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If you think animals have no feelings, don't tell Carla Persons.

The Phoenix-
born 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
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
"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, 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.