By Sharon Callahan

     Just as there are saints, sages and mystics among human beings, so I believe there are animal saints and sages who come to point the way to another, higher, way to live. Barbara was one of these.

     Captured as an infant in the wild, and suffering many years of physical and mental hardship of an intensity we can only imagine, she remained loving, forgiving and openly embracing of life. She was the perfect emissary of her species, always reflecting the goodness and love of which she was created to all who encountered her.

     Knowing Barbara has changed my life immeasurably. I keep her picture on my desk and another photo of her on my altar along with pictures of St. Francis, the Blessed Mother, Ramana Maharshi, Yogananda and other great souls I aspire after. To me she is one of them; a sage, a saint, a mystic come in the guise of an Elephant - a beautiful trick of the Divine.

     Whenever I have a difficult moment, a feeling of self-pity or a depressive though, I have only to look to Barbara for inspiration. She wore her life's hardship with dignity, courage and beauty. And in the end, she died as beautifully as she had lived, gently surrendering herself into the hands of He who sent her.

For Barbara's History and Case Study 

For Barbara's Story in Her Own Words 

For Information On the Elephant Sanctuary 

A Message From Barbara the Evening of Her Passing

10pm May 18, 2001 Mt. Shasta, CA
     May 18th, in the sign of Taurus, waning crescent moon, birthday of my precious Carol, I made my ascension into the realms of White Love and I AM resting tonight in fields of golden lotus flowers and singing birds of a beauty heard no where on Earth.

     Thank you so much for allowing me to answer the call that beckoned me home. I am surrounded by friends and loved ones of all species, and it feels so magnificent to be freed of my body which was no longer able to contain my spirit.

     Matoosh, The Great White Elephant Mother of us all was the first to greet me, followed by Baby Kitty who had gone but a week before to prepare a place for me and to hold the energy for my transition. Then Ruby and her child, along with my own dear mother and many, many others. Such a reunion! I only wish there was some way for you to experience the joy and the freedom and the exaltation of this moment. You would never again fear the transition you call death.

     I shall preside like a Morning Star over the Elephant Sanctuary guiding many other souls along their way to freedom and love and dignity, and as they make their transitions one by one over the years I will be there to guide them along the path of angels and into the fields of golden lotus flowers where the great ones rest. I Love You All, Barbara

Message From Carol Buckley Founder of the Elephant Sanctuary May 20, 2001

     To all who shared the joys of knowing Barbara:
Our Barbie passed away Friday, May 18th, at 7p.m. Not exactly the birthday gift I might have asked for, but in hindsight I realize that it was the greatest gift she could have ever given me her true freedom. We have been dealing with her passing and feel that we have fully let her go. Her body has been buried at her favorite spot the highest point on the property, in the middle of the newly acquired land. Barbie's footpaths are everywhere in this place. They lead through the thick brush to overlooks where an eight-foot-high eye can survey a breath-taking, beautiful horizon. She spent a lot of time here, immersed in her habitat, savoring being an elephant.

     I rejoice for all that Barbara has given each of us. She flourished in her freedom here at the Sanctuary but her frail body could no longer support her. Now she is watching over and guiding us from her rightful place among all the other wise beings that have gone before her. The other elephants are all dealing with Barbara's passing in their own way. We are watching them closely to be sure they have the support they need during this transitional time. Without warning or previous illness, Reggie, our shy feral cat from a Nashville parking lot, died a peaceful death within hours of Barbara. They were buried together.

     I pray to never forget the lessons Barbara taught during her precious time with us. Honored to be Barbara's and Reggie's friend, Carol

An Astrologer Looks at the Aspects on the Day of Barbara's Passing

     I have looked closely at the aspects the day Barbara died. It is so interesting to me that she picked Carol's birthday, and so meaningful. Barbara died on a day in which Taurus was at 28 degrees, security strong, earth support strong, nature in harmony. Carol is a Sun Taurus, so an Earth sign, and it was her Solar Return. It is easier for animals and people to go out on special days like birthdays or anniversaries, astrologically, as people generally tend to be more "sun" empowered on that day...hence the loss would be more astrologically supported for Carol, and no doubt Barbara felt that. Two days later (the 20th) the sun went into Gemini, and the transition would have been much more problematic (the twins/split/yes or no/indecision). On that date Mercury was in Gemini, its own sign, so communicating of feelings/thoughts much easier. Venus in Aries (a Fire sign) gives a strength and drive to love that she would have needed if she had felt weakened physically, to express her feelings at the end. Mars was retrograde at 29 degrees Sagittarius, giving a real boost to the spirit's liberation and allowing Barbara (and in harmony with her, Carol) to be sure of her decision (retrograde gives us the opportunity to reassess what we might have overlooked or been pondering). Jupiter is in Gemini, an Air Sign. I feel that this helped Barbara in her transition and gave her lightness of heart and spirit, knowing that Carol was so much with her, and though in emotional pain also was able to share Barbara's joy. Interestingly enough this was EXACTLY the right time for Barbara to make her transition because Saturn just went into Gemini at the beginning of the month. This tends to make people dour, very serious-minded, and takes the light-heartedness away from Gemini. If she had waited, or been held back, this transit would suggest she might have become burdened with uncertainty and perhaps become overly and falsely concerned about what was "expected" of her. 
Andrea Facci

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