Practitioner Profile: Raven Stevens

 

Practitioner Profile: Raven Stevens


By Jann Garitty
FES Staff

The first step: communication

Flower essences help to effect positive change

Common issues for which Raven suggests the use of flower essences

   Early trauma

   Issues in regard to mothering

   Lack of self confidence and self esteem

   Vaccinosis

   Grieving

Brief narratives of several of Raven’s client cases

   Cat diagnosed with early onset kidney failure
   “Misbehavior” in a new home
   Classic vaccinosis symptoms—anxiety, fear and aggression
   Grieving the loss of two cats

Raven’s work with bees and Five-Flower Formula
About Raven Stevens

I think that using flower essences in my practice results in long term, lasting change and helps the animal shift their behavior and emotional landscape in ways that wouldn’t otherwise happen. Or, it would happen much more slowly if it happened at all. I feel as though without them, it’s very difficult to affect lasting changes.

For many years, Raven Stevens practiced as a personal trainer utilizing the knowledge she gained earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Performance. She worked in a low-back strengthening clinic with a doctor for much of the time. After leaving the practice, she had a strong urge to begin to work with animals with which she’d always had a strong connection.

Following her desire to transition her healing practice from people to animals, she worked at a local veterinary hospital and trained on the job as a nurse administering medications, feeding, walking and generally caring for the animals. At that point in time, Raven didn’t consider herself to be an animal communicator but in some instances, she recognized that she related differently to the animals in her care than did her co-workers.

While at the veterinary hospital, Raven had an experience with her own dog that awakened her dormant ability as an animal communicator. "Divot," a German shepherd adopted a few years earlier from the SPCA, communicated clearly with her—“She had such a strong voice; there was no way I could deny what I was hearing. She was an important teacher for me.

“As a small child and until I was 14 years old, I was always able to communicate with animals. But from 14 to about 30 years of age, it was ‘socialized out of me’ and I didn’t use that skill. But the experience with the German shepherd brought it back; it shifted my perception regarding the relationship that I could have with all beings on the planet. It is a similar experience to what I observe happening for clients when they hear for the first time what their animals have to say.”

In another instance, Raven was walking down the hall at the hospital when a white cat in a cage who was there undergoing medical tests, communicated with her saying, “Hey, come back here!” Raven stopped and saw the cat with its whiskers and paw poking out between the bars of the cage. She said to the cat, “Hi, what’s going on?” The cat communicated to Raven that he knew what was wrong with him and he told her where the problem resided. Raven told the doctor who had not been able to locate the issue, which was a problem with a valve associated with the liver. The doctor conducted another medical test and it showed that was exactly the issue.

These types of incidents continued to occur at the hospital and even skeptical doctors began to ask Raven to come into the ICU where she was able to utilize Reiki with the animal patients. She observed that it often helped them shift into healing. “It started becoming more clear to me that indeed, something out of the ordinary was happening. I decided to take a break from the Western medical environment and contemplate in which direction I wished to go, though I knew I enjoyed working with animals. I wanted to go into a practice with an alternative veterinarian and eventually found a woman considering opening a practice. We had several conversations and decided to work together.”

Raven and her partner set up the practice in accordance with their ideals. They offered long, luxurious appointments and the clinic was always booked up and had a waiting list. Raven had attended a class and learned about flower essences and utilized them in the practice as well, as part of their program to help each animal heal. Though she did not openly display her animal communication skills with the animal patients’ families while she was in the examination room with her veterinarian partner, the animals would talk to her explaining what was going on in their families and why they themselves behaved as they did. When a family member was in the room, Raven would often “signal” to the doctor that she needed to be with animal alone, subsequently telling the doctor what she had learned from the animal patient. As Raven became more comfortable and confident in her communication skills, she began to disclose to family members that she was able to communicate with their animals. She found that upon learning of this, the families were clearly impacted by the information.

In March of 2001, Raven experienced a personal health crisis and the veterinary practice was closed. From that point, she “went through another major gateway,” having been close to death and took the opportunity to “shake off her old ways of being,” and decided to no longer hold back from disclosing her ability to communicate with animals. Though it took some time for her to fully recover, she ultimately decided to “hang out her shingle,” after attending a “refresher” course with animal practitioner/communicator, Teresa Wagner. Raven also attended the 2002 FES Practitioner Training and soon thereafter, opened her own practice. Now, with renewed health, Raven’s practice is flourishing: “I feel like one of the luckiest humans on the planet; I found my life’s work and am able to do it—I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

 

The first step: communication

Raven explains that in animal communication sessions, the animals have their own agenda as well—it is to have a conversation—and her work is to help to open it up for the first time. The person’s job is to listen to their animal and learn what the animal has to teach them. “I often believe that an animal brings their person to me. Then the question is, will the person be ready to hear what the animal has to say? Because they have requested a session, then I believe they probably are ready to learn from the perspective of the animal. Animals mirror peoples’ issues and should often be using the same flower essences; and, oftentimes they do take them as suggested."

Many times in sessions, Raven is able to provide medical intuitive information as well. She prefers to work at the deepest holistic level possible, not just “fix” and treat symptoms, but views the whole family as a unit—what dynamics work amongst them and what doesn’t, so that her clients are able to understand and make meaningful changes in their own lives as well as in the animals’ lives.

Raven has worked with many types of animals including dogs, cats, horses, rats, rabbits, chickens, domesticated birds, tank fish, and wild animals that frequent peoples’ properties. In cases regarding wildlife, generally the communication involves working out agreements as “joint tenants.” The process is “not about putting our agenda on an animal, but it involves bringing both sides together in communication and letting them come to some agreement about what needs to happen.” Raven has learned that some animals are part of a “collective mind” which she has found—while she can have conversation with them—makes it more difficult for her to help effect change; these are beings such as ants and mice.

Another important aspect of Raven’s practice includes offering to her clients nutritional counseling for their animals. “I do a ‘no cost’ nutritional/educational session. It is my way to give back to the animals who have given so much to me in my life. The commercial food we are feeding our animals often times is leading to early onset aging, degenerative diseases and behavioral issues like anxiety and aggression.

I teach the animals' guardians how to read the label of the commercial food. Often times understanding the label will allow a person to make better choices for their animal. I make recommendations about brands to use for each specific animal. We talk about whole food diets and what that entails. I will walk a person through it for the first month to be sure they have the support they need to make the transition. We also discuss supplements and what might be needed for their animal. It's important to remember that we must work together and in conjunction with their alternative practitioner or regular veterinarian for specific medical needs.”

 

Flower essences help to effect positive change

If during a communication session, an animal feels as though it has been “heard” for the first time ever, its behavior or energy can shift immediately. If an animal is acting out to get their person’s attention—perhaps because there’s a distressing situation happening in the family—it may settle down immediately after a communication session. However in some cases, this is simply not enough to affect change and the animal needs further help; there may be an emotional or traumatic basis for the problem. In these cases, Raven recommends flower essences for her clients. Sometimes it’s obvious that a whole family needs essences and she’ll provide them with essences in a spray bottle so that it can be utilized in the environment of both the animal and the primary people.

She has found that it is rare that she’ll have to do more than one or two follow up sessions with her clients. “The difference between people and animals is that animals heal quickly. They do not have as much attachment to the issue—whether it’s conscious or unconscious—they’re just not attached to the ‘story.’” However, Raven does have long term clients, those who call up once or twice a year for “wellness checks.” She communicates with the animal to find out how they are doing and if they have any needs. She does a “body check” and medical intuitive reading; if necessary, then the client can take their animal to a veterinarian to have it further checked out.

An example of the ability to heal relatively quickly is a donkey named “Doppler” with whom Raven recently worked. Doppler had been a circus animal that was rescued after having undergone a great deal of abuse and trauma. People could not touch her, much less get near her. Raven was called and when she arrived, Doppler walked right up to her, putting a portion of her body toward Raven so that she could touch it. Raven learned that she had been hit on that area of her body. Further communication led her to use Baby Blue Eyes, Impatiens, Penstemon and Pine topically to release the emotional trauma from the various parts of Doppler’s body where she had been physically hurt. She “blossomed,” opened up, became accepting and trusting, and within a day or two, she let people touch her, move her around, and she even initiated contact with others.

Baby Blue Eyes
Impatiens
Penstemon
Pine

 

Common issues for which Raven suggests the use of flower essences

Early trauma

Examples include dogs or cats that have been separated from their mothers and family too early and consequently didn’t have adequate developmental time. Raven has discovered that eight weeks doesn’t seem to be enough time for an animal to be prepared to leave their mothers; three months appears to be more appropriate. “Animals that are taken away sooner, tend to show problems.”

Issues in regard to mothering

Examples of these types of issues manifesting are animals that exhibit biting, nipping, are “mouthy,” verbal or those that are chewing inappropriately. Mariposa Lily and Snapdragon are helpful and depending on the amount of aggression, Tiger Lily as well.

Mariposa Lily
Snapdragon
Tiger Lily

Lack of self confidence and self esteem

It’s important to discover and address the most underlying cause of this issue at the deepest level. This may be a process over a month or more period of time that reveals ever deeper levels that become available to be worked with.

Vaccinosis

In general terms, this is a change in the animal, typically behavioral or emotional as a reaction to vaccination. Typically, these changes are seen at 3 months but up to 4-6 months after a vaccine. Raven believes that latent, unfinished emotional work comes to the surface as a result of over-stimulation of the body and immune system. She has experienced such cases often enough that when she hears certain behaviors described, she asks when the animal was vaccinated. The behaviors that are common results of vaccination include fearful states, “fear aggression,” skittishness, separation anxiety, inability to be calm, and aggression. “If an animal such as a 90-pound rottweiler dog is showing some of these symptoms, it can be frightening. But, these behaviors can be cleared with homeopathic remedies and flower essences appropriate for what the animal is exhibiting. There are underlying issues and the animal’s body is “bringing them up. Such cases are opportunities to utilize flower essences for the deeper issues. However, the decision as to which essences should be used depends on each individual case—that’s where the communication comes in—the fear may be apparent but one can’t make an assumption as to its cause.” Raven will also refer her clients to appropriate practitioners when necessary.

Grieving

Raven works with families of animals in the transition process, focusing on what the animal wants—whether it wishes to die naturally or wants help with euthanasia. Sometimes she facilitates a ceremony with the family. While working with her alternative veterinary partner she was able to be in “real time” communication with animals during transition and then afterwards, and was able to follow up with flower essences for the families depending on each particular situation. Typically she uses Love-Lies-Bleeding and Bleeding Heart for animals that have been “down” for long periods of time. If they are having a difficult time, she recommends Borage. Garlic is given to animals that are not eating; it stimulates vitality. The formulas vary depending on each situation; for instance, if family members are having a difficult time accepting that an animal is gone, she gives them Honeysuckle and Star of Bethlehem. Raven is very careful not to recommend “evocative” essences for people in the grieving process and only offers them based on careful conversation; “Who am I to say that a person must have their grief ‘look’ a certain way? I only take it as far as they want to go.”

Love-Lies-Bleeding
Bleeding Heart
Borage
Garlic
Honeysuckle
Star of Bethlehem

 

Read brief narratives of several of Raven’s client cases.

Read about Raven’s work with bees and Five-Flower Formula here.

Narratives of client cases

Cat diagnosed with early onset kidney failure: Toby (4 yr. old male cat, diagnosed at age 2-1/2)

Toby gets depressed because of his chronic physical condition. He goes through periods where he gets very ill and “tired” of working so hard to be here and feeling bad too often. His last real dip hit in 6/05. On the surface, it seemed as though he was ready to go... after a communication session it was clear that he wanted to stay and was willing to take essences to help. He bounced back after one week on the essences and by the time the essences were finished (30 days) he was completely back to normal, playing, eating well and back to his sweet big-hearted self! (And owner counseled on the "regular use of sub-q fluids to help him feel better.)

Formula used:

Borage: for uplifting heart, courage, buoyancy
Penstemon: for strength during longer-term or chronic illness
Garlic: helps stimulate appetite and impart a sense of wholeness which imparts strength and active resistance
Mallow: allows one to learn to receive love and warmth from others
Manzanita: helps the individual soften it's relationship to the physical world and re-direct its spiritual focus toward the body
Gentian: perseverance despite setbacks; especially when discouraged or depressed



“Misbehavior” in a new home: Sidney

Sidney is an 8-year old black Labrador retriever. She was rescued and for the first 6 months was doing well at home. The owner called and was very upset by Sidney's new behavior. She was urinating all over the house. She had never done it before and was making a huge mess! We had a session and the reason for her behavior became clear. While the entire family (including Sidney) was away on vacation, the person caring for the house had allowed his own dog inside while he got the mail and watered the plants. When Sidney returned home, there was the scent of a dog all over the downstairs. After further discussion, we learned that Sidney had some really old emotional trauma about other dogs in her space. As it turns out, she was rescued from a breeder and she only had a very small space to live in. She constantly was "marking” her territory on the cement to keep other dogs out of her space. So it made sense to her to mark her territory after returning home to the scent of another dog! The communication session with Sidney allowed us to understand why she was acting the way she was. We asked her to stop and promised that we would not let another dog in her home space again. She has never urinated in the house again.

During the session it was clear that Sidney had a lot of old loss issues regarding the litters she had which all were taken away from her too early and some real aggression issues when around other dogs. Her tail would wag but then she would try to attack the other dog. Definitely mixed signals... We gave her Borage, Bleeding Heart, Mallow, Holly, Walnut and Evening Primrose. We also changed the diet from a poor commercial food to a high quality one (Innova) with steamed vegetables added daily. (Often times really good food helps with aggression cases! I believe often our animals are starving from the poor commercial food on the market today.) And lastly, we got her set up with a good animal behaviorist and got some training to allow her to feel safe around dogs.

As of the last update (2005) Sidney was doing great and had never relapsed with any urination or aggression issues. She now greets other dogs appropriately and is a wonderful addition to the family.



Classic vaccinosis symptoms—anxiety, fear and aggression: Mollie

Mollie is a 9-month old female K-9. She was adopted by her human, Nanette, 6 months ago. This was her 3rd home in her first three months! She presented to me with trouble eating because of some early vomiting episodes and her association with food and vomiting. She presented with classic vaccinosis symptoms; anxiety, fear and aggression. She was very anxious at home and was constantly barking at the TV, the wind, peoples’ voices and dogs walking past the house. If she was awakened in the middle of the night, she had trouble settling down. We treated the vaccinosis with Thuja 12c (homeopathic remedy) for three evenings in a row. The animal communication session revealed that Mollie was emotionally in a "swirl" and was having trouble "landing" anywhere and finding "home." She felt alone and had personalized the first two episodes of being returned to the shelter. She thought something was wrong with her. After the animal communication session the following flower essences were given:

Baby Blue Eyes: for those who are defensive, insecure and have a mistrust of others. Helps to restore childlike innocence and trust; feeling at home in the world, at ease with oneself, supported and loved; connected with the spiritual world.

Buttercup: for feelings of low self-worth, inability to acknowledge or experience one’s inner light and uniqueness. Helps us accept who we are. Allows us to develop a radiant inner light, unattached to outer recognition or fame.

Lavender: for nervousness, over-stimulation of spiritual forces which depletes the physical body. Gives one a sense of spiritual sensitivity and highly refined awareness.

 

Rosemary: for forgetfulness, poorly incarnated in body, lacking physical/etheric warmth; higher ego forces which are not integrated with the physical body. Helps one to become vibrantly incarnated with a warm physical presence.

Star of Bethlehem: for shock or trauma, either recent or from a past experience; need for comfort and reassurance from the spiritual world. Brings soothing, healing qualities, a sense of inner divinity. Specifically used to soothe shock resulting from hearing about or witnessing a death.

Sweet Pea: for one who feels homelessness or social isolation; moving frequently. Inability to feel home as connected to a place. Allows one to form a commitment to community. To feel a social connectedness, a sense of one’s place on Earth.


*Essence descriptions by FES

Mollie's human says that “Mollie actually loves her flower essences. I put her drops on a spoon and tell her it's time for 'her flowers' and she wags her tail and licks them up. She has quieted down considerably. She certainly seems to be much less afraid of things.” I then sent her to an animal behaviorist for additional training to help Mollie feel confident. The behaviorist said, “Nanette says that the flower essences have helped tremendously. And I believe her! Mollie was very 'wide open' and relaxed when she greeted me at her door.”



Grieving the loss of two cats: C.M.

This client had two cats transition within a year’s time. Our sessions were spent communicating with the animals after they had transitioned and helping the person come to terms with the loss. The grief was hard for her to move through. These essences allowed her to be more functioning and allowed the grief process to move along and not become stagnant or overwhelming.

Grief Formula #1 4/20/06
Bleeding Heart: to release a relationship which has ended, or death of a loved one. Allows one to grieve and move through it.
Love-Lies-Bleeding: transcendent consciousness, the ability to move beyond personal pain, suffering or mental anguish by finding larger, transpersonal meaning in such suffering; compassionate awareness of and attention to the meaning of pain or suffering.
Pink Yarrow: for unbalanced sympathetic forces, overly absorbent auric field, lack of emotional clarity, dysfunctional merging with others. Helps one have a loving awareness of others from a "self-contained" consciousness; appropriate emotional boundaries.
Star of Bethlehem: for shock or trauma, either recent or from a past experience; need for comfort and reassurance from the spiritual world. Brings soothing, healing qualities, a sense of inner divinity. Specifically used to soothe shock resulting from hearing about or witnessing a death.
Yerba Santa: for constricted feelings, particularly in the chest; internalized grief and melancholy, deeply repressed emotions. Free-flowing emotion, ability to harmonize breathing with feeling; capacity to express a full range of human emotion, especially pain and sadness.

Grief Formula #2 5/22/06
Bleeding Heart: to release a relationship which has ended, or death of a loved one. Allows one to grieve and move through it.
Borage: for heavy-heartedness and lack of confidence in facing difficult circumstances. Gives one an ebullient heart force, buoyant courage and optimism.
Forget-Me-Not: enhance consciousness beyond the material plane, to awareness of the departed soul/s in the spiritual world
Honeysuckle: brings memories into the “here and now” so that one’s life can move on
Love-Lies-Bleeding: transcendent consciousness, the ability to move beyond personal pain, suffering or mental anguish by finding larger, transpersonal meaning in such suffering; compassionate awareness of and attention to the meaning of pain or suffering

*Essence descriptions by FES

 

Raven's work with bees

Raven has been beekeeping for about ten years, having first apprented with an older gentleman who trained her to use a “smoker,” a common practice used to placate bees while working with them.

Raven tries to “beekeep” in a more holistic manner, using alternative methods whenever she can. After attending the FES Practitioner Training at Lake Tahoe, she thought, “bees have such an intimate way with flowers, why wouldn't it work to use Five-Flower Formula (FFF) with them?”

Previously, she had taken FFF orally herself, while preparing for work sessions with bees, because she wanted to “fit with the bee energy”; it especially helps if she feels a bit “edgy,” and it calms her down. She thought if it worked for her, then perhaps it would work for the bees as well. She began to utilize FFF in a mister, spraying herself, around the hives and any helpers working with her.

The bees responded well to the FFF right away, and now for many years, Raven has not been stung once! Prior to the FFF method of calming the bees, Raven would be stung 1 to 5 times within a couple hour work period using a smoker.

Raven makes a fresh mix with about 10 drops of FFF in a 12-ounce misting bottle, potentizes it, and then uses it during the whole working session with a hive. It's important, she says, to continue spraying it throughout the session, as bees tend to become more agitated as a person works through the hive. Bees can be especially cranky at the time of year she happened to visit the bees at Terra Flora (autumn) because there is less food and water available. Regardless of that fact, she said, the bees at Terra Flora that day were very calm. She noted that “the energy held on the land at Terra Flora has a big influence on the condition of the bees as well.”

If you liked this article, you might wish to read:

Animals in Our Hearts: Intuitive Communication and Compassionate Care
Practitioner Profile: Teresa Wagner

About Raven Stevens

Raven is an animal communicator using her abilities to help animals and their people, regularly utilizing FES flower essences in her practice. She has clients across the United States and does her work via telephone. Raven recently moved to Mt. Shasta, California with her family to live closer to nature and to sharpen her intuitive abilities.

Write to Raven

Flower photos by FES
All other photos by
Art Durand Photography


 


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