Merry Meet Family and Friends!
So, yesterday I had a decidedly strange, frightening and yet, rewarding experience.
I had received an email a few weeks ago from a counselor at psychiatric facility in our area asking if I would be willing to provide Reiki to one of their patients. The patient, who is on medical disability, had limited resources and couldn't afford the customary fees for Reiki.
Now, I know that there's a line of reasoning about Reiki that suggests that there should be an energy exchange, usually in the form of monetary payment, for services rendered. However, I have always had a real problem charging for healing work and will always offer Reiki, free of charge, to those who are unable to afford the same. I know this may not be consistent with the practice of Reiki, but seriously folks, charging patients who are financially struggling for healing, especially given that I have absolutely no overhead, would be something that would keep me awake at night.
Speaking of things that keep me awake at night, this is where things begin to get a little...strange.
The night before I was to meet my patient, I felt an unease that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Yes, he is a permanent resident in a psychiatric facility and has a history of visual and auditory hallucinations, but that really wasn't a concern. I've interacted with psychiatric patients in the past, I was assured that he was nonviolent and that there would someone present during our session. I actually found the prospect of working with this client...fascinating. Yet, I found myself playing this encounter over in my mind, as I tossed and turned, unable to sleep.
Just as I began to dose off, a disturbing image popped into my mind...
Ok, it wasn't Pope Benedict that haunted my dreams, but seriously who can deny this is the face of evil. What's even scarier, this guy is a major "Spiritual Leader?" ::::shudder::::
No, the image was that of someone younger, with dark hair...but the eyes, the eyes were the same. Almond-shaped, heavy lidded and demonic.
I was startled from my peaceful slumber by a totally unexpected "Holy Crap!" moment! Pun obviously intended. The image lingered with me for several minutes as I lay there trying to determine what, if anything, might have prompted it. Nothing obvious came to mind. Still, I have been dealing with some stressful life decisions and so I chaulked it up to anxiety or just one of those weird things that happens as we're drifting off. Yes, that must be it. By the next morning, the incident was completely forgotten.
My patient, David, was a young man who has been schizophrenic since the age of 5. He was very pleasant in a socially awkward kind of way. Upon our meeting, I asked him how he'd been feeling, what was troubling him and how I might be able to help. He explained that he was diagnosed with a schizophrenic disorder, that he was a very spiritual person who enjoyed meditation, yoga and who was interested in Witchcraft. He went on to explain that he was experiencing hallucinations in which he saw the "ghost" of his father. His father is still living, but they have had a very bad relationship. He reported hearing things and being unable to sleep because he felt that things were "poking" him. I asked if he'd been actually practicing any Witchcraft and he told me he had been doing candle spells and some healing work on people.
Ok, so the man obviously has a significant psychiatric disorder, but that doesn't mean that he hasn't peaked the interest of some spiritual entities that may be taking advantage of his weakened mental state. It is said that when you begin practicing Witchcraft, you gain the attention of those entities that are drawn to its energy. I told David that "psychic attacks" while possible, are exceedingly rare. I suggested he discuss these issues with his physicians to see if perhaps he was experiencing the unpleasant side effects of one of his medications. I further explained that he needed to learn to shield himself properly if he was going to continue to practice any type of Witchcraft.
Although, some practitioners prefer quiet, I enjoy having soft meditation music playing during my Reiki sessions. I find it prepares both myself and my patient for the experience.For me, it's kind of like the scent of incense when I first enter ritual space. Even before the Circle has been cast, I'm already there.
When I was ready to begin David's Reiki session, I asked him to lie down and make himself comfortable. I had my back to him as I fiddled with the volume on my IPod. When I turned toward him, I noticed that his eyes, which were piercing blue and almond shaped, were now completely rolled back in his head! Suddenly, the image from my dream the night before came flooding back. My breath caught in my throat and I could feel another "Holy Crap" moment coming on! His eyes remained fixed in this position for the entire hour I was with him, even after he'd fallen asleep. I gotta tell ya, it was friggin' creepy!
When our session ended, he seemed much more calm and happier than when I'd arrived. This was more than enough of an "energy exchange" for me. We chatted a little as I told him the areas that I'd focused on and shared that, in addition to the Reiki symbols I had used, that I'd also surrounded him with some banishing pentagrams, just in case he did have some uninvited guests hanging around.
Afterwards, David left the room and I spoke to his counselor about the possibility of bringing him some Cascaria. Cascaria is a white chaulk made from powdered egg shells. It is used in some practices such as Santeria and Voodoo to aid in protection. I was taught that it can be applied to the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet and the top of the head to ward off unwanted energies..
While I truly believe that David's problem is more psychological, than spiritual, I thought that perhaps this might act as a placebo, should he continue to be convinced that he was under some form of psychic attack. His counselor agreed and thought this was a wonderful idea.
David ran up to me as I was leaving and asked if I had a pentacle that he might buy from me. I told him that I believed I did, but that it would be a gift. He was very pleased!
When I arrived back home, I asked my husband to come out to the deck and to bring some white sage. Given my strange dream and even stranger encounter with David when we'd met, I felt that perhaps some extra precaution might be in order. I truly felt that it would be best not to enter our home until I had thoroughly smudged myself. Once inside, I proceeded to wash my hands with soap and consecrated water. I believe it's always better to err on the side of caution and you know what they say......
In Darkness, Light!!!