||For the Goddess in You
by Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
Celebrating Life with Our Pets
“Until one has loved an animal,
a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
-- Anatole France
Celebrating our pets, and celebrating with our pets, has become a national pastime.
We love our pets. And statistics show that we are willing to spend oodles on our poodles, kitties, horses and other animals, keeping them well-fed, well-groomed, stylishly attired, happy, healthy and safe.
More than 70 million American’s share their homes with cats, 60 million with dogs, and 2 or more adore their domestic birds. At least 65% of all homes in the United States own at least one pet. Financial surveys tell us that people spend more of their
disposable income on their pets in times of economic expansion. For example, the most recent statistics tell us the pet care industry is raking in about 30 billion, and growing stronger.
Animal lovers agree that pet’s are a loving addition to our lives.
· Studies have show that people who own pets live longer, feel better and feel they have a friend
who will love them without conditions and listen without judgment.
· Pets bring comfort to the ill, mobility to the disabled, and sense of kinship and protection to
· For many people, the relationship with a pet mirrors the relationship they have, or would
otherwise have, with a child or any intimate family member. Many of us simply do not distinguish between animal and human family members.
· As our human relationships becoming trickier and more challenging in our lives, some of us
choose to place focus on our pets as their primary relationships in life.
· More of us lavish attention on pets. We look for ways to enjoy life together – living in pet
friendly environments, traveling to animal friendly locales, toting doggies to special events, buying pet presents for birthdays, Christmas and beyond.
“For many of us, pets are as much a part of the family as any human member,” says my friend Dr. Dan Neuharth (Ph.D.), Marriage and Family Therapist and author of Secrets You Keep from Yourself: How to Stop Sabotaging
“Perhaps it’s the unconditional love pets provide. Perhaps having a smaller critter to care for and watch out for brings out the best in us. Perhaps pets are so themselves, so congruous, so present, that it gives we humans an
A boom in honoring animal spirituality
In recent years there has been much growth and interest in animal spirituality, and human spiritual connection to animals. We’ve seen a growing number of books exploring pets as our angels and guardians here on earth and on
communicating with animals. We have also seen a huge increase in “Blessings of the Animals” taking place around the country. Once the domain of the Catholic Church and some Christian denominations, more and more interfaith and non denominational groups are offering blessings
for all the neighborhood pets. Even our Pet Prayers interfaith ministry offers an annual blessing in conjunction with our local dog park.
Perhaps pets put us deeply in touch with a state if being that sages and spiritual leaders have tried to help us attain: Living in the moment. That’s what pet’s do best. And many would say that is the moment in which spirit can
be most easily accessed.
Whatever the reason, we adore the domestic animals we invite into our lives. They fill a special place in our hearts, and homes. Not only do we treat them like family – or better in some cases!—we want for them all the things want for any family member.
Many people are recognizing the spiritual nature of all “creatures great and small.” A lot of them happen to be pet owners. Pet Spirituality, and spirituality shared with our pets, is flourishing along with high end dog collars and gourmet fish food.
And celebrating life with our pets has become a way of life!
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved. Article adapted from
Pet Prayers and Blessings: Ceremonies & Celebrations to Share With the Animals You Love, by Laurie
Sue Brockway and Victor Fuhrman, Sterling Publishers, August 5, 2008.
The Pet Prayers and Blessings Interfaith Ministry
For many of us, pets are as much a part of the family as any human member.
"That is why we are seeing more and more pooches walking down the aisle or bearing rings at weddings," according to Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
and Rev. Victor Fuhrman , interfaith ministers and authors of Pet Prayers and Blessings: Ceremonies &
Celebrations to Share With the Animals You Love, due out from Sterling Publishers, August 5, 2008.
They have observed in their ministry work, and their own lives, that many owners recognize the divine nature of all “creatures great and
Pet owners consider their relationships to their animals sacred and essential. So the Reverends Brockway and Fuhrman, a married couple, treat
prayers, healings and celebrations for pets in the same way that they treat human events they officiate of preside over.
Since they cannot be there in person to bless every pet, they have launched the Pet Prayers and Blessings Interfaith Ministry. There, soulful
pet owners can request prayers and prayer for one another's pets. (www.PetBless.com)
Pet Prayers and Blessings, their forthcoming book, is a unique collection of blessings that specifically addresses the spiritual needs of modern-day pet owners .
Besides offering original prayers and adaptations of classics, it explains how to lead rituals and celebrations, and provides advice on
involving pets in spiritual events, including those conducted by the clergy.
Although the book includes and honors many faiths, it is non-denominational and non-religious, and encompasses elements from many cultures and
For example, there are healing prayers for ailing animals, ceremonies for special occasions (such as the arrival of a new pet), and blessings
for a long and happy life with your animal companion.
© Copyright 2007 Rev. Laurie Sue
Brockway. All Rights Reserved.
Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is an interfaith minister and non-denominational wedding officiant who helps people get ready for love and marriage, and who blesses the unions of couples in love in unique and loving ceremonies. She is also widely
known as a specialist in women's spirituality, empowerment and feminine wisdom. She is author of
Wedding Goddess: A Divine Guide to Transforming Wedding Stress Into Wedding Bliss (Perigee Books, Spring 2005),
A Goddess Is a Girl's Best Friend: A Divine Guide To Finding Love, Success and Happiness
(Perigee Books, December 2002). Visit Rev. Laurie Sue at www.weddinggoddess.com.
For some inspiration, please check out this moving Goddess Meditation,
http://www.selfhealingexpressions.com/goddess_meditation.html, as well as my new course, Discover the Goddess,
Reverend Laurie Sue's Past Columns:
Winter-Spring 2008 - "Connect with Green Tara for Personal Strength and Power"
Summer 2007 - "How to Form a Woman’s Spirituality Group"
Spring/Summer 2006 - "Call Forth Your Spiritual Warrior with Joan of Arc"
Oct-Dec 2005 - "Be Still, and Celebrate with The Goddess of Good Fortune"
July-September 2005 - "The Zen Way To Bridal Balance"
January-February 2005 - "Goddess Reflections"
2004 - "My Enduring Relationship with the Man of
August-September 2004 - "Move Forward … Make Change …"
2004 - "Meet the Amazing Alexander Kent Garrett"
2004 - "13 Steps for Making Your Romantic Dreams
2003 - Bring Light and Healing to Your Family
for the Holidays
2003 - "Even In Midlife,
We Can All Use A Fairy Godmother"
2003 - "The Secret to Serenity"
2003 - "A
Gathering of Goddesses: Our Girlfriends Keep Us Real"
2003 - "Love Has Its Own Schedule"
2003 - "A Spring Time Reawakening To Soulful Love
and Self Love"
2003 - "Marry Yourself First..."
2002 - "Who is the Goddess?" & "The
2002 - "How to Clear Your Love Clutter"
2002 - "How to Mourn a Broken Heart and Lost
2002 - "Relationships That Nurture and Inspire
Growth of the Soul
2002 - "Finding Peace in a Turbulent World"
2002 - "Sacred Sexuality For Modern Men and
2002 - "When Someone You Love Pushes Your Buttons"
2002 - "When Life Has You Down, Remember You Are
2002 - "Plan a Valentine's Day Team Date"
2002 - "Do I Hear Him Knocking … From the Other
2001 - "How Do We Make Our Love Dreams Come True?"
2001 - "What is the Future of Love?"
2001 - "Getting to Know
the Goddess of Good Fortune"
2001 - "Can't Hurry Love... It Will Happen in Its Right Moment"
2001 - "Family Rituals Help Us Grow Into Loving Beings"
2001 - "Dreams Warn It’s Time To Own Your Power"
2001 - "A Fun Visual of Your Favorite Romance"
May 2001 - "Someday
Your Mystical Soul Mate Will Come"
2001 - "Enjoy the Merriment and Fun of An Ancient Love
2001 - "Nourish Yourself On a Date for One"
2001 - "Get Ready for Soulful Love"
TO SOULFUL THOUGHTS