Dolphin Love

Linda Shay and David Rosenthal in their home.

There aren’t any dolphins in Sedona. There aren’t any dolphins in the entire state of Arizona. But that’s okay, according to Sedona-based dolphin ambassador Linda Shay because dolphins are “omni dimensional beings” and aren’t bound by time or space. The cover of Linda’s book “Dolphin Love…From Sea to Land” addresses the absence of dolphins directly with a picture of two dolphins swimming side-by-side in the skyline above Sedona’s iconic red rocks — an image so impossible and cute.

And it was that book cover that attracted to me this story. Dolphins, Sedona, desert, omni dimensional — it all seemed unreal. I found the number listed on Shay’s website, a site highlighted in bright tones of pink, purple, lime green and cerulean. I called the number and was greeted with a recorded message of Linda’s voice saying: “Hello. Thank you for calling Dolphin Heart World, bringing the gift of dolphins from sea to land. To talk to Linda Shay, press one. To talk to David Rosenthal, press two. I pressed one and waited while the ring back tone of Bobby Mcferrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy” played softly.

Linda has a bubbly voice and she tends to elongate words. “Helloooo,” she answered. I told her of my interest and she advised that I should take part in a 20 minute “global dolphin energy healing tele-circle” before participating in the more advanced services offered by her enterprise.

She explained that the tele-circles involve participants from all over the world, from the Dominican Republic to the United States to the Netherlands. Linda and David have a large base in Holland. They’ve traveled there frequently enough that Linda has graced the cover of ParaVisie, a Dutch language spiritual magazine.

I took Linda’s advice and at the next scheduled tele-circle time, I punched in the access code I was given. A ding noise let everyone else know I had joined the conference. I was greeted by all, warmly, and Linda told them I was writing an article on the experience. More dings came through, with more greetings. “Rosemareeee,” David greeted one caller, like a sports announcer doing play-by-play.

Linda began the official transmission. “The moment you even had the thought to call, the dolphins have already surrounded you with their energy,” she counseled the participants. Linda invited everyone to open themselves up to the energy that was beginning to surround us. “Close your eyes, take a deep breath,” she said. “The dolphins are bathing you with their unique form of love.”

I tilted my car seat back, and closed my eyes. The phone was on speaker, so I set it down on the passenger seat of my car. I was parked behind Flagstaff’s Holy Trinity Newman Center, a Catholic center where college students attend mass and have group activities.

Linda told everyone she would stop talking while the dolphin energy continued transmitting. She encouraged us to stay on the line for as long as we like. I continued lying back with closed eyes, and the occasional student would disrupt my peace as they drove out of the gravel parking lot.

The next day, I followed up with Linda and David and told them I wanted to continue my journalistic quest and go deeper in learning about their dolphin business. They asked me which service of theirs I wanted to write about. I mulled the many options. There’s the Dolphin Energy Healing Sessions, where Linda acts as the vehicle for dolphin spiritual energy, and helps mend spiritual ailments. According to the website, “Dolphin Energy Healing is not about fixing something that is wrong. It is about nurturing the wholeness that already exists within, and bringing that wholeness to the surface.” This service is one hour long and can be conducted in person, over the phone or through Skype. To be honest, my first priority in choosing was the price. Dolphin Energy Healing costs $111.

The Personal Journey Session is a more interactive version of the Energy Healing session, a kind of Energy Healing Plus. The Personal Journey is customized for the individual and includes sound-vibrational-healing. It is one hour and fifteen minutes and costs $188.

For serious seekers who want something more, the Dolphin Attunements option promises to merge human consciousness with dolphin consciousness.  It comes in six stages, taking at least eight months. The attunements cost $222 each, or all six can be purchased for $1,222 at a savings of $100.

Then there’s one on one sessions with Archie, David and Linda’s dolphin spirit guide. David channels Archie, whose presence is meant to foster genuine change and meaningful shifts for the attuned client. “These sessions are journeys of discovery and empowerment,” the website reads. The cost for the one hour-and-fifteen minute-long Journeys of Discovery With Archie is $144.

When Linda first started her Dolphin therapy sessions, she posted newspaper ads offering to perform the service by donation. No one called.  In response to the question of how monetizing her service felt, she replied, “The dolphins have no problem with it whatsoever. They know this is a currency exchange from which we have to live.and support ourselves.”

I originally wanted the dolphin energy session, the cheapest option, but eventually felt a session with Archie would be worth the extra splurge. “I want to meet Archie!” I told Linda and David over the phone. I wasn’t sure why I suddenly got so excited, perhaps Linda’s and David’s charisma rubbed off on me, or maybe the dolphin energy was already doing its thing. We made the appointment.

I try my best not to be superstitious. But I love Chinese food, and every now and then I open a fortune cookie only to find a note written with such specificity that it leaves me no doubt that some unworldly powers guided the trajectory of that flour crisp into my plastic to-go bag for the purpose of unraveling whatever entanglement my mind might succumb to.  I once had a fortune saying, "Do it! But with confidence." And confidence is something I've always struggled with, and at that time there was a certain girl I wanted to ask on a date but I couldn't work up the gumption. So I followed the cookie's advice and asked her out.  She said she would love to go out sometime, but she was extremely busy. It has been several months since I took that risk and I haven't seen her since. Obviously, she was never interested in me, but I made my move and made it with confidence. I like to think I am a changed man from the experience.

After an hour driving through the surreal red rock beauty of Oak Creek canyon, I found the house of Linda and David. I parked as close as I could to the steeply sloped curb in front of their yard, so close my tires went halfway up the slope, tilting my Toyota Rav-4 at an awkward angle. I wondered, after all my reading about dolphin ambassadors, omni dimensional beings and spirit guides, what kind of people I was about to meet.

I asked if I should take my shoes off as I entered the house. “We don’t,” Linda replied. Their house was spacious and clean, decorated with dolphin art, dolphin figurines and dolphin stuffed animals. There was a square indent in the living room wall, decorated with dolphin toys and an ornament with the image of dolphins arching over two female statuettes touching outstretched arms and forming the shape of a “V.” It looked like a Vagina.

Linda is a dainty woman, middle-aged with auburn hair only an inch or so long. David is also relatively small, with balding gray hair and thin hairy arms. Linda channels dolphin energy, but it's her husband David who channels Archie, their dolphin spirit guide.

Early in their relationship, David would channel the Archangel Michael as his spirit guide. But then he had a kind of angel dolphin epiphany. “At one point,” David explained, “the messages came through from Archie: ‘You can think of me as the dolphin aspect of Archangel Michael.’ And what does that mean? I’m not really sure but it feels right.”

“They pick these funny names, dolphin spirit guides,” Linda added.

“Unlike many spiritual presences, they don’t seem to take themselves that seriously,” David said.

Before the channeling session, Linda, David and I sat in the living room and talked dolphins. “We see the cetaceans, the dolphins and the whales and in particularly the spinner dolphins in Hawaii, as a race that is more advanced and evolved than we are,” David explained. “They haven’t built cities and rocket ships, but they seem to have lived in a state of peace and joy for 20, 30 million years.”

We also talked about their cats, Alvin and Blissbear, who wandered about the living room floor throughout our meeting.

We discussed Linda and David’s extensive travels to the Netherlands and the technical challenges of having such a broad geographic base of pupils. “It’s causing us to become spiritual techies,” David said. It wasn’t until 2010 when Linda and David say Archie revealed tothem that they could effectively transmit the attunement sessions over long distances through a means like Skype instead of performing each session in person.

Sedona is a polestar for spiritual and metaphysical healing. To live in Sedona denotes being familiar with “vortex healing,” which involves naturally occurring spiritual energy, spiraling across multiple dimensions.  Crystal energy healing is also popular, and psychics are everywhere. David mentioned a friend who performs Jin Shin Jyutsu, a Japanese form of acupuncture.

So it surprised me that, even though the “Dolphin Heart World” website is adorned with Sedona’s iconic red rocks, Linda and David operated their business out of Clarkdale, Arizona. Clarkdale is a small dry square-block town just outside of Jerome, a renowned hub for paranormal activity and home to the Haunted Hamburger. Housing is also more affordable and available in Clarkdale than in Sedona.

As I sat in the couple’s dolphin decorated home, Linda said she would go to the store while I visited with Archie, but before she left she showed me a comic strip her brother had given her. It was a drawing of two dolphins, one saying to the other, “If I could do only one thing before I die, it would be to swim with a middle-aged couple in Connecticut.”

They gave me a glass of water and the channeling began. David forewarned me about an early stage in the channeling process. “Before talking, [Archie] makes these sounds I couldn’t possibly make,” he said.

I sat back on a cushy reclining chair and faced David, who sat on the center cushion of his couch with his legs crossed. He closed his eyes and began fanning his hand back and forth like a maestro. Above the couch was a colorful painting of two ethereal dolphins leaping in front of yellow and red blooming flowers.

David’s mouth became a perfect circle, his lips protruding forward. He belted out his whale call, heralding the arrival of Archie.

“Ewoooooooo...Uwooooooo...Mwaaaaaaaa...Euuuuuuuooooooooo..Uwoooowowowowooooo.” David’s voice reverberated throughout the house. I fought against my quivering lips, fearful I might laugh. Perhaps, though, I just wanted to smile.

Archie is also the spokes-dolphin for the Cetacean Spiritual Council.

“Hello,” David said, in a startling honk. “We are Archie. We greet you.”

“Hello Archie.” I replied.

“You have traveled far to be with us today,” David said. 

“Yes, I come seeking clarity and direction Archie,” I said.

“Yes, I understand. And how may we be of service today?” 

“I want to know who I am. Who I really am,” I said, posing the ultimate question. 

“You have a sense within yourself of great undiscovered potential. Do you not?” 

Hearing this was great news. It confirmed something I’ve known my entire life. I always believed I was special, and there were things inside of me that no one else could ever replicate. I always knew I was the shit, but the world had yet to smell me. 

“You are attracted to that which is out of the ordinary,” David/Archie said. “You are called to look deeper than many humans care to see. This is core to you.”

How did he know this about me, I wondered.

As our conversation moved along, I told David/Archie how hard it was for me to make decisions, and to make those decisions with confidence. I told him I would graduate college soon and I had no idea what to do afterward.

Archie said he could access David’s memories, and one of those memories was the parable of the airplane and its autopilot. “You can think of it as two intelligences talking to each other,” David/Archie said. “Joe, the sensor, says we are off by ten degrees to the south.” And Bob says “okay correcting.” The conversation continues, Joe the sensor saying they are off by a few degrees, and Bob the pilot correcting.

“In fact, the plane was heading in the wrong direction for 98 percent of the time.” David/Archie said. There was a pause, like he/it wanted to let the message settle in. “The fear of making the wrong choice is ultimately a lack of confidence in your ability to correct any choices you make,” my guide insisted. “It is more important to dive in,” David grinned, “and get your flippers wet.”

David/Archie continued talking, emphasizing the importance of freeing myself from the fears of making horrible decisions. I was told to open myself to new worlds and treat each decision like an experiment. After the conversation ended, David advised I lay back, close my eyes, and take deep breaths. Silence.

As I laid back, my stomach grumbled. I forgot to eat on the way there. The refrigerator in the kitchen turned on its motor, tantalizing my hunger. I told myself I would get some food on the drive home. I remembered Arby’s has Gyros on sale, two for $6. But I eat those a lot. Maybe I would try something different. Chinese food sounded good.

Interrupting the silence, David asked me whether I had any more questions. I asked him about the potential he mentioned earlier, the potential I possess.

“If you are asking us whether we see in you the potential to lead a beautiful and meaningful and joyful life that creates a true contribution to many others,” David said. “Then yes, you certainly have that within you, we have no doubt.”

 “Shit,” I thought. “Joyful life be damned. I want greatness.”

 A few minutes later, we lapsed into silence once again, after which the channeling session was complete. David opened his eyes, batted them a few times. “Hi, I’m back,” he said.

Linda returned also, but from the store, not another plane of existence. “While I was out, I couldn’t make any decision whatsoever for anything,” she said. “I don’t know who started it,” she pointed her finger and burst into laughter.

“What are the odds?” I thought to myself. I had talked to David, who was Archie at the time, about my indecisiveness at length. And now she was feeling it, too? David did record the whole session on his iPad, so maybe she was listening the whole time and planned something to say that made it look like she was feeling my plight. “No, these are good people,” I thought. “They’d never do that. That would be crazy.”

David asked her where she had been, saying he couldn’t remember. “I was gone,” David said.  “And Archie was here, so I have no memory of the door opening or closing.”  Linda told him she was at the store.

Linda reflected on her experiences talking to Archie. “Archie has certainly been wise council for me, personally, over the years. And sometimes I’ve had my temper tantrums in front of him,” Linda said, sharing a cackled laugh with David. “And he’s told me things I didn’t want to hear, but I needed to hear. We have our little attitude adjustment sessions sometimes.”

“I don’t know anything about that,” David said, before sipping some water. 

Linda gave me a copy of her book, signed it, and bid me farewell, warmly and kindly. I said goodbye in return. I said goodbye to their cat, Alvin, but he was busy licking his own butt.

On my drive home, I once again thought about food. Chinese food still sounded good, but suddenly a fortune cookie didn’t seem so appealing. I never eat the cookies anyway. They taste like sugar and envelope glue. Worse even, the fortunes are set in print. I can’t talk to them. But I would gladly spend a small fortune for an interactive fortune cookie.

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