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behavior . health . wellbeing

Rachel Randel pioneer animal communicator, metaphysical and shamanic practitioner and a kahu

40 years pioneering in the fields of animal communication, metaphysical and shamanic practice for animals


About Rachel Randel pioneering animal communicator and metaphysical practitioner

about me me me

Other than my beloved animal family, I’ve rarely been part of the pack…definitely march to my own drum (or maybe ukulele). 

My practice started about 40 years ago. There were only about 8 of us doing this work in the country that I’m aware of, all in California. They referred to me as the woowoo one even then. And, I think, I was the only one who hadn’t learned from Penelope Smith back then.

We were quite the pioneers. I actually, had the first full service metaphysical and shamanic practice for animals anywhere that I’m aware of…

In the time since, I’ve been shown time and again, that I tend to be about 15 years ahead of trends on everything from holistic care, raw food, early spay/neuter vs hormone retention, over vaccination, fragrance and chemicals, sentience, natural end of life, etc.

In the last decade plus with what I’ve seen, experienced and learned about working with trauma in our animal families and ourselves, I find myself at 65, not at the end of something and wanting to do less, but, on to something and wanting to go deeper and more profound.

So, my work is taking new form with the benefit of decades of experience, discovery, spiritual practice, growth and healing. I LOVE what I do. Truth be told, I do little dances around my house every time I get to experience this work improving an animal and their human’s life and experience long term. My Scotch Collie Bodhi will often join in those dances. He deserves to.

Where did I learn how to do all this? Well, like all of us, I was born with the ability to communicate with animals. Yes, all of us… I was lucky enough to stay connected to that part of myself to a greater degree than many. It was my refuge in a complicated and abuse filled childhood. My first memory of communicating was around 3 years old with a Russian Wolfhound (Borzoi) that belonged to friends of my parents. I’ve also been told of an earlier encounter when a bulldog stood up to my father when said bulldog and I were making friends at an outdoor mall and my father, rather abusively, tried to intervene. That happened more than once with my first Sheltie, Lassie (hey, I was 3). He was my hero. 

The difficulties of my childhood, led me, in my late teens, to quietly begin looking for answers and a way out of my pain. Traditional means didn’t work for me and in all honesty, the methods and ideas at that time weren’t even in a place where understanding of what I was going through existed and, sadly, that caused more trauma (for many, not just myself).

So, I began down some less traveled roads of exploration that led me, gratefully, to metaphysics. And, though understanding there was still lacking, too, it was light years improvement. The wonderful chiropractor I mentioned before, had a big influence and my gratitude for him is still profound decades later. I’ve also been blessed to have had some other wonderful practitioners and teachers over the years. But, for me, much was “re-membered” as my exploration grew deeper. 

I’ve worked with animals from koi to hamsters, cats, dogs, parrots, horses, donkeys, goats, ducks and various other assorted farm animals, beavers, gophers, hawks, kestrels, crows . . . I’ve made friends with Canadian geese, herons, scrub jays, opposums, hummingbirds, butterflies, wild and domestic turkeys, a 5 point buck . . . and even had a few bears show up to say hey . . . my tag line a few decades back was “afghans to zebras”.

I grew up in the Los Angeles of the 1960s and 70s that was in many ways magical as well as oddly complicated. One of my most profound memories, still, from childhood was that everything seemed to sparkle like magic in the sunlight: the ocean; the palm trees; even the sidewalks (though I now know that was due to some kind of sparkling mineral in the cement mix).

I grew up with Shelties from the age of 3 and was the kid who always brought the classroom animals home to care for over school holidays. As an adult I’ve been graced to share my home and life with some amazing animal companions including several parrots, a variety of poodle mixes and occasionally, small herds of cats, though, there’s always a cat. 

I’ve been lucky to live a number of different places in my adult life. Some good, some not so good, all beautiful. But always, somehow, ended up back in Southern California.

I’m now on the opposite coast in the utterly gorgeous Catskills/Hudson Valley region of New York. I live in the foothills of the Catskills with my cat, Luca (he was that Lassie and still my hero) and my two dogs, Bodhi and Emma. We’re nestled in an eclectic little hamlet that runs along a beautiful creek down the road from the famous town of Woodstock, while being just a Metro-North ride into Manhattan. I’m here for the second time and here longer than any place other than California. I think it may be permanent… Still, at heart, I will always be that native Californian, with that typically, or not so typically, Angelino vibe and happy to be. 

about my approach

I’m beyond excited about this new approach to my work! 

Over the last couple of decades I’ve grown more and more aware that to truly heal trauma that has reached the point of causing behavioral and health issues, the typical animal communicator format of an hour session by phone or videoconference just doesn’t cut it. 

So, these new formats, that take longer, have proved quite beneficial. I’ve been doing them behind the scenes more and more for almost a decade now and been very pleased with what I’ve seen and what my clients have experienced. So pleased, that I’ve changed the entire way I work so that this is now my works main focus. I’m going to get thorough and go deep here, so some very dense and lengthy writing is coming…please, for your animals, dive in here…

Yes, our animals do process faster than we do, but, that old format does a true disservice in this kind of work. Firstly, it creates the appearance that deep seated issues in our animal companions can be solved in an hour. This sets everyone up for disappointment. When healing or making healable an issue by addressing the root of the trauma that caused it, depending on the severity, you want to provide the space necessary for how one may or may not process. How we process these traumas toward healing is deeply and uniquely individual. It needs to be addressed in safe and manageable bits that don’t overwhelm the system or the individual. Trying to do all that in an hour or even two hour format, if even possible, is more likely to cause more trauma to the system and individual. Even a good trainer or behaviorist is going to work with you more than once to address these issues and, more times than not, never heal the trauma at the root. Think about yourself… how often have you had a chronic issue of your own truly healed in one appointment at your chosen practitioner? 

In addressing trauma, dignity and safety are must haves. Over this past decade of experimentation in my work, it’s become profoundly apparent to me that having an audience can be a significant impediment to the healing sought. Asking, expecting, our animals to reveal their deepest darkest in front of the person they care for most deeply who provides for their every need and whose reality, it is often their job to uphold, pure and simple, lacks dignity and safety. 

Outside group or couples therapy, think about yourself, again, would you want your husband, son, mother, best friend to sit in on your next therapy, chiropractic or massage session? Isn’t part of healing being able to share when you are ready (and usually with some healing behind you) to share your deepest and aren’t there things that, for so, so many reasons, we each choose to keep to ourselves (whether from shame or sacredness). Our animals deserve those same options and the dignity and safety inherent. It reminds me of going from making house calls to doing phone sessions a few decades back. It became apparent very quickly that phone sessions were so much more efficient and effective because the anonymity(safety) created by not being face to face allowed the people I was helping to be more transparent in the most difficult moments of processing. It’s also why once we’ve done the interview, you have a choice to do any sessions by phone as well as video.

That dignity and safety are also why, no matter how curious you may be, I will keep private the things your animals requests I do. Their trust in me is imperative for the work to be successful. I will not push an animal to allow me to share something that doesn’t impact the success of the work. That said, I will do all I can to help them allow me to share with you something that is important for you to know for the success of their healing. Even in the most stubborn circumstances, I’ve rarely not been able to find a work around, that Spirit supports and your companion can be comfortable with and agree to.

This is a good time to point out that I don’t refer to myself as a healer. In the vastness of experience, in my present existence, I could never have the depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and capability that Spirit (The Universe, Source, God, Goddess, Love) has. So, I make a point to do my all to keep myself as clear a channel for that as possible and in all my work I defer and rely upon Spirit’s guidance and healing for the success of what I offer. I often determine the path or confirm the path shown with a very clear and precise method of muscle testing.

I will always be honest with you and them. I expect that in return from you. It’s essential or the work will fail. I am trauma informed and work to create a safe space where you and your animals can have the shelter and understanding needed to move through what obstacles are presenting. I not only listen, but I hear… 

Oh, you’ve likely noticed I rarely mince words and I think it’s important to be clear on some things that are rampant in metaphysics and the world these days. This is likely my biggest rant they days. I don’t do or participate in airy fairy new age spiritual bypassing here. I’ve seen and experienced the harm and damage it can do. I deeply understand the concept and have, sadly participated in it.

I’ve learned (the hard way) that taking on a viewpoint of deeply superfluous positivity denies the impact of truly deep seated trauma and how it rewires the brain.

You see this demand of positivity above all else, in the trauma rewired brain, can actually create some very serious negative outcomes. Trust me, I’ve been on and watched others on those types of spiritual paths who have some pretty deep trauma. It’s devastating, when it all comes crumbling down, because the brain rewired by trauma cannot take in that kind positivity. It will actually begin to unconsciously go on the attack creating opposing circumstances while the victim is unaware.

Add to that, constantly being told by others on this path that their problems exist because they aren’t positive enough, adding more trauma and changing the brain even more. It’s a horrendous cycle.

So, I don’t dismiss feelings or fears, however dark, I help you and your animals address them, move through them. No victim blaming. You and your animals appearing troubles are not because you aren’t positive enough. They may, however, be because abuse or trauma changed how the brain is wired and that, can be addressed.

A few other things to know about how I approach my work:

  • I believe laughter is imperative to healing (your animals do, too).
  • Creative visualization is a powerful tool for shifting some behaviors and even in training from puppyhood through adulthood
  • I don’t have a name for how I do energy work. It’s a myriad of things that I’ve learned or have come to me over the years. So, not Reiki or Tellington Touch (both really great tools) or this or that. Just kinda my own thing, thrown in with bits and pieces of a lot of other things, all guided and directed by Source. It also will change and shift, as experienced over the decades, as it adapts to the individual I’m working with.
  • I process very quickly. This can be a benefit, but it can also be a problem if you have another way of processing. So, if you are having difficulty or are needing more time or clarity, please speak up. It helps me help you and your animals. It’s welcome.
  • This may be one of the most important things and so I’ve saved it for the end, here. My practice is grounded in Love. I work very hard to keep that alive and strong for those who trust me to assist them. My whole purpose in my work has been based for decades on being you and your animals ally (long before that term had it’s current and loving incarnation). So, you need know this, hate, of any kind, is not welcome in this sacred space.
About Rachel Randel, pioneer in the field of animal communication, metaphysical and shamanic practice for animals and her aid, sidekick and dog shaman, Bodhi, The Colliesattva