One of the many identities I carry is that of a Reiki master. And though fewer people come to me for Reiki work than for conjure or evocation, I don’t consider it a productive use of my time and energy to try to predict when I’m going to get contacted by a client. One of the practical realities of being a public sorcerer and healer is that there are only so many hours and there is only so much mojo you can expend in a given day.
So I try to take people as they come, at face value, in my practice as well as in every other aspect of my life. I think this is probably the best way to go—not thinking too much about when people are going to send me emails or call me and just being open to whatever they may need when they do. Sometimes, the cards are bad and I can’t help them. Sometimes, they’re asking for something that just can’t be done. Other times, they aren’t sure (or honest) about what they really want. And it’s my job to try to help sort this out even before the work begins.
Avoiding judgment whenever possible seems to be a natural extension of this. I can’t condemn anyone for their health or social choices because, right or wrong, I don’t have that person’s background and I was not confronted with that person’s particular experiences. All I can ever say is, “I’m glad X didn’t happen to me” or “I wonder what I would have done in that situation” or “Overdosing on that substance seems really unpleasant. Wow.” This helps everyone get along and I like it as a way of relating to the world.
Maybe because of my open-ended style, every now and then, someone who has had a particularly positive experience from my Reiki sessions asks to be my student. I am a master, qualified to teach the art, and they might not have ever felt as mentally and physically good before. So it makes sense that they might want to know if it’s possible to feel that way all the time—to which I answer yes, it is. Well, it is most of the time.
Reiki masters get colds, too. We get depressed. We sometimes need to see a western doctor. Reiki should be part of a complete health program, not the only thing you use (hint: you should never rely only on one healing modality, allopathic, homeopathic, folk, or otherwise). However, because of our energetic practices (if we keep them up), we can take pain away, improve relaxation, strengthen the coping mechanisms of body and mind, instill a sense of calm well-being, and do even more abstract esoteric things which begin to seem like the energy side of witchcraft (actually very similar to some styles of kundalini yoga).
As a side effect of this work (a siddhi that comes from diligent practice), we also get an increased capacity for all the psychic abilities that most people have at birth (before they’re conditioned to forget). One way I used this gift is to determine whether someone who wants to learn from me would be a good student of Reiki. Not everyone can or should study it. And there are many other forms of energetic healing and homeopathy available. Reiki is simply a very popular one. If I add a few witchy tricks to the discernment process, I can be very sure I’m making the right decision when I decline or accept a student.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), I turn down 9 out of 10 people who ask—not to be a jerk or because I’m some high-and-mighty elitist Reiki guru—but because not all teachers are right for all students in anything and knowing this from the beginning saves us all time and tears.
Yesterday, I turned down a potential student after taking a week to consider it. And I know it disappointed her. Getting turned down for anything is disappointing because it feels like rejection. But I need to say here (as I said to her yesterday), I am nothing special. I am actually nobody. And much of my magical and healing work is aimed at helping others get over trying to be somebody.
This student really wanted to be special, to be somebody important. The God of her Heart was an image of that specialness projected into the future, where she imagined all her problems would be solved and life would be smooth sailing forevermore. She worships that image. I saw this in her clearly.
That is not the best state of mind for a Reiki healer and definitely not for a potential Reiki student. In order to do Reiki effectively (and magic, too), you have to get out of its way. In other words, you have to set your ego (your “talker,” your mind) aside and just feel. You can’t have a goal in Reiki. You can’t have a motive or an agenda. You can’t even let yourself fall into the trap of worrying whether the client is going to feel better (and therefore validate your ego that the Reiki session was worth their money). All you can do is feel the flow, breathe, relax, and allow the Reiki to pour through you.
It doesn’t come from you. It is the Divine I AM, the pure energy of ultimate conscious awareness. You are an expression of that (as is everything), but you don’t create it. You don’t even direct it. You get out of the way and allow it to use you as a vessel for increasing an awareness of its presence in your client. Reiki is in charge, not you. And it doesn’t make you a rock star. In fact, the more you do it, the less you want to be a rock star and the more you want to let go of having to become anything more than what you are: a temporary reflection of the I AM made out of air, fire, water, earth, and aether.
You won’t be here long in this form, but you will be here forever as the I AM. In this sense, you are God. And so the right attitude to have if you want to practice Reiki (which is to say, if you want to be a Reiki-practicing reflection of the One Being), is to really want to know your true self, which is this non-person, this nobody, this I AM. A good student of Reiki is on a quest to set the “person” aside and know the consciousness behind that weird profusion of masks.
It’s not easy because the world is always telling us we’re only going to be worthy of love, safety, and pleasure if we have a purpose, if we grab the world by the throat and wrestle it into submission. If that is what you want, maybe a magical life would be less fulfilling than spending all your energy in finance, government, law, or management. If you want to be a magic healing hippie, you have to be braver than those others; you have to look at who you really are and leave the rock stardom to those who really want to be somebody special.