Book Review – Shadow Animals: How Animals We Fear Can Help Us Heal, Transform, And Awaken

Book Review

Shadow Animals:

How Animals We Fear Can Help Us

Heal, Transform, And Awaken

by Dawn Baumann Brunke

Publisher: Bear & Company

320 pages

Release Date: November 8, 2022





Dawn Baumann Brunke introduces a new way to approach shadow work: using animals as teachers. “Shadow Animals: How Animals We Fear Can Help Us Heal, Transform, And Awaken” explains how these animals can help us recognize and explore our own shadow selves. I found the concept original, non-threatening and insightful.

Our fears, feelings, and phobias about various animals can help us see the hated, abandoned, judged, and denied aspects of ourselves. Buried traumas and childhood fright are projected onto animals.

Brunke dedicates a chapter to each of thirteen animals, including bats, rats, snakes, sharks, spiders, dogs, goats … and humans. Working on the assumption we fear what we don’t know, she provides an abundance of information, legends, myth, religion, science, and dream translations, dispelling misconceptions and generating respect for these fascinating creatures. Readers will come to see rats are not dirty, bats are considered lucky in China, and sharks don’t seek to eat humans.

Personally, cockroaches creep me out. Prolific, defiant, and fast, they run to dark, unreachable places. And although out of sight, my unease knowing they’re there remains. According to Brunke, these creatures reveal “some of our deepest personal and collective fears: invasion, violation, helplessness, and the realization that we are not really in control.” She got that right. Knowing that the environment would collapse without cockroaches and other insects did little to calm my reaction, but I will admire their strength, intelligence, and ability to survive … somewhere I’m not.

Each chapter concludes with an exercise. The end of this particular chapter asks six questions, beginning with “Who or what is bugging me?” and “Why does this bug me?” These queries provide insights about the wounded pieces of our psyche, as well as offering wisdom to help reclaim our strengths.

Animals that frighten us can be teachers, “offering profound healing and expert guidance in helping us identify, learn from, and embrace our shadow selves,” Brunke writes.

I recommend this book to those willing to learn more about themselves from the animals they may fear.


About the Author

Dawn Baumann Brunke is an animal communicator and dream enthusiast who has led workshops and offered animal consultations for more than 20 years. Her nine books include “Animal Voices,” “The Animal Wisdom Tarot,” “Dreaming with Polar Bears,” and “Awakening the Ancient Power of Snake.” She lives in Alaska. For more, visit .



Shadow Animals: How Animals We Fear Can Help Us Heal, Transform, And Awaken



About the Author:

Lynn Woike

All my life I have known magic was real. As a child, I played with the fae, established relationships with trees and “just knew things.” In my maiden years I discovered witchcraft and dabbled in the black-candles-and-cemeteries-at-midnight-on-a-fullmoon magick just enough to realize I did not understand its power. I went on to explore many practices including Zen, astrology, color therapy, native traditions, tarot, herbs, candle magic, gems, and, as I moved into my mother years, Buddhism, the Kabbalah and Reiki. The first man I dated after my divorce was a witch who reintroduced me to the Craft, this time by way of the Goddess. For 11 years I was in a coven, but with retirement, I have returned to an eclectic solitary practice. When accepting the mantle of crone, I pledged to serve and teach. This is what I do from my skoolie – a 30-year-old school bus converted into a tiny house on wheels that I am driving around the country, following 72-degree weather, emerging myself into nature, and sharing magic with those I meet. Find me at, Facebook and Instagram.