The Animal Wisdom Team



The Human Behind Our Animal Wisdom

Hello. My name is Dara Tuell. I have been a student of metaphysics, shamanism and various healing arts for over 30 years. I am an initiate of a branch of Celtic shamanism and have also trained in several other traditions, including Harner Method core shamanism and Huna.

This training has provided me with the worldview and belief system that created the basis for learning to communicate directly with animals, as well as plants, and the spirits of nature.

From earliest childhood I have felt a deep bond with animals. I knew that they understood so much more than most humans believed, and that we could also understand them–if only we would. I have seen so much evidence over the years to support this belief.

Ironically, my first actual attempt to consciously use techniques of intuitive communication with an animal almost frightened me away from it for good. I had read Penelope Smith’s classic book, “Animal Talk,” and decided to give it a try. My then 18 year old cat, Tzaddi, was giving me that stare that I knew meant “I’m trying to tell you something.” I quieted my mind and opened myself to listen to her. After a few moments, during which I told myself I wasn’t receiving anything — because, I now realize, I was deliberately blanking my mind — I opened my eyes to meet her gaze. My own eyes filled with tears and I found myself saying, “Please don’t leave me.”  I suddenly knew, you see, that she was thinking about whether or not to wrap up her time here on Earth. That was certainly not something I was prepared for or willing to hear!

So, although I strongly believed that animal communication was possible and even that I could do it, let’s just say I wasn’t in a big hurry to try it again. Tzaddi, by the way, did her best to honor my request and stayed with me in relatively good health until a few months after her 19th birthday.

In 2001, my orange tabby, Dervish, was diagnosed with lymphoma. I knew I needed to consult Dervish’s desires and preferences about what came next, so I turned to a friend who was a practicing animal communicator. He facilitated a couple of dialogues between Dervish and myself, and stirred my desire to connect more deeply with my beloved friend while he was still with me.  It was time to revisit the idea of telepathic animal communication.

My human friend gave me a few pointers and I basically surrendered and let Dervish become my teacher. Approximately six weeks later, by the time he let me know he was ready to depart his body, we were even able to discuss what would become of his physical remains after he had gone. I knew from that point on that this type of interaction was to become an important part of my life, and I have been studying and actively practicing animal communication ever since. I began offering my services professionally in 2007.

Given my background, I naturally built on my shamanic training to incorporate the use of power animals and animal spirits in this work. I began communicating with the collective spirits of an animal species (i.e., Bear with a capital “B,” as opposed to an individual bear). Many species have delivered messages to humanity through me, and I will be sharing those in the Animal Spirit Messages section of this site.

For the past two years I have been a volunteer at the San Francisco zoo, where I have been learning to communicate with a wide variety of different animal species. I enjoy the challenge (and surprises) of connecting with beings who do not regard humans as the center of their universe as our dear companion animals so often do.

I also love helping humans! I have been on a healer’s path for many years — pre-dating my work as an animal communicator.  In 1999, I became a certified Holistic Health Counselor, and I have been a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist since the year 2000.  Putting it all together, I have found my particular passion for assisting people in establishing and deepening their connections with the guidance of their inner wisdom, Spirit, joy and creativity. This has led me to develop a unique synthesis of hypnotherapy and shamanism that I call “Shamanic Hypnotherapy.” You will find more information about this and the other services I currently offer on this site’s “Services” page.

I am also a Reiki Master-teacher and have trained in a number of different energy healing modalities including Quantum Touch, and Pranic Healing.

The Rest of the Team:

From time to time, my companions, Rune (Wisdom),and Luna (Light) will be contributing their feline perspective and insight to this site as well. You will find their offerings under the section “Wisdom and Light.”


Rune (Wisdom)


Luna (Light)

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