“Kelly makes it easy to understand how we can get to know ourselves better and act with confidence and purpose in our personal and professional lives.”

Kelly Eckert is a master weaver of fate and destiny —strong yet gentle, able to bridge light and shadow. She has intricately spun together her life experiences, professional education, specialized training, captivating personality and intuitive abilities to craft her unique role as a shamanic coach and consultant. Calling upon the wisdom of the animal kingdom, Kelly helps clients “animate” their lives by evoking their unseen aspects and being fully seen—by others and especially to themselves. 

Kelly’s life path—a compelling story of its own—has uniquely qualified her to help others fully embrace who they are. Told from a young age that she “should” become a lawyer, Kelly dutifully conquered Harvard University— cum laude—with a bachelor’s degree in biological anthropology and a graduate teaching certification. Next came a masters in biology from Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and a year at the Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business, studying marketing and leadership. While busy fulfilling someone else’s dream for her, Kelly secretly yearned to become a poet and artist.


So she dropped out of business school, dove into the art world and became a visual artist (previously under the pseudonym Ana Kelly). Her day jobs for the next decade were that of a graphic designer, marketing consultant and freelance editor. She continued to perform, her latest, “The 31st Chair”, a collaboration with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Attack Theatre dance company.

Then in 2008, her father took his life, the tragic consequence of not having been true to himself. A stark reminder that fear can be fatal, his death impelled Kelly to break free of preconceptions and fully live her truth.

Always captivated by nature, Kelly began her journey back to her true self by recalling her adventures as a child in the hills and bayou behind her house. There, she encountered turtles, snakes, crawfish and more, often feeling a closer kinship to animals than people. Remembering this, Kelly drew upon her education in biological-anthropology to comprehend what it really means to be human, and dove deeply into spiritual studies (particularly shamanism). Soon, Kelly had re-emerged as a phoenix from the ashes of her own despair into an empowered new life calling as a coach who summons the wisdom and translates the behaviors of animal archetypes in order to help her clients understand themselves.


Once trapped in a web of other’s expectations, Kelly now helps others reclaim their natural instincts and free their wild selves. She incorporates principles from the field of ecopsychology—the idea that nature and wilderness positively influence human happiness and health—and concretizes them in a pragmatic way that both coaches and clients can use for general wellbeing, as well as for achieving personal and professional goals.

As a certified MentorCoach, Kelly is a no-nonsense guide who helps clients go into the shadow, express their soul-level gifts, and reach their highest vision for life. She loves working with innovators and visionaries, artist and performers, game-changers and problem-solvers, and mavericks who want to rethink the rules.

Kelly is the author of four nonfiction books, including the award winning What’s Your Spirit Animal? A Guide to Uncovering Your Gifts, Overcoming Challenges, and Claiming Your Personal Power. She speaks internationally on the topics of releasing fear and unleashing the animal within. She is actively involved in environmental advocacy, wildlife conservation and human rights.


  • Bachelor of arts degree cum laude in biological anthropology from Harvard University
  • Master of science degree in biology from Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • High school biology teacher certification from the Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Studied marketing and leadership at Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business
  • Training in nonviolent communication, meditation, conflict resolution, and shamanism
  • International Coach Federation life coach certification training from MentorCoach®
  • Reiki Master/Teacher



  • My film “Dotted Lines” (part of my first solo art exhibition) was selected and shown in the first juried shorts at the Three Rivers Film Festival in November 2003.
  • I love SCUBA diving, snorkeling, video gaming and am a Trekker (my favorite series is “The Next Generation” and favorite movies are the 2009 JJ Abrams Star Trek film and 1982’s “The Wrath of Khan”).
  • I don't like to travel to different countries without first learning enough of the language to be conversant. I once taught myself a workable amount of Polish on a flight from London to Warsaw. I speak French and Spanish, as well as a smidgen of Russian, Japanese, Italian, Mandarin, German and Portuguese. 
  • I want to travel to outer space before I die. Hello, Virgin Galactic!
  • I am passionate about wildlife conservation and human rights, particularly LGBTQ rights, and am actively involved in causes that support them.
  • I have overcome paralyzing arachnophobia. Now, spider is one of my power animal (I tested it by holding a friend’s tarantula).

Kelly Eckert's book is a concise, clear guide to getting to know and understand your spirit animals. She has really brought together the information on understanding how animals work in your life, and getting to know them intimately.

— Amazon reviewer