I have always been skeptical of animal communicators that I have heard about on the news or TV shows. I always believed that different species can have an understanding of unspoken feelings such as happiness and sadness because animals can sense and pick up on those feelings through body language and attitude. That being said, I find it hard to believe that actual words can be communicated between species simply because it has been proven that some animals have a more complex brain capacity which leads me to believe that they do not have the ability to think and feel the same things that humans do. In Animal Attraction, I felt unconvinced that the animal communicator could truly communicate and translate the animal’s thought into exact words. I am convinced that the communicator will always have biased ideas about what the animals think because their own thoughts are blended with and projected onto the animal’s thoughts.
When our class did the workshop with Barbara Janelle, I felt that I came as close to communicating with an animal as I ever have. The exercises that she had us do to become aware of our own bodies and the sensory exercises really relaxed me and put me in the optimal state to open my mind to animal communication. I was not successful in communicating with Abby the dog. Every time I tried to communicate with her, I felt myself putting my own thought into Abby and then trying to convince myself that they were her thoughts.
I decided to use what I had learned in the workshop to attempt to communicate with my friend’s pet hermit crab named Kermie. Kermie is a 6 years old male. A hermit crab was probably not the greatest choice of animal for me to choose to communicate with due to their stereotypical “hermit-like” personalities, but since I had spent about 4 hours identifying Crustaceans in my invertebrate zoology lab earlier in the day, I was inspired to try an communicate with one.
I was conflicted on whether or not I should try to communicate with Kermie through his glass tank or to take him out of his cage. I felt taking him out his cage would be most effective since the boundary between his shell and I was enough of a barrier. I picked Kermie out and put him on a table next to me. I began by doing the breathing exercises taught to us by Barbara to become more aware of my own body before trying to communicate. I then tried to imagine myself in Kermie’s body and attempted make myself aware of his body. Kermie stayed curled up in his shell and stayed completely still during the entirety of our session which made it difficult for me to envision how his body may have felt to him. I did my best, and I did feel a sense of compression and discomfort despite the large shell that he was in. I was expecting him to feel very free and comfortable due to the spaciousness of the shell. These feelings make sense because of the conical shape of the shell that he was in. It was probably hard for him to squeeze his body into the narrow tip of the shell. I was unable to communicate any words or feelings with Kermie, so I was not completely successful in communicating with him. When I felt I was done, I said “thank you” and returned him to his cage.
After my session with Kermie, I found out from my friend that her other hermit crab named Hermie had just recently passed away and she felt that Kermie was really sad about the loss of his friend. Maybe the cramped and uncomfortable feeling that I felt with Kermie was more than just the physical comfortableness of his shell but more of an emotional comfortableness due to the loss of Hermie. Although these ideas are quite abstract, this is what I came up with when I opened my mind to animal communication. I am not sure I am convinced after all of this, but I will say that my mind is now open and I will keep trying in the future.
Kermie in his shell