Amid the storm of online outrage and commentary over the killing of Cecil the lion by American dentist Walter Palmer, one thing stood out to me: a Facebook post by "animal communicator" Karen Anderson, in which she claimed that she had spoken to Cecil from beyond the grave, and that he was doing great. So great, in fact, that he seemed capable of issuing Gandhi-esque messages of peace and love down to the land of the living.
Karen, who is based in the state of Washington, claims that she regularly chats to animals who have passed on. Intrigued by her claims, I asked her a few questions.
VICE: What do you do as an animal communicator?
Karen Anderson: I connect with animals both living and deceased by reading their energy. I help their human guardians resolve behavior problems, find out about their pain or other health issues, and even how they feel about their "transition" or passing away. From litter box issues to aggression, I've tackled it all.
Their energy is transmitted telepathically in several ways. I work from a photo, which serves as the focal point. It's like having that animal's cell number, as I can dial up their energy from just a photo.
Once the animal's energy comes through I will receive messages from them in various different ways. For instance, an animal can send an image or picture of their message or something they want to talk about. They also send messages through their feelings and emotions. Animals experience happiness, pain, fear, anxiety, stress, etc., just like we do. So I can receive that as an energetic "feeling." So, for example, if they are having back pain, I will often feel a sharp pain in my back. If they have a mouth or tooth issue I will feel the sensation in my mouth.
And finally they send messages to me as a "verbal" or telepathic message. This is how I primarily connect. I can hear their messages just like you and I would chat back and forth.
What did Cecil the lion have to say for himself?
When I connected with Cecil he said, "Let not the actions of these few men defeat us or allow darkness to enter our hearts. If we do then we become one of them. Raise your vibration and allow this energy to move us forward. What happened does not need to be discussed, as it is what it is. Take heart, my child, I am finer than ever, grander than before, as no one can take our purity, our truth, or our soul. Ever. I am here. Be strong and speak for all the others who suffer needlessly to satisfy human greed. Bring light and love, and we will rise above this."
How did Cecil get in touch?
I heard him speak. It was a telepathic message. I wanted him to know how loved and missed he would be. I was amazed at how profound his message was. It gave me a sense of peace where before I had been literally sick over the news of his death. I felt that others would benefit from hearing his words, so that is when I shared it on my Facebook page.
Why do you think Cecil doesn't want revenge to be taken upon Walter Palmer?
Humans seek revenge, not animals.
If Cecil is "finer than ever," doesn't this suggest he is glad to have been killed?
I believe what he is referring to is that his soul is alive and well in spirit form and moving on to continue his journey in the afterlife—or "the better life," as I like to call it.
With so many people sending Cecil loving thoughts, that is equivalent to receiving a huge outpouring of pure spiritual fuel; much like "topping off your tank" at the gas station. This large outpouring of love and concern helps a soul move forward after a trauma or tragedy. The same thing happens with deceased humans. They are able to receive all the love, prayers, and positive energy from their loved ones after they transition—pass away—which helps them move forward.
You may have heard about spirits who get "stuck" and can't seem to move on. Once these spirits receive loving energy from well-wishers or their loved ones, sometimes they are able to finally move on and not linger here on the Earth plane any longer.
It's fascinating to hear from both departed humans and animals about the so-called "other side." It's quite common for a client to have a session with me and their deceased pets bring through their departed human loved ones, or vice versa. One of my sayings is, "We never know who is going to show up for a session!"
Have you ever received messages from other notorious murdered animals?
I have connected with a few of the deceased Michael Vick fighting dogs, but mostly just pets that have been killed by humans or other animals.
In the past I have connected with the killer whale Tilly after he drowned his trainer Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld. I have also connected with Alex, the African gray parrot that worked with [scientist] Irene Pepperberg for so many years. And Koko the famous gorilla, who knew sign language. Also Washoe, the chimpanzee that also knew sign language.
As a former deputy sheriff from Park County, Colorado, I work cold cases with various different law enforcement agencies when there was an animal present on scene. In one case, the deceased's cats were in the home when he was murdered, and they were able to describe and identify the suspects. The difficulty is, of course, bringing that information to trial. You can't exactly put a cat on the witness stand!
I've also worked several missing person cases where there were animals present. Again, the animals were able to provide enough information for law enforcement to move forward on a case that otherwise sat dormant.
So Cecil's doing fine, is he?
Cecil is doing just fine on the other side. He has brought a tremendous amount of attention to the plight of all African animals and the issues around poaching. I connected with him because I wanted to feel better knowing how he was doing. I had no idea the Facebook post [would] cause such a firestorm and go viral.
Why do you think Cecil chose you as a medium for his message?
I chose him.
Follow Ralph on Twitter.