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The Phoenixborn resident knows them better than just about anyone and she'll tell you they sure do have feelings. In fact, she talks to them! As a youngster, Carla found she could talk to her spirit teachers and friends. She also had a cat that was what she calls "a higher being" with whom she connected closely to. Then in high school, she began studying mysticism. It wasn't until 1987, however, that a Shamanic healer told her that she was particularly oriented toward animals and should learn how to communicate with them. She immediately contacted the Foundation For Shamanic Studies and completed her formal training in 1998. Today, the 39-year-old is a Shamanic healer and Animal Communicator. She operates a successful business helping people to better understand their animals, whether it is a fluffy little kitten or a horse in your stable. And it doesn't matter if your beloved pet is dead or alive. Either way, she can tell you what their thinking, what is bothering them and how to correct the problem. But how she does it is fascinating. First she goes into a Shamanic trance. "I use a drum and rattle, and I sing sacred songs," said Carla. She does not hear the animals speaking in our reality, but rather during the time she's in the trance-like state. "Only once in a while does spirit manifest so strongly that I can perceive them in three dimensions with ordinary reality senses, incarnate and temporal. It has happened, but it is rare. I hear the loud and clear in non-ordinary reality." Most people today are aware of Shamanic healing. It is the oldest for of healing, which has been practiced since the binning of humankind. What a Shaman actually does is connect with compassionate spirits and seek their help to heal people. In Carla's case, she uses their expertise to heal animals instead. "The Shaman enters a Shamanic state of consciousness through listening to rhythmic percussion. He or she then journeys to the world of spirits and connects with spirit allies for healing work. These spirits are available to help everyone and the Shaman's role is often to reconnect clients with their helping spirits, restoring their personal power." In the case of animals, Carla said they have powerful animal spirits that can help them. Once the particular animal spirit has been contacted, the Shaman then asks for diagnoses of the animal's problem. A domestic pet like a cat or dog may have emotional issues or physical problems that cause behavioral problems. Other animals, such as horses, may suffer with lameness or some other illness and needs pain relief. Carla says that an animal's ailments are often both physical and spiritual, and it's important to understand the animal's point of view. When she is first asked to help an animal, she will visit with it in non-reality and find out such things as the pet's past memories and current impressions. "In that journey, I also enter the animal's body and see if there is pain or injury. I ask my spirit to heal the hurt and learn if there is any treatment that would be good to pursue." Carla noted that one horse in Arizona told her he was lonely and really wanted to be with the horses in another paddock. The horse also missed a particular colt he was fond of. When the horse was reunited with one of the mares and her colt, the horse was happy. Other Entities "When people and animals are vulnerable and dis-empowered, it is possible for entities that don't belong to enter our bodies. These misplaced entities can cause persistent sickness, soreness and other undesirable things. As a Shaman, one of my key functions is to work with my spirits to extract these misplaced entities and deliver them to a neutral place where they can contribute to the overall good of things, instead of causing harm. After an extraction, we always fill the space with positive healing power of some kind." Carla said her spiritual ally might sing a sacred song to an animal through her. She captures the song on audiotape and then gives it to the animal's owner to
pay to their pet over and over again. Some animals are healed through the instruction of the spirits to give them specific herbs, essences, diet changes, poultices, message, aromatherapy, exercise and more. Carla admits that she is not an expert in such things, so she relies heavily on the advice she is given, and so far, all prescriptions have proved positive for the animal in question. In some case, the spirit ally may actually touch an animal to bring about a healing. In such cases where energy is used to cure an animal, Carla might use a plant, light, crystal or other powerful item and chant over the animal to bring relief. If your animal has passed over, Carla can find out if the animal has happily settled in the spirit world and will communicate any messages that the animal may have for its previous owners. "A loved one's death can be a most sorrowful and heart-wrenching event. It helps to contact the animal (or person) and learn what its new world is like, and make sure he or she is doing okay. It is also nice to hear soothing messages from the loved one and to learn if he or she has plans to come back and live with you again." If animals die suddenly, it may not go directly to the light and cross over. This can be a problem for the soul of the animal, as well as for its previous owner. "Ghosts are often those lost wandering souls. Sometimes too, a soul stays her for a while before moving on, to comfort others or just get used to the idea of being dead. This is generally not a problem and the soul moves on when it's ready. As a Shamanic practitioner, one of my jobs is to journey to these lost souls. My spirits and I help them understand they are dead, and help them move to the light where they will find peace and healing." The concept of reincarnation also comes into play in Carla's work. If an animal has had a bad experience with a particular person in a previous life, it will likely act out in some way in this one. "My spirits and I can perform healing on the past and current relationships to help things go better today." Another interesting aspect of her work with animals is called 'soul retrieval.' Shamans believe that when a person suffers from a physical or psychological problem, it indicates that part of one's soul has split off and cannot contribute to the person being whole. This can show itself through such things as memory loss or just a feeling of incompleteness. Often people lose a part of themselves as an emergency measure, to keep them from remembering such things as accidents, abuse or other trauma. "There are pretty predictable situations that will call for soul retrieval – loss of memory, sense of not being all there, extreme shyness, etc." In order for a person or pet to become whole again, they must retrieve their missing parts. In Carla's case, she contacts her animal spirit allies to find out what part of an animal's soul is missing and brings it back to them. She claims to have good results in this area with horses, dogs and cats. On her site at www.spirithealer.com, she lists several success stories, including a Pekinese, a cat named Pepper, a horse named Harley in Arizona, horses in Florida and a litter of Doberman puppies. On her site, she also offers courses and workshops for anyone interested in becoming a Shamanic Animal healer and communicator. As well, she has Shamanic books, tapes and other resources available for purchase. While she currently works out of Veneta, Oregon, she will soon be moving to Phoenix.