animal souls

Do animals have souls, too?

The other day I received a fun question from a visitor of my website concerning the special bond she has with her horse. The question was whether animals have souls too, and reincarnate to learn life lessons, and if it is possible for animals to incarnate in other species, or even as humans.

Animated life

When I tried to answer this question, I found that I did not know how to begin – because the premise of the question is completely contradictory to the way I view life and the incarnation process. In my viewpoint, everything that is alive is animated by definition and has a soul, has spirit – and I see life in that sense in the broadest sense of the word. Minerals, plants, animals, humans, elementals, fairies, angels – all have a soul, are animated and alive, and are free to go the road of incarnation if they so choose.


In this viewpoint I don’t see the soul as some entity that travels from one life to the next, as an island hopper from body to body. No, I see the soul as a sun: a radiant being that is complete within itself, eternal, wise and immortal, existing in Unity, close to Source, the Creator. This soul sends out rays of itself into the physical plane, into the Universe to grow in experience and wisdom, to seed its light in the world and share its knowledge, love and wisdom through the physical body.


These ‘rays’ of the soul are our ‘past’, present and ‘future’ lives. For the soul, that exists outside of time and space, all these lives exist simultaneously as part of the Multidimensional Self. We don’t ‘hop’ from body to body, no, we are a part of our eternal soul, at the same time as all our other lives and existences in all dimensions and time. In this sense, for the soul there is no distinction between one race, one species or form of existence and another, like it is for us humans in our limited point of view.

Native peoples and modern culture

In modern cultures, animals are grossly underrated and undervalued by man and seen as lower species. However, in native societies and cultures this was often very different, as with the ancient Celts, the native American peoples or the Aboriginal people of Australia. Animals were respected or even revered as autonomous beings, as helpers, guides, and teachers.

Since the Middle Ages, especially as the Church grew in power and control, animals began to be viewed with superstition and fear, or devalued as mere sources of food or labour. Later, especially since the Industrial Revolution, animals began to be viewed as lower beings without ratio or intelligence, without rights, that could even be used unscrupulously for gruesome medical experiments in the name of science. But why do people see animals as such?


Animals live in harmony with their environment, they are part of an ecosystem that will maintain itself as a whole, as long as its balance is not disturbed. Human beings are the only species that destroy this balance by greed, lust for power and ignorance.
Animals don’t use spoken or written language as people do (and thus have few misunderstandings) but communicate effectively through body language, sound, smell, and telepathy. Trees even communicate through their root systems, and scientists are discovering the many chemical ways of communication they utilise with other trees, fungi and other species in the forest.
When you open yourself up to other means of communication than the spoken word, and practise feeling energy or play with telepathy, you will discover that animals, plants, even stones and crystals communicate much more effectively and sensitively than you might ever have imagined. Their communication can show levels of humour, intelligence and wisdom some humans could tip their hats at!


Inspired by an animal communicator, one day I decided to practice telepathic communication with animals. I saw a blue heron standing by the waterside and began saying hello in my mind.
‘Good afternoon, Mr. Heron,’ I began politely (and in silence, because I don’t the neighbours to think I am mad). I opened up for a reaction.
‘Shhhht,’ the heron answered in my head, ‘I’m working!’ Silly human that I was, in my human arrogance I never paid attention to the fact that the heron was fishing!

Animal lives

When you view the soul as the source of all your lives, in all dimensions and forms, connecting all the parts of you it is easier to imagine indeed having lives as animals, elementals, elves etc. I have met people who had known lives as horses, whales, and these lives were as rich in life lessons and experience as any life as a human. Whales and horses are intelligent, sensitive and social beings and for the soul such lives are as important, valuable and interesting as life as a human being.

Incarnation trauma

Sometimes, however during the incarnation process things can go awry. One of my past life therapy clients for instance hadn’t paid attention to where she was going, as she enthusiastically threw herself into her first incarnation. She ‘landed’ in an existence as a very primitive insect-like creature. This creature lived amidst other like creatures that did not connect to each other in any way, they only ate, slept and procreated without much awareness or consciousness. For an aware, sensitive being like herself this lonely life was such a shock she was left with what we call a ‘primeval’ trauma, something we could subsequently treat in the therapy session. For the creatures itself, their existence was not shocking at all. The incarnated part of their soul was aligned with this chosen existence. But for a much more aware soul part like my clients’ this life was like a jacket that was much too narrow and constricting, a shock and a mistake, one she learned a valuable life lesson from. Which made this experience, although painful, useful in the end.

Animal spirits

Not only do animals have a soul, or more correctly, are they part of a soul and are multidimensional beings with many lives, they also are able to manifest in spirit form after death, just as people who have passed over consciously can.
For instance, when a client of mine was stuck in her pain and wasn’t able to voice her emotion, I suddenly saw a dog appear in the corner of my eye. It seemed to want to comfort her. I could describe its appearance, and the client could verify that she had indeed known this dog years ago.

Animal family

I myself have met several dog spirits that I have known in other lives: a big Irish wolf hound that was my pet in the Bronze Age and suddenly appeared and stood watching me as I was doing the dishes and thinking of this particular life; a sweet little dog of uncertain breed with a shaggy coat that belonged to a Celtic chieftain I had been whose life had ended in drama. He appeared before my mind’s eye in meditation when I was working on healing this past life, and I could see him as clearly as any living dog. Zorro, the Parson Jack Russell my family had in this life, also manifested several times after his passing over. Other dogs sensed his presence and would go sniffing around with surprised looks on their faces: they could feel him, but they couldn’t smell him.

Animal soul mates

Animals also have a tendency to travel wit hus through several incarnations. A friend of mine had a lovely, wise old cat that had also been her best buddy during an incarnation in the Middle Ages. And another friend had a golden retriever in the family that had died. Shortly thereafter the family got a new golden retriever puppy. When they brought it home for the first time, it jumped out of the car and ran up to the right door, to sit there barking until they opened the door.
In the love for their human family, animal spirits twitch their noses at the boundaries of time and space!

In short, seen through the eyes of the soul, the difference between species is arbitrary: all that is, is alive and has spirit, and is walking an evolutionary road of consciousness growth, by way of incarnation or other ways. On this road, we are all brothers and sisters.

© Wendy Gillissen M.A., 2017

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