Healing is a mysterious and miraculous process. It moves between many levels – biological, spiritual, emotional, energetic. How does it work? How does the body heal itself? How does love help heal? How does healing-touch work? Though we have incredible medical knowledge and capacities, when we keep asking questions, we realize we don’t really know at the deepest level just how the body and soul heals.
The coyote was very young when he was rescued by an animal lover. They bonded intensely over a period of a few of months. When she realized she couldn’t keep him, she felt Earthfire had the right feel for this special being she called Shaman. We welcomed him, but he had bonded to her and no one else. It was a long time, with Jean’s infinite patience, that together they broke through the window of connection that had closed. That window is so brief in many wild animals.
But Shaman still was basically in disoriented panic mode. One day something scared him. While racing around in the cabin in terror he caught his front leg in a crack between two shelves and tried to jerk it out as if it were a trap. The leg broke right in the growth plate of his knee joint. Despite the best medical attention available, it never healed properly. His leg was close to useless. He would touch it lightly to the ground as he ran but not put any weight on it.
A coyote can’t live in a cabin forever – he needed to go outside. Jean spent weeks building a lovely spacious enclosure especially for him with two “rooms,” multi-level platforms and ramps, hiding boxes and a vaulted roof. We moved him with as little trauma as possible. But now he was in a new environment and panicked all over again. It seemed anytime there was a modification in his environment he panicked even if it had nothing to do with humans. Perhaps he thought he was going to be taken away once again to a new place. He didn’t come out of his box for weeks. Jean had to put his food right by the entrance and had to start working with him all over again. The bond was still there but the strength of the fear overcame the strength of the bond and plain terror just infused everything.
Jean never gave up on working with him, trying to calm the inner panic, helping Shaman to see that there was no danger, then leaving him alone to process and develop in his own way. It was very slow. He started at a distance, greeting him every time he passed his enclosure. Eventually he felt Shaman inviting him and he entered, and just sat, being with him; saying nothing. It was a big day when Shaman tentatively put his paw on Jean.
Then this fall there were more changes: He was he getting more truly interested in people from a safe distance, especially if people who were really really quiet within themselves. He started to walk more easily. What happened?
We held a shamanic retreat with Rose De Dan in October. Her retreats here are a combination of people doing their own healing work and ceremonies to honor the animals and to hear their prayers. She opens sacred space over the whole property for the four days of the retreat. When sacred space is open, the participants carried the prayers of the animals to fire in ceremony. The retreat offered opportunities for healing for all who participated.
One of the students, Stacey, did her personal healing work at a site she selected that happened to be about 15 feet from Shaman’s home. She writes:
“I would visit this area multiple times per day to do my personal energetic work. During this time, he would sit facing me and watch. He was very present, and I would say… cautiously curious. It felt like he was reaching out, and that he wanted to be part of the energy. He seemed very in tune.”
“I first noticed the difference while our group was sitting in the Small Animal Garden holding space and energy to help shy coyote Faerytale become more comfortable with people. During that time Shaman seemed really interested in us, and the energy. Instead of hiding he was in clear view, looking relaxed as he observed us. I could sort of feel him leaning toward the healing energy, which really got my attention. Then Stacey shared with me how interested Shaman was while she was doing her personal energetic work near his home. That connected with the pull that I felt from him, and I wondered if there was something more that could be done to help him. He seemed more open- perhaps open to receiving healing work.
With Shaman’s permission I began a session, which included animal communication, Reiki and shamanic energy healing. Working with him it became clear that emotional healing was needed in addition to physical. I heard him crying, “She left me! She left me! She left me!” referring to the person who had originally taken him into her home. He did not understand everything that had happened at such a young age. The separation from her and the trauma of travel were still having a huge energetic impact on him—blocking the flow of energy—and that was preventing him from healing.
Energy healing is essentially a matter of peeling back layers of trauma (physical/emotional). Trauma is cumulative—first there is the original trauma, but the longer the energy remains unbalanced on all four levels (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) the more stuck the flow of energy becomes, accumulating in the physical tissues. By doing a sequence of sessions we have the opportunity to peel back the layers of trauma. However, nothing would happen without Shaman’s full participation. True healing is a dialogue between the energy and the recipient—the healer is only a conduit for the energy.
Shaman was out of body, and his energy was really stuck and not flowing freely. It is crucial to vitality and healing to have to have four on the floor, otherwise known as being grounded. Not having balanced flow of energy was preventing him from healing the emotional and physical trauma. After the session it was clear that Shaman would need some more sessions at regular intervals to help him progress.”
Stacey offered to continue them weekly from home:
“Each session varied, but every session involved dedicated and focused work on his front right leg while integrating healing on the other levels. Every session included grounding work. I received guidance that there was fragmented energy in his leg and that there were blockages between his physical injury and his emotional and spiritual state. I focused attention on creating energetic fluidity between his injury and any emotional blockages he was experiencing (by sending Reiki to the past, to the origin of these blockages and to the present to create balance to aid him in healing). The goal was to help Shaman shed any trauma from the past – to let go of this to facilitate present day healing on all levels which has helped him work through the physical injury he experienced with his leg. Present day work is focused on balancing and integration. We’ll see what future sessions hold – this is a team effort and Shaman contributes each time to help guide focus during each session. It is an honor to work with him.”
Did these sessions help calm Shaman further; help him ease his leg by removing the emotional factors that were blocking physical energy flow? Why was Shaman more interested in people now? Maybe he was just ready, like people can be ready. Or maybe we need to reconsider our understanding of how the natural world and healing works. It is also important to remember never to give up on an animal. To give him the time he needs. You never know what you will discover and what miracles will happen.