Nature's MedicinesPhoto by: Madeleine Steinbach

What would a conference be like if it was founded on a vision handed down from an unearthly source? The Animal Energy meeting I attended earlier this month can offer a bit of an answer.

In 2011, Marie Holliday, founder of the conference, was conducting a training on the Emotional Freedom Technique, a well-researched method of releasing trauma in humans. As she was teaching a procedure called Personal Peace, she writes, “A very loud and very clear, deep male voice spoke as I was talking about this—right above my head: ‘You will never have World Peace until you take our Animals with you.’ It was like a call to action, no choice, a command.”

“From that second on, my life was constantly obsessed with animals, even dreaming about them. As soon as I woke up thinking about animals, I was absolutely & completely absorbed by them. I stepped down from my positions on the Executive Board & Co Director of EFT International Training and a huge new training program I had been working on for 6 years to search out what I could do to aim for this huge goal of World Peace for our Animals. Whatever happened to me in
that moment, and in that presence, is now, I hope, reflected in everything I do.

“It seemed an idea to go into the many animal associations in Spain and show them the techniques that could help their animals and themselves, as often stressed volunteers, on a non-paying basis. I must have written to about 50 associations with maybe one or two yes replies. I realized this wouldn’t work and that what I was being asked to do was way bigger than me. I decided a conference would be one way forward. The inaugural conference came around on May 9th & 10th, 2014, in Spain.”

Woman giving presentation

Susan giving the keynote presentation at the Animal Energy World Conference | John Reid

I attended the sixth conference this year, speaking at Marie’s request on Bringing Animal Individuality into Conservation Decision Making. The conferences are arranged and funded by herself with little volunteer labor, despite numerous personal tragedies and serious health problems. She personally interviews and invites each presenter, being sure that they come from their heart and are accomplished in their field. It was an amazing and successful effort. You could feel the loving power behind her work,not just in the quality of the contents, but also in the warm, inclusive interaction at the conference.

What impressed me even more than everyone’s passion for animals, however, was the professionalism of the speakers and the cutting-edge research and thinking they presented, from state-of-the-art complementary medicine to developing wildlife corridors in Britain. Much of the complementary medicine was equally applicable to humans and animals—which, of course, makes sense. These included sound healing, use of powerful extracts of essential botanicals, and healing touch. Some of the insights came from the humans being motivated to heal themselves from serious illness when regular medicine had no answers, and these techniques were then applied to animals.

John Stuart Reid, a brilliant researcher on the physics of sound, presented groundbreaking research on the communication of dolphins, as well as the possible mechanisms by which sound heals. Hugh Warwick, ecologist and author of Linescapes, spoke about the loss of wildlife in Britain and what can be done about it, recommending “A People’s Manifesto for Wildlife,”* a living and very practical document easily adapted to any country. The beginning of the document states, “These are ideas which, if implemented today, would make a huge difference for wildlife tomorrow.” Caroline Ingraham shared her dramatic healing results using zoopharmacognosy** on sick, injured, or traumatized animals–from dogs to bears to elephants. Debbi Walker of Suara Sound Academy showed the results of using tuning forks of a selected sound frequency on ill or traumatized animals. Carol Komitor, founder of Healing Touch for Animals, shared her lifetime of insights. Carlyn Montes De Oca offered an expanded version of her TED talk on the Animal-Human Health Connection.

Ask the Animal

A recurring theme throughout the weekend’s presentations on healing was “ask the animal.” For example, offer them the botanical essences or the vibrations of a particular tuning fork and let them come toward it or walk away. Some of the videos of the animals’ clear responses were pretty convincing.

From Spirituality to Action

A few weeks later, I am only beginning to comprehend the possibilities that will develop as I digest the knowledge shared. It will take time to incorporate it into the work here at Earthfire, as is true of any kind of deep wisdom. Marie’s work is a fine example of “spiritual activism:” first the intuition, insight, urge (or command); then taking action, always framed by the beauty and loving intention of the original insight. As she said, “Whatever happened to me in that moment, and in that presence, is now I hope reflected in everything I do.”

We need our philosophers, poets, artists, intuitives, and mystics to give us the vision of something beautiful and possible so that the more technical of us can find ways to put it into practical action. We should revere them and the abilities they bring to the human journey. But as with Marie, each of us has all these capabilities inherent within us, as well.

For a full list of the presentation this year or past years, contact Marie Holliday.

* Edited by Chris Packham, Patrick Burkham and Robert MacFarlane.
** The study of non-human animals self-medicating by selecting and ingesting or topically applying plants, soils, insects, and psychoactive drugs

We are always looking for ways to enrich and improve the lives and health of our animals. Whether it’s treating Huckleberry Bear’s sadness, helping those currently on arthritis medications, or simply enriching the environment with botanicals that suit their individual needs, each of our animals could benefit from the work of Caroline Ingraham, the zoopharmacognist mentioned above. Please help us bring Caroline to Earthfire for assessment and treatment of our animals’ needs. The estimated costs will be $5,000. This includes video documentation of the results.

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