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Dawn Baumann Brunke is a writer and editor who specializes in the areas of healing, dreaming, spirituality, animal communication, and deepening our connection with all life. The author of Animal Voices and Animal Voices, Animal Guides, she lives with her husband, daughter, and animal friends in Alaska.
FROM CHAPTER 13
Other Voices . . .
VIEW TO VIEW, YOU TO YOU
During the next several days I began seeing ravens: ravens perched on telephone poles, hopping in parking lots, soaring in the sky. While this initially brought the trickster energy of Raven to mind, I felt there was something more. Just as Tau, Jen, and the eel had formed a group voice fashioned from individual tones, I sensed another “voice” to the appearance of Raven in my life.
Looking for pattern, I realized that seeing ravens coincided with a disagreement several of us were having with one of our neighbors. The problem was a minor issue that had blown entirely out of proportion. Although I had arranged for a neighborhood meeting to talk out the issue, it ended badly, with the neighbor storming out.
How or why was this connected with Raven? I wasn’t sure. A few days later, while driving and wondering how the situation might resolve, I saw the logo of a raven on a passing car. Although I smiled in recognition, another part of me felt insecure, desperately scrambling to decipher: what did it mean? And then--suddenly--a raven flew straight at me. It was as if Raven was staging a direct course of collision--swooping very low, lifting up over my car only at the last possible moment. This was unusual behavior for a raven, of course, and a clear message to pay attention.
But to what? Again, meaning eluded me. It seemed a new kind of puzzle--not only involving the teaching or medicine of Raven but also something personal, entwined within myself.
We would remind you to always remember that the Web of Life is alive with interconnected strands of being, commented Raven, the following morning.
Humans have a tendency to relate everything back to them. Not all species do this. Many of us are more comfortable in circular thought rather than the direct straight line you are so comfortable with.
“Do you mean by my wanting there to be a meaning to this?” I asked. “By saying ‘this means that’ or thinking in terms of cause and effect?”
To some degree, yes. In mathematical formulas, we could say you like “this plus this equals that.” Whereas we are more likely to think in terms of “this plus that plus this plus that,” one thing linked to another, with less emphasis on what it “means” or a final answer. Though I wouldn’t want to get too rigid on this metaphor.
We offer in the way of feedback a simple rule: Arguments and misunderstandings are about inner conflicts, when desires of the inner world do not fit with the outer reality. Inside and outside are the same; when this is not seen or felt for each individual, a disturbance in the psyche occurs. This becomes translated to a disagreement, fight, problem, trouble, or war with the outside world. What you see is what you are: a basic precept.
The raven-haired woman is a reflection of you. You are now being given the opportunity to treat her as you would a part of yourself--for this is who she is. This is the deeper nature of communication--not simply to make good points or speak eloquently, but to move people, to move one’s self. This is communication of the soul. It is the beginning of poetry between hearts. It is the deeper nature of shapeshifting. For as you see her as a part of you, you shift your form that pronounced “Dawn” as the central player in your drama. Dawn is all these neighbors--and many more.
Much of our communication to you is about extending communication and understanding not only between species but also between your own species, as well as between the seemingly different aspects of your own self. As you open and embrace more as yet unrevealed aspects of yourself, you come to realize the deep inherent oneness that pervades everything.
One of our qualities is as messenger birds; we carry information from one aspect of One to another. We work between species and within species to help enhance communication at a deeper level of intimacy in shared, mutual understanding.
Many humans feel you have reached the pinnacle of linguistic development, but countless animals will tell you that this is not the case. There is a throbbing pulse that reverberates within the world of which so many humans are not the slightest bit aware. Many animals are able to tune in to this sound, this song of the earth, at any moment. We are never alone, for we have the ability to hear from any other species who participates in the orchestration of sound and feeling and shared knowledge.
To use words to reach another being is to move outward and touch that being. And, in turn, that being reaches out and touches you. When a deep and meaningful interchange occurs, a communication channel is established and brought to life.
Even now, you are reluctant to share personal information, but we encourage you to do so--to reveal more of yourself so that more will be revealed to you. To engage in shapeshifting, you must open not only to those around you but also to the deeper nature of your own being. As you delve deeper into this arena, you will find infinite amazement at what you hold within yourself.
We feel shapeshifting is about opening to this essence. Once you hold this key, you are free to ride along with any form, marry any aspect of being in order to marvel at the myriad forms and manners of perception and ways of being that One chooses to manifest.
That afternoon I sat on my back deck under the rich blue canopy of sky, contemplating Raven’s message. I closed my eyes and saw a closeup of Raven’s face, black eyes glinting. He moved his head slowly, side to side, or, as he put it, “view to view, you to you.”