While taking stock of my book collection this week, I was struck by how many books I have on the subject of healing. Some are devoted to Reiki, others deal with auras, and still others focus exclusively on chakras. Moving on down the shelf, I paused over the section on herbs—lingering over the titles and flipping through pages, as if meeting old friends again. When I first began to study the art and practice of witchcraft, I fell in love with all things herbal. Being a double earth sign—Virgo sun and Capricorn moon—perhaps it isn’t all that surprising that plants would call to me. I studied their properties, both practical and magickal, and I felt as though I had discovered a portal into the era of potions, tinctures, and apothecaries. Since I have never tolerated synthetic drugs very well, it was gratifying to know that I had alternatives if I needed them.
Although I felt a kinship with the plant realm, the study of herbal cures just led to more questions about why people get sick in the first place. What causes dis-ease? Granted, we are constantly exposed to environmental stressors, and we don’t always treat our bodies with the care and respect they deserve. Sometimes we are to blame for the minor ailments that manifest at the most inconvenient times. It’s important to get adequate rest and nutrition, to find constructive ways to deal with stress, to shield from the negative missiles that others fire at us, and to connect with our spirit guides. All of these things go a long way toward maintaining good health.
But what about ‘incurable’ cancers and other illnesses that offer little hope of recovery? What about the chronic illnesses that latch onto the body, slowly destroying the person’s physical stamina and emotional well-being over a number of years? Those questions led me down the path to energy healing. It made sense to me that deep emotional wounds and repetitive attacks on the psyche could result in minor or major physical symptoms.
Just treating the symptoms doesn’t always bring the body and spirit back into balance, however. If it did, then the drug companies wouldn’t be quite so profitable. As Ruth White notes in Energy Healing for Beginners, “To heal ourselves deeply, rather than merely being satisfied with removing symptoms, we may need to understand what they are telling us and be prepared to make such life changes as allow the true self to shine through. If we listen to symptoms in depth at an early stage, we may not need to become seriously ill in order to shift the pattern.”
Energy healing is about shifting that pattern. It is a journey back to wholeness, and there are many methods.
In the Appalachian community where I was raised, it was common to see “folk healing” being practiced in the small churches that dot the rural landscape. A member of the congregation who desired healing would kneel at the altar, the minister would anoint him or her with oil, and the entire church would encircle the congregant and offer up their prayers. As a child, the prayers sounded like chants to me, since they would start out in soft tones and gradually get louder as the energy increased. Then the prayers would return to whispers, a hush would fall over the crowd, and the congregant would stand up, seemingly renewed by the experience.
Today, I would recognize this as raising a cone of power, which is what witches do in a magick circle (our sacred space) when we need to harness universal energy for a specific purpose. We may cast a circle, call forth the elements, chant the Witches Rune, and invite different deities into our midst, but the same principles of energy work still apply. In both cases, a successful outcome depends upon the power of belief. If you are the healer, then you cannot allow doubt to enter your mind. If you are the one seeking healing, then your own degree of acceptance or resistance will often determine how quickly you recover.
When practicing Reiki, there have been times when I’ve sensed blocks (or energy stagnation) in areas of the body that simply wouldn’t release on the first treatment. This baffled me in the beginning, but then I realized that both the healer and the patient must meet each other halfway in order for the process to work. I could channel the energy, but I couldn’t control whether or how it was received.
Sometimes we hold onto our pain. Sometimes we define ourselves by our illness instead of our greatness, but we are so much more than our physical presence here on the material plane. I’ve met people who wear their diagnosis like a badge, and I’ve also met people who embrace life with courage and love, regardless of what their doctors say. As I’ve heard it said many times, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Let us remember this so that we may heal each other and be healed. Blessed Be.
These are a few of my own healing affirmations that I use whenever I’m feeling a bit depleted. Holding rose quartz or turquoise always gives me a boost as well.
I release all pain, all worry, and all suffering to Raphael, the mighty Archangel of Healing. Every cell in my body is whole, healthy, and alive with divine energy.
I surround myself in vibrant colors of healing, from deepest indigo to calming emerald. I dance and sway in the swirls of color, and my aura is swept clean from all negativity.
From root chakra to crown, I am open and receptive to all healing energy that is sent for my highest good. I allow my spirit guides to help me on this journey, and I trust that all is well in body and soul.
I invoke blessed Hygieia, goddess of health and healing, for the prevention of illness. May her light surround me, may her wisdom guide me, and may her powers protect me.
My Favorite Books on Healing
- Chakra Balancing: A Guide to Healing and Awakening Your Energy Body by Anodea Judith
- Energy Healing for Beginners: A Step-By-Step Guide to the Basics of Spiritual Healing by Ruth White
- The Reiki Touch by William Lee Rand
- Your Auras and Your Chakras: The Owner’s Manual by Karla McLaren
- Your Hands Can Heal You by Master Stephen Co & Dr. Eric Robins, with John Merryman
My Favorite Healing Music
- The Heart of Healing by Karen Drucker
- Spirit Healing Chants by Sophia
- Chakra Healing Chants by Sophia
- Koyasan: Reiki Sound Healing by Deuter
- Dakshina by Deva Premal
- Call of the Mystic by Karunesh
- As Above So Below: A Healing Journey Through the Elements with Sonic Angel Music by Candace Keach