Reiki

Energetic Cording

When we have any sort of relationship with someone, we form an energetic cord to them. 

Some of these cords, such as to people who we have just met, the checkout person at the supermarket, and others who we have not shared experiences or shared any sort of kinship with, are likely small, thin, and harder to perceive.

Every person we come across, every person that has crossed our path is some seemingly insignificant way we have formed a cord to.

If we have never energetically worked with cords, the number of cords that we could have from these seemingly insignificant and meaningless encounters could number in the hundreds. Or the thousands.

Some of these cords naturally resolve. But others we need to take care of to maintain energetic hygiene.

What is energetic hygiene? It is the goal of being as clear as possible of other peoples’ stuff. Throughout our days, and our lives, we collect a lot of energy that is not ours– emotions, stressors, and cords are some of the most common things to stick to our energetic field (the area immediately surrounding our physical body) as well as inside our physical body.

We like to think of ourselves as concrete, physical creatures but we are simply energy. Condensed energy that is. Our physical bodies are nothing more than energy that has grouped together and condensed to create our physical form. So it is common for other energies– those from our environment, from other sources, and from other people to energetically take up some of our space when it shouldn’t.

Energy hygiene to me means that we have practices and tools to maintain our own physical bodies as solely ours. Tools to realize what energies are within us, surrounding us, or approaching us. Most of us do not have these skills and are dealing with the effects of energy that is not ours impacting us.

How do cords impact us? In insignificant relationships (which we may have hundreds or thousands of cords to) we may simply feel unclear, fatigued, or uncertain. We may be so used to having so many cords that we are used to this state. Most of us have not learned the tools to understand and work with energetic cords, how to discern what energies are impacting us (what is ours and what is not), and what to do about it.

In more significant relationships, where we have developed more significant cords/connections to the person, we may have a variety of symptoms that are more pronounced. Exacerbated fatigue, illness, feeling waves of emotion, suddenly recalling the person whom we are corded to even though our relationship has long passed, not being able to move past a relationship we may have had, or not being able to heal trauma or experiences from a current relationship.

Working with cords is one of the most important aspects of energy work you can do. There is nothing like the sudden clarity that comes from releasing one toxic cord, or hundreds of seemingly insignificant cords.

Working with cords can help you release emotions, past events, past relationships, and come to new understandings about who you are. The release of cords wrapped up in family situations, in friendships, or with lovers/relationships can help you heal significant relationships in your current life. The removal of cords to people of the past can help release hurt and simply move on in a powerful way in your life.

This subject is so important, and is rarely talked about beyond a beginning level. In order to help the most people with this I have developed a course called Basic and Intermediate Cord Cutting and Clearing.

This course will take you through the basics of what a cord is, how to sense them, and how to cut and clear them. In the intermediate section it goes over how to work with cords that remain and how to release them over time, or through understanding the emotions, experiences, lessons, and energies involved in significant cording. Also discussed is the phenomena of “energy vampires” and the basics of how to recognize this phenomena and how to empower yourself so you are not a victim of one.

This work is suggested for really anyone, but especially anyone who is sensitive, who does energy work or spiritual healing, or who interacts with a lot of people on a regular basis– especially people in the helping professions, such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, social workers, retail workers, teachers, and more.

It is available on Amazon kindle here, or you can purchase the course through me here. If you are outside of the U.S. and wish to purchase the course through me, simply contact me so you can purchase it through Paypal.

And, as always, if there is a particularly difficult cord that you are working with and need guidance or help healing, you can contact me to set up an appointment for us to work on it together.

And yes, an Advanced Cording Course is in the works. Stay tuned for more details!

Spiritual Bathing: The Basics

One of the tools that I recommend most to my patients who are energetically sensitive in any way is spiritual bathing. Although it sound a bit trite to say (and to read I am sure) the practice of spiritual bathing has completely turned my life around. I used to be consistently exhausted, overwhelmed, and felt ill consistently (with illness that nobody could figure out) due to the amount of spiritual stimulus that was around me. This was despite knowing how to ward (protect myself and my home), how to clear my space, having proper boundaries, claiming my body, working through my traumas and illusions, and doing all of the multitude of practices that have helped me to become whole, given me power, and facilitated understanding on a rather deep level.

Despite all of this I still was overwhelmed because of my sensitivities. I could ward, banish, clear, cultivate my light and compassion and do everything “right” and because I was so sensitive I still was overloaded from seeing too much, from sensing too much, and from feeling the effects of the amount of energies attracted to me and just simply that surround me.

Spiritual bathing comes from pretty much every culture on the planet. It is mentioned in the Bible, it is mentioned in most forms of folk practices and magic from Greece to China to Africa. At its simplest, spiritual bathing is just as it sounds. It is bathing in herbs and minerals for a specific purpose. 

Spiritual bathing can be done for anything. It can be done to clear energy from you (or from inside of you), release emotions/trauma, clear blocks, bring in new opportunities and money, engender romance, for fertility, for protection, sealing of the energies around you, and simply for relaxation.

The prescribing of specific herbs and minerals for spiritual bathing should be done by an experienced root worker, root doctor, or folk practitioner who understands the spiritual properties of specific herbs and minerals and who can come up with an exact prescription of what ingredients you should use to help your exact situation.  (Yes, I do this, and it is often part of the “homework” I give people after a spiritual healing session)

That being said, there are basic ingredients that we can all utilize that are wonderful for most of us to gain the benefits of spiritual bathing. I have included a few of my basic, favorite baths below, and then will tell you how spiritual bathing is done.

Clearing and Releasing Baths
My favorite “basic” bath is a salt bath. This can be as simple as getting dead sea salts or Epsom salts, putting a cup in the bathtub, and soaking in it, with the intent that anything that is not yours and/or anything that wants to clear, can do so.

One of my other favorite baths is with coconut. Ideally you would get a whole coconut, drill three holes in it, put the coconut water in the tub and again intend that anything that is not yours will clear. In some Caribbean traditions you would then fill up the coconut with the dirty bath water (it doesn’t have to be a lot) and release the coconut into the sea or ocean, or at the very least crack it by some sort of body of water to signify that the old energy is leaving and that new energy can come in.

Nurturing and Romance
Goats Milk 
is both mildly clearing as well as deeply nurturing, and is a part of many prescriptions for fertility. The addition of rose petals can nurture as well as allow for a woman to feel romantic about her male partner, or lavender is classically used for women who wish to feel romantic about their female partner.

Protection
Any of the clearing herbs can certainly help with protection, but the addition of rosemary will help women to feel protected, especially women who have children. Rue is an herb that is specific to clear negativity and to protect you from negative energy sent from others.

Clearing Jinxes and Crossed Conditions, Starting Anew
Some spiritual situations are incredibly complex or more serious than simply taking a salt bath. Herbs like hyssop combined with agrimony and rue are an excellent place to start. This is a simple prescription for those who have had any sort of magic done against them, or who are spiritual workers to ensure any negativity or backlash has been cleared. Parsley is often used to banish or clear more difficult spirits or energies from us (temporarily, but effectively).

For complex situations (yes I am repeating myself) an individualized prescription is often necessary. Spiritual bathing can be a simple way to work with a variety of situations– from simply creating a fresh start for ourselves, for general release and clearing or “blockbusting”… to specific or difficult situations such as spirit release, undoing the work of others against us (or our subconscious work against ourselves)… to engendering romance, fertility, protection, and better finances and general flow in our lives.

How Spiritual Bathing works
You will simply gather your ingredients. For loose herbs (either dried or fresh) so you do not mess up your bathtub you have two choices:

  1. Put the herb in a large bowl, bring up some water to a boil, and cover the herb with the water and let it steep. When it gets dark/infused, strain it, bring the water portion up to the bath and pour it in with the rest of the water.
  2. Get an empty teabag or cheesecloth and put the herb in. Then put it in the hot water of your bath and let it steep a bit.

For salt you can simply put a cup or two into the bottom of your bathtub. For the coconut you would drill the holes before getting in the bathtub, and simply bring it in the bath with you.

There is no set amount for ingredients, but like a loose leaf tea, you want there to be enough of an impact that the water changes color, that you can smell the herbs, and that you can sense their presence while bathing. There is no set amount for ingredients– meaning that you may choose to take a salt and rosemary bath, or a goats milk and rose petal bath. Or even a salt, hyssop, agrimony, parsley, and rue bath to hedge your bets. With combining ingredients you want to ensure that you are not canceling one out, or adding too many purposes to one bath. You would not want to take a clearing bath and a romance bath at the same time, for example. You would take the clearing bath and then on a separate day take the romance bath. Unless you know what you are doing, simple is often best. A simple salt bath can make a world of difference to someone who is sensitive if done regularly.

How often do I do this?
I suggest to most people that they do a spiritual cleansing bath once a week. Again this can be a simple salt bath.

What do I do?
After gathering the ingredients and putting them in the bath, you will get in the bath. You will state your intent (this bath will clear any negativity, any energy that is not mine, allow for me to move forward in my life, clear any energies/entities, protect me, etc). You may choose to call in a spiritual guide before getting into the bath or utilize source energy/reiki to bring extra energy and intent into the bath as well. Often this is really not necessary, however.

You will then get into the bath and basically take a bath. There are many different cultures who do spiritual bathing and some of them utilize cups (for example) to take the bath water and pour it over the head, letting it run down to the feet.

Many of the directions for spiritual bathing were created in cultures before there were bathtubs, or when they were quite expensive, so I suggest to most people to simply immerse themselves in the bath after stating their intent and allow for the bathwater to be poured or streamed over you head to feet for clearing purposes… and feet to head for anything you want to gain (protection, romance, money, for example). This can be as simple as cupping your hands and pouring a bit over the top of your head and then gently sweeping your body in a downward fashion until you reach your feet.

You then get out of the bath. Like I said, a simple salt bath is often quite effective (just pouring in some salt, sitting in it and saying your intent of clearing, and then getting out). I find that the ritualization of spiritual bathing (or the “classical” rootwork methods) to be quite effective. These are not absolutely necessary, but if you are dealing with a lot of negativity or struggle or you think someone is working against you are something is attached to you, I do suggest doing the ritual in full.

The full ritual:
In rootwork, the bath is often taken at or just before dawn. A portion of the bathwater is saved. You would get out of the tub and air dry. Some people like to step out of the tub between two white candles that are lit to signify that a fresh start is being made. I do find that it is a lovely way to do things.

You would then get dressed, put any clothes you were wearing in the laundry, and bring the portion of the bathwater that you saved to a crossroads (basically where any road intersects with another road). You would then dump out the bathwater you saved over your left shoulder and go back home, taking a different route than you took on the way there. You would not look back at the crossroad that you dumped the water at.

The modified ritual:
Most people who are not in severe situations, or who are willing to make spiritual bathing a routine (as in once or twice a week, or once a week and whenever they are feeling “off”) that they will stick to will do a modified ritual.

You would bathe the same way, collect a portion of the bathwater, step out between the two candles, and then drop the bath water off at a crossroads, in a brook or stream, or ask permission of a tree or other natural object to mulch or dispose of the water for you.

The modified ritual cuts out the air drying, the timing portion, and the ritual of the crossroads (at least to the extent of not needing to do it at dawn, pouring over left shoulder, etc).

A simple bath:
Like I mentioned, most people could really just use a salt bath. Just put the salt in the tub, get in and state your intent, and soak for 10-20 minutes or so.

This cuts out need for downward motion for clearing, collecting bath water, timing, ritual aspects, etc. But even doing a simple salt bath once a week, if done regularly, can clear a lot of energy.

It sounds so simple, but often the simple things are the most effective… we just really want things to be complex because our minds think they will work better. When I began spiritual bathing I didn’t know much about the spiritual properties of herbs and did a salt bath (simple version) once a night for seven nights. My health immediately improved, my fatigue lessened, my energetic space became clearer and clearer. I do realize as a clinician that salt baths also contain a lot of magnesium and minerals that are highly effective, but the effect of not having so much energetic “junk” around me even with the simple bath was astonishing to me. The gradual addition of herbs to help clear, protect, banish, or break through negativity, to nourish, or to bring certain elements to my life as well as the ritualized, classical aspects of it has had an astronomical impact on my life and on my practice.

If you are looking to begin a practice of spiritual bathing, you can contact me for a reading or appointment. Like I mentioned, these are the very, very basics of doing these practices, and with the right prescription the results can be really beautiful. But the practices mentioned are an excellent start at integrating spiritual bathing into your life.

 

Spiritual Advice: What is Wrong with being a Lightworker?

Dear Mary:

I enjoy reading your blogs. It is nice that it is not a repeat of information like so many blogs tend to be. I appreciate the time and effort that you put into teaching about things that go beyond what is commonly taught or thought about. I do have a question though. In some of your blogs you talk about lightworkers. You speak about how you take issue with lightworkers and what they are doing, but I am not 100% clear why. I am a long time Reiki master and can see how there are some issues, but can you clarify this for me?

In appreciation,

Mel

Hi Mel-

Thanks for the email! (If anyone wants to submit a question for my spiritual advice column they can by contacting me with the heading “spiritual advice” and I will answer it if it would make a good blog and/or I am able to).

I have no difficulty with bringing more light into the world, of people doing good or thinking positively. We actually need that in this world, and more of it is always wonderful. What I take issue with is the lightworker community thinking that anything “not light”– and by that I mean their individual and often very puritanical and judgmental version of what “not light” means is– is “bad”, “wrong”, “ego”, or whatever modifier they put on it and is cast aside so that they can only focus on the “light”.

Lightworkers often use the “light” as a way to judge everyone around them (even if they are talking constantly about how “nonjudgmental” they are) and use only focusing on the “light”, the safe, the positive as a way to not look at the world around them, to not look at people, cultures, economic realities, or other situations different than them, and often to not do anything but sit in judgment and victim blame people who are having difficulty in their lives.

It is easy when life is going well to judge other people for attracting negative elements in their lives. It is easy to say that there is a reason for everything, and if something negative happens to someone (diseases, murders, rapes, finances, homelessness, and even smaller things like bugs in the house or cars breaking down, for example, or for spiritual happenings anything from curses to spirits in the house to bad dreams) that they deserved it and/or attracted it to themselves. This is utter bullshit (pardon my language). There are so many different layers of existence, and the reason that a five year old is homeless, or that a woman (or man) just got raped or mugged or killed often has nothing to do with them. And if it does, it has to do with karma (as in, not the new-age definition of karma but as in they are replaying or dealing with an action in a prior lifetime that only vaguely has to do with them in their current incarnation).

As much as the “lightworker” community feigns ignorance (or is actually ignorant) there is more out there than just you creating the universe singularly. There are societal, communal, and global energies that create the world… and beyond that cosmic flows…and we all have ancestral, family, and even past life patterns informing our current existence. Most of us are not aware of any of these patterns and how they make up and/or inform our singular existence. Although it can be really comforting to think in an odd way that a starving five year old somehow “attracted” this energy to her and if you just think positively you will never be homeless, or need food, or have to deal with anything “dark” it simply isn’t true.

The other huge illusion in the “lightworker” community is one of control. All lightworkers I have met have this huge illusion of control. That if only they think correctly, or go to the right amount of yoga classes, or only “journey” to the upper and lower worlds in core shamanism, or don’t read or look at “dark” or “bad” things, that they will be in control of every aspect of their lives and their outer world and their lives will be complete enlightened bliss. This isn’t what any version of actual awakening is like (read my what it is like to be awake here) but helps lightworkers feel like they are in control of everything, including the cosmos, and if they are just positive enough they will get the new car or house they have been wanting.

The biggest difficulty I have with lightworkers, though… is not that they are judgmental, or lack compassion, or victim blame, or try to control everything in the world around them out of a huge misguided fear of control and sub-realization that they are not in fact in control (which is where all of this fear and need for control actually comes from, and why so many of these LOA and other “gurus” can so easily create memes and programs and illusions that are rather meaningless but incredibly popular), and all of the illusions… it is that they do not take care of their own issues, and with the amount of light that grows the amount of darkness grows that needs tending. 

Let me explain. When you take Reiki classes, or you go to a Shamanic workshop, or start getting interested in whatever spiritual or religious path there is a good chance that you will, at least temporarily, be growing your light. In simple terms, this means that the possibility of awakening, or awakening has started… you are beginning to remember or understand your spiritual path (or at least be interested in it), and you are actively sending energy into the world and being in the world in that state.

This can be wonderful. We need more light in this world. But the more light you are aware of the more darkness comes up. It comes up to heal, to be worked with… and to be loved. Darkness isn’t “bad”. It is beautiful. It is as beautiful and special and crucial for awakening as the “light”. It is all light, in fact, the darkest black and the whitest white.

But anyone who is on a spiritual path, anyone who is on any sort of healing path, anyone who is in the awakening process has a responsibility to take care of their own shit. You cannot fault people who are asleep for reenacting their patterns again and again, for putting themselves back to sleep when they are wounded or feel out of control. But people who are awakening are having their issues rise to the surface. Their issues are more active, basically. And these issues, if not taken care of, go into the consciousness of the collective grids. 

Basically, anything you do not take care of is taken up by the collective shadow, by societal, communal, and world energies. It is how war is created, it is how the Kardashians are created… And people who are “awakening” (which all lightworkers are to some degree) have a bunch of energy that is “dark” or rather uncomfortable that is coming up to deal with. And most of them do not. So it goes out into the world.

That is my difficulty with the lightworker community. That beyond the many illusions of control that are created (I still think it is odd anyone thinks they can control the cosmos let alone the spiritual realms)…that beyond the fact that I frequently work doing “fix-it” work from well-meaning but ignorant spiritual practitioners who victim-blamed people, who didn’t help people, or who screwed people up royally… that beyond the fact that they think that everything can be taken care of by sending white (or purple, whatever the trend is these days) light… that lightworkers are not taking care of their own issues that are arising, so those issues are becoming a part of the collective grids, and are just adding on more illusion, more sleep, more anger, more fear, more control issues, more shadow into a world that is already drowning in illusion and neglect of anything considered “dark” or “bad”.

It is only by loving ourselves… every inch of ourselves.. both “good” and “bad”… both “light” and “dark”.. that we can become fully awakened, that we can become fully embodied, fully healed. It is by reconciling ourselves, being at peace with our emotions (all of them), the murderous aspects of ourselves, the demons that we have inside, the fears that we have, the things we have done yet dare not say, the impulses and sexual urges and “sins” that we can do so. They do not need to be cast aside. They do not need to have illusions heaped on top of them. They do not need to be cleared. They need to be loved every bit as much as the brightest happiest joy filled wave of bliss. This is how we stop putting things into the collective. This is how we go beyond illusion. This is how we awaken.

I am now accepting new submissions for the spiritual advice column. If you have a question, feel free to contact me with the heading “spiritual advice”, and I will answer your question if it would make for a good blog and if I can actually answer it.

Ethics in Spiritual Healing, Reiki & Energy Work

When I attended a workshop a few months ago, I sat next to a woman who took one look at me and told me rather rudely that my crystal was “dirty” and it needed cleaning, and how and with what I should do this. She then said “Sorry” without meaning it, and sat back in her seat. At first I was angry at her- this was before we had established any sort of rapport and we hadn’t done much besides for exchange names.

When I took a step back from the situation, I realized that she was simply angry and rude with the world- she was going through some difficult life experiences and I realized that she was someone who was feeling out of place at the workshop, and that she was attempting to establish some credibility amongst professionals who had much more experience than her.

And when I stepped back even further from the situation, it got me thinking about ethics in the field of Energy Work. This simply isn’t talked about much- it is left to courtesy and manners that people who are sensitive or trained in energy work don’t go around telling people what their issues are or how to fix them. As Energy Workers, we see so much, but as ethical energy workers, we are not supposed to work without permission or tell people what we see because they may not be ready to hear it, or may not want for others to notice.

I work with and have trained many Reiki practitioners. When a natural disaster happens, plenty of Reiki practitioners “send Reiki” to the site because they believe it to be helpful. Sometimes they do so to specific people they have seen on the news or to the entire area. But is sending Reiki to an individual that has not given permission ethical? If you are a powerful energy worker who can work with the concept of the higher self and ask their higher self, the answer is maybe. But since most of us have egos, sending energy to someone who has no knowledge of it and did not request it is not typically ethical.

And what of sending energy to that whole disaster site? Plenty of us were doing this for the tornadoes in Oklahoma, or the Boston bombings. Sending energy to those sites is a lovely concept, but what sort of energy are you sending? Are you sending in your fears? Your obsessive energy? Energy that is unstable or based off a sense of ego- you feel unsafe and want to do something about a situation that you have no control over? Sending Reiki or energy to these sites can be a good thing, if your energy is stable, clear, and you are able to understand when not to intervene if something larger and more spiritual is going on. During these situations though, I have seen time and again that many energy workers are cording themselves to the situation and become tethered to it- becoming obsessive, fearful, constantly feeling in their own body what is going on with the situation. They are then reflecting this energy back through the cord to a situation that does not need any more fear, chaos, or heightened energy.

The next time you “send Reiki” to a person or site, question your ethics, the energy you are sending, and whether you are doing so out of a sense of help or ego. Sending Reiki, reading someone, or working energetically can be a beautiful thing when it is done with permission (ideally in person, or if necessary through the higher self), and with a sense of calm, clear, powerful energy. But often this energy is sent out of feelings of loss- loss of control, uncertainty on a personal level, and is not helpful to the situation. Consider the next time you work energetically if your ethics are impeccable. If they are, proceed. If not, reconsider how you can help the situation or take some time to reflect.