On Sunday I was about to clean our hummingbird feeder when I found these two adorable slugs, one is a baby. Not wanting to accidentally hurt them when I washed it- I (gently & carefully) coaxed them unto my hand with a leaf to transport them. When they started moving and using their tiny antennae eyes to sense and explore I could not resist the cuteness and had to take a few photos. Their energy felt very sweet and playful to me. Curious and innocent/open.
Please be gentle to these fascinating little creatures next time you see them in your garden & share some leaves with them. They eat a lot of decaying vegetation & help keep things clean. Pretend they are leaving a trail of sparkles instead of slime.They are basically snails without a fancy shell house.
Sometimes after having meaningful encounters with wildlife, after sensing their energy for myself and forming my own ideas regarding the message they shared with me, I also enjoy reading about traditional & symbolic meanings associated with each one I met. I just looked up the slug in Animal-Wise by Ted Andrews, and found two pages of wonderful information including that "When a slug appears as a totem or messenger, we are opening to higher vision....The slug's appearance reminds us that we will soon recognize and realize the illumination that is always present within us." (p. 286-287)
I have written & talked about not using "it" when referring to animals, as this equates them to property. I am also thinking about what might change if we refrained from using the word "owner" and instead chose a word that more accurately describes our actual relationship, like friend, parent, guardian, caretaker, sibling, baby, companion? There are so many options, any one that resonates will work.
I quietly took the photo above while travelling -I did not want to disturb the sweet moment between this woman and her dog companion. I love how it shows their connection. It is not a moment we would have with our "property." I don't believe anyone reading this actually thinks of their animal companion as "property." It is mainly an issue of the language being outdated, and the way to update this is to start changing it right now. It's ok if we forget sometimes, but if we make a conscious effort to use new vocabulary it will begin to usher in changes.
If we start talking and writing about them as beings instead of things, others will follow and eventually even the legal system will adapt to consider animals as sentient beings. It may not be immediate, but we can begin here. I have noticed that often friends & acquaintances will use similar word choices, it is a natural human tendency, allowing us to connect more closely. Paying attention to how we speak about our animals is a small easy first step to encourage others to feel safe doing the same.
If someone seems resistant/bothered I always believe that kindness & sweetness are the way to go. This is not about changing someone's mind, simply updating our own language to reflect our own truth. Sometimes saying they are my "furbabies" is less intimidating/confusing to someone than saying they are my kids or my children. I am so proud & grateful to be an interspecies parent and I know most of you feel the same. It's ok to scratch out "owner" when you have to fill out documents and replace it with your own word.
I am sitting at my desk with my son Merlin adorably sleeping on top of my chair, comfortable despite the odd spot he's in- the way only cats seem to be able to manage.
I do the majority of my animal communication sessions remotely, which means I am at home, in my studio, meditating alone or with my cat children in the room. I sometimes receive questions about why I prefer to do this instead of in-person readings (at least when the animals are local/live in the same city.)
The best way for me to describe this is that when I reach out telepathically/energetically to someone's animal companion, I enter into a deep meditative state, send them reiki and ask for assistance from my guides in spirit as well as the animal's guides. I then give them my complete focus and attention.
When I meet an animal in person, I receive very general feelings about their state of being. Are they happy, sad, anxious, etc. This part happens pretty naturally, the same way we can generally tell how people are feeling. So if I were to compare it to a painting, it is like a very rough line sketch of the animal. It is rare that I automatically "hear" words or sentences unless I actively establish an energetic connection and ask to communicate with them. There are also many distractions in person, their parents may be there, possibly talking with me, or there may be other animals or human siblings present. So in-person I typically receive "surface" information.
When I am connecting remotely, I "see" the animal energetically and am able to focus all of my attention on him/her and on the images/information they share with me in response to the questions their human companions have. I always send them rainbow reiki prior to & during the sessions, which strenghtens the energetic connection for me. To continue with the analogy of a painting, this is when the colors come in and as we continue the "conversation" the shadows and highlights are gradually filled in. It is helpful when there are specific questions, which then guide the conversation so the details appear and the whole picture of the situation is revealed with the most clarity.
When I work long distance like this I also am able to take as long as is necessary, sometimes pausing the conversation to do extra energy healing for an animal that has been through past trauma or who has an illness. It allows me the flexibility to even do the session over multiple days if necessary. So for now a long-distance/remote connection is the best way for me to receive the information. It is possible it may change at some point. I am learning to channel, so perhaps once I am fully comfortable with that I might try different formats for my sessions. It is exciting and ever-evolving & I will post updates as changes develop.
I LOVE getting to know all the animals (and the people who love them.) I am constantly in awe of the depth of love animals so freely share with their families (they send me emotions-so I am able to "feel" what they are feeling during the session.) Animal companions are our children, our best friends and our teachers.