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Negotiating with the Wild


This group of groundhogs (aka woodchucks) is not the group with whom I spoke. I was never able to see them physically. I just thought we should see a group of groundhogs! Taken from https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/woodchuck-groundhog with appreciation.

A while ago, a lovely woman named Margot wrote to me asking if I could help her with a problem she was having with groundhogs. I didn't know if what I could do would help, but we gave it a try. Today, she posted this on her facebook page, making not only my day but my month:


"I have had groundhogs living under my shed for 22 years. Recently, they moved underneath my house as well. I called Leiah Rubin Bowden to help me communicate with them in order for them to take up residence somewhere else. Leiah had at least three heartwarming conversations with them. They agreed after some consideration to move from their cozy burrows even though my property is in the middle of coyote territory. I now feel very respectful of woodchucks. They are cautious, considerate, kind, earnest and smart. Thank you very much Leiah Rubin Bowden for your amazing animal, communicating skills!"


One of Margo's facebook friends commented that it would be interesting to see if they actually leave and Margot replied, "As they promised, they moved away in four days, and told me to fill in their burrows because they were gone. I have done that!"


Whooppee and Huzzah! I say. Animal communication works. We can communicate with all life, no matter what the species. I have known this, and I have communicated with wild beings, but never with a group of them with a goal of persuading them in mind. I am grateful to them as well.


I thought seeing how this negotiation happened would be of interest, so I am sharing the sessions.

Photo by Margo Hubbard.

On August 2, 2022 I opened my heart and mind to them, seeing only a photo of the area under which they were living and also one of where Margot hoped they might be able to move to away from the house. In my reports, I use the present tense, because I write the report as it is happening. When you see the word "you" it is because I am writing this to my client.


“What reason do you have for wanting to contact these beings?” an authoritative voice asks when I ask for permission to speak to the groundhogs who have been living under, or near your house, on your property.



“I seek permission to serve the greater harmony among all creatures, that the harmony may increase the well-being of all on this Earth and in all the worlds and dimensions in which this Earth has an effect or experiences a result.” I answer.


“I see. Do you respect the right of all creatures to live in a habitat best suited for their needs?”


“Yes,” I say, “I do.”


“Then you may speak with My children.”


I now see about six adults and four or five younger groundhogs lined up waiting for me to speak.


“Hello, beauties,” I begin. Thank you so much for agreeing to speak with me today.”


“What’s on your mind?” an elder asks.


I report, “The person who owns the property where you have been living, she says for 20 years, has asked if I could ask you to leave. She asks with great respect and tells me that she asked the same of a group of raccoons here a while ago, and that they agreed to leave. She expects there may be some requests you have to facilitate your agreement, should you be so kind as to give it.”


There is a lot of snuffling and twitching of noses. I see a cloud of a bluish color rise from the group; it is their thought process as they measure the possible merits and effects of such a move.


“We will need to travel to see if there is another place nearby that will serve us,” a female elder says.

Photo by Margo Hubbard.

I show them the picture of the land between your house and the next house. This time I see a burst of yellow rise above them. (Yellow indicates strategic knowing, a hyper-aware state). A few of them gasp. One says, “We did not know there was such a vast wilderness near us. We like the safety of structures.”


“Could trees serve as the structures that give you a feeling of safety?” I ask. “I see many trees in that area."


Again they confer and a green color rises from their midst. Green is the color of harmony.


The first elder says, “We will send a scout to see if that area is a good place for us.”


I ask, “Can you do this in the between-worlds space, can you do it now so that I can give her an answer?”


I now see them all form a line and burrow into the ground. They go into a light trance, where they journey to the wooded area.


“There are foxes there,” one says.


“You could hide in your burrow, couldn’t you?”


“Yes, but it would take us a while to build our home nests there and we would be vulnerable.”


“I see,” I say. I think about asking the foxes to hold off hunting them but I don’t think that’s a good idea. I say, “Is there something Margot could provide for you in that area so that you would feel safe while you build your dens?” I am thinking of some old lumber piled in a makeshift fort of some kind. They see my thought.


“Yes, that would work. Good idea.” they say.


“When could you be ready to move?” I ask.


“In three days. If she has the wood out there for us.”


“Wonderful!” I say. “How will you know that she has the wood there?”


“The same way we knew there were foxes. We’ll send our minds there.”


“OK,” I say. "On behalf of Margot, I thank you most sincerely for your cooperation.”


“We serve, as do all creatures, and we are not unreasonable creatures. Thank you for honoring our process.”


“I am honored by your considering my presence and my communication.” I answer.


After I sent this report to Margot she said that she could arrange some structures for them. The next day I opened to them again.


I tune in to the groundhogs and sense a lively, excited chattering, and running to and fro in their dens.


“Hello, dear ones,” I say.


“Hello, hello!” I hear back from them.


“I sense a lot of excitement here. What’s going on, if I may ask.”


They respond, “Since you appeared to us yesterday with your proposal we have been excited and listening to the earth and sensing any changes in the environment. We feel there is movement forward.”


“Yes, there is,” I say. I show them the photos you sent. “Margot has thoughtfully prepared some shelters for you in the woods nearby. Can you see them?

Photos by Margot Hubbard.

There is a quieting down and a stillness. I sense the fur on their backs flattening as they withdraw into themselves to perceive what is new.


“A new home,” they think. They withdraw into a silence and a trance state as they journey to the structures. I see them sniffing them. One or two wrinkle their noses at the smell. “It smells sour,” a few say. "But this smell will dissipate. We are familiar with how this can happen,” they say.


“Is it acceptable?” I ask.


I hear an inbreath and a quiet voice say, “It is beautiful. Please thank Margot for us.


No one has ever done something like this, so kind, for us. We didn’t know humans were capable of this generosity and compassion.”


“Some are,” I reply. “I am so glad this is good with you.”


“Yes,” they say, “It is good.”


“Can you move from your present homes to this location, and do you know when? Margot would like to fill in the burrow holes, but not until you have moved, She wants to respect your timing and your needs and will not do so until you have moved and no longer need these holes and passages.”


I sense a quietness.


“We will sing goodbye to our old homes. As we said, three days is what we will need.”


“That’s fine,” I say. “I will check in with you two days from now, which will make a total of three days.”


“Yes, that will be acceptable,” the elder says.


“Again,” I say, “thank you so much for being amenable to Margot’s request. “


“It is our way to acquiesce to those who have been generous and who have not endangered us,” a female says.

In two days I tuned in again.


I tune into the groundhogs and see them hustling about in the midst of moving. I say, "Excuse me, hello. I know I am interrupting your movement but I am wondering if you have had the time you need to begin resettling yourselves.”


An older female says, without pausing in her rustling around, “Yes, yes, we’re moving now. By the time it is completely dark we should be gone and into our new homes.”


“Thank you,” I say. “Margot told me she left some food out for you in the new location.”


“Yes!” someone calls out. “We know! Please thank her for us.”


“I will. And please accept my thanks for being so accessible. I am honored and glad to have gotten to know more than I had before about your considerate, careful nature.”


I feel them smiling at me.


The next day, Margo asked if I would check with the groundhogs again. She wrote, "Would you tune in to the groundhogs again and see if they have indeed left or if they are still under the house they may not want me to know where they are I don't know but I want to move forward if they have left with filling up their burrows under the house and under my shed."


I look at the photos of all the areas: the new areas in the woods and the house as well. I feel their presence in the woods in two of the three areas. I reach out to them and hear that they are being very quiet as they create their new dens in harmony with the Earth’s energy in that place. They are in a semi-trance.


“I just want you to know that Margot wants to fill I the old burrows but doesn’t want to disturb you.” I say.


“No harm will be done,” they murmur, still giving practically no energy or focus to anything but their new settling in.


“Thank you,” I say and leave.


And that was the end of our communication: of my communication with them and with Margot as well. I wondered how it went, of course, but didn't take the initiative to ask Margot. So when I saw her facebook post today, I was elated.


I've been helping humans and their animals better serve and love each other for more than 20 years. I know it is possible to communicate with all other species. With rocks. With water. Plants. Objects. And yet, I am always ready to hear that my efforts fell short.


I am so grateful that this group of groundhogs was so amenable to alter their home of 22 years: generations. And they did so so graciously.


We have a lot to learn from the Wild.

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