Mystical Animals of Ancient Oak Workshop

Opening the Heart

The Sacred Path of Animals & Nature

 “Mystical Animals of Ancient Oak” Workshop

Presented By Cynthia Fain

Author of Mystical Animals of Ancient Oak

Saturday September 22nd, 2018

2pm -6pm

Sugar Loaf Unitarian Church

Class is held in the Meadow Room

16913 Germantown Road Germantown, MD 20874

Pre Registration is Required

Call – 301-807-7384

Email –

Sliding Scale Fee – $25.00 – $35.00

Class Description –

  • An exploration of the healing powers of animals and nature. How nature helps us emotionally heal.
  • Powers of Observation of nature and how they are being lost in the era of technology.
  • Building a non- violent and compassionate world for wildlife.
  • Nature Walk and capturing nature spirits on camera.
  • Animals as unexpected teachers – Wally Magician
  • Closing Circle



Factory Farming Atrocities

It never ceases to amaze me how many barbaric practices are committed on factory farms. We have male baby chickens that are being ground up alive. Baby pigs have their heads smashed against pavement to kill them. Calves are kept in solitary confinement and taken away from their mother’s shortly after birth. Mother pigs live in tiny prisons called gestation crates. Pigs are boiled alive before being slaughtered. Poultry are also boiled alive and have their throats slit while fully conscious.

If these realities horrify you = they should! I encourage everyone to take a deep look at what is on their plate and to do some research into what goes on before you eat it. When I was a child I never wanted to eat meat. Now I know why.

We need to out law all these factory farming practices. What kind of species are we if we can sit back and let this go on?

What are your thoughts on these common factory farming practices? How can we stop this? I became vegetarian in the early 1980’s after learning about these things.

Tragic death of young anti-poaching guard

This is taken from information on the Internet in September 2016-
He Died Protecting Gorillas

ICCN Virunga Ranger Jules Kombi Kambale was killed in action on Thursday, 1 September, in a militant attack at Gatovu. The ranger team was tracking gorillas, which have been the increased focus of militants in the area. He and his ranger team were tracking gorillas which were being protected from poachers.
He left behind his wife who is five months pregnant.

I include this tragic news on my blog this evening to remember those that we may never meet or hear about, but they are out in the world protecting people or animals. In this case, we have a young man who gave his life in service to protecting gorillas and other wildlife in Rawanda.

When I think about the way we have bull dozed our way over our native wildlife habitat and then kill them to build our homes – I feel such anger and sorrow. Let’s treat all animals like they are worth protecting.

While many of us have comfortable homes – we forget we are living, working and driving on what was once the sacred ground of other species.

So tonight let’s honor ICCN Virunga Ranger Jules Kombi Kambale – who most of us would never have heard of without social media such as Facebook which is circulating memorials to him in honor of his service to wildife protection. He died young and died in service to our imperiled African Wildlife.

The War on Deer

Starting in the 1990’s – intense anger and calls for killing deer echoed throughout the Washington, DC suburbs. I never understood all the anger and harshness towards the deer – for all they suffer at our hands – we should be apologizing to them. As forests and meadows were replaced with housing developments and strip malls, deer and other wildlife had their habitats destroyed and replaced with pavement and houses.

People no longer saw the sacredness in the deer – now all they could do is rage at them for eating in their gardens. Well their gardens are planted where there was once free roaming land and wildlife corridors. Deer and other animals were forced to live among suburban houses and busy roads.

I hear spirit telling me that we hold no accountability for how we drive and leave animals to suffer and die on our roads. How did we come up with this idea that we can just speed along, hit animals and leave them to die…as though they are a piece of trash? This is one of the most over looked tragedies of our modern world. The way we are so apathetic to the remains of animals hit on the roads is way to de-sensitized.

I say this all the time – but simply SLOWING down and making a point to avoid hitting wildlife is the key to this. Killing massive amounts of deer in order to control their populations is not the key to stopping deer – auto collisions. Quite the opposite is true. We need to drive with responsibility and accountability – by slowing down and making it a priority to avoid hitting wildlife. We live in the era of technology and distractions.

Whenever I hear people complaining about deer in their neighborhood – I am quick to remind them that the deer have something to teach them.

What Can We Do To Create A More Balanced, HUMANE World?

I believe that one of the most important things that we can do to create a greener more humane world is to develop land and build in far more harmony with the earth and wildlife. Over the last several decades the emphasis has been on high density development and developers and city planners rarely leave any green space and forest for deer and many other species of wildlife.

In the area I grew up in, Montgomery County Maryland, I have seen forests, meadows and green spaces be systematically paved over for houses, shopping centers and highways. The deer and other creatures were driven to try and live in fragmented habitat that leaves them among the suburban houses. Then the intolerant people who now live in fancy houses on the animals habitat complain and often have no compassion or insight into the fact that they are Deer Peeks  In Kitchen Window at Ancient Oakliving where the animals once roamed and fed.

The amount of ignorance about nature and wildlife is growing as people live with nothing but electronics, apps, I-Phones and Plasma TV’s. What do they know about the creatures and what the creatures are trying to show them? I have seen the violence and anger at the deer escalate to intense degrees. And mass killing of deer is used as a failed attempt at restoring our forests and green spaces.

At all levels of government we need to have some type of governing laws that say “let’s keep half this area in a natural state – and leave forest and green areas for the wildlife”. But that rarely happens and the imbalance that grow as the result of this type of “let’s shove as much development as we can into this space” leaves little to the imagination and leaves the animals with severely fragmented habitat – if any habitat.

In the next post – we will look at more ways we can save green space for people and wildlife.

Why Are We Treating Wildlife As The Enemy?

Deer in back meadow at Ancient Oak

I have never understood why the very people and government agencies that make policies and mandates regarding wildlife so often turn to violence in their attempts to deal with wild animals. As a person that grew up in Montgomery County Maryland I was horrified to see the attitudes towards deer become so intolerant, hateful and violent. I sat in so many civic and environmental meetings where people never once spoke about the plight of the deer. I am an avid environmentalist, but I do not share the view that mass killing of animals is either ethical or any type of environmentally balanced solution. Deer are often scape goats for our own imbalances.

Why do we think it is normal and acceptable to shoot deer and other wild animals with bullets and arrows? Why is it called management to kill deer with arrows, including pregnant does? Many years ago at Brookside Gardens in Montgomery County Maryland the deer in the gardens were shot to death. I heard horror stories about fawns running to the edge of the fence trying to get out of the gardens. How did Brookside Gardens become a mass murder scene? Unfortunately this was massively supported – accept by humane groups of course. And that is the sickness of the era in which we live.

What we call wildlife management is perceived quite differently by those animals whose lives and families are being killed. Why don’t we look at the issue from their perspective?


Take Responsibility When Driving

Part Two of Avoiding Hitting Wildife

In my continuing discussion of the importance of compassionate and safe driving ,we are going to look at “taking responsibility” when driving. I continue to be shocked and dismayed at the flagrant abuse of cell phone, texting and general distractions that people have when driving. Just today a good friend of mine posted on her Facebook Page that she had almost been hit yesterday by a man driving a pick up truck and speeding through a red light. She was almost broadsided by him and was saved by seeing him at the last minute.

Focusing and avoiding distractions is the best way to keep your eyes on the road and avoid hitting wildlife. On a drive up Route 29 in Madison County Virginia yesterday, I was horrified to see many deer hit on the side of the road. Who knows how long they laid there dying on the hot summer pavement. One deer had a piece of metal, maybe a car side view mirror jarred right into his skull.

The spiritual message that I get is that we need to have accountability when we hit animals or people. This idea that we can hit and run other sentient beings is sick and making for no ethics in driving. Where did we ever get this idea that if we hit an animal, we can just keep going and be so apathetic?

I think the issue of animal deaths on the roads is one of the most under estimated issues in our personal ethics of driving. Just slowing down and taking the time to focus and intend to avoid hitting animals is a highly effective way of reducing animal and of course human fatalities on the road.



My New Book – Mystical Animals of Ancient Oak is Now Available On

My new book Mystical animals of Ancient Oak is now available on Kindle and Paperback on in back meadow at Ancient Oak

Effective Strategies for Avoiding Hitting Deer and Other Wildlife While Driving

Deer Peeks  In Kitchen Window at Ancient Oak

Deer Peaks in the Kitchen Window at Ancient Oak


After decades of driving, I have found that my ability to avoid hitting deer and other animals on the road has been tremendously enhanced by the simple act of slowing down. Our speed limits are set for our convenience, but the speeds we drive at make it impossible to avoid hitting animals, and other people for that matter.

My first suggestion is to make a “Conscious Intention” to slow down (obviously stay in the right lane to do this) and make it a “Priority” to avoid hitting wildlife.

Then you have to turn off typical distractions, such as cell phones, I Phones etc. The obsession we have with electronic gizmos while driving is severely dangerous and should NOT be a habitual part of anyone’s driving. How many times have I seen people looking down texting, drifting off in a cell phone conversation and speeding obliviously along the road. I see this all too often.

If you see any animal by the side of the road, assume they might run out. Don’t wait for the last minute when they run…anticipate it…and slow down…and be prepared to stop.

At night, you can see the reflections of an animals eyes as they glow in the dark. Those shining bright objects hovering in the dark woods, could be an animal and not just a beer can reflecting in your headlights.

Any where there are woods, there are bound to be wild animals. Assume that at some point an animal might run out. Always look for places where animals are likely to cross the road. If you drive past an area where you often see animals that have been hit and killed – slow down in that area. You are driving where they need to cross! Often I see where racoon families have all been killed together.

In the autumn, deer our mating and are likely to run onto the roads. During the autumn months many deer are killed by automobiles. To save your own life, and that of the deer, make certain to slow down and maintain awareness during the fall.

If we shift our attitudes away from viewing the deaths of wildlife as just “road kill’, and if we view their lives as important, and worth honoring, then we have taken the first step in avoiding them on the roads. One of my passions is teaching people that all those creatures we share the planet with don’t enjoy being hit and left to die on our roads. They would deeply appreciate it if we would view their lives, daily journeys and crossings as sacred.