Monday, May 7, 2012

Accused of Witchcraft ...

Today I had a flashback to the Salem Witch Trials. And I am not a witch, though my fiction interests are witchy. I would love to write a novel about witches and energy healers. The idea to write a book came about when I enrolled in a creative writing class three years ago. The main character in one of my assignments was a psychic medium, and eventually it evolved into a short story about a witch. Now I see this short story as the first in a series of chapters, but the full novel is still on hold. I am putting all my efforts into graduating from Energy Healing school, writing my Diary of a Psychic Healer book and keeping my day job. Lots of stuff going on! 

So back to real life ... Today I sat down for lunch with a few co-workers. Quite a few of them know about the energy healing classes that I'm taking. They are cool with it. Most of my guinea pigs for class are from work. Hardly any of them know about my psychic readings though, think that would be pushing it too far. 

So one of my colleagues is annoyed with me. He had not said a word to me all week and at lunch, the first thing he blurted out was

"How is it going Regina? Are you still into witchcraft?"


I did a huge double take. So did everyone else at the table. 

"I am learning REIKI! It has nothing to do with witchcraft!"

To clarify, I am learning energy healing. I don't think there is a big difference between the two, but most people have heard of Reiki so it's easier not to explain. I went on to describe my kind of energy healing very briefly: clearing chakras, auras, emotions, etc.  Then came the priceless question: 

"But don't you put ROCKS on people?"

I had to laugh at this one, thankfully so did everyone else.  

"NO! I don't put rocks on people!" 

There is another lady at work who has crystal healing done. He mixed us up, but even then, crystal healing is not "putting rocks on people". One of my colleagues stepped in and told him that she had Reiki done once too, and it was very relaxing. Not weird at all. 

"That's witchcraft, it sounds like witchcraft!" he exclaimed. 

To his credit the words seem very direct on paper but they weren't aggressive in person, and I had to make an effort NOT to laugh. It sounds so absurd! 

I kept pushing back, and he came back with:

"But don't you read tarot?!?" 

"Yes, I do! But so did Carl Jung!" I exclaimed. "The cards have themes that speak to your subconscious. It triggers a response!"

Tarot can work on different levels and one of them definitely is psychological. My Mythic Tarot book says that you should only read for yourself, and that the things that come up will generally hold for about 6 months until your subconscious is in a new place. That being said, there is also a strong intuitive side to tarot. I bought a little spell book as research for my fiction book, and there is a divination spell in there that talks about "guide my hand, and guide my heart" when reading the cards, runes or anything else. I didn't go into details here as I was making the point that I am a healer, and healing is not witchcraft. Not that there's anything wrong with it. I respect it as a spiritual belief system, same goes for Hinduism, Islam, Judaism. It just so happens that witchcraft has a very negative connotation, probably a result of the power struggles during the times of the Inquisition and the Witch Trials.  

I remember leaving a comment on a pagan blog a few months ago. It was during the Faith Blog contest, the one with all of the hoopla about whether or not pagans should be allowed to compete in faith-based competitions. A couple Christian bloggers started protesting and a huge blogg-o-war broke out. It was interesting to read but I stayed away from posting because a) I don't know enough about pagan religions to have an informed opinion, and b) thanks to my hobbies, the extreme Christians weren't going to listen to me anyway. My only comment was about how little people know about witches nowadays, how much of our intuitive and healing past was driven underground by the Inquisition, and how anything that seems spiritually paranormal is branded as witchcraft. This is particularly true for psychic readings, tarot, healing etc. 

The thing that baffles me about our lunchtime conversation is how he made the jump from healing to witchcraft and missed psychic? To be fair, that isn't something I mention at work. What would be worse, to be mistaken for a witch at work or a psychic? In the first case I would just say it isn't true, in the 2nd case I am not sure what I would say? Either way I sense a short story coming on! My imagination kept going wild after this session and though I intend to keep my thoughts and my mirrors positive at work,  I might write some past-life-persecution into one of my fictional pieces. Funny thing is I'd been thinking about this as a potential plot, and just hadn't gotten around to writing it! So exciting!

2022 Update: I wrote this post ten years ago! Since then, I’ve published a book on intuition, healing & magick with a chapter on crystals (See HERE) 😅💙

Please Join Me Below!
Reiki hugs, Regina 

Image: (October 2020)


  1. lol indeed! The ignorance of some people is simply laughable and this one is.
    Unfortunately a lot of culturas don't really know much about lots... I grow up with witchcraft, mediumship, spirits, Catholicism but I can't find the right word to describe what I can do - healing! As you I have to say Reiki, because the new generation have heard of it, if I use the translation of healer I get 'curandeira' and that is more of someone who invokes spirits, etc... Some cultures when we talk of energy they can only think spirits and negativity... Shame... xxxx

  2. I know just how you feel because I don't fall into any "conventional religion" but consider myself as Wiccan...which some people believe as witchcraft. I just believe in a higher power, that power being Nature.
    I read Tarot cards, if I feel I need an answer to a problem, and I also use runes and Angel Cards too. That doesn't mean to say that I am a witch.
    Times change, and more and more people are looking at things differently. Don't be put off by them. Even my own G.P. practises Yoga...and I don't for one second believe she is a witch! ;)

  3. Uuu, there's a huge difference between energy healing and Reiki - trust me, you'll notice the difference once you're attuned to Reiki :).

    1. My teacher is also a Reiki master and she tells me that it all comes from the same place .... Don't get all jurisdictional on me =P

    2. Hmm... OK, maybe you work with some other kind of "source energy" - but Reiki, from the Source, and energy healing by the use of your own Chi (energy) are two different things. Of course, in the end we are all one, but let's draw a line between philosophy and practical experiences :). Oh, anyway - you'll read about Reiki from my next e-book which I'm about to send you soon :).

  4. Sorry Nathan but 'energy healing' or 'spiritual healing' or 'healing' or 'crystal healing' or 'reiki' should all be a way of channeling the energy from the 'source' 'the essence' 'the mother earth' 'God' 'Universe' etc... so as you can see many names, maybe even different techniques but all the same! We healers should at all times be only a channel not ever give our own 'chi' :) if we do and some do :( then we not doing our job well. That is why we dont get tired and in fact some of us even feel quite energized :) Love and Light to you xxx

  5. Ahhhh the old 'reiki vs energy healing' chestnut... :-)

    I remember someone once asked Barbara Brennan her views on reiki. She said that when she observed a reiki healing, a geometric form appeared which beamed energy into the client, filling them up with energy. She said that was a fine way of channeling energy, but isn't a substitute for the healer doing their 'personal development work', as it's really important they be able to stay present and compassionate and neutral etc when stuff comes up for the client. Which it inevitably will, if a healing process is begun.

    From my own thoughts/opinions/observations, I have two things to share..

    1) Reiki is a very 'crown chakra' energy. Which is great. But it's just one frequency, and we need the whole range of frequencies from earth/root chakra to crown in order to be healed (whatever that means..!). We need healthy sensuality/sexuality, which comes from the healer having a good 2nd chakra of their own, so they can transmit that kind of life force. We need healthy 3rd chakra energy, and 4th chakra, and 5th chakra, and so on.
    ... It's absoloutely true that other energies can come into a reiki session, for example the practitioner can be very grounded (which will bring some earthy chi in- YES!), but then what's happening is a blend of reiki and non-reiki healing. Just like lifting out energy-blocks or working with guides/crystals etc isn't really reiki.

    From one perspective, healing is the channeling of energy/source/chi etc. From another perspective, it is a re-education, or re-parenting: providing a healthy model that the client's system can learn; holding experiential states for the client's learning/healing. For example, I know of no greater healing than simply holding a state of unconditional love and acceptance for a person, whilst in contact with them. If you do that, something very amazing happens, unrelated to the channeling of energy.
    ... Being able to hold such a state (deeply, not just in a pretend kinda way) is quite a challenge..!

    But yeah, there's an important aspect of healing in which it's like "wordless psychotherapy". IMO, that's the most important side of it. Where the energy is channeled from doesn't really have a bearing on this aspect.

    2) This talk of channeling from 'Source'.. It always sounds like this source is external. It's something 'out there', and the healer just has to connect to it, and then move out of the way. Great. Buuut, Source is INTERNAL. In a sense, the purpose of healing is to clear the incarnational pathways from source to aura to body. That's an inside-out healing.
    It's philosophically quite different from bringing energy in 'from above', which I think is how many people think of as healing: as if a little doorway opens to heaven for the angels and god and ascended masters and source to pour energy down into. Not that there's anything wrong with working with divine beings, but I think the way people think about healing and healing work and reiki and source and evolution etc, reflects the huge mother-frackin' elephant in the room:

    The idea that we humans, at our core, are 'bad' (not spiritual), and growing means 'ascending' (meaning, moving away from) our Selves.

    This comes across in Western religions as the idea of sin (original sin anyone?) and in Eastern traditions as impurity etc. Even if you're not religious, it's likely it's still how you think of these things, because you were raised in a country and culture imprinted with that belief.

    Gah, I want to keep writing, but I know this is already a long reply :-P. To summarise, I'll say that I'm probably quite Jungian in my approach to healing, lol.

  6. Oooh! This debate is very interesting!

    I really know next to nothing about Reiki so I can't comment on that ....

    My understanding of energy healing is that we channel healing energy into the client and use that to clear blocks on many different levels. Where does this energy come from? I don't think I'm passing on my own physical energy, otherwise I would be exhausted (and how much good would that do anyway) ... I do think it comes from some divine source, but we also have a spark of that divinity in us and maybe that is the personal connection? I don't know =)

    I think my understanding of how I heal is shaped by the visualisations we used in the early days of class. We would start with a grounding chords to anchor ourselves, then we would visualise a connection from our crown chakra to the highest source of light. I would imagine that energy travelling down to me, to my heart and then to my hands. I think that visualisation serves the purpose of attracting the highest vibrational energy. I don't actually feel it entering through my head though so maybe that is just a "mind trick" to help us students attune?

    The connection could just as easily happen at any other point inside us, and at the end of the day the intention is what counts. I do see value in channeling "high vibe energy". Maybe it just serves to filter out all of our own personal non-compassionate/critical junk? =)

    Thanks for all the great comments =)

  7. ps ... I don't think we gain anything by "splitting hairs" and trying to separate all of the different kinds of healers into buckets. It makes it too easy for individual egos to say one type of healing is better than another, and I think they are all great. There are potential clients who would benefit from each kind of healing. No point dividing and conquering ourselves ....