"Why Dolphins?"

Dolphins are said to be healers, highly intelligent, good communicators, social (travel in pods), and represent harmony. With their home being the water, they also symbolize emotional depth, "creativity, passion, and even sexuality...the dolphin was said to be a symbol of salvation to the early Christians. To the Greeks, it was a sacred messenger of the gods." (1) The Celts also thought of the dolphin as a symbol of friendship, good luck, and intelligence, as well as keeper of the sacred breath. Dolphins are also said to have a good "work-life balance" as they make time for play, work, and relaxation. 

My story didn't start out with a meaningful retreat or a "spiritual awakening" per say, as it does for most. Several years ago (~2007) a group of friends from college and I were talking about what our animal would be, and one of them said they thought of me as a dolphin, because I always try to help people and that I'm friendly. I liked the animal and accepted it, but didn't think much of it, it was just always in the back of my mind. I also had always seen animals around people from the time I was a child, and for the longest time thought that was a normal thing, and it was a part of my childhood play. I didn't think it was worth mentioning to anyone. Fast forward to the summer of 2012, I went on my very own backpacking trip to Ireland, where I volunteered in exchange for free room and board and traveled around the country. There in a sweet little town called Doolin, I sat in the Atlantic Sea for about 2hrs waiting to have an encounter with "Snowflake" a wild dolphin that was known to come close to the shore and entertain the locals. She finally swam up to me; I could see her sizing me up, staring at me, and she swam closer, allowing me to graze her dorsal fin with my fingers. It was amazing, cold and slippery! Sadly, it was brief, as the ferries from the Aran Islands were arriving to pick up tourists scared her away. I walked back to my hostel, freezing and soaking wet, but euphorically happy! But also, something in me felt very different, like the dolphin's energy was a part of me. I know that sounds strange, and honestly until I understood that it was a gift, I again dismissed and didn't think much of it. It wasn't until I befriended Julia (Panther) and shared these stories and experiences with her. She helped me realize that I did in fact have a special ability of being able to see animals with people, and that the dolphin was actually my spirit guide. In 2014 she invited me and a few others to be co-facilitators in what we called "The Hummingbirds Proposal" gathering on a weekly basis around a ceremonial fire to sing prayer songs, talk about what was going on in our lives, and be present for each other. We led a handful of healing arts workshops and shared our gifts of music, food, art, and nature with each other. This was the defining moment in my life when I started to get a sense of my true self, coming into my own as the Divine Dolphin Medicine Woman I identify with today.

 

In 2019 there was a wonderful serendipitous encounter with dolphin energy during my visit to the Big Island of Hawai'i, where I was gifted a book called "Messages from the Dolphins" by Scott Olson (2) and I read it in a week. I couldn't put it down! When I went online to research more about the author Mr. Olson, I was shocked to find that he had passed away one year prior, during the same week that I happened to be visiting the island and received the gifted book. Following that experience, I had a strong desire to be with the dolphins, so my host mother Anneka took me to a hotel where I could see dolphins, entertaining tourists and living in captivity. It inspired me to write this poem, "Dolphin Smile": 

 

At last,

Our blue twin lakes meet!

Clicking, humming

You do tricks

And sing for me.

My spirit in its purest form,

How magical!

I see the price tag,

I shutter…

How can anyone

Place a dollar on your value?

In our hearts,

We know-

We are worthy of

So much more.

Still, you do your duty;

Jump high,

They clap for you!

Do you love the applause?

Does anyone care

Enough to see

The pain behind the smile?

Does that pain belong to you

Or is it a reflection of me?

Always smiling,

A big toothy grin

Here to help

Never harm…

But are you happy?

It’s hard to tell

What you hide so well.

I wonder these things

While in awe of you.

I want to hold you

But I know it’s not my place.

Somehow I feel

Apart of you.

The time comes

When we must leave,

I stare out into the sea

Wondering if you’re better off

Performing for love

Or living free?

For the past 6 years now, I have worked with the dolphin energy and divine animal medicine, and believe the dolphin to be my Divine Animal. Some refer to it as an Animal Totem or Animal Spirit. I am using the word "divine" to convey a spiritual consciousness connection, but use the other words interchangeably, as they are more commonly recognized when I share about my gift and practice. While I do draw from a variety of sources that include Celtic tradition, Native American teachings, yoga, artistic interpretations, and spiritual practitioners, I do so with the sensitivity and the awareness of not culturally appropriating this concept. My intention is to offer a holistic form of healing medicine and spiritual guidance, in combination with my training in Healing with the Arts and Therapeutic Horticulture. Below is a list of different information resources I have credited, and use to provide an in-depth reading, paying respect to the ancient wisdom and emerging information that is used to inform and guide anyone who wishes to become more in touch with their divine animal, as well as Divine Animal Card Readings and interpretations. 

1. Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small, by Ted Andrews.

2. Messages from the Dolphins, by Scott Olson. 

3. The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck, created by Kim Krans.

4. Dolphinity (formerly Dolphin Heart World) with Linda Shay.