The question is drawn from the Greenhaven Tradition; the YaaD course is not published on the Greenhaven Tradition website, but is made available on a person-to-person basis. Material that is not so closely held is available at http://greenhaventradition.weebly.com/
Class 12, Paper 2f (after class discussion): Choose a skill that you don’t have but would like to have. Do something to explore it – read a book, attend a workshop or lecture, take a lesson with someone more experienced, work with a kit from the craft store, etc. – and see how much you can learn. Write a one-page report on your experiences.
Assignment submitted October 22, 2012
Writing Assignment: YaaD Class 12 - Specialties
Not all complementary healing techniques involve energy manipulation – for example, herbal medicine and chiropractic – but it seems most of them do. This manipulation can range from the formalized methods of acupuncture through touch therapies like massage and Feldenkrais, to more free-form methods like visualization and prayer. An amusing (or at least I was amused by it) flow chart for finding one's ideal alternative therapy may be found at http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_RQjQvxtmK8A/TLYv7qkUodI/AAAAAAAADVg/gbx_qcAB5nE/s1600/Alt+Med+Flowchart.png.
In some styles of healing, again, such as acupuncture, the goal is to assist the client to balance his or her own energies, or to allow the energies to come back into balance. In other styles, such as psychic healing, the goal is to transfer a measured portion of the healer's own energy to the client. One interesting comment was that both hexing / cursing and healing involve channeling energy to another person, and that anyone who has the capacity for one almost certainly has the capacity for the other.
And that leads into ethics for healers – which are, not surprisingly, similar to the ethics for allopathic practitioners. Farrar and Bone provide a 10-point code:
- The client's well-being is primary.
- The healer must maintain confidentiality.
- The healer must not exceed his or her level of competence.
- The healer must not substitute complementary techniques for allopathic techniques, but rather work in conjunction with the client's other medical treatment.
- The healer must respect the client's values and beliefs.
- The healer must be properly trained…
- … and must keep up with continuing education.
- The healer "must not act in a way to bring Wicca (or whichever path they follow) and the wider Pagan community into disrepute."
- The healer must protect their own health, including …
- … declining to work with a client if the situation feels unsafe or unethical.
When I asked my LJ readers for suggestions about "things I ought to want to learn," one thing that was suggested more than once was Reiki. The word Reiki translates as Universal Life, and the practice of Westernized Reiki as promulgated by Hawayo Takata, as best I can determine from the material online, involves using a set of hand positions to treat various conditions. I'm not certain if "hand positions" refers to "placing the hands in certain positions on the client's body" or "holding one's hands in a certain position." Takata's teacher, Chujiro Hayashi, did use hand positions, but also taught his students to detect stress in the client. Moving back one more step, Mikao Usui, who is credited with "unlocking" Reiki, taught "from the perspective of a Japanese Buddhist monk," and included meditation, philosophy, singing, chanting as part of the practice.
Someone being treated by (Westernized) Reiki will be asked to lie down while the practitioner runs his or her hands over the client's body (or above the body, or even at a distance). The client may feel a change in temperature or pressure, and typically feels an increase in well-being.
Anonymous. "Distance Healing." Retrieved 21 October 2012 from http://www.paganlibrary.com/rituals_spells/distance_healing.php.
Bulls, James. " History of Reiki and the Usui System of Natural Healing." Retrieved 21 October 2012 from http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=caon&c=words&id=14196.
Farrar, Janet and Gavin Bone. " Behaviour and Ethics for Pagan Healers." Retrieved 21 October 2012 from http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=iexx&c=basics&id=8818.
Gentle Deer Lion Tamer. "Some Techniques of Energy Healing." Retrieved 21 October 2012 from http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=ustx&c=words&id=14092.
Gypsy, Gloria. "What to Expect During a Reiki Healing Session." Retrieved 21 October 2012 from http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=uswi&c=words&id=14474.
Hansford, Phil. "Magick 8: Healing and Banishing." Retrieved 21 October 2012 from http://www.paganlibrary.com/reference/magick_08.php.
Raichel, Diana. "Hexing and Healing as a Continuum." Retrieved 21 October 2012 from http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usmn&c=words&id=3828 .