The Animals Are Calling Us

Being Supported in Ways We Don’t Recognize
Woman sits next to a coyote in a grassy field

We recently held another deeply satisfying Conservation Conversation again, the fifth in our ongoing series. Join us as we grow a creative committed supportive community. Thank you to everyone who tuned in to Wednesday’s Conversation. Your presence was warmly appreciated. This month in our Conservation Conversation Series we started off the theme “Coming Together in Council” with the September Conversation “The Animals Are Calling Us: Being Supported in Ways We Don’t Recognize.”

Deepening from our August Conversation, “Becoming the Other: Feeling into the Life of a Non-Human Being,” we came from the other direction to explore how animals communicate with us, and how they are perhaps calling us to come together in council. We heard about experiences where animals tuned into the needs of a human and offered their help. Animals often give us signs that they hear our deepest call for help, support, or love, but we often miss these messages through the distraction of daily life. We discussed the vast possibilities of what we might learn about ourselves and the world if we include their voices in our actions! Led by Dr. Susan Eirich, the discussion was rich with stories of nature perceiving humans, as well as the intricacies of opening ourselves to their presence. As special guest participant Rose De Dan said “If you call them, they will come. But if they come, you must listen.”

With the participation of the Earthfire community, we entered into a heartfelt discussion on grounded spiritual ecology and explored ideas for new ways of living on our Earth that supports all Life. As the season progresses we will be building upon what it means to create a community of practice, support one another through this journey, and develop on new perspectives. If you were not able to attend, please listen to the recording here:

The Animals Will Come

Reflections by Susan Eirich, PhD

There is an organic feel to the development of our conversations. Organic in the sense of a magical natural unfolding leading to you-know-not-where-but-somewhere-wonderful. In creative fields there is a common phrase, “trust the process,” meaning just let the work unfold naturally and see where it leads. Not always easy to do when we want to direct things, or are nervous about what we may discover. But that is where real change lies. By letting things unfold, we may find ourselves guided somehow, through threads and currents too subtle for us to see, into what will become a beautiful or profound tapestry of meaning. This is even more true in a group conversation such as this, the threads coming from different voices and unexpected angles that no one of us could put together individually. Rose De Dan, a shaman whose life’s work is to build a bridge between humans and animals, shared a personal story of how an animal responded to her silent urgent plea for help. She was then told, “If you call us we will come, but if we come you must listen.” What a powerful, powerful statement. And painful, too, because I think they come much more often than we know and we don’t listen. One reason for these conversations is to help us to do just that.  Rose went on to say “The animals live in a place of energy so they are aware of what is going on in us so if we are in need they will respond.”

In speaking about taking people into the Australian outback to make a healing connection with nature, John Thompson commented that we have to show up in the right way for anything to happen. That if we don’t “push” the connection – then nature can find us. She also can help us heal each other in ways civilization can’t.  

Dark shyshark cupped underwater in a person's hands
"This tiny shark changed the way I saw the kelp forest and opened my eyes to a whole new understanding of the natural world. Dark shysharks grow to only 60cm and are quite common in the Golden Forest. I am still perplexed as to why this little animal swam into my hands two years ago – nothing like that has ever happened again." • Photo by Craig Foster

I read from a moving account by Pippa Ehrlich about the life-changing impact of a tiny shark pup swimming into her hands. She wrote, “What possessed such a tiny vulnerable animal to swim up the water column into the hands of a land-dwelling giant like me?” This started a chain of events, connections and realizations that led to a near nervous breakdown because of the radical change in world view she was experiencing, and then to a radical, joyous life change. Then I learned she was a close friend of a naturalist I had met at a recent IONS conference I had attended. We had a strongly similar orientation to seeing nature and planned to join forces, but things got in the way. Now because of that little shark we have been reminded to be in contact.  Rich, unexpected interweavings…

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