Talk 2 The Animals: Caught In That Revolving Door: Pushing Forward or Self-Care?

I have to ask….is anyone else exhausted? Does anyone else feel like they are caught in a revolving door? I keep wishing/thinking/hoping it’s only because of Solstice, but I can’t continue to deny that the shamanic psychopomp work I’m doing with helping abused, forgotten and non-domesticated animals cross over, watching families being ripped apart with children kept in cages and witnessing Max as he is going through his aging process are all taking their toll on me.

If it were only helping the animals cross over, or watching childrent being treated as animals or watching Max age so quickly, what I’m feeling might be manageable, but all three together?


So I’m consciously and deliberately investing in my own self care. I’m cooking more and therefore eating better, I’ve had a couple of much needed massages which has enabled me to walk for longer periods of time without grueling pain and I’ve initiated a stretching program that will develop into a yoga program.

There’s a part of me that’s afraid I’m going down the rabbit hole of white privilege when I take care of myself like that. BUT what I’m actually doing is strenghening myself so I am able to contend in a stronger and more effective way with the psychopomp and the activist work I do, as well as holding vigil and overseeing Max’s aging process.

And you know what? If I have white privilege – and I do – doesn’t it make a whole heckuva lot of sense for me to strengthen myself so I can purposefully use it to help ease the difficulties of those who are unable to speak for themselves?

From my perspective, indeed it does.

This is a learning experience for me – learning how to speak out and help others while at the same time taking fastidious care of myself so I am not debilitated in the process. 

How about you? Do you find yourself in this same position? How do you manage it? This is not a rhetorical question, I’d truly like to develop a conversation around this. Please leave your comment.

By the way, if you’d like to sign up to receive information about the crossing over ceremony I do for the animal souls who get stuck here in our physical world and need help moving on, you can sign up here. When we think of animals who are abandoned, abused and left to die alone, who are mercilessly killed or are road kill, we begin to see why this practice is so sorely needed in our world. Because of the intimacy and delicacy of this work, I don’t share it with the world at large, only those who sign up to hear about it.

Here’s To New Beginnings,


from Janet Roper, Modern Shaman, Animal Communicator & Educator


Talk 2 The Animals: Working With The Land

I am surrounded by the natural beauty of Montana. I look to one side of the house and see the gentle slopes of the hills of the mountain on which I live. From the other side I see the beautiful Blue Mountain Range, which is the first thing I see every morning when I wake. The land here is my cousin, and we are building a deeper relationship every day.

So what’s that got to do with animal communication and shamanism, you ask. Plenty! I’ve been spending a lot of time lately building up the shamanic side of my business – thinking about what I want to bring into the world and what is MY responsibility to bring into the world. I am realizing that not everything is my job to do, which is a huge relief. However, knowing that, it’s critical that I recognize what my job is, do it, and not get distracted by everything else. Right now that means sifting through which new programs are ready to be shared with the world, which programs still want to be in hibermation and which programs are saying we’re not a good match, thank you very much.

As I’m going through the sifting process, it’s easy for me to get caught up in the “yah buts, what ifs and shoulds” of life – those vampiric, soul sucking enticements of Ego. What brings me back to myself when that happens?

The land. The land I live on. All I have to do is look at it, breathe in its unique aromas, become aware of its natural beauty, tune in to it’s individual and reassuring ecorhythms. Recognize the mutual beneficial relationship we are slowly developing over time and as we get to know each other better.

A Reciprocal Relationship

Does that sound like some kind of magical, mystical shamanic thing to you? Nope, it’s not. It’s animism. Animism is awareness of what is beyound ourselves, the belief that everything has a soul, is connected and because of that connection we can communicate with each other.

Naturally, when I say the land brings me back to myself, I do not mean that is the end of the story. It can’t be the end, can it, because we have a reciprocal relationship. So for my part in the relationship, I ask the land what it needs, what I can do for it. I listen to the response and then carry into action what has been requested of me.

One specific request I have had is to save my tea leaves and sprinkle them on the land as I walk on it. I’ve done that numerous times and as a matter of fact I have a jar of used tea leaves in my kitchen right now, waiting to be sprinkled.

Are you ready to build relationship with the land you’re on? Try this for yourself. Next time you’re out and about, focus on only one of your senses and see what experiences you have. If it’s sound, what sounds are you hearing? If smell, what aromas are coming to you? It’s amazing how that focused connection can help you develop right relationship with the land and the world around you.

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about animism, check out the new podcast Everyday Animism I co-host with two others Kelley Harrell and Brandice Schnabel.

Here’s To New Beginnings,


from Janet Roper, Modern Shaman, Animal Communicator & Educator

Talk 2 The Animals: Meeting Your Non-Human Neighbors

This spring my dog Max and I have been going out on the ‘back 40’, taking time to walk and explore what’s back there. It’s not a back 40 in the true sense of the word, but it’s my little neck of the woods, an area that is situated on a mountain in the wide open space of Montana.

This habit started as just taking Max for a walk. It’s handy, definitely close and no need to get in the car and haul us to a place where we can walk. A possible drawback for Max is the lack of canine pee-mail there; however, I’m sure the smell of deer, birds, rabbits and other wildlife that pass that way at least begin to make up for that.

meadow little white flowerI’ve noticed the more we walk back there, the better I get to know the land and the natural beings that call it their home. Who would have thought seeing the tiny white flowers beginning to show could make me so happy? Not to mention that luscious green!

I’ve started saving my tea leaves to share with the beings of the back 40. Each time Max and I go there, I take my jar of used tea leaves to sprinkle along as we walk. It’s my way of saying thanks to the land spirits and gratefully sharing one of my favorite beverages with them.


The time spent there is one of building relationship and rapport with my neighbors, the non-human neighbors of the land. It just so happens these neighbors don’t drive cars, have computers or live in a house. But they are neighbors just the same. As a good neighbor it behooves me to get to know them in a more personal way. To know who they are and to learn about each one and their place in the neighborhood.

Do I communicate with them when I’m back there? Actually, I don’t. That is not the time or place to communicate, to see if they have a ‘message’ for me or how they can ‘help’ me.

Because, you see, the time spent with them is not about me. The time on the back 40 is not about me wrapping my ego in the New Age cloak of building relationship with the end result being an expectation of what can be done for me.

The time spent on the back 40 is to simply get to know my land neighbors and beings, for me to introduce myself to them and give them a chance to know me. This is a time for me to show up as just myself, with my dog and with no agendas. This is a time for me to demonstrate my goodwill and cordiality, as one neighbor to another.

Will they accept me as a good neighbor? Who knows, time will tell.

If you have not met your neighbors of the land, I encourage you to do so. Spring is a perfect time to do this! If you don’t know where or how to start meeting your non-human neighbors, I can help. Set up an introductory call and let’s talk!

Here’s To New Beginnings,

from Janet Roper, Modern Shaman, Animal Communicator & Educator

Talk 2 The Animals: How and Why Interacting With Our Pets Makes Us Happier and Healthier

While those of us who own pets have always known they make us feel much happier and healthier, the good news is that science is finally backing up our claims.

Whether they are helping us feel less depressed, sleep better, or actually working with us to ensure we have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, the fact is our pets are working overtime to ensure their owners stay in tiptop shape.

Whether you want to know just how much your pet is doing for you, or you’re considering getting a cat for the first time, here are some of the most fascinating and beneficial ways owning a pet can make your life better.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

If you ever have trouble sleeping, try letting your pet curl up with you in bed. After all, for some of us, there’s nothing more soothing than having a dog or cat jump into bed with you. Suddenly, no matter the type of day you had, the world just seems like a much better place. While not for everyone, a study conducted by the world-renowned Mayo Clinic concluded that pet parents who let their cats share their bed were more than twice as likely to get a good night’s sleep rather than be disturbed by kitty’s presence.

Rid Yourself of Stress and Anxiety

In today’s world, it’s almost impossible to not feel stressed out – things just move so fast and expectations are so high.

However, if you want to ease your mind and lower your heart rate and blood pressure, spend some quality time with your pet. Petting a cat for only a few minutes has been shown to produce hormones that help to lower stress levels.

In fact, a study by Indiana University’s Media School also showed that simply watching a cat video can reduce stress, so it’s clear our furry friends are doing everything possible to make our lives easy and carefree.

A Healthy and Happy Heart

Along with having lower blood pressure and a heart rate that would make any athlete green with envy, interacting with our pets can also greatly reduce your chances of ever having a heart attack or stroke.

According to the latest research, cat owners are over 30 percent less likely to die from heart attacks than are people who have never experienced the pleasure of owning a feline friend. Much of this has been attributed to data indicating these people have not only far lower cholesterol levels, but also low levels of triglycerides.

And as an added benefit, some research suggests that owning a cat can actually be more heart-healthy for you than taking medication. So rather than spending your time at the pharmacy, you can simply stay home and pet your kitty.

Don’t miss out on the infographic!

The Best Companions

While being with your human friends can be fun, pet owners have known for years that their four-legged friends often make the best companions. If you’ve ever felt down and out after a long day, or have some issue that’s weighing on your mind, having your pet meet you at the door or curl up in your lap can suddenly make all those troubles seemingly disappear.

Cats are often used in pet-therapy programs in senior living facilities, where they interact with residents and help to ease their loneliness. They’ve also been shown to be just as effective as a human significant other in helping you get over a bad mood.

A Free Source of Entertainment

If you’re looking for some cheap but great entertainment, spend a few minutes watching your cat play. Whether Fluffy is chasing a ball around the room, trying to figure out how to catch a bird that’s outside a window, or chasing her tail after sniffing a bit of catnip, there’s no doubt you’ll soon be laughing so hard you won’t be able to stop. Rather than spend lots of time and plenty of money going to a movie that you may or may not enjoy, just stay home and let your furry friend put on a great show for you.

Pets Encourage You to Exercise

By chasing a ball around the room with your cat, or tempting her with a feather at the end of a toy wand, you’ll soon find yourself being more active throughout the day. Even if you just spend as little as 15 minutes daily playing with your pet, you’ll discover it has numerous physical as well as mental benefits. The health benefits of cats, including this added exercise, are apparently saving health services billions of dollars per year due to cat owners being healthier and requiring fewer hospital trips.

The Path to New Friendships

Not only can your pets help you feel better physically and mentally, but they can also help you find many new friendships. Whether you’re at the vet’s office getting a kitty checkup or in the grocery store buying food for your furry friend, chances are you’re bound to strike up a conversation with a fellow pet lover. And once you start talking to someone with whom you have something in common, you just might find it’s the start of a beautiful and lifelong friendship.

While it may seem tough in today’s world to slow down enough to find health and happiness, there’s no doubt for pet owners that the four-legged members of their families do much to enrich their lives. From helping us literally live longer by having healthy hearts to establishing new friendships, our pets show us every day that they are indeed the keys to our enduring happiness.

Want to see all of this in a nutshell? Click here for the infographic.

from Janet Roper, Modern Shaman, Animal Communicator & Educator

Talk 2 The Animals: Activating the word ‘change’

I’ve been having an argument with myself – have you ever done that?

I keep arguing about what I *need* to do, and what I *want* to do. Unfortunately, this argument happens quite frequently in my life, so often that, as much as I hate to admit it, the argument feels quite familiar, like a comfortable, long-time worn out shoe. My nose has been to the grindstone and more and more, the what I *want* to do has been getting the short shrift in this argument.

Until the other day I decided if I wanted to change the outcome of the argument, I needed to change: do things differently, get away from the oblivious, knee-jerk way I was doing my work. It was no longer enough to say I wanted change, or to write items in my journal or schedule and then ignore them.

I needed to CHANGE. <deep breath, white knuckles>

I wanted to CHANGE. <deep breath, white knuckles>


Long story short, I turned my schedule upside down. Instead of getting out of bed, gobbling down breakfast and heading instantly to the computer, I now keep the mornings free for me. That means the activities that give me life – music, journaling, creating, playing with my inks and fountain pens, caring for the plants, spending time with Raven and Max and taking Max for walks on the ‘back 40’ now have priority.

And you know what? I feel ever so much more relaxed and less frantic about getting everything done. The result is that with my new office hours, I am more refreshed and relaxed, more focused and more productive in my work. It feels like I have more time with clients, even though the sessions are still the same in length. My tranquil approach apparently has added more time to my day!

The sixty-four thousand dollar question(s) for you:

  • Are you ready to turn your life upside down once and for all and make some life giving changes when it comes to your relationship with animals?
  • Are you ready to prioritize living in conscious and respectful ways with the animals in your home and in your neighborhood?
  • Are you ready to approach life in a way that emphasizes relationship-with, instead of power-over?

If you are being nudged to do any of the above, let’s talk. Because here’s the thing: by walking my path of supporting positive relationship between humans and animals, more animals and people are helped, which benefits all species involved, which makes the world a better place for our animal kin and for ourselves.

So I’m inquiring, how can I help you? Click the button and schedule your introductory call.

Here’s To New Beginnings,


from Janet Roper, Modern Shaman, Animal Communicator & Educator

Talk 2 The Animals: Mining Touchstones of ‘Good Grief’

“Water your grief with your tears and wait for the fire to slow and shrink.”

Beautiful Billy

Beautiful Billy

Last week was the one year anniversary of my beloved cat Billy’s passing. It was a complex day – I missed Billy yet I was glad that he was rid of his earth body and the disease that had riddled it. I felt like talking about it, I didn’t feel like talking about it. When I did feel like talking about it, I couldn’t think of a person that was the Goldylocks version of *just right* that I felt like talking to. A day of vacillation and a day of (mostly welcomed) silence and solitude.

Part of my reticence in reaching out to people was I didn’t want anyone to try and ‘fix’ my grief or try to make me feel better. I didn’t want anyone to try to make me forget the pain I experienced that final day when I came home from the vet’s office without Billy. If I was going to risk reaching out to people, I wanted to be assured the folks I reached out to would ‘get’ it – would understand what it’s like to grieve the loss of an animal family member.

No, I’m not a martyr, believe me. The way I chose to spend that day (and I truly believe Billy had a paw in orchestrating it) allowed me to honor Billy fully in my grief.

Have you felt like this? If so, I encourage you to register for the upcoming pet grief workshop “Where Grief Meets Love”. The one thing about grief, you may choose to be by yourself, but being by yourself is not a prerequisite to grieving.

Grieving is meant to be done in a trusted community, with people who have experienced and ‘get’ pet grief.


  • You’ve been grieving the loss of an animal
  • You’ve been looking for a safe place to express the grief you are experiencing
  • You would like to have your grief witnessed by others who ‘get’ it
  • You have been looking for like-minded people in a nonjudgmental environment who understand pet grief
  • You’re looking for a different way to work with your grief

I’ll be sharing the methods and techniques that have been successful for me in befriending my grief, with the intent they will give you a way for meeting and working with your own grief. There will also be time for sharing and conversation.

The workshop will be held Wednesday, March 14 at 10AM MOUNTAIN and repeated on Thursday, March 22 at 7PM MOUNTAIN. Registration for the March 22nd workshop will open March 15.

If you know of someone who is grieving the loss of an animal pal, please consider sharing this workshop with them. Who knows – you might be handing them a lifeline.

Together let’s connect, support each other and help each other discover some touchstones of ‘good grief’ in our lives.

register now button

Here’s To New Beginnings,


from Janet Roper, Modern Shaman, Animal Communicator & Educator

Talk 2 The Animals: Dr. Who And Animal Communication

I must admit, I have a ‘thing’ that I do every winter. It started when I moved back to Illinois after living in bayou country, south of New Orleans, Louisiana, for three years.

I started doing this ‘thing’ because I. Was. So. Cold., I never thought I’d get warm again. At the time, I considered it to be a matter of self preservation. Now it’s a matter of habit, preference, relaxation, fun and enjoyment.

So what is that ‘thing’ I do? I knit and crochet like a mad woman, like Madame Defarge, a fictional character in the book A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

As I spend my evenings working with the yarn, I am usually also watching something on Netflix or Amazon Prime. My current enthrallment is Dr. Who.

For those of you who are non-Whovians, Dr. Who is a long-running British science fiction television series. Because of a brilliant technique of regeneration created by the producers, the character of The Dr. can be recast when necessary, giving the show 13 doctors since its inception in November, 1963. Each doctor has their own sidekicks, creating a cast of memorable and bodacious characters. The writing is inspirational, resulting in many thought provoking quotes, which I find can be highly applicable to our own lives.


Here’s a quote that really spoke to me about my journey as a modern shaman, animal communicator and educator. I wonder if it will resonate with you?

This conversation takes place between the 10th Doctor and his companion Martha Jones:

Martha Jones: It’s like in those films: if you step on a butterfly, you change the future of the human race.

The Doctor: Then, don’t step on any butterflies. What have butterflies ever done to you?

It’s time that we each ask ourself that pointed question and start looking at our animal kin and our relationship with them through a lens that encompasses more than just our conventional human perspective. Sure, it’s probably easy to remember not to step on butterflies, but what about the spider or bug that crosses your path in the morning before your first cuppa coffee?

We need to show up for animals in a way that builds right relationship with them and in a way they are asking for, not in a way we *think* is best for them. At some point, we need to get uncomfortable with our traditional way of looking at our relationship with animals and acknowledge there is a more respectful and honorable way to connect with them.

I know you *know* this and hear the call at some level, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this!


If you’re ready to show up for the animals my question for you is: How can I help you? By stepping into my life’s calling of helping build right relationship between animals and people, the animals and you are all helped, making it a win/win for all, regardless of species! And it really is true that “We All Do Better When ALL Creatures Do Better”.

If you’re ready to try on some new lenses and deepen your relationship with animals, here are some of the ways I can help: Online WorkshopsClasses, and 1:1 Services. If you are interested in finding out more about the shamanic services I offer, set up an introductory call and let’s talk!

Here’s To New Beginnings,


from Janet Roper, Animal Communicator & Educator