Tag Archive | healing

Spiritual Essences

Since 1999, I’ve been grateful for the offerings of Spirit through flower and/or meditative essences. In 2010, I was blessed to be able to attend two workshops with the insightful Ian White: healer, teacher, and co-creator of the Australian Bush Flower Essences (primarily supporting the mental and emotional levels) and the White Light Essences (assisting the inner or soul levels).

This is today’s sweet story, connecting the above with my Celtic journey …

While reading about the Celts, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the need to check my seven White Light Essences and re-order any that I was out of. I hadn’t taken any doses from that line in years. As I made a note to order several of the essences, I decided to re-read the little descriptive book that came with them, the one that outlines where they were made and what their qualities are. I had forgotten that two of them were Celtic in their associations: part of Water Essence was made on the isle of Iona, off the Scottish coast; Devic Essence was made in the Chalice Well Gardens in Glastonbury!

Isn’t that a lovely synchronicity?

Celtic Healing Ways

When we seek beyond patriarchal and Christian overlays upon the Celtic pagan past, we find unexpected treasures within the healing ways that have been handed down, remnants though they might be. The holism that I follow in my personal healing ways for self (and clients) is mirrored by these patterns in Celtic practices: healing is a spiritual path.

Flame Pendant

Talisman

In spite of modern conventional medicines continued efforts to obliterate ancient, traditional, or indigenous healing systems, we regularly see a rise in the latter. Author Noragh Jones points out that, “throughout the history of medicine, ordinary people have gone on using herbal remedies and faith healing alongside or instead of professional medicine.” (P. 137) I believe that the faith healing aspect comprises far more than we currently can conceive, and goes beyond what has been recorded, and unfortunately derided, in history as runes or spells, prayers or magic by wise women and shamans.

Herbalism has an absolutely prominent place in healing. No doubt about it, whether in the past or the present. But there were usually unseen energies (of the plants’ elementals and/or of the spirit realm) that accompanied the herbs in their work and, I believe, were often of greater value to the overall healing itself, as referenced that there is “a sense that illness is some kind of imbalance in the individual, and so mind and body and spirit must be treated as a whole; and a conviction that healing is a spiritual resource as well as a physical process.” (P. 138) Some of the conventional medical establishment is starting to recognize these unseen powers of healing; from the encouragement of meditation and visualization, to healing touch and Reiki, to how nature influences the healing process (being able to see a park or trees outside a patient’s window). Within this realm of unseen healing energies lies Essences and Homeopathics, the bridge remedies that are my passion, and which carry healing on all levels of one’s being. Yet most people continue to leave out the spiritual component to healing.

The unseen energies were especially embraced when it came to protection and warding off evil, but also used within the healing itself. For instance, “the caim or encompassing was a way of encircling oneself or another with the spiritual protection of [one’s Deity] so as to keep at bay danger or distress, death and doom and the malice of ill-disposed persons.” (P. 142) Herbs and plants were used, but it usually wasn’t their physical substances that were being invoked. And, whether we call the encircling based upon psychology or spirituality, I believe they come from the same place: the soul.

As Jones points out: “It was impossible for a people who expressed their spirituality through the ordinary everyday activities, to draw a clear dividing line between their herbal medicine, their part-pagan runes and their faith healing. Healing was a spiritual as well as a practical activity which demanded of the healer not just plant knowledge but a quiet and serious intent, undivided attention, and faith in a power greater than themselves.” (P. 139) This old-world view of holistic healing is one I resonate with; a true healing occurs throughout one’s being, not simply in the body. In fact, if a dis-ease is addressed solely on a physical level, by either healer or recipient, then it will recur, either in the same form and place or, often, by moving elsewhere into an additional area of susceptibility.

Keeping this holism in mind, for those of us who do not collect our own herbs, essences, or homeopathics, we must rely upon our sources for their dedication to the healing path as a sacred one, or at the very least, an honorable calling (i.e., not just in it for the money). Jones reminds us that, “the quiet ingathering of healing energies began when the healer went out to other the healing plants.” (P. 139) This intention would encompass lunar and solar cycles and seasons, as well as the consciousness and spiritual awareness of the healer. Further, the wise woman knew that “as a healer you are only an instrument of higher grace and are nothing in your own right.” (P. 150) The healer would be conscious of the part they played in the healing process, and “had their own preparations to make as well as their charms to utter over the patient. They would bend down and place their two palms on the ground to get in touch, and at the end they would wash their hands in running water, to draw new energy from the earth and to wash away the burden of the disease that they had drawn out of the sufferer.” (P. 153)

Holistic healers were not ignorant of the unseen influences that surrounded them, whether they were of Celtic descent or from elsewhere in the world. Jones states in regard to this that, “Although their treatments were a blend of faith and magic runes and practical herbalism, the Gaels had the beginnings of a system to explain the ills they saw around them and experienced personally in their own lives.” (P. 150) These people believed that much dis-ease was caused by tiny, unseen life forms and energies; they didn’t know how these were inherited but saw that some lines — whether human or animal — were more afflicted than others. Thus, charms or runes were often needed from the healer that went beyond the mere physical: “In many healing runes the feeling is that the hurt or disease is something evil that has found its way into the body and can be shifted out of it if the right formula is found and applied in the right spirit.” (P. 151) From my own perspective, this “evil” arises from our own human frailty, ego and ignorance; from our fear or hate or shame. Since our evil within arises from our own lack of self-realization, then the energies of sacred nature can assist us in addressing that unawareness, and a conscious healer can support this journey. While in our modern society we tend to separate rather than integrate the various functions of wellness providers—we have psychologists and spiritual advisors, therapists, counselors, and medical practitioners—in the past there was more often simply the holistic wise woman of the village.

Beyond the unseen energetics of plants, we have those situated in place or land, from sacred hills or valleys, to sacred springs and wells. We find that, “the spirits of the wells were particular and local, but all were connected with the profound powers of below ground, the underworld of Mother Earth, source of fundamental energies.” (P. 159) There were often animal or tree guardians of these places, themselves imbued with healing powers and to whom offerings were made. But certainly healing springs and wells have been prominent in Celtic past through legends and myths.

Healing work, within and without, has been a part of my own spiritual path for nearly twenty years. Thanks be to Brigid.

___________

For quotes, see Power of Raven, Wisdom of Serpent: Celtic Women’s Spirituality by Noragh Jones; Chapter 6, Woman of Healing.

Unseen Healing

IMG_0456Among the unseen is the healing. This be within air, fire, water, earth, and ether. This be within plant, animal, and mineral. This be within feeling, thought, soul, and spirit. We know not the unseen that brings these into form and formless expression.

I know in my soul that before the patriarchy there was a different perception of life, though we cannot confirm definitively how that was. Our meager human minds seek the solid but pass over the subtle. We see what we want to see. Even among modern pagan paths, rarely is found the expansive vision needed to go beyond substance to subtlety for boundless healing.

Hidden in the past, among the mists of times long ago, before recorded history there was an acceptance that the unseen could do the work without the need of form.

Some accept energy work of the body (“healing hands” or “healing touch”), far fewer embrace the unseen resonance that is beyond the herbs in their physical forms. Many cling to only a substantive view of wise women as herbalists, without opening to the wider and deeper vibrations within the plants, within their elementals. Some accept that magic was normal in bygone eras, yet cannot release an attachment to substance in order to embrace the unseen.

I hold to the frequencies of the unseen in healing. Yet, I too need to go deeper, open wider, allow more freedom of consciousness to touch the true essence of the unseen in healing. Our minds restrict, our souls allow us access.

Bridge remedies, I call them, these Essences and Homeopathics. New method, ancient wisdom. The energetic patterns are the unseen, yet we still feel a need for the carrier. Maybe one day, we won’t.

Thanks be to Brigid for healing in all Her abundant ways.

Sound and Silence and Flowering

stone pattern Gournia - Version 2Sound of silence and the wisdom of the seers are one and the same for among the forests and caves dwell continual pauses of sound, the staccato rhythm that is woodpecker and heartbeat of the ancient tree who spreads her roots and cries her tears of renewal silently replenishing the foundation of existence while her fingers spread wide in a canopy of green velvet healing.

I rose this morning knowing the optimistic joy of childhood before it became unfamiliar and chaotic, before it was filled with so much movement and noise, back when it was simple to feel the sound of silence within.

Sitting meditation outside earlier, the breeze cool, the shadow sweet, the songs were clear and could drown the cultural chaos of voices, car doors, engines, and garbage trucks. Here among the cloud-free sky of infinite blue though I know it is black beyond, here where sun is bright yet ebony curtain will fall upon the stage in a few hours, here is the language that is wanting to emerge but not quite ready…

The flowering of life-wisdom has little to do with toil and struggle yet more to do with the allowing we give to the earth as a container in which seeds can grow their sacred song into the world, where water droplets of morning dew shall quench the thirst of blossom-to-bee, and the metamorphosis of birth happens almost overnight where its essence rises and broadens into pink and green, and rainbows offer a slide for fairies to use as they gather us all up in bunches of colors, we the flowering spirits inhabiting form where forgotten memories pulse in our cells like limpid pools of blissful bubbles.

Can we feel the gap between sound and silence where flowering happens by magic? Where a petal is an arm and the pistil the body and all is reversed according to a non-size where shape doesn’t control because illusion holds the key and the flower swallows it whole? Where does the energy carry us? Where do we allow our flowering to happen? Is it on the outside with action or inside with reality of sound that is not the noise but the resonance of creation?

I walk mindfully upon the gravel where sometimes a footstep merges with the rock and the sharp edges fall away as if there is no it and me, no rock and skin and flesh but only the space between our forms and that is the cushion where illusion disappears if only for an instant. The moment when we exist entirely present as One without separation. And yet the absolute thrill of experiencing form and its diversity. Is it diverse, really, or do I create the impression of difference in my mind so that all I can do is follow along the breadcrumbs of matter spread before me as a buffet? I love the buffet! And to realize that I can wonder in the graceful expression of what energy manifests as well as pause and flower in the gap is truly amazing.

The flowering of life-wisdom is not only the plant but the Goddess within me, within all of us. She is the flower and presents realization with a flourish to say that duality is fun, and filled with choice. We can choose to be led or to lead or to follow our own path no matter what that may be. Form is marvelous but it is not “all.” And while every element is sacred evolving out from Infinite imagination, we are dying, too, and that is an amazing process as well.

I have a fascination with death because it is the very presence of death that allows us to see life before and after, not that we often remember the after while we are in the before. We are one stage, one painting of the Divine — hanging on a wall or set up on a table, just as we see the possibility of microscopic worlds as only the tip of the iceberg. We know so little that we grasp and cling to what we think we know. Even the seers, those who were and are the vision beyond form, they are only barely seeing and hearing for the Infinite is impossible to comprehend.

I can’t create a flower but I can encourage it to grow.

Kore Healing

KoreHealing2Belly breathing,

belly healing,

in stillness

upon Her breast

may I heal,

knowing rest.

A stream of golden fire, nursed in the dark womb, is flowing up from Goddess core (Kore), into my body, She is the molten umbilical, the healing energy of the candle in the night, the hearth fire always burning — la chispa never goes out. Earth Mother holding and supporting, we are joined.

Breathing Prana, in and out, Her power surges through dark and doubt; She flows on currents from sky and space, holding all the scents and sensations of the living breathing top world that turns over light to dark and back again.

Her vibrations spread throughout my body embracing and releasing, cleansing and healing, invigorating, sweeping away the toxins like a broom of straw made with love by hands of earth and air, washed in the river, warmed and dried near the fire of the always burning hearth. She moves in a spiral, dancing within Her Mystery, dancing with Earth Mother and Cosmic Womb.

Reiki flows down from Cosmic Womb, Grandmother Moon the birthing vagina, from within the space of Endarkenment’s blessing, a luminous white stream holds the black of all color, spinning in and out of obsidian to sapphire to turquoise to pale jade, and then into sea-foam where sea-horse dreams are waved into whale song healing.

From Kore is the foundation of who I am in this body, and Prana breathes into me the personality, while Reiki carries soul wisdom. All three are one and I become whole. I walk and laugh with Her glowing Kore of browns, golds, oranges and reds. I am in bliss, peace fills my lungs and beats my heart in translucent waterfalls of rainbows shimmering the Pranic vital force of animation. And Reiki swims my soul into awareness of this precious birth, this incredible life.

Kore and Prana and Reiki are the energies of Maiden and Mother and Crone; the elemental forces that interweave the web of life that is Oneness. Words of naming so flimsy to show Her power and grace that we live into each moment … feeling, breathing, thinking.

When I raise conscious healing energy, we three are One. They are not ‘out there’ somewhere, and I am not merely a channel for their power — we are the same, I am the micro of Her macro, and we are the lotus of She Who is the Great Mystery. Within Her eyes and embrace, there is no separation.

In stillness I receive Her grace and send it everywhere, sharing heart perception of healing with all who are open. Bring it narrow like a beam, growing green shoots of abundant love; send far and wide to embrace our entire world within a web of healing.

Survival

During Sadhana, as I began inadvertently reflecting (my “monkey mind” was jumping around during my spiritual practice) on how I had read “three tales of pilgrimage – Maiden, Mother, Crone,” my occasional scattered thoughts morphed into my own three phases of life which finally resulted in a tremendous cathartic release of my inner ‘bound Maiden’ as to …

I WAS NOT A FAILURE.

I SURVIVED.

Clearly, the abreaction shared below followed partially from the awareness raised during the Dark Moon ritual of last night.

* * *

Crying, sobbing, I realized that I still thought of myself during my Maiden phase of life as a failure, as someone who ‘couldn’t make it,’ who couldn’t meet the mark or live up to the expectations of myself, my ex-husband, my father, or society. That nothing I did was ‘successful’ (the details of my story are not unusual, encompassing everything from spousal abuse to attempted suicide to bankruptcy to falling down untold times). I never made anyone ‘proud’ of me, and I never received acknowledgement of my survival by those in positions of patriarchal authority. Namely … Dad. But this isn’t about him, not really — it’s about me. What do I feel and what did I feel back then? What happened and why? Sobs wracked my body as I lay in ‘bound angle pose’ with my heart open, my lower body open and vulnerable.

I began to express aloud what I was feeling by saying of the Maiden-that-was: “She was not a failure” repeating it over and over. Eventually, I could look inward and say to the Maiden-that-was: “you were not a failure” in mantra. Then, after many repetitions, able to say and feel the reverberations within and without: “I am not a failure.”  Barely getting the words out sometimes through a throat that kept closing, choking, sobbing. Old diaries from my 20s are filled with self-negation and anger, and, yes, at times, self-hatred for failing at so many things in so many people’s eyes, or so I thought. What I didn’t see through my own heart-led vision was that I survived — and that means I am successful. I had courage. I pushed through and found ways to survive, to begin the healing process, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes. It doesn’t matter if others saw my struggle as a struggle. All they could see is what I revealed and what their own eyes were willing to look at. I was vulnerable. And I survived. I made it.

When I sat up from asana … I hugged myself, hugged my inner Maiden who was bound and gagged and left in a dark corner  as unworthy, as a failure. I untied the stiff knots with strong, gentle fingers, and loved her for coming through and surviving. I had embraced the Mother in my 30s without integrating the Maiden — she was abandoned, slowly bound over time until she could barely move. Didn’t want her input — after all, I had thought she was a failure. Except that she wasn’t! She came through for me. She was strong and brave and continuously on the watch for healing grace through Nature. She not only survived — I survived, too.

For the three — Maiden, Mother/Queen, Crone — are intimately connected, constantly shifting. Even when one aspect is prominent, the other two are there, supporting even when unseen, un-felt, unacknowledged (as I had been). They witness, experience and lend their strengths. They are the Goddess Within, the Divine spark that continues to flicker, the powerful feminine energy of Shakti. There have been other steps I have taken toward integration — along the Gaia Path before I even realized what it was — yet I find each one is more profound and, while leading me into the light, also show the way into the caves of renewal to discover more bones and shadows for excavation.

The Dark Moon ritual undertaken last night en-couraged my psyche to go here once more — to uncover a few more stones upon the grave of the Maiden until she was visible once more. The power of ritual can never be underestimated. Outward journeys can reflect and reveal the inward path, helping us along the trail whether it lies in the cave or the ocean or the desert or on the mountain cliffs.

We are all successful. If we are still here, we are not failures. We have survived., are surviving, and even thriving at times when our path is one we can truly see and embrace with love … loving all the parts of ourselves along its edge … bring them into the core and embrace, integrate, heal. Look around at my sister and brother travelers — how many are struggling? Some on the outside, some on the inside — many both. Compassion wells up in me knowing that someone else has bound and gagged an angry part of herself, a part that deserves honor and recognition for surviving life.

I know now where much of my discomfort comes from when seeing an angry person ‘acting out’ … part of me is envious because I didn’t, couldn’t … but that doesn’t make me weak or a coward. I survived. I am not and was not a failure. I’m here and I’m living life full and present, and growing in every moment. So if the person I see is angry .. I feel their pain and hurt, and seek to bring more love, more compassion into our interaction, our community. How can I help? This is what I see through this anger … the anger I bound and gagged in myself, disguising it outwardly as a ‘chipper’ attitude.

And this also doesn’t mean I’ve been living a lie – I haven’t. For much of the past sixteen years, I have felt peace and love and contentment flowing through my life and I have welcomed these graces. I have been living within a safe space of healing and renewal; in a space of the Mother, a home of nurture and nature all around me.

We are a diverse and intricate design, we that are self-named homo sapiens … ‘self-aware’ … self-knowing … supposedly. Maybe after a while? It’s a journey. We are a work-in-progress here in the world of form. I attached myself to a need for recognition from Dad (and thus from other men, as in a partner, my ‘other half’ and all those patriarchal archetypes I was raised to believe in), who was unable to provide any softness or support in that way. I have always known, though, that he loved me and that’s what I need to open to now … the love, just the love. Because maybe he had an angry persona inside him, too. And maybe my freed Maiden can reach across the perceived limitations of death and time and space to hold his hand and just say … I love you. Without reservation or resentment or anger or hurt. Just … I love you.

And I love myself — all parts of me, for I do the best I can in any given moment. Don’t we all? How can we possibly know what someone else needs in their hurt or anger or even joy if we are living with a part of ourselves bound and gagged in the dungeon for being a ‘failure’?

Strong winds, cool air, blue sky, no clouds — dry and uplifting, I could soar with Raven without tiring. The Ravens are huge here in the Southwest, bigger than I’ve ever seen before, bigger than most hawks. Yes, I could fly with Raven right now, navigating the air currents, reflecting the sunlight off of blue-black feathers that shimmer like polished obsidian.

Sitting outside in the dawn of a new day, holding hands with the Maiden, I feel free as she squints into the bright light unseen for so long. That’s okay. I’ll give her my shades, and plop a straw sunhat upon her head. We’ll be fine in the bright sun. We’re survivors.

* * *

I KNEW SOMETHING big was coming out of my inner desire for pilgrimage, I just didn’t know how it was to manifest. And still don’t. This morning’s experience is just the beginning, a glimmer. But to return to how this recent catharsis emerged, I primarily go back to: (1) the Dark Moon ritual, and (2) the reflections upon the three visages of the Divine Feminine.

What I have realized is that if I hadn’t already been renewed in my connection to the Goddess Trinity, through coming full circle on the Gaia Path, I might not have recognized the tragic abandonment I experienced of my inner Maiden. Without my rediscovered resonance of Goddess within and without, and of Her three beautiful faces, I might have overlooked the hidden aspect of my Self that needs healing even though I was looking to the Dark Moon for release and guidance.