Meeting Suki, Matriarch Elephant
On December 16, 2017, I joined 3 other reiki practitioners and shamanic healers to bring love, light, and reiki to the animals at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma Washington. This was part of a project led by Rose De Dan of Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing and inspired by the animals themselves.
We arrived just before the zoo opened and left as it was closing, having visited every animal, fish, reptile, and being in the zoo, including a few who live on and around the grounds of the zoo. We experienced many beautiful moments of encounter and connection. I want to share with you one of my most memorable connections that day.
Two senior female elephants live at Point Defiance Zoo, Suki and Hanako. As we approached the elephant area at the zoo, I could see them at the back of the enclosure.
I stood by the fence for a few minutes to observe. They looked well weathered and seemed calm. Then we walked around to the side of the enclosure where we could stand closer, about 12m from them. I greeted them both and said (as I do to introduce myself in animal communications), that I was a friend and was there with love and light and no expectations or demands.
Suki didn’t respond right away. But within a few minutes I watched as she walked closer to us, stopped and began to sway side to side a little in a comfortable movement that seemed familiar to her. Her tail swung occasionally. I thought perhaps this movement helped with boredom or unease or that maybe she was feeling out the energy from our group.
This elephant has a past. A violent one that I made a point of putting aside. I told her I could see her, that she was beautiful and I appreciated her. Which is essentially 'Namaste Suki." But it was also my heart seeing hers, not human to elephant but heart to heart, life journey to life journey. She swayed side to side. Part of our visit that day was offering a prayer stick to the animals, so they could add their intentions to it and we would then take their prayers to Fire Ceremony on their behalf. I asked her if she wanted to add her intentions.
She swayed side to side.
I offered her my love and appreciation for a few minutes while she continued her pattern, side to side to side to side. And then I said – “Creator sees you. Creator knows your magnificence. She sees all of your life, and your strength and recognizes your journey.” *
Suki stopped swaying, got very still for a moment and then turned her head to look straight at me. Her eyes to mine. Everything else paused as we connected eye to eye in that moment. Then she turned her head back and resumed swaying.
I was deeply aware that she heard me; the words and message reached her. We carried on with our mission that day, visiting other animals but the connection with Suki stayed in my heart.
A couple of days later while I sent a gratitude meditation to the animals and Suki connected with me. I greeted her a feeling of genuine love for her and thanked her for meeting us. She feels strong in a heels dug-in kind of way like no one is going to mess with her, no way no how. She also feels wise, fiercely protective of herself and yet willing to connect. She has a commanding presence without feeling menacing. Which is pretty awesome!
This is what she shared with me.
She doesn’t want to be known by her past. She asked that we stop telling the story. It bothers her when the story is told over and over as her introduction. Instead, she wants a sign at her enclosure that reads – “Suki – Matriarch Elephant, strong, wise ambassador for all elephants, teacher for humans, warrior for life.”
I told her that sounds perfect. I love it actually! What would the animals want on their signs if we asked them? Not just a sign about the species, but a sign about each individual. (This might be a future project for me.)
And isn’t this what we all long for? To be seen for who we are, not for what has happened to us or around us.
Suki’s request reminds me of Spirit’s story. Spirit is a black leopard who was once named Diablo. He met animal communicator Anna Breytenbach and their encounter was life changing for both of them. You can watch his remarkable story on YouTube and on her website animalspirit.org.
Spirit and Suki are teaching us the same message – These are Suki's words.
"See us for who we truly are, not for what has happened to us or what you project onto us. Treat us with respect as living beings. Allow us to live our lives in harmony with the earth and our sisters."
I say - You got it sister!
(Note: I used the words ‘Creator’ and 'she' with Suki. I didn’t plan the words I said to her or know I was going to communicate this to her. I believe these words and this message came through me to her. Feel free to replace 'Creator' with 'God' or 'Universe' or 'Source', or whatever word resonates with you. It doesn’t change the message.)