- About Us
- Online Classes
- Reiki Library
- Animal Reiki
by Colleen Benelli
First Published – Reiki News Magazine, Spring 2006.As we step from the long nights of winter and walk towards the vitality of spring, we have beautiful opportunities to feel the rhythm of nature in our lives. The world is coming to life around us, and if we listen, we can hear the song of the earth, feel the rhythm of her heartbeat, see the spirit in every creation, and awaken our senses to the extraordinary reality in which we live. Remember the days of our childhood, when we saw animals in the clouds or faces in the stones and many of us played with faeries. With the burst of new life in the spring, it is a perfect time to return to those early memories of being close to nature, bring that awareness into the present, and remember the spiritual connection we have with all life on earth.
We can bring healing to all beings on the earth when we expand our awareness to the existence of the spirits in nature. Just as each person has a spirit, which is really the deeper and more causative side of who we are, everything in nature has a spirit, including animals and plants as well as mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans, the wind, clouds, sunlight, and so forth. All of these spirits work together in harmony to create the experience we call life. Their energies are linked together in a web-like system, often called the “web of life” by native peoples. A change in any one part will result in an effect either big or small in all oth- ers. This understanding is reflected in the science of ecology, in which each plant and animal plays an important role in main- taining the balance of life forces necessary for all to live.
Meteorology also has noted this web of life phenomenon, in that even a small change in the weather in one area of the world can affect other areas. It is said that a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world can cause a series of events that could develop into a storm or even a hurricane in another part of the world. The scientist James Lovelock’s Gaia Theory states that the earth is a living being, and that it is continually adjusting itself to maintain optimum conditions for life, which implies awareness and validates the idea that the earth has, or even is, a spirit.
In Animal-Speak, Ted Andrews writes, “What science uncovers about nature should amaze us and fill us with even greater wonder at the magnificent expression of life in all its varied forms. It should teach us how intricately every aspect of nature is woven into our own existence. The animal world has much to teach us. Some ani- mals are experts at survival and adaptation. There are times when we can use those same skills. Some animals never get cancerous conditions. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to learn their secrets? . . . But to learn from them, we must first learn to speak with them.”
Sandra Ingerman, in Medicine for the Earth concurs, “People who have lived and still live in indigenous cultures have always talked to the spirits of plants, trees, animals and engaged in the reading of omens given by nature. Living beings have a wealth of information to share with us humans . . . George Washington Carver and Luther Burbank are examples of respected botanists who made great contributions to their field. George Washington Carver said that he gained his knowledge about cultivating plants from walking through the forests and talking to them.”
Most ancient healing traditions include an understanding of nature spirits and the importance of our relationship to them. According to Michael Harner in The Way of the Shaman, “These so-called primitive peoples lacked our advanced level of medical technology, so they had excellent reason to be motivated to develop the non-technological capacities of the human mind for health and healing . . . Now we, too, are starting to recognize the power of life and death that our environment holds over us. After incredibly reckless and merciless destruction of the other species of the Planet, of the quality of air, water, and the earth itself, we are returning to an awareness, however slowly, that the ultimate survival of our species depends on respecting our Planetary envi- ronment. But respect alone is not enough. We need to commu- nicate intimately and lovingly with ‘all our relations,’ as the Lakota would say, talking not just with the human people, but also with the animal people, the plant people, and all the ele- ments of the environment, including the soil, the rocks, and the water. In fact, from the shaman’s viewpoint, our surroundings are not ‘environment,’ but family.”
The existence of nature spirits, faeries, and nature devas is also common in all of the world’s mythology and folklore. In Enchantment of the Faerie Realm, Ted Andrews explains, “Information regarding the ethereal realms is plentiful and found in every part of the world. Whether called Tir Nan Og, Neverland, Eden or Avalon, Hesperides, Elysium, Em Hain or Middle Earth—from the ancient Sumerians to the ancient Greeks—the existence of other realms side by side with ours is an established belief.”
People and nature spirits have been in spiritual relationships right from the beginning of the human race. According to Manly P. Hall in The Secret Teachings of All Ages, “The creatures inhabiting the water, air, and earth were held in veneration by all races of antiquity. Realizing that visible bodies are only symbols of invisible forces, the ancients worshipped the Divine Power through the lower kingdoms of Nature . . . The sages of old studied living things to a point of realization that God is most perfectly under- stood through knowledge of His supreme handiwork.”
As we can see, there is much information to validate the existence and importance of nature spirits. However, because of a lack of awareness, Reiki practitioners and energy workers in general do not usually include this understanding in the healing methods they employ. However, it is important to the healing of ourselves and the earth that Reiki practitioners begin to awaken to the existence of nature spirits. Our planet and the other life forms here depend on us to be caretakers. Our ability to connect to Reiki and the power of life energy gives us the opportunity to create a Bridge of Light from our ordinary reality to the extraordinary reality of nature spirits and to offer healing between them.
The nature spirits call the ordinary reality we are living in “the realm of the forgetting.” The realm where human beings have the choice to remember being spirit or not. We can remember at many different levels, depending on our own free will and desires and the desires of our collective consciousness. In the other realms, beings remember their original instruction from the creator. They know why they are in the form they are in, and they live according to that instruction.
At this time in human history, many people hold the belief that we are separate from the spirits of nature or can only access them if we are still and in deep meditation. Many of us have the belief that we cannot hear spirit or the rhythms and cycles of life because of our manmade stimulation and the increased speed at which we live. We have lost our ability to hear, and we continue to stay separate, and forget how to be in relationship with these wondrous beings we live with. The nature spirits teach that we need to begin to shift our perceptions and see them wherever we are.
The spirits of nature are everywhere, even in the density of the busiest cities. They teach that we are nature spirits too and that our creations also hold spirit, and the more we see spirit in our lives the more we will create with the vision of spirit in our inventions. They ask us to connect, speak, and interact with them daily, anytime, anywhere. The more time we spend in their extraordinary reality, the more we will become conscious, feel the rhythms of the earth, and remember our own spirit and wisdom. Then we will create with spirit and be the caretakers of the earth as was our original instruction.
They ask that we remember our relationships with them and take the time to communicate. They are willing and ready, every- where, anytime to connect with us. Even in the busyness of our lives. They offer us teaching, healing, friendship, love, and harmony. Most of all the nature spirits want us to remember the spirit and the natural beings that we are, and they want us to love ourselves.
I have spent many years learning how to communicate with and walk in the world of nature spirits. I call that world extraordinary reality. It is a world I consciously shift my perceptions to enter. I shift my perceptions by connecting with Reiki. Reiki increases my light and vibration, heightens my senses and allows me to travel in an awakened state of consciousness where I can see the life force, light, and higher vibration of the world around me. The divine light sparkles in everything and in me. In this place I can see that we are all related and I am able to speak and listen to the nature spirits.
Living life aware of nature spirits has blessed me with a whole world of light beings that can heal me and help me heal others and the earth. When I am walking in the rhythm of their extraordinary reality I am happier and it is easier to remember my original life purpose. I flow with life and the cycles more comfortably. My senses and perceptions are heightened and my body is quiet. I can manifest and create from an awakened awareness of my natural self and the world around me. When I am connected to the nature spirits they can also see me, which allows them to help me. It becomes easier to accomplish my goals when they are assisting me. It feels as if I am swimming with the spiritual tides and currents, in harmony with my surroundings.
The nature spirits also assist me in managing our thirty-acre farm. They help me with the trees we grow, and help with our ani- mals. They alert me when I need to pay attention to my surroundings. And they love helping with my artwork! My faery god- mother Iris inspired me to make the faery “regalia” costume of her in the photograph, then assisted when we were taking the pictures. Iris and the nature spirits show up for my Reiki treatments and my self treatments, and they sparkle at night for me, just for fun. They help in so many ways; they are neighbors, friends, and healing colleagues. Knowing them adds beauty to my life.
Reiki can make it easy to travel to the extraordinary reality of nature spirits. However, because of our “forgetting,” most people are shadows or invisible to the spirits of nature. In order to connect to them, we must match our light and vibration to theirs so they can see us. When we are connected to Reiki, our vibration increases and we become illuminated, bright, and visible.
The first step in gaining benefit from the nature spirits is to become aware of them and begin communicating with them. The Usui Long Distance Reiki symbol can be used to transcend time and space and to create a “Bridge of Light” from our ordinary reality to the extraordinary reality of the nature spirits.
A tree is a good nature spirit to learn the following Reiki technique with. Trees are usually very willing and helpful. Although the instructions given teach you to connect with an individual tree, you can use the same method to build a bridge from you to any of the nature spirits you decide to develop a relationship with.
1. Decide on a tree you would like to connect with.
2. Invoke all the Reiki symbols you are attuned to. Draw them on your hands and chakras, and in the room. Fill your breath and eyes with Reiki, clear your mind, and open your heart. Say a prayer or invocation and state your intention. Invite your Reiki guides and all the spirit guides you love. If you don’t have one or more of the symbols I mention in these instructions, just follow your inner guidance in using what you do have. If all you have is Reiki I, then just use regular Reiki I energy wherever I mention to use a symbol.
3. Clear and align your chakras with the Tibetan Fire symbol. Place the Usui Power symbol in your heart and send the light through your feet into the earth, through your crown into the heavens, through your hands, eyes, and breath, all around you. Surround yourself with love and light and become the Reiki light until you see through the glow of your own illumination.
4. Intend that your sixth chakra, your third eye, open and allow yourself to hear with enhanced telepathy and to see from your mind’s eye.
5. Activate your senses with extraordinary perception. Feel your body engage and enlighten, and become your higher self in your natural human form. Ask to feel, hear, see, touch, taste, smell, and know from this perception.
6. Build a Reiki Bridge of Light by drawing the Long Distance Reiki symbol on your hands and in front of you. Step into it and fill your breath with love, peace, and harmony until your body becomes brilliant and visible and you become one side of the Bridge of Light.
7. Strengthen the Reiki Bridge of Light with other Reiki sym- bols. Draw Iava, the Karuna Reiki® symbol that calls to the nature spirits. Build the bridge with love and power and send the bridge to the tree. See the bridge light the way from your heart to the divine light in the heart of the tree.
8. Send Reiki through the bridge of light and ask to meet the spirit of the tree. If the spirit of the tree is willing, say the sacred name of the Usui Mental/Emotional symbol and/or the Karuna Reiki® symbol Gnosa into the Bridge of Light to help you com- municate. Ask the symbols to find a common language with the tree spirit or to translate for you.
9. Communicate telepathically when you feel your awareness touch the consciousness of the tree. When this happens your vibration is the same as the tree’s—you have met in a place of common ground and it is now possible to develop rapport and to talk. Ask questions, and then listen for the answers. Before long you will learn how to dialogue with the tree.
10. When you are finished, thank the tree, say goodbye, cross back over the Bridge of Light and return to yourself. Feel yourself in your body and open your eyes. State your intention that you remember and feel the extraordinary nature of the tree in your daily life. Draw the Usui Power symbol over your body and each of your chakras, and seal your experience into your body.
At first, it will take time and practice to develop your skills of connection. After a while the connection will be automatic and quick. The more often you illuminate your body and mind, and travel the Bridge of Light to extraordinary reality, the easier it becomes to see, hear, and feel the divine light of the nature spirits in everything. You will be able to use your awakened brilliance to experience your world in extraordinary reality every day.
With practice, engaging your extraordinary perceptions and talking telepathically to the nature spirits will become easy and fluent. Eventually you will learn how to understand their languages, how to listen, and how to give and receive information with them. Each person will likely be different in the way they are aware of nature spirits. Some people see, some hear, some feel, and some see-feel (just knowing). All ways of communicating are valid.
You can ask many types of questions and sometimes receive answers in unexpected ways. Begin with questions like: What are their names? How old are they? What do they need? What bless- ings can they share? Do they have any teachings about healing to give you? What can you do for them? Begin with easy questions until you learn your own style.
Jan Engels-Smith, author of Becoming Yourself, The Journey from Head to Heart, teaches about connecting to nature spirits: “Developing relationships with nature spirits is the same as developing relationships in our human world. Talking to, relating, honoring, spending time, consideration, asking for and giving advice, compassion and love, are all part of the way we create friendships. Connect with your nature spirit friends often and regularly. Be a part of their world and ask them to be a part of yours. Give attention to the relationship. Listen, give and receive love. Offer and receive healing with your nature spirit friends.”
It is always important to make peace and develop cooperation with the nature spirits of a place. Whether in your home or a place you are traveling to, take the time to connect with the nature spirits and introduce yourself and your energy. When you travel to a place, let the spirits of the place know why you are there and that you are considerate of them. Ask for their assistance in areas in which they can help. I have always experienced improved success with my workshops, Reiki treatments, or projects when I have shown this courtesy.
“Some things must be believed to be seen.” In this “realm of forgetting” we have been taught to forget the existence of faeries, and the nature devas. We have forgotten that they are a part of our world. However, they do exist as nonhuman beings who share this planet with us. But in our culture, they have been relegated to the place of “only real in our imagina- tion.” But even so, they patiently continue to remind us about them through our art and our stories. Sometimes they visit our dreams or show up in our movies. Remember the movie Peter Pan? The faeries even managed to get entire theaters full of people to clap their hands and loudly declare, “I believe in faeries, I believe in faeries!” Once you remember the faeries and nature devas, and see them as an integral part of nature, sharing the earth, you will see them everywhere. They are a part of the earth’s diversity.
Use the Reiki Bridge of Light to Extraordinary Reality to meet the faeries and nature devas. They are only a shift in perception away. When stating your intention always ask that you meet only beings of light and love, the compassionate ones, the healers.
It is also possible to use the Reiki Bridge of Light to reawaken your relationships with the nature spirits that guided you through your childhood. Use the Reiki Bridge of Light to Extraordinary Reality, only this time send it back to the time when you still believed in and played with the faeries. Back when they were your friends or one of your helping nature spirit allies. Back to when you knew your faery godmother. Or if you don’t remember having these experiences as a child, assume the faeries were there and do the exercise anyway. Often they are still active guides in your life. A nonhuman friend, who can help you keep your imagination, creativity, vitality, faith, and love for life alive.
When you have met with your faery godmother or guide, imagine a bench where you can sit and talk. Use your telepathy and ask them to tell you stories about your relationship in your childhood. Listen and remember. Ask them what gifts and blessings they brought you. What were the gifts you gave to them? Why were they important to you? How did they guide you? What do they want you to know today? Do they want to continue to be in relationship with you? How can you help each other as healers? What can you do for each other’s lands, for the earth? Ask them what they know about healing our illnesses. Begin a dialogue with them.
Not only do my relationships with my family of nature spirits enrich my life, but they offer healing for me, my land and animals, and my Reiki clients. They often come and assist me in my Reiki treatments. I often go to them and assist them in their healing work. We share healing techniques, advice, compassion, and knowledge, and we work together to heal ourselves and our planet. I have several nature guides who work with me regularly. I have become fluent in relating to them, and they show up for my Reiki treatments when I have a client who needs their style of “doctoring” in addition to the Reiki they are receiving.
Beauty is a two-hundred-year-old Douglas fir tree that lives in my yard. I call her or she shows up when a person has toxins or issues they need to release from their body. A Tree of Life I met in Glastonbury, England, heals exhausted clients by giving them accelerated rest. Iris, my faery godmother, works with depression and low vitality; she breaks through darkness to let in light. Iris often comes to assist when I am giving a Reiki treatment under my big tree, Beauty. The three of us lay our hands on the client together.
After you have developed the ability to be aware of and communicate with nature spirits, it’s easy to gain their help during Reiki treatments. Here are some of the techniques my guides have taught me. Work with your own guides and in your own way when giving your Reiki treatments. Again, use the Usui Long Distance Reiki symbol and build a Bridge of Light between you, the client, and the assisting nature spirit. Activate your third eye and use your telepathy. When you invite specific guides to help with the treatment, there are more hands on the client. People commonly say that they can feel more hands on them than there were practitioners in the room. They are feeling the helping spirit guides.
Trees can help your client release emotional or physical toxins, or burdens and issues from their body. They can help with extractions such as the Aura Clearing technique taught in the Reiki Master Manual written by William Lee Rand. Ask your helping tree spirit to come and assist you. Ask the tree to take the burdens and issues of the client into its trunk and transform them from a toxin into food for the earth. They do this the same way they turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. Send any unwanted energy to the tree. Often, the tree will send its branches to your client, spread their branches over them like hands, and take the client’s burdens and give healing energy to them.
Trees are great healers for stability, strength, and connection to the earth. A client can be wobbly and out of balance for many reasons. If this is the case, ask the tree to merge with the client so the client can feel the tree within his or her body and remember how it feels to be stable, strong, and connected. The tree helps the client to spread his or her energy out from the feet and legs like the roots of the tree and to send the roots deep into the ground until they have stability. The client’s body becomes the trunk—strong and capable, and their arms, hands, and head become the branches reaching to the sky, connecting them to heaven and earth. They will feel themselves stand straight and tall and supported by their roots buried in the earth.
Trees can heal exhaustion. To do this, create a Bridge of Light to the Tree of Life, then energetically carry your client there and place the client in the crook of the tree. The center of the tree is a comfortable nest where the client can energetically lie. When I do this, often Jesus or my other spirit guides will come and lie with the client and comfort them while they sleep a deep and profound sleep. This sleep can offer accelerated rest, and the client can feel as if they have rested and been nurtured for months.
Faeries are well known for their healing work with depression and low energy and for removing the feeling of dark clouds surrounding a person. I use Byósen scanning to locate the cause of the darkness in the body. I call to Iris, my faery godmother, who then takes her bow and shoots an arrow into the darkness, breaking it up so the light can enter. She gathers the dark pieces and sends them into the light where they are also healed. She then places her hands on the client and fills them and returns them to their own magic, creativity, passion, imagination, joy, and playfulness. All of the qualities that bring light and make life fun and vital. You can do the same with your faery godmother or other healing spirits that are present for you to work with.
Invite your Reiki guides and nature spirit allies to assist in your healing work. They have an abundance of talent and gifts they will share with you. Allow yourself to believe in the work you can do together. Allow the nature spirits to teach you. You can use the above techniques or discover your own. By being open to the possibilities you will grow in this work!
In our culture we have been taught to forget the existence of nature spirits. I had to challenge many of my old belief systems to make the reconnections with these wonderful beings of love. But my personal belief that I am a caretaker of this earth was a stronger truth inside that made me willing to seek new ways of remembering. I believe that feeling love and honoring all forms of life are the greatest gifts I can offer this world.
As the days get longer now, take the time to step into the beautiful, extraordinary reality in which we live each day. Shift your perceptions to see the spirit in every creation. Hear the songs of the earth, and dance to her rhythms. Fill yourself with the love of Reiki and build Bridges of Light between the worlds for joy and healing. Talk to the trees; connect with the spirit of everything. Meet your nature spirits and faery godmothers, and return the magic, creativity, and passion to your life. Live every moment in extraordinary reality!
Colleen Benelli can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 503.912.0664, on her website at www.reikilifestyle.wpengine.com, or on her Facebook page, Reiki Lifestyle-Colleen Benelli. Join Colleen’s monthly ReikiChat™ conversation, www.reikichat.com.