this is: experience. The more we talk with a variety of animals and animal groups, the more we have a sense of 'who' we are engaging.

It's also wise to keep in mind that the voice we tune in to corresponds to the voice we need to hear. It is the vibration or tone that most closely matches our energetic request for knowledge. Thus, the message we receive may tell us much about the animal, but also something about ourselves.

To truly know an animal and deepen in relationship to its teaching requires time, patience, and a variety of views. That is why—especially when initially opening to animals—it is helpful to gather diverse facets of information and experience. In addition to conversing with an animal, you might want to observe your animal, learn its habits, talk with it, dream about it. Allow yourself to follow the intriguing variety of ways in which that animal speaks to you—as an individual 'personality', as a species, as a guide or teacher, or perhaps as a dream ambassador. Listen, sense and feel what resonates most powerfully within you.

You can also play with the order of how you do these things. At times you may prefer to consult reference books first and then tune in to your animal. At other times you might want to plunge in and talk with your animal first. Afterward, you can compare the message you got to what others have learned.

And here's another twist. Instead of asking to speak with a specific animal group, you might direct your question as an "open call" and see who responds. This is a fascinating way of not only learning how to deepen your connection with animals but how to hear from a wide variety of animals.

Finally, it's important to remember that it is the human view that differentiates between speaking with a living animal, an animal spirit, a power animal, or a species voice. Clearly, there are different flavours to each type of communication, yet many animals do not differentiate between voices such as we do. Rather, they may shift easily from one mode to another and back again. If you are speaking with an individual animal about a particular type of wisdom, you may find your conversation opening quite naturally to a deeper group voice.

This has happened to me many times, and I am so often amazed at how a simple conversation with one animal can suddenly shift to conversing with groups of animals I never knew existed. For example, once while talking with a guide dog, I was unexpectedly 'introduced' to her Guide Dog Mentor—a spiritual aspect of Dog who works specifically with guide dogs. It had never occurred to me that such a being existed!

Humans love to explain things. An effect of our language and thinking processes is that we compartmentalize, separating this from that, tree from wolf, human from animal. We go to great lengths to deliberate and explain, to describe how this is different from that. We believe that if we can explain it then maybe we can know it.

To experientially know something, however, is to feel it throughout our being. This requires a shift in our thinking, an expansion of awareness, a change in how we see the world, a movement to deeper being. George Washington Carver put it this way: "More and more as we come closer and closer in touch with nature and its teachings are we able to see the Divine and are therefore fitted to interpret correctly the various languages spoken by all forms of nature about us."

Exactly so. The more we tap in to communicating with different animals, the more likely we are to experience a variety of voices—even in conversations with a single animal. Some talks will naturally move from connection at the individual level to more spirit-based or species-based connections. When you think about this, it really isn't so strange. Most everyone has experienced talking with a friend about an emotional issue when the conversation naturally deepens. We often bring great wisdom to each other in just this way.

Sometimes the simplest experiences are the most profound. When opening to animals, all we really need remember is to be ourselves—to meet, talk, laugh and learn from the wide diversity of animals who share our planet. Every animal, every being, every group consciousness reflects a slightly different piece of the whole. There is Horse wisdom and Bear wisdom, Rabbit wisdom and Human Being wisdom. Although we are all part of the same oneness, each of us has a different view, a different gift and teaching to share. Let us enjoy the varieties that come our way! Even when we don't expect it, a passing animal may have just the message we need to hear.

As we embrace the wisdom that is available to all, we share in a deeper sense of unity. As we come to intimately know the underlying oneness which pervades all creation, we cannot help but appreciate the amazingly distinctive ways this oneness is expressed. And so we participate more consciously—awakening ourselves to the grand multitude of selves who dance, swim, sing and fly, all of us soul-shining bright upon our little planet.

Dawn Baumann Brunke is the author of Animal Voices, Awakening to Animal Voices and the recently released Shapeshifting with our Animal Companions. Her books explore the deeper nature of our relationship with animals, nature, each other and ourselves. For more, see Dawn's website.

Be sure to read the reviews of her book "Awakening to Animal Voices" in our May 2005 Issue and her book "Animal Voices" January 2006 Issue.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Timeless Spirit Magazine. All articles are the copyright of the particular writers and cannot be reprinted without their expressed permission. All rights reserved. International copyright laws prohibit reproduction of or distribution of this page by any means whatsoever, electronic or otherwise, without first obtaining the written permission of the copyright holder. We retain legal counsel to protect our copyrights.

Any advice given is for informational purposes only.