Defying Gravity 1/4/11
joni: Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 12:00 PM

Defying gravity? Are you a fan of the Wizard of Oz? Have you seen the musical Wicked? What does any of that have to do with Interspecies Communication you ask? Well before Jan 1st I would have asked the same questions. But this morning, today my whole sense of the world of OZ is upside down and it has EVERYTHING to do with interspecies communication or rather the lack thereof.

If you have either read Gregory Maguire’s book or have seen the musical Wicked, you know that the entire plot of turning the main character Elphaba, against the Wizard of Oz and into the Wicked Witch of the West, revolves around a conflict with talking animals. But when our daughters took us to see Wicked for our Christmas gift, I had no idea. Imagine how it felt not knowing this and watching the plot unfold as the character you have known all your life as the “Wicked” Witch of the West begins as a crusader to save the animals ability to talk with humans – to save the animals from becoming “less than”.

Gregory Maguire's Animals were highly conscious beings whose societal conflicts included travel restrictions, and various other forms of discrimination including “being seen and not heard”. Because of this the animals were slowly losing their ability to speak in the languages that humans could understand and were only able to make “animal sounds” and live in cages. The Wizard's regime confiscated property owned by Animals in order to finance the building of the Yellow Brick Road to unite the country, among other issues.

Dr. Dillamond wanted to prove that Animal and human consciousness were on the same level in order to discourage discrimination. With Elphaba's assistance, he worked on an "Extract of Biological Intention" as the basis of his proof.

A very classic stereotype for an oppressed people…but as you and I might know this is much more than a stereotype. It is the fate of animals in todays world. It is the fate of humans unable to hear or speak with those animals. It is an act of “defying gravity” in the eyes of most of the world to claim to be able to hear the animals.

As I pondered this and discussed it with my partner last evening, she reminded me that in human history the “witch” was closely associated with animals – with “familiars” and many “witches” could talk with the animals. Though it seems unintended by Maguire, this theme runs through Wicked just as well. Anyone seen as close to the earth, engaged in full communion with non-humans species, able to “talk” with those non humans, must be a witch! And witches of course must be wicked. Today instead of being wicked witches, we are delusional, frauds, ridiculous to think we actually talk with animals! So many things in “Wicked” hit so close to home.

So here is another “fable” that explains why there is such a gap between humanity and the rest of creation. Another version of “the fall” where a man is so proud and greedy, he sets up the animals as enemy of the humans. I believe that is in fact what happened one day so long ago. Whether it happened in the Garden of Eden or the Land of Oz, humanity chose to set itself apart from the rest of creation, to claim dominion over all. This is the “original sin” and we are still living with it.

But once you have known the deep deep joy of actually speaking with a member of another species, the awe of the glory of all creation, once you have done that you will never be the same again. For the rest of your life you will be “defying gravity”.

Author's Bio: 

I am a professional animal/interspecies communicator who provides telepathic consultations between animals and their human companions. I also offer workhops on how to do telepathic animal communication, lectures and fundraising opportunities.
My Company is Animal Talk & Supplies, LLC