Eleanor O’Hanlon is a writer and conservationist, with a passion for re-connecting with the inner, spiritual dimension of our relationship with wild animals and the natural world. Her book Eyes of the Wild Journeys of Transformation with the Animal Powers takes the reader on a remarkable journey of close encounters with whales, wolves, polar bears, brown bears and wild horses, in the company of indigenous guides and field biologists who are renewing ancient ways of finding inner connection with the wild.
Eyes of the Wild was awarded the Nautilus Gold Book Award for Nature Writing, and has won praise from leading ecological voices for its innovative blend of personal experience, science, story-telling and spiritual insight.
Eleanor’s articles and essays on animal behaviour, animal consciousness and wildlife conservation have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including the Spiritual Ecology Anthology The Cry of the Earth, Green Spirit anthologies and the Dark Mountain annual anthology of Nature Writing. She is at work on another book, inspired by the elephants, lions and other creatures and the indigenous wisdom keepers of Southern Africa.
“I’ve travelled through some of the Earth’s great wilderness areas and been privileged to meet many wild companions – the whales, wolves, bears, wild horses, lions, elephants. When I met the lucid depths of a gray whale’s gaze, when I saw the aliveness in the eyes of a wolf, and stood on foot before the towering family of wild African elephants who had come deliberately to meet us, I realised I was in the presence of beings whose depth of awareness was far beyond anything I had learned about them before.
These fellow beings have become my companions and guides on the journey to inner awakening. In the language that comes before words, the animal companions have shown me that their consciousness is inter-connected with my own – just as the world’s indigenous peoples have always known and taught, and contemporary biologists are now re-discovering.
This has opened up the space of relationship where we can meet one another in recognition and in peace. In the power of immediate presence, filled with wonder and appreciation, I have learned to release the fear that is born of separation and prejudice, and enter the unity of Being which is our natural state.
This has brought a much deeper realisation of what it means to come alive as a human being – awake and present to the immense intelligence of the living planet, as it radiates in splendour within the unity of Being. From this awakening, we can hear, and truly respond to the burning call of this time to love, protect and companion all life.
So when I use the word “wild” I do not mean anything separate or external from who we really are as human beings. The word’s roots in Old English can be interpreted as “self-determining.” They indicate the inherent freedom, dignity and flowing aliveness of the natural world and all the wild beings who co-create and shape the great beauty of life on our planet.
These qualities are also part of our essential human nature. As a writer and teacher, my desire is to share this authentic experience of greater aliveness, creativity and natural communion with others, through writings, courses and conversations.
One of the surest ways to raise consciousness is to speak of what we know and love with others. We take space to explore our personal experiences of inner connectedness with wild animals and nature, and the depth of meaning these bring to our lives.
Live on Zoom, then available here.
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Online Courses – including:
“Receiving Wisdom and Guidance from the Wild”
“The Spirit of Nature Connection”
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Eyes of the Wild emerged from the years I spent travelling as a researcher for various environmental organisations, through places of great elemental power – the Russian taiga forest, the Siberian coast of the Bering Strait, the Northern Rockies, and the edges of the Arctic pack ice.
These journeys brought me into close contact with wild animals, their indigenous guardians and some remarkable field scientists who lived among them.