How a tarantula saved me $60K (and how to listen to YOUR animal guides)

I promise, it’s a true story. And, I’ll share how it’s possible for you to get equally clear messages from all kinds of animals.

But first, be honest — when you hear phrases like “animal guides” or “power animal,” do you immediately think of that scene in Fight Club with the penguins and the cheesy meditation, or worse: appropriative terms like “spirit animal?” (More on that particular topic over here)


I get it.

And yet… Animals do have (sometimes INSANELY helpful) wisdom to share with us. Nature is communicating with us at every moment. But, many of us—amidst the busyness of everyday life—don’t pick up on these signals. We have our noses down… into our phones, into our anxieties, into our distractions.

(No judgement; I am right there with you.)

We no longer speak the language of the birds flying across our paths… We miss the whispers from the bee in our window and the ants marching across the hallway.

This disconnection from the world’s Wild Messages comes at a steep price.

Besides missing out on potentially HUGE opportunities (like the one I’ll share below), losing our ability to find kinship and communicate with our untamed neighbors makes us feel lonely… We begin to exhibit symptoms of what Richard Louv calls “Nature Deficit Disorder” in his 2005 book, “Last Child in the Woods.”

Louv shares ample evidence that, thanks to significantly less time spent connected to Nature, we are seeing (in adults and children alike):

Shortened attention spans
Increased occurrence of anxiety, depression, and ADHD
Reduced capacity for creative thinking

…Among many other symptoms of dis-ease that continue to be on the rise.

Those things alone reduce our ability to succeed in life.

Even if an answer IS as simple as “connect with nature”, not all of us have the luxury to bathe in forests for hours or fully immerse in less “civilized” places. Living in the city or suburbs can make it seem like “nature” is indeed far, far away.

But, if you’re open to it, you CAN tap into the wisdom of nature; regardless of where you are right now.

I used to do this for a living, providing highly-acclaimed animal guidance readings for thousands of people around the world. But, you don’t have to be a pro at it to create crazy clarity (and maybe a financial windfall along the way).

It begins with the Animals you come across each day. (No matter where you live, there are creatures of some kind nearby. Hello, Cockroach!)

And, you can learn how to decipher what they are telling you.

Next time you’re temped to google “what’s the meaning of [animal name]” when you encounter an animal, try this instead.

1| Notice what the creature is doing.

A raccoon digging through your trash can has a different energy and message than one playing patty-cake with you through your sliding glass door.

Photo by Jamez Picard on Unsplash

Is it flying, injured, crawling, fast, slow, eating, skittish, brave? If you’re noticing an animal AT ALL during your day, then it has a message for you. (Consider it a big wink from the universe.)

If you “read between the lines” of that behavior, what could it be telling you?

What’s your immediate impression about what it might mean to have seen this animal, doing that thing, right now?

Take note of which animal(s) you saw, what it/they were doing, and your initial intuitive hit about it. I like to keep a little journal in my bag for these observations, and if I don’t have it, I use Evernote or text myself. (Technology is great for many things!)

Also note that sightings don’t have to be “live” to be meaningful. A standout animal image on someone’s t-shirt, in a TV ad, or otherwise floating across your awareness is just as much of a Wild Messenger as any other.

2| Get to know the animal’s superpowers

Wild Animals are badasses. For instance, a skunk knows how to protect itself quite effectively, generally without resorting to violence. Caribou know how to survive winter. Swallows are better drivers than most people on the freeway.

Image by Lensman300 from Adobe Stock

What innate gifts help this animal survive and thrive?

Activate your inner wildlife biologist and crack open wikipedia, or even better, spend some time observing this animal messenger in action. Learn about its cycles, what it eats (and who eats it), and any special skills that are built into its behavior or body. Think: camouflage, murmurations, hibernation, limb regeneration, metamorphosis, etc.

3 | ASK: How do the animal’s behavior(s) and super powers relate to what’s up in YOUR life?

(Here’s where that catchy $60K headline comes from… wait for it…)

This is where your creativity comes into play. You get to put the puzzle together about what this message is... Because, it’s a completely PERSONAL piece of guidance—to you, for you—from the wild world.

Here’s how this might look in practice:

Let’s say you’re looking for a house and have found one that you think is pretty perfect. But, you keep running into all kids of crazy delays in the purchase process. Nothing else has caught your eye, and you feel like this house is your only option. “Why isn’t this going more smoothly?” you wonder.

As you’re visiting the house for the umpteenth time, you almost drive over a GIANT tarantula slowly crossing the road. When you arrive, another one walks right in front of you. Clearly, they are snagging your attention.

Researching them later, you find that Tarantulas will sometimes install a silk “trip wire” to alert them that prey is nearby, and then they easily trap them.

Immediately, you get a sense that you are getting “tripped up” by fixating on this house. The Spider’s figure 8-shaped abdomen looks like the infinity sign… You think, “this process is going to go on forever! These delays aren’t ending anytime soon.” (Especially with how SLOWLY both spiders were walking. They had no care or concern for getting out of your way.)

Based on that, you decide to open up your real estate app ONE MORE TIME, with no real expectations of finding anything. And… you find... The. One.

And it costs $60,000 less than what you were going to pay.

Sound far fetched? This is actually a True Story.

This is almost EXACTLY what happened to my husband and I last year when we were house hunting. Except, we had a shortcut to discovering what the tarantulas were trying to tell us. We happened to have an animal “oracle deck” with us (a deck of cards with animal pictures on them, and a guidebook about what their meanings and messages could be).

The Spider card told us to open up to other possibilities and expand our search, or else risk getting trapped in whatever the issue was that we were asking about.

We listened, and, thanks to some real estate magic, moved into our new house 4 weeks to the day after the tarantulas appeared. A house that cost us $60,000 less (and fits our family SO MUCH BETTER) than the first one we pursued.

Thanks Tarantula. Thanks Oracle Cards for helping us “get” the message.

In fact, we were so blown away by the value of what this oracle-style deck offered to us, that we wondered what might happen if WE created an animal guidance deck… One that came with a book that went deeper than anything else we’d seen; perhaps paired with the incredibly accurate structure of the Tarot. What might be possible then?

What else could happen if others received this kind of guidance in a way they could understand, apply, and benefit from EVEN MORE than we had?

Talk about a ripple effect…

Sure, it’s “just” a tarot deck. But, something like this could put power and clarity back into the hands of people who don’t currently feel very empowered or connected at all. Because it’s not just about saving or making more money.

(Though, that sure does help!)

It’s about tuning back into the world around us. About no longer feeling alone on human-made islands of glass and concrete.

So, my husband and I decided to tap the amazing gifts of artist Tanya Casteel, and my ability to channel animal guidance to create a totally unique, incredibly in-depth Animal Tarot Deck. This deck not only shares animal guidance, it also bridges the worlds of oracle and tarot through deeply meaningful, tradition-infused, and reimagined meanings.

The art is absolutely stunning. Plus, you’ll be able to do so much more than just consult the cards and look up their meaning in the book. Throughout the guidebook’s pages, you’ll learn my entire process to interpret the message of any animal you come across — plus gain new understandings and insights into the human transformation journey.

Welcome to the Wild Messengers Alchemical Tarot:

Out now for pre-order on Kickstarter through 11/11/18 at 11:11am.
(We love those sacred numbers!)

UPDATE: We are currently in the second half of our Kickstarter campaign and I’m happy to say that we’re 216% funded! That means all our backers will receive this incredibly deep spiritual tool, and bonus, we’re also unlocking stretch goals left and right. Think holographic detailing, enhanced quality, and maybe even some extra top-secret goodies for our backers!

We also just added in one new reward tier for those who really crave deep animal connection — a three-day retreat with the entire Wild Messengers team in Asheville, North Carolina!

If you want to build your relationship with the animals into something transcendentally real, head over to our Kickstarter and check out the Wild Messengers Alchemical Tarot.

P.S. A raccoon really DID play a simplified version of “patty cake” with me through a sliding glass door once.

Have a wild story about an animal message you’ve received?

Please share it in the comments!