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“I don’t understand it. 

But for that matter I don’t understand 

how a spider learned to spin a web in the first place. 

When the words appeared, 

everyone said they were a miracle. 

But nobody pointed out 

that the web itself is a miracle.”


~ Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White     



As a child, one of my favorite books was Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. I especially loved Charlotte, a quick-witted gray spider, who spun words into her web in an attempt to save her friend Wilbur the pig from an untimely death. “Some pig!” boldly exclaimed the words in Charlotte’s web. “Radiant” and “Humble” were other adjectives Charlotte used to describe Wilbur. Most of the farmers and townspeople believed the words were miracles, supernaturally inspired messages that could not be explained. They looked to the pig, certain that he was the one behind the mystery. Charlotte smiled, delighted that her trick had worked. 


As Charlotte later explained to Wilbur, spiders have been weaving webs for generation upon generation. “I don’t know how the first spider in the early days of the world happened to think up this fancy idea of spinning a web, but she did, and it was clever of her, too,” said Charlotte. I thought it was equally clever of Charlotte to be a spider who understood how words could so greatly influence humans.   


There are some who believe that spiders spin webs not merely from instinct, but are graced with the collective memory of all spiders who have ever spun webs since that first spider in the early days. As more spiders spin webs, the idea goes, it becomes easier for all spiders to create webs. Webs are spun with less effort and the potential for greater intricacy. 


Some believe that human evolution follows a similar path. As a new talent is discovered by one individual, others may simultaneously or soon thereafter find the talent within themselves. As more individuals engage in the new behavior, it becomes easier for others to participate. Call it the hundredth monkey, the hundredth spider or even the hundredth human; it is all variation of the same pattern in the grand Web.  


The Web of Life reminds us that every thought and action affects everyone and everything. An idea comes to one of us and a thread on the invisible web quivers as circumstances conspire to bring events, ideas, people, animals and countless other forms of assistance into our lives. 


Although this book began with a simple interest in animal communication, it has proved to be a widespread collaboration. Over two dozen communicators and 100 animals have shared their energy, wisdom, humor and blessings for the completed work to unfold.  


Just as the barnyard animals brought Charlotte word suggestions to display on her web, just as E. B. White collaborated with the subtle energy of a wonderful gray spider he called Charlotte, we are all, consciously or unconsciously, working together to create something quite spectacular, something that propels us into a new creation of Being.


~ * * * ~


How do we begin our journey? All too often, it is not where we are going but what we find along the way that holds the key to our true adventure. It is frequently the diversions and strange circumstances that lead us to the most extraordinary places -- heart-felt, humorous, amazing, sometimes barely believable…


In 1995, my husband and I moved to Alaska. We had no definite plans, neither one of us had jobs, but away we went, toting our young daughter, two dogs and a 20-foot trailer. Not long after arriving, I picked up a copy of Alaska Wellness, a magazine focused on alternative healing and the connection of mind, body and spirit. A tiny notice in the back advertised for an Editor. Though I had never done any professional editing, I applied and, surprising to me, was hired.


One of my first duties involved sorting through a box of articles not yet published. One in particular caught my eye. It was written by Chrys Long-Ago, a woman who claimed to talk with animals. Not only that, the animals talked back to her! I was fascinated by the story, which detailed Chrys’ conversations with a guinea pig named Geisha.


When I later interviewed Chrys, she told me about J. Allen Boone, a writer whose primary teacher in animal communication had been an award-winning German shepherd war dog and filmstar named Strongheart. I found two of Boone’s books and read them with a growing sense of wonder, amazement and deep respect.


Questions about human-animal communication filled my brain. Was it really possible to have an intelligent conversation with an animal? Did animals truly have a capacity to understand the world beyond themselves? Did they have a sense of spirituality? Did they know something we didn’t? What would animals tell us, both about themselves and about us, if we approached them with serious intent? Was a deeper, more vital relationship between humans and animals – and all of life – something we had forgotten about, something we had left behind in the course of our evolution? 


It soon became apparent that what I was involved in was something much greater than myself. As I thought about it, meditated on it, dreamed about it, I realized with growing surprise that not only was this something I had chosen; it was something that had also chosen me.


Ask for something with the deepest part of your being and the Universe responds. This is a thrilling realization, though you often discover that the Universe may respond in a way that is not exactly in line with what you had in mind.


My central focus had been asking communicators to be the medium through which animals might answer the basic question, “What would you most like humans to know?” It was all going quite well until Marta Williams, a communicator I had been interviewing over the phone, stopped me short. “If you’re going to write a book about this, maybe you should try it too,” Marta suggested gently. A deep sense of unease shuddered through me. Surely I would not be asked to do that! It was one thing to interview animals through professional communicators, but certainly such a thing would never happen to me!  


A few weeks later, I experienced my first direct communication with a flock of birds. It was an exceptional event for me, one that changed the focus of this book dramatically and brought me to a deeper place of understanding how this thing called animal communication really works.  


From my initial opening with the birds, there was no stopping the flow of communications I received, though I sometimes considered trying. Most often it happened spontaneously, when I was least expecting it. 


Deeper and deeper the process unfolds. Are we ever really in control? I no longer believe that I was the one who had the idea to write this book. On other levels, there was mystery afoot, and the plan was presented to me through a series of challenges. Was I willing to let go of an old worldview in order to learn something new? Was I ready to begin living with a sense of wonder? Was I willing to trust my experiences as so many others seemed to trust me?


My heart has been touched by all who speak in this book as well as by those who have offered feedback, help and support. It reminds me of the web, of Charlotte, and how all manner of extraordinary events conspire to create a world in which a pig and spider can become best of friends. Are we ready to see that we, too, are capable of creating such a world? As so many animals remind us time and again, we are all more intimately connected than we can imagine. Perhaps more than anything, this book is about trusting that connection, trusting the flow of life as we open to and feel the deeper union between each one of us and All That Is.


A special group of animals once remarked, “It is essential that humans begin to awaken to their connection with all of life. As you open to animals, you will also open deeper to yourselves. This is one of the roots of your return home.”


May we open to this journey. May we trust ourselves and the unfolding of our paths just a little bit more. And may we all remember, ourselves and each other, human and animal alike, within the sacred web of life. 



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