Akin to humans, companion animals experience several types of depression. Animals are acutely sensitive to all of their environmental factors. Many of these factors become triggers for depression and other mood disorders. There are many, many triggers in an animal’s life that can create mental, emotional and spiritual un-wellness.

Because companion animals feel that it is their duty to remove all distress from their people, animals can often become depressed in doing so for one of many reasons; three of which will be explained in this article. The first reason is that animals are like sponges. This is to say that if a companion animal is living alongside a depressed person or people, the energy that these people are emitting will, without a doubt, impact the mental health of the animal. Companion animals feel that it is their role in our lives to keep us from as much pain and suffering as possible. Though, of course they are unable to do so, in their minds they are. Animals feel responsible for our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. Of course it is unreasonable for us to expect ourselves to keep away from being depressed or having bad days. However, once informed, we are able to identify with how our moods affect or animal companions and take steps to ensure that we lessen the negative impact on them which will be discussed in the third part of this article.

The second reason for companion animal –human related depression is perhaps the most significant. Animals feel that it is their role to maintain emotional, mental and spiritual balance in the home. In fact, almost all companion animals make it their mission to bring peace and harmony to the home. However when they feel as though they have failed this role, they become very depleted and depressed. Companion animals use all of their might to bring joy, mental and emotional health and peace to their people. If all of their might is used up, they have no more energy to give, yet they will relentlessly try. Once they have become energetically depleted and feel as though their mission to bring peace has not been completed, they will fall into depression.

The third reason that a companion animal may become depressed alongside their people is through their lack of being heard. In so many households, there is a major lack of communication between animal and people. Often animals feel misunderstood in the home. An animal will often try several times in several different ways to communicate a message to her people. If left feeling unheard, the animal will become depressed and often act out in an attempt to further get her message across. Sadly, in most cases, this “misunderstood” behaviour leads to undue punishment which further intensifies the companion animal’s depression.

In addition to familial triggers of depression, there is another environmental factor that can often (but not always!) weigh heavily on an animal’s mental health. Just like for humans, the winter months can cause seasonal affective disorder in companion animals. With the days getting shorter, fewer daytime hours and colder temperatures, some animals become depressed. Sometimes dogs who love winter can become depressed because their people are too cold to want to give them the daily exercise they would love to have. Animals who are sensitive to darkness may become depressed without hours upon hours of daylight.

Animals may often experience depression if they are physically unable to enjoy their lives. When an animal’s mobility is compromised, he or she may become depressed as a result of not being able to run, play or guard the home. Often this is due to injury itself however animals also regularly experience minor skeletal imbalances that can create an inability to live her or his life comfortably. It is particularly important to pay attention to the way an animal walks to see if the spine or limbs seem unbalanced. Upon first sight of any imbalance, seeking care from an animal chiropractor is always the highest and best form to heal the skeletal system.

It goes without saying that neglect is an unfortunately common cause of depression in companion animals. Animals have very deep feelings and become sad and depressed if they feel ignored on any level. Should humans neglect to walk, feed or play with their animal companions, the animals will question their purpose in the home and in life. When animals are malnourished, they can also become depressed as there are far too few nutrients in the brain and body for the animal to feel mentally and physically healthy. When dogs are not walked or cats’ litter boxes not cleaned properly, the dog and cat will feel helpless and down on themselves for having to eliminate in undesirable places. Naturally speaking, dogs and cats are very clean animals. When dogs are forced to eliminate in the house and cats outside of their boxes due to neglect of their human caregivers, they feel embarrassed. In time this lack of cleanliness will render them helpless and depressed.

A lesser considered yet quite prevalent form of companion animal depression stems from a loss of purpose. Many animals experience a loss of purpose throughout their lifetime. Loss of purpose occurs when an animal’s ‘job’ is taken away. An animal’s job can be anything from herding cattle to being an emotional support animal to being a service animal. For complete mental wellness, all companion animals need jobs. They need a purpose. Should they have a purpose that later gets removed from their life, they will feel as if they have no reason to live.

There are far more reasons that an animal may become depressed. Depending on the individual needs, life experiences and circumstances of an animal’s life, there may be triggers that could impact an animal’s mental wellness that are specific to the animal. It is paramount that all those who care for companion animals get to know each animal they care for on a very individual and personal level. By connecting with our animal companions this way, we are able to acknowledge an act upon her or his needs in order to include them in the most joyful life possible!

In part 2 of this article, we will identify 6 signs that your animal may depressed followed by 5 effective methods of treatment.





All those who love their animal friends wish more than anything for them to live long and healthy lives. Sadly, in today’s society many innocent animals are victimized by marketing schemes, ignorant feeding routines and nutrient poor foods. Because of the money making machines that are so prevalent in today’ society, we are often left watching our aging companion animals fade away. Did you know that treating and/or preventing most early-stage terminal illnesses is within YOUR grasp? Here are five common terminal illnesses that so unfortunately plague many North American companion animals. Alongside them is an explanation of their causes and how YOU can prevent them.


1)    DIABETES- More prevalent in cats than dogs, diabetes is a completely preventable illness. Diabetes occurs when there is a deregulation in the body’s insulin levels. Insulin levels in the body become abnormally elevated due to high levels of sugar in the blood. Insulin is produced by the pancreas which is intended to lower blood sugar. When the pancreas does not produce sufficient levels of insulin, the body develops diabetes. In the circumstances of cats, we often see diabetes as a later onset disease. This is prominently due to an increase in grains in cat food. Most dry cat food is composed of human grade cereal. This sugary ingredient is quite harmful to our feline friends in so many ways. Primarily, cats cannot digest grains. In fact their gastrointestinal systems lack the digestive enzyme that is responsible in all other mammals for the breakdown of grains. Thus, when we examine the feline’s gastro system and its attempt to breakdown the grains that it cannot digest in the first place, coupled with the sugary white nature of the human grade cereal which the food itself is composed of, we have a recipe for disaster. When cats eat grains, particularly kibble (dry food), they cannot digest the sugars in the formulas. As the sugar passes through their bodies, it accumulates and creates insulin spikes. This deregulation of insulin in the body wreaks havoc on the pancreas and frequently leads to diabetes. The moral of the story is: to prevent our cats from contracting diabetes, we must ensure that we are feeding them grain free or very low grain-based diets.

2)    KIDNEY FAILURE- kidney failure is most prevalent in cats and dogs who eat kibble (dry food). Because dry food is essentially dehydrated food, if ingested for prolonged periods of time the dry food will dehydrate the inner organs by draining them of moisture in an attempt to process them through the digestive tract. The dry food will drain all moisture from the digestive organs in order to moisturize the food to pass it through. After years of dry food taxing the inner organs, the kidneys burn out and are unable to create sufficient moisture to release the toxins from the food in the urine. Once there is a build up of toxins in the kidneys that cannot be released, they shut down which creates kidney failure. Kidney failure is usually a disease that occurs later in an animal’s life. However, between modern day unhealthy food options and other environmental kidney related imbalances, cats and dogs are experiencing kidney failure at earlier and earlier ages. All of this is preventable by ensuring that our animal companions are fed moisture-enriched diets, drinking adequate water and consuming healthy doses of omegas 3&6. Bear in mind as well that water does not adequately hydrate an animal. It does cleanse the organs however often in dry, hot and cold temperatures, water does not get retained in the organs and the animal passes it through urine. By adding omegas 3 & 6 to the diet in the form of coconut oil, salmon oil or CBD oil (to name three), you will be allowing the animal’s body and organs to retain sufficient moisture, thereby nourishing the kidneys and taking positive steps toward preventing kidney failure.

3)      CANCER– Finding out that an animal has cancer is one of the most heartbreaking experiences a person can have. Though cancer is often unpreventable, in many cases it is preventable. There are three common ways that an animal will contract this terminal illness. They are prone to it via genetics, environment and food. The first cause, genetics, is the least preventable cause. There are certainly ways to lessen the likelihood that an animal will contract congenital cancer which will be suggested in the following last two causes.
The second cause, environment, is a result of an animal’s living experiences; living with her/his people alongside the human experience. Should an animal live in an energetically toxic environment such as that in which there is constant fighting, abuse (emotional or physical) from one person or another or toward the animal, drug/alcohol abuse, neglect, starvation, excessive cold or heat among many other environmental factors, the animal is likely to contract the illness due to prolonged stress. When in a highly stressful environment, negative energy wells in the energy field. After years of this lingering energy within the energy field, the negative energy attaches itself to the physical body and creates toxicity. Thankfully, all of these environmental factors can be shifted to create a more comfortable living experience for the animal. Many animals who have been rescued or surrendered from intolerable living situations and moved to loving homes will still harbour the energies of their previous toxic environments which can lead to a build up of stress within the body which results in disease. It is important to engage these rescued animals in regular exercise and energy work to best balance the animal’s body and spirit. For more information on how energy affects animals, read
Animals & Energy’ by J Morgan Saifer.
Lastly, food choices play a major role in an animal’s health and overall quality of life. Almost all store bought foods contain preservatives, carcinogens and non-food items. Additionally, they are processed which means that by definition they are no longer in their natural state. It would be nearly impossible for all those of us who care for companion animals make their food from scratch. In fact even if we did, we would likely miss out on vital ingredients unless we did a significant amount of research. For dogs, often a raw food diet is a healthy choice. Of course as with any food selection it’s vital to research its origin. Was it made in Canada? Was it sourced from healthy animal?
There are FAR fewer healthy diet choices for our cat and dog friends than there are healthy. Aside from the falsified labels that have gone into law suits, there are a variety of veterinary recommended foods (science diets) whose first few ingredients read ‘pork by-product, corn gluten, hydrogenated oil’…and the list of non-food items progresses. These non-food items are harmful to the body. The more our animal companions ingest these harmful items, the more toxins build up in the blood stream and major organs. The digestive and waste processing organs become strained from trying to pass the non-food items through the body which results in a build up of toxins. This build up often leads to imbalances in the body which can create cancerous cells. It is imperative to thoroughly research all foods, food companies, ingredients and all other food-related information before reaching a decision about which food to feed our animals.

4)      THYROID– One of the lesser considered yet equally dangerous diseases in cats and dogs is related to the thyroid. Dogs and cats can fall victim to both hypothyroidism as well as hyperthyroidism. Both of these diseases are mainly linked to diet and genetics. Hypothyroidism is a metabolic disease. It occurs when the metabolism does not make enough of the hormone thyroxine which is partially responsible for turning food into fuel. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the metabolism produces too much thyroxine, creating an overactive metabolism. If left untreated, these diseases can be fatal. Both hypo and hyper thyroids are often the body’s reaction to an oversaturation of “nutritional” vitamins and minerals in store-bought cat and dog foods. Because of the North American food and drug’s requirements for cat and dog food, cat and dog food companies are forced to adhere to guidelines that were set long before scientists and animal nutritionists had a firm grasp on modern cat and dog nutritional requirements. Because of these laws in place, these companies are legally forced into over-saturating their foods with excess vitamins and minerals that cats and dogs do not need for a balanced diet. Unfortunately, this excess of seemingly healthy ingredients messes with the metabolisms of our furry family members. Though professionals are seeking to re-examine the North American cat and dog food regulations, the process is a slow and painful one. Thankfully, by paying particular attention to the ingredients of our cat or dog’s food, we will be able to treat or prevent both of these diseases.

5)      OBESITY- Perhaps the most common and most easily preventable of the terminal illnesses that companion animals contract is obesity. Far too many humans fail to realize that a balanced diet is one of the most crucial elements to a long and healthy life; for animal and person! Sadly, many consumers fall prey to marketing schemes and medical industry propaganda. Companion animal obesity is 100% the responsibility of the human caregivers. It is unequivocally up to us as the guardians and caretakers of our animal friends to ensure that they are receiving a species appropriate diet and NOT a diet full of preservatives, inappropriate proteins, grains, carcinogens and other filler-type substances found in most store bought dog and cat food. As supremely important as it is to feed our animal friends a balanced, holistic diet, it is equally so to provide them with adequate exercise. Like humans, animals gain many benefits from regular exercise such as cardiovascular and respiratory health, muscular endurance, self confidence, healthy circulation of blood (especially in the wintertime!), and many, many more. By combining a healthy, balanced diet with regular exercise, we as caregivers will have the power to keep obesity out of our homes!

Quite clearly, almost all dog and cat terminal illnesses are largely linked to poor diet. Though genetics play an equally important role in the health and longevity of companion animals, we have the power to lessen the likelihood of early stage illness and lessen the pain of later-onset illness. We can ensure that we research and feed species appropriate diets. We can manage their health by taking daily notice of their health so that we are able to spot the first signs of a shift and react accordingly. By spotting the early warning signs, we will potentially be able to save an animal’s life. By not blindly trusting marketing companies and medical professionals, we are able to understand that every cat and dog has her or his own individual dietary needs. We can take the time to learn what works for our animal friends as individuals. This way we will be able to ensure that our animal family members live long and healthy lives!





For thousands of years, to most, dreams have been a mystery. Scientists, spiritualists and atheists alike have all questioned why we dream and what our dreams might mean. Though each has developed their own reasoning, the commonality between them is that they are quite intriguing.

There are a myriad of dream symbols, dream concepts and dream meanings. Some dreams can be interpreted respective to the dreamer and some respective to collective dreamers. Some dreams carry messages of healing and some dreams are messages that come about from deep within our subconscious. Some dreams even carry messages of prophecy.

As with all endeavours, focusing energy on interpreting dreams will promote success in understanding them. And those who focus will realize that the more focus is put on remembering dreams, the more they begin to take shape into a larger, abstract theme. And with study, they begin to connect themselves together as links on a chain.

Though there is no definitive answer as to why we dream and what our dreams mean, there are definitive connections between what we dream, our subconscious mind and our spiritual path (if we are on one). The subconscious mind, when desiring to pass a message onto our conscious mind, will extend the message repeatedly into our dreams. It will continue to do so, time and time again until we recognize the pattern or theme, acknowledge it and begin to heal. This is where we can begin to examine recurring dreams.

Recurring dreams are dreams that we have with the same or similar themes which occur more than once or even on a regular basis. These dreams can have been occurring since childhood, they may have stopped a few years and come back or they can be more recent. The bottom line is the same: there is a message that your subconscious wishes for your conscious mind to receive. In fact, we will continue to have dreams with the same theme until we receive the message of the dreams. To obtain the message, there is a series of questions we can ask ourselves: How do we feel in the dream? Do we feel happy, sad, anxious, fearful, etc. What kind of symbols are in the dream? Landscapes, animals, day/night… and the list of questions goes on.  By asking ourselves these probing questions, we can begin to notice a pattern. It will also help to journal. By journaling our dreams in detail for prolonged periods of time- to include how we are feeling when we wake up and any other pertinent details such as significant colours, location, time of day, other people in our dreams and what they represent to us; we can begin to put the details together on a larger scale.

In addition to the subconscious messages of recurring dreams, dream meanings can also be as simple as your dreaming about what happened that day. That is to say, not every dream has a profound meaning. In fact, sometimes we may just be dreaming about going to the bathroom because we actually have to go to the bathroom! It may just be that simple. We may dream about food because we’re hungry, we may dream about work because we’re thinking about work and we may dream about our long lost relative because we were thinking about them before we fell asleep.

Some of the deeper schools of thought about what our dreams mean include why we dream about something we experienced that day. For example, given that the average North American is bombarded with thousands upon thousands of images throughout any given day, some may question why we dreamt about one specific image in particular? The thought process is this: Our brains receive millions of pieces of information every day. These pieces can come from media, walking in the woods, even driving from your home to a restaurant down the street. Most of these pieces of information go completely unnoticed by your conscious mind. However, when we go to sleep, we may have a dream about an image we just quickly passed by on a billboard. Or we may dream about a commercial that we were barely paying attention to. Even though consciously, we are not focused directly on that image, our subconscious has chosen that image to dream about because of what it represents. For example, let’s say you were out driving with your family and out of the corner of your eye, you saw a sign with a dog’s face on it. You barely noticed it, except to say that it was the face of a dog. Then later that night, you dreamt very vividly of this dog wandering around your house. You wake up and think you’re crazy for dreaming about a dog on a billboard! Before you call the therapist, take a moment and reflect: what does “dog” mean to you? Commonly, dreaming of a dog implies that you are dreaming of someone who is loyal. And dreaming of a house is a reflection of yourself- in dreams, commonly your house is an extension of your body. So, it would be fair to say in this assessment that you are dreaming of a loyal friend or lover in your life.

What does all of this mean? All of this is to say that what we perceive subconsciously during the day fires specific synapses in our brains that send messages to us when our conscious mind is at rest and more readily able to receive messages.  This means that whichever signs, symbols and scenarios we encounter during the day will more easily be reflected back to us while we dream. These symbols carry meaning in our conscious mind so that we can easily decipher what our subconscious wants us to know. These messages are of healing, unresolved issues from our past, bodily messages of health and function, and of course messages of Spirit that will give us the extra push we need to succeed.

Dreams are truly fascinating. Though there is yet no definitive answer to the why’s and how’s, it s always fun to keep track of our dreams and see where their messages take us!





Sept 24, 2018 marks this year’s full moon in the sign of Aries. For those born in the fire element; Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, this moon promises to be a wild ride! For all other signs as well, there are various themes of which to be cognizant. Simply, the more information we have about this full moon’s planetary alignment, the better equipped we are to rise above its seemingly intense challenges.

The full moon’s placement in fiery Aries has the potential to cause irrational thoughts, behaviours and actions. Though this will likely be our primary call to action in any circumstance, we must be mindful that all thoughts, behaviours and actions have consequences. Though the Aries full moon will have us wanting to react before we think, this is the perfect occasion to practice the pause. Practicing the pause is a concise way to plan to think before we react. With respect to consequences, by thinking before reacting, we are setting ourselves up to succeed.

On the heels of today’s autumnal equinox, representing the season of harvest, tomorrow’s full moon allows us to take stock of all that we have planted in the spring and watched flourish over the summer season. As with all full moons, this moon represents the culmination of a life cycle. Both the autumnal equinox and the full moon allow us to take a step back and acknowledge a job well done. We have worked hard over both the spring and summer. We have worked hard over this last lunar cycle which began with the new moon in Virgo. It was a time of deep self reflection.  And now we are ready to reap the harvest that we have sewn.

In addition to the fire power of the Aries moon, we have several planets in a placement that warns of the danger of exhibiting control issues. If we are prone to control issues without this planetary alignment in place, we must take great care to self realize. With the sun, moon, Mercury and Saturn forming the dreaded astrological square, we will feel an overwhelming sense of severity over our lives leaving little room to remember that which brings us joy. To easily counterbalance this sombre seriousness, we may wish to take a moment to engage in activities that bring us joy such as playing with animals or connecting with Mother Earth. Bonding with nature and animals is a naturally cleansing experience; after which we will always feel rejuvenated.

On the other hand, this “controlling’ energy does have the capacity to encourage us to draw lines in the sand between ourselves and those people and situations who may be overstepping their boundaries with us. On the subject of thinking before we react, his bold planetary alignment will have us far more readily able to say ‘no’ to anything or anyone. This, of course, can be quite empowering; especially to those of us who are ‘people pleasers’. For those who are, this astrological square is an ideal time to learn to say no. With this astrological backing, we will muster the courage to put our own needs first.

As if so far, this alignment was not enough to make us want to avoid human contact during this 48 hour period, we also have Venus in Scorpio. Venus, being responsible for love interests, takes on a combative, insecure nature. If we are in love during this full moon, we may take extra caution not to give in to feelings of jealousy, possessiveness or the overall desire to emotionally manipulate our partners. Should we begin to feel these low vibration feelings, we must become conscious of them and remember that they are simply our ego at play. These are insecurities that are only a reflection of our fears and nothing more.

This full moon in Aries also highlights the aspects of our personal relationships that may be out of balance. The elements of our relationships in which our needs are not being met will inevitably come to the forefront. And we must ask ourselves: can we work through these imbalances or is it time to break free and put our own needs first? It is not selfish to take adequate self care before we are able to adequately care for others. With Venus nearing its retrograde, relationship disharmony is beginning to showcase itself.

Thankfully, due to the sun’s placement in the sign of Libra, we can rely on the theme of balance. The Libran nature is to bring balance and justice to all. Whereas the Aries’ lunar influence has the potential to create chaos in any given situation, the Libran energy allows us to step outside of our reactive nature and employ a higher wisdom.

Though most of this planetary alignment encourages us to suit up in armor before we even leave our house in the morning, if properly grasped, we can utilize these harsh energies to our advantage. For those of us who struggle either with people pleasing or with a lack of compassion for others, this lunar period call help us bring back the balance between the two.




As with all new moons, today’s new moon in Virgo represents the beginning of a new life cycle. Though this new moon affects all 12 signs of the zodiac, it particularly affects those born under the signs of Virgo and Pisces, with those born in the signs of Sagittarius and Gemini in close tow. These four zodiac signs fall under the ‘mutable’ category of the zodiac. Pisces, Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius are all present at the end of each season; meaning that they are associated with a major transition. Therefore, this new moon has the significant power to engulf us in a massive personal shift.

This new moon is the beginning of the season of harvest. In addition to the harvesting of crops, this is the origin of the time of year when we can begin to reap the budding life that we have planted and sewn over the spring and summer. This is the time of year when we are able to begin to feed on the personal and spiritual nourishment that we have, alongside Spirit, created for ourselves. It is a time to bask in the glory of our successes, as it is almost time to celebrate the fall equinox; a time to dance and be grateful for the beautiful gifts that we have been granted. This two week period between the New Moon in Virgo and the Fall Equinox are a time of celebration and preparation for the oncoming season.

Perfectionist Virgo will have us tying up loose ends during this 48 hour lunar period. These loose ends can be anything from phone calls to details of personal health and nutrition. With this Virgo themed moon, research will be on the forefront of our minds. Any issues in question that pertain to health, nutrition or other personal interests will be the highlight of the day and the desire to research relative information will be strong and focused. Virgo’s practical side will bless us with a grounded mind while wading through the various projects and details that we had previously cast aside during the unstable energies of the summer months. This new moon is the ideal opportunity to refocus our efforts on the completion of tasks that had gone astray.

Highlighted by the Virgo energy will be the necessitation of creating boundaries. Because of the practical-minded Virgo, we may be inspired to acknowledge the aspects of our personal relationships that are out of balance. Perhaps we will realize that we are giving too much energy to a cause that cannot reciprocate in the way that we need. It is the energy of this new moon that has the ability to empower us to create that boundary for ourselves so that we do not continue to deplete our energy source.

On the other hand, this new moon is a time to be cautious of our over-critical nature. We could find, during this time that we tend to over-analyze ourselves and our lives (even more than usual!). Though it’s important to take stock of our lives, there is a danger in overdoing it. This danger is a compulsive need to control and micromanage all aspects of our lives. While it’s important to have a solid grasp on the ins and outs of our daily lives, we must remember the value in letting go of control. When we release control, we allow miracles to shine through. These miracles almost always tend to work out in blessings we had never even dreamed of.

We must remember that all efforts to create the harmony that we desire are a tandem effort between us and Spirit. By relinquishing control to Spirit we will find the peace we seek. By placing our faith in that which exists outside of our minds and in our hearts, we will be acting out of love. We will be creating from the heart in conjunction with the aspect of ourselves that exists in Spirit; or highest selves. And we will know that when we do this, only love and positivity are born.




We have all asked ourselves: Why is life so challenging sometimes? And then we are reminded that if life was easy, we would never learn anything. It is the nature of the human experience to live out the peaks and troughs of life. As a result, the human experience can be quite uncomfortable at times. As with all circumstances, we have a choice. We can let them get the best of us, or we can employ our spiritual warrior sides and face them head on. When we choose, we must realize that if we choose to ignore the situations or let them get the best of us, we will continue to be confronted with them time and time again until we have healed. It is fair to say that the old proverb “If not now, when?” is of great import with this.

As a spiritual healer and teacher, I am often asked how to heal from a situation; whether it is a soul contract, heartbreak or trauma. Whatever the origin, the grieving process can be difficult at best. Here are five steps that we must all take in order to heal properly from pain, loss and trauma:

1)      Acknowledge- The first step to healing is to acknowledge that we are hurt. Acknowledge that it is time to heal.

2)      Accept- To fully heal, we must accept that we are hurt. We must accept responsibility for our part in the situation. We must accept that we are not a victim. We must accept that we have been involved in a situation that has caused us pain and accept that our actions have gotten us here. Or in some cases, we must accept that we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We must not blame others for our pain. Though other people may have been involved in our traumatic experiences, our primary responsibility is to ourselves and our own healing, irrespective of others. We cannot change the events that have taken place, we can only change our reactions to them by accepting the situation as it is.

3)      Feel your feelings- to fully heal from an experience, letting yourself feel the depths of your pain is the most sincere form of facing your shadow side. It can be extremely uncomfortable at times to stare your heartache straight in the face but it is necessary to do so in order for it to work its way out of your system. Of course there is a major difference between dealing and dwelling. Dealing with pain means bearing down, sitting in it and letting the emotions run their course. Dwelling in pain refers to those of us who repeat the story of our pain over and over again to ourselves, not allowing ourselves to overcome the pain. It refers to those of us who are stuck in the trauma so deeply that it becomes who we think we are, and our true nature becomes lost. There is a fine line between dealing and dwelling. To deal with our pain, we must not ignore our feelings. We must not numb the pain with external substances such as drugs, alcohol and food. By numbing the pain, we are procrastinating the self-work involved in healing. We will eventually have to face the pain. And the deeper it’s buried, the harder it is to find. The more we ignore our feelings, the more we create a blockage within ourselves. And the bigger the blockage, the more healing will be necessary in the long run. To deal with our pain, we must acknowledge it, accept it and feel it; however uncomfortable it may be.


4)      Forgive yourself- Perhaps the most overlooked step to healing is self-forgiveness. Self-blame is a common thread in all situations that involve healing. We often blame ourselves for aspects of the situation that we had no control over at the time; aspects of the situation that could not have been altered. We blame ourselves to the point that the guilt takes over and causes a downward spiral thinking pattern. This too can lead to repetition of thought resulting in it becoming our identity; losing ourselves in the process. To err is human. We must recognize that we are fallible. We are not perfect; and it will only harm us to continue to punish ourselves for actions that we have taken that have created an undesirable result.  It is part of our wiring to make mistakes. If we did not make mistakes, we would never learn. And as we realize this, we can grow. To be gentle with ourselves is to begin to heal. Once you have forgiven yourself for your part in the situation, you are ready to let it go!

5)      Let it go- holding onto any burdensome situation is unhealthy. This behaviour affects our physical, emotional mental and spiritual states. To completely heal from any situation, we must let it go. We will know when we have finally healed from the experience when we are able to think about it and remain balanced. No crying, no sadness, no remorse. Once we have healed we will be able to reflect on the experience with love.

The road to self-healing can be complex; and to walk it we must be courageous. Remembering that we are only faced with what we can handle can give us the strength to succeed. Should we choose to delay the facing of our fears, we will hinder our personal progress. We will be subject to living out the same scenario time and time again until we learn from it. It is important to be patient with ourselves during our road to healing. We must give ourselves healthy space and time to breathe and build self-confidence so that we are able to overcome our perceived obstacles in order to come into alignment with our highest selves.





With five planets in retrograde, this full moon is sure to be an intense one! On Sunday, August 26th the world will experience this year’s full moon in Pisces. Retrogrades are a time for self-reflection; a time to take a deep look at ourselves. And as with all full moons, this Piscean event will mark the culmination of a life cycle. And, as with all full moons, the astrological position of the sun is opposite the moon. Pisces’ astrological opposite has our sun in grounded, logic-based, meticulous Virgo throughout this lunar influence.

Because we have five planets in retrograde (appearing to go backwards in the night sky) we will find ourselves ruminating over various aspects of ourselves and our lives. Which aspects of our lives do we feel need improvement? Which aspects of ourselves and our life cycles are we ready to release in order to make room for new and healthier ones?

During this lunar period, we have Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus and Pluto in retrograde. This means that we will have the desire to reflect on all of the aspects of our lives that correlate to these planets. With Mars named after the God of War, its energetic influence will often have us in an air of conflict both with ourselves and others. However, due to its current retrograde motion, its energy will lean us toward more of an inner conflict. This internal struggle will be all about ego. Because Martian energy is the ruler of passion, male sexuality and warriorship, this retrograde can be an intense time of questioning our self worth especially relative to these aspects of self. Whereas when Mars is in forward motion, it encourages us to head full force into battle, sparing none, the retrograde period will have us wanting to examine these aspects of our personalities. In combination with the Piscean moon, we may find that we are at odds with ourselves. This is because Mars has a very fiery, passionate energy whereas Pisces is a very deep and emotional energy. This will come to a head throughout the full moon period and create stormy weather within our self reflection.

Saturn retrograde is perhaps the most mentally challenging as it causes us to deeply examine the structure and function of our lives; belief systems, habits and simply the way we live. In conjunction with the Piscean full moon which has a tremendously ethereal energy, we may find that this lunar period has us thrown from the grounded nature of the Virgo sun into a virtual ‘washing machine’; spinning endlessly through shift and flux. Though this may feel like a hurricane for 2-3 days, rest assured that once the moon moves out of ethereal Pisces, we may feel far more comfortable with our functional examination.

Contrary to the discomfort of Mars and Saturn retrograde, Neptune is also retrograde during this full moon. Interestingly, Pisces is ruled by Neptune. This means that for those of us who are daydreamers and interdimensonal travellers, we may find our inner escape to be pleasantly comfortable. Because both Neptune and Pisces represent our dreamlike consciousness, even though Neptune is retrograde, we will find an inescapable desire to dream the day away. This daydreaming is fully supported by the Divine as Neptune retrograde encourages us to remember to go within to find answers to our most pressing queries. It will remind us that all of the answers we seek can only be found within; NOT from external sources. It will remind us that each and every one of us already has the wisdom we seek within.

Next, in the spectrum of planets retrograde, we have Uranus: the planet of sudden change. Whereas in most charts and planetary alignments, Uranus’ appearance often creates havoc and disruption, when it turns retrograde, we may often feel stuck. We may feel as if we are ready for a drastic change and frustrated that ‘nothing is happening’. Whereas when in forward motion, the sudden nature of Uranus affects both internal and external shifting, its retrograde counterpart will almost always only affect our inner world. And this means a massive shake up of old fears and anxieties. It will have us circumstantially re-evaluating old fear-based beliefs that are ready to be released once and for all.  To intensify this shake up, the confluence between the ethereal Piscean moon and grounded Virgo sun will have us ping-ponging from one end of the spectrum to the other regarding the most efficient way to bring the balance back to our new mental landscape.

Lastly we have Pluto retrograde. Pluto’s nature is to give us higher insight into our subconscious. Thus, its retrograde will create the ideal environment for us to take the time to go within and seek out our life purpose. Are we taking part in activities and beliefs that support our Divine life purpose? Are we simply treading water in fear of proceeding down uncharted paths? Or are we going to realize that most of our actions and beliefs are not in alignment with our Divine life purpose? Whichever road we find ourselves on, if we are unhappy, Pluto retrograde is the perfect time to reflect on where we would like to be and how we feel is the most effective way to get there.

This lunar period proves to be an intense time of self examination; getting to know ourselves again on a deeper, more intimate level. Though these 48 hours will surely be full of highs, lows and daydreams, once we find ourselves on the other side, we will be far stronger and more empowered. We will be more connected with ourselves and Spirit. We will be more fully in alignment with our highest and best selves.





All cat people fall madly in love with their funny behaviour, warm hearts and nurturing souls. Their meows and purrs are like music to our souls. All kitty noises seem to be adorable and sweet except for one: The hairball. The sound of hairballs brings many of us to concern as they are a clear sign of discomfort for our kitty companions. Often, these sounds can tug on our heart strings, leaving us in wonder as to how we can help them through the struggle.

Almost all house cats will have hairballs at one time or another while living alongside their families. Cats, as most of us know, bathe themselves several times per day. During these bath times, there is much potential for cats to ingest their hair. While it is common for a cat to swallow a lot of hair, hairballs themselves are often avoidable. Listed below are four easy ways to help our cat friends to live a hairball-free life:

1)      VACUUM/DUST- Whether we have carpeted or hard wood floors to vacuum and dust is a must! Dust easily seeps into carpets and collects along the walls of any flooring. Stray animal hair from our feline friends or any other animals who live in our homes often sheds from our animal friends’ bodies and gathers together on the floors of our homes. If cleaning is not our second nature, it can strongly affect the number and intensity of hairballs that our kitty friends have. By slightly altering our cleaning regimen to once per week or more (depending on the number of animals in our home) we can easily lower or prevent the number or hairballs our cats must suffer through.

2)      DIET CHANGE- KIBBLE IS NOT FOOD!!!!! Among a long list of reasons why cats should never eat kibble is that it is hyper-dry. The dryness of kibble (dry food) heavily contributes to an inability to swallow. The swallowing of food is directly linked to hairball issues as the throat of an animal is devoid of the required moisture to swallow her hair upon grooming. Most kitty kibble contains a high quantity of human grade cereal.  This is alarming given that cats lack the digestive enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of grains. When cats eat dry food that contains grains and simple sugars, there is a frighteningly large potential for diabetes. Nutrient poor foods such as dry food (kibble) and veterinarian-recommended foods increase shedding of hair in cats and dogs. This is because these foods lack the nutrients responsible for maintaining a healthy skin and coat. Remember: the more the cat sheds, the more she has to swallow.
By adding moisture and changing our feline friends’ diet to a more holistic one, we are reducing if not eliminating the likelihood of hairballs. We will want to feed at least 95% wet (canned) food or add more whole foods such as whole fish or poultry to their diets. All cat lovers are aware of how finicky our little friends are. If they are eating dry food (which is also horribly taxing on all major organs an causes severe health problems as they age; ranging from arthritis to early stage organ failure), we will want to slowly change their food over bit by bit. Every cat is different which means that each cat will migrate towards a healthier diet at her own pace. Some take a few days and some take a few weeks to accept their new foods. As we are switching from dry food to wet or wet food to a more whole-food based diet such as fish or poultry, we must be patient with our cats. This diet change will not only save our feline friends hairball problems but will also promote longevity and much higher quality of life. In addition, healthier food choices will save on vet bills as they age as their organs, muscle tissues and overall well being will be healthy and not break down. By feeding more whole foods, we will avoid traumatic surgeries and encourage proper ranges of motion and healthy cognitive function as well as an overall longer life span.

3)      COCONUT OIL- Coconut oil has innumerable benefits for all animals. Aside from its omegas which allow our animals to retain the moisture they are missing from their water and food, coconut oil will lubricate the esophagus so that any hair that our cats swallow will essentially stick to the oil as its swallowed. This allows for a far lesser dry swallowing of the hair. The oil encourages moisture as the cat swallows the hair, rendering it easier to make all the way into the digesting tract. Additionally, coconut oil aids in digestion so that any swallowed hair does not come back up in the form of vomit.

4)      BRUSH YOUR CAT!- It goes without saying that the more we brush our cat companions, the lesser the hair they have to swallow.  By brushing their coats once per week we will be allowing the brush to remove much of the excess hair along their bodies before they are able to groom themselves and swallow it.

The above are just four of the readily available ways to reduce hairballs in our furry friends. These steps are easy to maintain and make a world of difference for our felines!



J Morgan Saifer
Animal Communicator & Medium





Those of us who are privileged to live with canine companions find that they are a continuous source of compassion and joy. They make us laugh uncontrollably and of course, they remind us of the true nature of loyalty. Generally, those of us who care deeply for our canine friends will share a bond whereby we understand most of their behaviour. However, try as we might, there may be a few common behaviours we have yet to understand. Below are five very common behaviours that most dogs engage in and why they might be doing so:


Dogs eat non-food items for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons are behavioural and some are health-related. It is important to rule out al health-related reasons for non-food item consumption before proceeding to any potential behavioural issues. The name of the disease by which dogs (and cats and people) eat non-food items is called pica. Animals acquire the desire for pica for one main health reason; malnourishment. When animals are not fed balanced meals, they will always feel hungry. If they are eating mainly processed foods such as dog foods bought from human grocery stores, they are likely not receiving the complete set of nutrients that their bodies require to feel full and healthy. If dogs are fed “people food”, they may believe that it is acceptable to eat other items than their specific food. If dogs are not fed often enough or are fed smaller than healthy portions, they may hunger and eat anything they can find to feel fuller. This can often include other animals’ waste in the yard or litter box. For more information on why dogs will eat animal waste, please see the following article: . Do not be fooled. If your dog is eating non food items you might think it’s because you may be feeding him portions too small. But before you go and double his portions, make sure you cover all of your bases. Your dog is likely eating non food items because he is hungry, yes. However, that does not mean that he will feel fuller by eating larger portions of the food you are feeding him. BE SURE to read the ingredients of the food you are feeding. The portion size you’re feeding may very well be enough but the food itself is not a sufficient source of nutrition for your dog to feel full. Be sure to research what an adequate amount of protein is for your dog, where the food was sourced as well as any additives that were combined with the food during processing to make the bag or can feel fuller. (Hint: no dog should be eating corn gluten, chicken flavoring, rice flour or brewers rice).


Dogs will howl in your empty home for one of three main reasons. The first of the three reasons is that they miss you. Many people confuse all types of dog howling in an empty home for separation anxiety. Though this can be the case it is not always. The latter two reasons why dogs howl in empty homes are more often the case. Dogs will howl most often due to boredom. If your dog has a very sharp mind and is highly intelligent, long walks alone may not sate their energy. This is because intelligent dogs need mental as well as physical stimulation. Just like for humans, if a dog’s mind has little stimulation, the dog will become quite frustrated. Many dogs will then begin to boredom howl. Thankfully, there are several options to appease boredom howling dogs. Two of which are the following: try a doggie daycare. For dogs who are easily bored while you’re at work all day, a doggie daycare can provide up to 8 hours of healthy physical and mental stimulation for your dog. Dogs learn to socialize well and to respond well to humans. At good daycares, dogs are thoroughly exercised both physically and mentally. Be foretold that it is imperative to do your research before you select a daycare for your dog. Be sure to thoroughly interview the daycare owners and staff as well as seek out testimonials to see if that establishment is right for you and your dog. The second way to approach boredom-related howling is to hire a dog walker. Remember that a dog’s walk is not only for physical exercise but also for mental stimulation. Dogs integrate high volumes of information through their olfactory senses. The computation of the olfactory sensation allows for adequate mental stimulation. By hiring an experienced dog walker to walk your dog, you will be allowing your dog to learn and grow. The final reason why a dog will howl when you are not home is due to physical pain. Dogs are often reluctant to show signs and symptoms of physical pain. However, howling can also be attributed to it. Be sure to rule out any potential physical pain associated with howling before approaching other angles.


Many puppies who were weaned too early from their mothers have improperly developed digestive systems. This is because when they were weaned, they did not integrate adequate nutrients to develop healthy bodies. They became malnourished at such a young age that their stomachs did not develop along with proper enzymes, nor did their intestines develop adequate proboitic flora. Over time, this lack of body regulating organisms can create a major imbalance in the digestive organs. If a GI system lacks appropriate digestive enzymes, this means that certain foods may be difficult for the puppy to break down in the stomach. Additionally, with an imbalance in the intestinal flora, the puppy could take issue with absorbing nutrients into the body and run the risk of flushing all of the food out in loose stools. This could negate any nutrient absorption into the body and create nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, if puppies are not weaned early but have a malnourished mother herself, the puppies run a serious risk of not obtaining sufficient nutrients from their mother. The results would be similar in terms of improper bodily development. There is a very distinct difference between digestive enzymes and probiotics. For more information about the two, please read the following article: . Other than malnutrition, poor quality food can affect dogs who were weaned properly and had healthy mother’s milk. Chronic diarrhea and/or constipation are likely a result of a poor diet. Just as for humans with sensitive tummies, dogs may not be able to digest many types of processed foods. Researching species appropriate diets is the best way to gain ample knowledge of what is the best food source for your dog. Do not be fooled by marketing schemes, advertising or false information from trained professionals. Do your own research.


Dogs lick humans for a variety of reasons. Though we would all like to believe that it’s because licking is their way of kissing us and showing their love, often it is a behaviour that is more serious. In modern day urban environments, most dogs are fed nutrient poor foods. Unless you are feeding your dog a raw food diet or cooking his/her meals yourself, your dog is eating highly processed foods. One such example is a kibble-based diet. Kibble, or “crunchies”, is a form of processed, dehydrated food. If you were to attempt to subsist on dehydrated food, what would happen to your vital organs? They would become dehydrated! This is exactly what happens to the vital organs of your canine friend; especially his kidneys. His kidneys must work extra hard to produce enough moisture to process the dehydrated kibble through the body. Because of all of this hard work, the kidneys and the rest of the vital organs become depleted of moisture, resulting in dehydration. How does this pertain to licking? By licking, your dog may be trying to tell you that s/he is thirsty. Be mindful that water is often not an adequate source of moisture for the body, particularly if the dog is only eating kibble. In a kibble based diet, water does not always get absorbed into the body and it passes right through the urine. By adding additional sources of omegas 3 & 6, you will be assisting your dog’s body in regulating the water system. Secondly, a dog may lick a person due to having been weaned too early from his/her mother. When a dog is weaned too early, s/he develops an oral fixation and will subconsciously try to re-establish a bond through licking. While this may seem cute at first, it may gradually become increasingly problematic as the dog ages. This, as with all other compulsive behaviours, must be healed. Through obedience training, the dog will learn that compulsively licking his/her person is not acceptable behaviour. This will allow for a healthier mental state for your dog.


Sadly in today’s society, most consumers are unaware of what they are feeding their animals. Most consumers do not read labels and do not research any labels they do read. The result of this is nutrient-poor diets for dogs. Believe it or not, obesity can often be a result of malnutrition. This malnutrition can occur through overeating or it can occur from eating regular amounts of nutrient poor processed foods. When dogs (and people!) consume nutrient-poor foods, their bodies are unable to function optimally. These poor quality foods are often chalked full of inflammatory preservatives and other non-food ingredients. It is common, in overweight dogs who are fed processed foods, to find inflammatory issues such as arthritis and other painful bodily conditions. Most overweight dogs are like people. We must compare the caloric intake of a dog to the caloric output (exercise). Just as for people, if a dog is consuming more calories than he is burning, he will gain weight. It is that simple. If your dog is gaining weight and does not have a pre-existing medical condition, he/she needs more exercise. If you are unable to do this yourself, hire someone who can. Infinite studies have shown that obesity is one of the leading causes of death of companion animals. Obesity leads to arthritis, early stage kidney failure, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, respiratory disease, depression and more. If you had the power to prevent some or all of these health issues for your animal wouldn’t you?






On Saturday, August 11 at 4:59 am central time, we are blessed to experience yet another celestial event in this year’s series of eclipses. Though invisible in the early morning sky from central Canada and the US the eclipse’s effect can be felt throughout several days preceding and succeeding.

New moons are all about new beginnings. At it is believed in many spiritual practices, the start of each lunar cycle represents a new opportunity to begin again; to begin to plant the seeds for a new cycle of manifestation. This is to say that under the rule of each new moon, we may take the time to create a new list of intentions for ourselves. This list of intentions is a written list of aspects of life which, as positive, loving beings, we deserve.  As the moon waxes (grows bigger) from its new moon to full in the sky, as do our intentions. For more information on how to properly write your list of desired intentions, see: New moons are a beautiful time to meditate on our hearts desires, to plant the seeds of intention and to fully release our faith to the Divine.

With both the sun and moon in the fiery sign of Leo, we can examine just exactly how to let go of our intentions. Generally speaking, Leo’s are very alpha, take-charge personalities. We often tend to want to control and micromanage all aspects of our lives as we feel that we are the best people for the job. Leo’s are self-motivated, independent workers. This aspect of the Leo personality can make “releasing attachment to outcome” or “letting go” often challenging.  Because manifesting our life’s desires is a tandem covenant between us and The Divine Source Consciousness, we must release attachment to our intentions once they have been created. This way, we will are allowing The Divine Source Consciousness to do their part in helping us to create the life we desire; the life we deserve. We are unable to fulfill our lists of intentions without the Divine Source, just as the Divine Source is unable to create our intentions for us without our laying the ground work. There are always “behind the scenes” events that take place within the Divine to help to fulfill our desired intentions. In order to see our desires come to fruition, it is crucial that we relinquish control. Often, this lack of control can lead to a power struggle within us and with those around us. During this new moon, we may find ourselves struggling to find balance between having empowered self confidence and needing to have control over all aspects of our lives.

Given that the sun represents our conscious mind and the moon our subconscious, the eclipse of the two aspects has the potential to cause both joy and aggravation. Due to the self-motivated nature of Leo, this planetary alignment has the power to allow us to head full-force into any projects we are currently undertaking. This motivated energy allows us, if we are not already knee deep in a project, to fully focus on any aspect of our lives that we wish to improve or to altogether change. This planetary influence will allow us the confidence and courage to go about revolutionizing our lives and the way we view ourselves.

Finding the balance between confidence and control will be this new moon/solar eclipse challenge. In addition to the positivity of self-motivation that Leo incurs, he also personifies his hot-headed, impatient and sometimes irrational energy. Without proper outlet, these energies have the potential to quickly bubble and fester within us, easily bringing us to a boil. It is imperative that should we begin to feel influenced by this aspect of the Leo nature, that we find healthy outlets for these rapid and intense energies. Exercise, nature-gazing or even engaging in laughter are wonderful ways to temper the Leo fire.

Especially with Mercury still in retrograde, we may struggle with finding the balance between confidence and control. Mercury correlates to efficient communication. While in retrograde, it often brings a halt to many important communicative efforts. Our challenge during this particular retrograde with sun and moon in Leo is to practice the discipline of patience. It will benefit us to, though we will be inclined to proceed though our tasks speedily, take our time to ensure that all of the details of our communications are in order before we are through with them. Leo’s, being the ever-dominant fire sign, often lack the methodical approach necessary for effective task completion. This quality can have all those in a leadership or creative role doubling back to redo our work if we are not meticulous the first time, thanks to Mercury’s retrograde.

Particularly influenced by these solar eclipse energies are those with a sun or moon sign in Leo, Aries and Sagittarius. These are the three fire signs of the zodiac. These three signs will likely experience the highest level of physical energy and will want to find an adequate outlet. Should we, as fire signs choose to bask in the energy of the fire-cloaked sun and moon, we may find ourselves easily irritable and quick tempered. There is no need to fear, however as this mid-summer alignment will provide us with many enjoyable outdoor activities to enjoy!