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Shapeshifting with Our Animal Companions

Connecting with the Spiritual Awareness of All Life

Published by Bear & Company
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Journeys with animals for personal transformation and enlightenment

• Reveals how shapeshifting with the animal kingdom allows us to experience different forms of consciousness and expand our perception of the world

• Examines the three phases of transforming consciousness: letting go, opening to experience, and integrating awareness

• Explores how shapeshifting provides an understanding of death as a transformation rather than an ending

In Shapeshifting with Our Animal Companions, Dawn Baumann Brunke moves beyond the “how” and “why” of animal communication presented in her earlier books to a profound journey of shared spiritual awareness. Through conversations, dreams, and merged consciousness with a variety of animals and spirit beings, she reveals the vast treasure of wisdom and experiences offered to us as we open ourselves to the consciousness of others, confront and release our fears of death, and expand our sensory perception to include other modes of existence.

Brunke reveals how by shapeshifting--moving in and out of shared awareness with others and particularly animals--we may better understand and embrace the diversity of consciousness in our world as we learn to awaken our true selves. Through encounters with shapeshifting animal teachers, she explores the three stages of transforming consciousness: letting go of old ideas and habitual modes of perception, experiencing different forms of consciousness through the eyes of others, and integrating these experiences into a greater awareness of our own being--thus discovering the deeper nature of who we all really are.



Other Voices . . .


During the next several days I began seeing ravens: ravens perched on telephone poles, hopping in parking lots, soaring in the sky. While this initially brought the trickster energy of Raven to mind, I felt there was something more. Just as Tau, Jen, and the eel had formed a group voice fashioned from individual tones, I sensed another “voice” to the appearance of Raven in my life.
Looking for pattern, I realized that seeing ravens coincided with a disagreement several of us were having with one of our neighbors. The problem was a minor issue that had blown entirely out of proportion. Although I had arranged for a neighborhood meeting to talk out the issue, it ended badly, with the neighbor storming out.
How or why was this connected with Raven? I wasn’t sure. A few days later, while driving and wondering how the situation might resolve, I saw the logo of a raven on a passing car. Although I smiled in recognition, another part of me felt insecure, desperately scrambling to decipher: what did it mean? And then--suddenly--a raven flew straight at me. It was as if Raven was staging a direct course of collision--swooping very low, lifting up over my car only at the last possible moment. This was unusual behavior for a raven, of course, and a clear message to pay attention.
But to what? Again, meaning eluded me. It seemed a new kind of puzzle--not only involving the teaching or medicine of Raven but also something personal, entwined within myself.
We would remind you to always remember that the Web of Life is alive with interconnected strands of being, commented Raven, the following morning.
Humans have a tendency to relate everything back to them. Not all species do this. Many of us are more comfortable in circular thought rather than the direct straight line you are so comfortable with.
“Do you mean by my wanting there to be a meaning to this?” I asked. “By saying ‘this means that’ or thinking in terms of cause and effect?”
To some degree, yes. In mathematical formulas, we could say you like “this plus this equals that.” Whereas we are more likely to think in terms of “this plus that plus this plus that,” one thing linked to another, with less emphasis on what it “means” or a final answer. Though I wouldn’t want to get too rigid on this metaphor.
We offer in the way of feedback a simple rule: Arguments and misunderstandings are about inner conflicts, when desires of the inner world do not fit with the outer reality. Inside and outside are the same; when this is not seen or felt for each individual, a disturbance in the psyche occurs. This becomes translated to a disagreement, fight, problem, trouble, or war with the outside world. What you see is what you are: a basic precept.
The raven-haired woman is a reflection of you. You are now being given the opportunity to treat her as you would a part of yourself--for this is who she is. This is the deeper nature of communication--not simply to make good points or speak eloquently, but to move people, to move one’s self. This is communication of the soul. It is the beginning of poetry between hearts. It is the deeper nature of shapeshifting. For as you see her as a part of you, you shift your form that pronounced “Dawn” as the central player in your drama. Dawn is all these neighbors--and many more.
Much of our communication to you is about extending communication and understanding not only between species but also between your own species, as well as between the seemingly different aspects of your own self. As you open and embrace more as yet unrevealed aspects of yourself, you come to realize the deep inherent oneness that pervades everything.
One of our qualities is as messenger birds; we carry information from one aspect of One to another. We work between species and within species to help enhance communication at a deeper level of intimacy in shared, mutual understanding.
Many humans feel you have reached the pinnacle of linguistic development, but countless animals will tell you that this is not the case. There is a throbbing pulse that reverberates within the world of which so many humans are not the slightest bit aware. Many animals are able to tune in to this sound, this song of the earth, at any moment. We are never alone, for we have the ability to hear from any other species who participates in the orchestration of sound and feeling and shared knowledge.
To use words to reach another being is to move outward and touch that being. And, in turn, that being reaches out and touches you. When a deep and meaningful interchange occurs, a communication channel is established and brought to life.
Even now, you are reluctant to share personal information, but we encourage you to do so--to reveal more of yourself so that more will be revealed to you. To engage in shapeshifting, you must open not only to those around you but also to the deeper nature of your own being. As you delve deeper into this arena, you will find infinite amazement at what you hold within yourself.
We feel shapeshifting is about opening to this essence. Once you hold this key, you are free to ride along with any form, marry any aspect of being in order to marvel at the myriad forms and manners of perception and ways of being that One chooses to manifest.

That afternoon I sat on my back deck under the rich blue canopy of sky, contemplating Raven’s message. I closed my eyes and saw a closeup of Raven’s face, black eyes glinting. He moved his head slowly, side to side, or, as he put it, “view to view, you to you.”

About The Author

Dawn Baumann Brunke is a writer and editor who specializes in the areas of healing, dreaming, spirituality, animal communication, and deepening our connection with all life. The author of Animal Voices: Telepathic Communication in the Web of Life, Shapeshifting with Our Animal Companions, and Animal Voices, Animal Guides, she lives with her husband, daughter, and animal friends in Alaska.

Visit her web site at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Bear & Company (June 24, 2008)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781591437628

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Raves and Reviews

“Communicating with animal companions and accepting them as guides along the shapeshifting trail is an honored tradition among indigenous people around the world. Dawn Brunke brings this powerful transformational process into our culture and then takes it to new levels. An uplifting, powerful, inspirational book!”

– John Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, Shapeshifting

“A cutting-edge guide to a more profound way of being. Dawn Baumann Brunke offers us an essential volume of insights so perfectly presented I could not put it down or read fast enough.”

– Rita M. Reynolds, author of Blessing the Bridge: What Animals Teach Us About Death, Dying, and Beyon

“Dawn Brunke takes us on a magical mystery tour of the infinite shapes of consciousness. Shapeshifting with Our Animal Companions gives fascinating, fresh outlooks exploring the vastness of life and death through the viewpoints of many animals and the author’s refined spirituality and clear expression. Prepare to swim in an ocean of multidimensional possibilities.”

– Penelope Smith, author of Animal Talk, When Animals Speak, and Animals in Spirit

“This insightful, wise, and visionary book contains a rich tapestry of practical advice for those of us who yearn to deepen our knowing that the animal kingdom is a place of ardent tutors and mentors who can offer us keys to the greater human journeys. A compelling, world-class treasure.”

– Simon Buxton, author of The Shamanic Way of the Bee

“From the first pages of this book the author takes us into that place in human consciousness where we share a language with all beings, offering a renewal of inter-species wisdom that indigenous peoples have known for tens of thousands of years. This is essential reading for anyone who recognizes the common spiritual bond of all beings on our planet.”

– Hal Zina Bennett, author of Spirit Animals and the Wheel of Life: Earth-Centered Practices for Daily

“This book will stretch your vision of what is possible and who you are. The animals reach through the pages to teach us all, offering wisdom and guidance as they gently lead us through our fears and into a heightened awareness of who we really are and how we are all connected at the core of our beings.”

– Tera Thomas, author of Opening My Wings to Fly: What Animals Have Taught Me

"This is not only a beautiful nature narrative (much of the book takes place in Alaska), but will shift the way you relate to all non-human life forms. The lessons in this book will help readers to connect with animals, and all life forms, on a deeper and more profound level."

– Jessica Teel, reviewer, Aug 2008

"Shapeshifting becomes a means of experiencing life beyond illusions and projections of reality, so that she and her teachers become true companions sharing one great reality. . . . shapeshifting is about opening to the oneness of all existence."

– Richard D. Wright, New Age Retailer, March 2009

". . . beautifully written book. . .

– Currents of Change, Rising Moon Healing Center, Feb 2010

"Shapeshifting with Our Animal Companions is a complex and finely written, meaty Buddhist koan--a statement or question with paradoxes and no obvious answer. Like all good koans, this one requires a high dive. Shapeshifting with Our Animal Companions, Dawn Baumann Brunke has created a high board for a dive into a bottomless pool of understanding."

– Betsy Robinson, Spirituality Book Club, Feb 2010

"Brunke is known and respected in her field and her book takes readers beyond the basics of animal communication and into spiritiual awareness through a merging of consciousness with other life forms. The idea is that humans can expand their perceptions and release their fear of death by experiencing the world as other species see it. . . . If you enjoy broadening your thinking, love animals, and reach eagerly into new realms, this is the book for you."

– Penny Leisch, Story Circle Book Reviews, June 2010

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