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 since I was a relatively calm person she wanted to entrain me into her world of anger and hurt. Reflecting even more, 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.