[[For the privacy of those involved, the names below have been changed, so that our lovely elven friends are now Eärwen and Finarfin, and their son is Finrod. A fitting tribute, I think, to magickal folk and Tolkien fans.]]
A few weeks ago, our friends (Eärwen and Finarfin)’s son, Finrod, was in a nasty car accident. The car he was in was rear-ended at high speed while they were stopped at a light, and the accident killed two young women and gravely injured Finrod, and another young man in the car. This happened whilst Gwdihw and I were out of town, but once we were back we made room in our schedule so that we might visit the family and try to give them a little reiki and just, well, hold space for healing. Finrod had recently been released from the hospital, but he was still being treated for traumatic brain injury and was, of course, absolutely blown away mourning the two young women who died. Finarfin had to work, but encouraged us to go and visit his wife and son in any case, though he was not sure if Finrod would want to be treated, because he thinks his father’s love of things metaphysical is, to quote Finarfin, “crazy”. Finrod is a teen, and while I had hoped we would be able to convince him of the usefulness (and existence, honestly) of reiki, I knew that it would be difficult to convince a teenager of anything, especially one we hadn’t met who was going through such a hard time in his life. So when we arrived at the family’s house, we first treated Eärwen, who had received reiki treatments before and was more than happy for any help in dealing with her own trauma in seeing a son so badly hurt. As Gwdihw and I do not yet have a massage table (travel or otherwise) of our own, we had Eärwen sit in a chair in the middle of the room so that we might move around her.
At the beginning, I sat on the floor in front of Eärwen. I sensed that her aura was pulled tight around her, retracted into an opaque shell, for self-preservation. Not wanting to pull too hard, I tried to wash the outside of her shell in waves of reiki, and to plant flowers near her, on the astral, so that she might feel their gentle presence. I had hoped that I might be able to coax out a tendril of her aura, so that I could get a better feel for exactly what sort of healing she needed. Instead, the shell became somewhat translucent. It wasn’t what I expected, but it was a start. I tried to reach her chakras through the now-translucent but still dark shell, but could not – so instead of attempting to press the sei heki symbol into her chakras, I pressed it into the aura shell itself.
Meanwhile, Gwdihw was working behind Eärwen, with his hands on her shoulders. He began by scanning, starting at the top of her head, using a system he likens to a sonar echo, to see what was amiss. What he found was what he saw as a huge sword, without a sheath, sitting along her spine, with the cross guards resting at the top of her shoulders, and the pommel at the crown of her head. He didn’t find anything else as he scanned, so he figured this was what he was meant to work on. He could tell it was not something meant to be pulled out, and while he thought about what to do he sent reiki at it gently and asked Eärwen if swords held any symbolic meaning to her, personally. When she wasn’t sure, I chimed in that sometimes they represented carrying the burdens of others, especially if the sword was not suited to one’s size. (This one would have been far too big for her to wield.) Eärwen said that resonated with her – and said that mothers always carry burdens for their families, their children. Gwdihw stepped back to see if he had any crystals that might assist him, and his eyes caught on a malachite sphere. He charged it with several reiki symbols (including the choku rei, the sei heki, the dai ko myo, and the raku symbol) and gave it to Eärwen to hold. He used the malachite energy with his reiki to grow a sheath for the sword she carried, starting from its pointed tip. Once the sheath was fully formed, he put 2 choku rei symbols (one on each side of the blade) to help seal it. Then he went to retrieve a piece of nimbus quartz and charged that with sky/cloud energy with the help of his Namesake Spirit Helper, Gichi Binesi. Gwdihw touched the nimbus quartz to her back where the hilt met the blade (which was approximately at her T3 vertebra), and infused the sword with this sky/cloud energy, willing it to be lighter so that it would be easier for Eärwen to carry.
From my perspective, I saw Eärwen’s heart chakra pulse for a moment when Gwdihw handed her the malachite sphere, and this light allowed me to see through the still-dark aura shell. Taking that as a sign, I began to channel reiki through my heart chakra instead of through my palms, giving her my compassion and love along with the universal love of reiki, so that she might feel safe again. I called on my guides and Eärwen’s, and Brigid showed up in a form that I regard as Saint Bridget, in contrast to the Goddess (though I believe the two are related). I’d had an inkling that She might appear, and I’d brought a pink 7-day candle for her for just that reason, but I was initially surprised that the Catholic Saint showed up, not the Goddess with whom I work more often. Then again, Eärwen is Catholic (though very Pagan-Positive!) so I supposed I should not have been surprised. I told Eärwen this, and she was happy and said she knew the Saint and she, too, thought that Saint and Goddess were related – and then Eärwen reminded me that Brigid is the patron goddess of her husband Finarfin’s coven, which I had forgotten. At that point, I rose, went to the table where Gwdihw and I had set our things, and I anointed the pink candle four times with lavender essential oil, and I offered it to the Four Brigids: Goddess of the Forge and Firey Inspiration, Goddess of the Healing Well and Flowing Words, Goddess of the Home and Hearth, and Saint Bridget of Kildare, patroness of Ireland. I invited them into the house to help with the healing, and I gave them thanks and honored them. Then I lit the candle, and set it to burn on the table, and returned to sitting in front of Eärwen and sending waves of reiki over her. It seemed like the darkness was finally beginning to wash off of her aura shell, and it was becoming more transparent, instead of darkly translucent. To facilitate this process, I began to inscribe the sei heki symbol all over her aura shell, continuously, like the pattern in a damask wallpaper. Once I had finished, I took at scan-look at the sword Gwdihw was working on. I decided to test and see if it could shrink down and regrow in size, so that she might carry a deadly weapon as a small pen knife – telescopic, if you will. It seemed to understand and to accept this programming, and I explained that to Eärwen.
As I was doing this, Gwdihw decided to give the sword a healing attunement as well. He used several reiki symbols in doing this (including the choku rei, the sei heki, the hon sha ze sho nen, the Tibetan fire serpent, the dai ko myo, and the raku). He placed most of the symbols into the part of the sword where the hilt met the blade, but some he inscribed along the entire length of the sword. His intent for this attunement was for the sword and its hilt to be easier to carry, and to give off positive energies; to become a sword of regeneration. In this way, a burden would become a boon instead.
Once he was finished, I stepped around to Eärwen’s back, and scanned it myself from that perspective. I reached out to feel her aura again, and I found that the shell was even more transparent now, and a bit more relaxed, less tight around her body. I managed to put the sei heki symbol through the top of the shell into her crown chakra this time, and let it float down within her. I continued to scan in order to find and look at the sword from this angle, and I found it there, sheathed, and as the reiki did not increase its pressure, nor did the temperature change and I moved my hands across her shoulders and back, I believed that what needed to be done there was finished for now. While I had been sitting at Eärwen’s feet I had momentarily glimpsed wings, and now that I was behind her I sought them to see them more fully. I found wings like a newborn butterfly’s inside her aura shell – crumpled and wet and still folded tightly. Perhaps newborn isn’t correct, as it seemed she was still inside her chrysalis, as her aura formed a cocoon. I tried to gently pull her aura shell wider, and to gently begin to unfold the wings, and to show them how they might unfold more when the time came. Wings like this I frequently find to be signs of rebirth, of transformation, and of healing after trauma. Sometimes wings that stay can be signs of spiritual progress or faerie blood, but I think in Eärwen’s case they are most likely a sign of healing and reemergence. Eärwen told me afterwards that while I was doing this, she saw a field of flowers and butterflies in her mind’s eye, and took comfort from the image.
Once we were both done, Gwdihw and I made sure to even back out everything we had done, so that Eärwen’s aura, energies, and shields might return to her natural state. Then she called downstairs to her son, Finrod, but he was spending time with friends and did not wish to come up and be treated. Instead, with inspiration from Brigid, I decided to make a sigil spell to set the candle on, in order that its healing light might be amplified throughout the house. I also intended it to be a sort of target for distance reiki I would be sending them. For the sigil, I started with a stylized 4-armed Brigid’s cross, added reiki symbols, and then the ogham of hawthorn, a healing tree. In the center was a square where the candle would be placed. I made a rough draft and then Gwdihw, who is the better artist, made a neater copy in red marker. I told Eärwen to light the candle for at least 30 minutes every day, and to get another healing candle (in red, pink, or white if possible) once the pink one we’d brought burned out. Here is a quick snapshot of the sigil spell:
This was the first time that Gwdihw and I had done so intense a treatment on a friend by ourselves (I think from when Eärwen sat down to when I began drawing the sigil was about 45 minutes, so the treatment itself must have been just shy of that), and it was the first time I’d designed a sigil of this type. However, Eärwen was feeling much better by the time we left, and we were glad to have helped out a friend in need. It was good to use our skills for the benefit of someone we cared about, and I think we all learned something in the process. Gwdihw and I hope to return to offer Eärwen (and hopefully Finarfin and Finrod) more reiki treatments in the months to come, because after such a trauma the healing process is a long and winding road, and so many friends and well-wishers drop off after the first few weeks. It took us those first few weeks to get this (long, sorry) blog written up, and in that time we sent them distance reiki a few times. Now it’s time to see where our schedules align for September.