In the Four Directions Light Body Healing Programme each direction has an archetype and a focus for healing. In the South, the archetype was the great serpent and the healing focus was on shedding the energy, the beliefs and the stories that no longer serve us, as easily as the serpent sheds its skin.
As I have already mentioned each of the participants were on their own journey of healing, while they were learning how to heal others. For our healing we were going to use three hooks to remove our ‘skin’, three events or themes that we needed to release. My first theme was Big Brother, the feeling that I was responsible, and the anxiety and resentment that sometimes went with that. The second theme was Resistance – my resistance to being perfect and needing to struggle. My third theme was Control – my sense of discomfort and vulnerability when I let go of control.
We were taught about four levels of engagement that humans experience all the time.
The literal level is the level of the body, the language is DNA and words, but we deal in information rather than knowledge. At this level are physical illnesses. Treatment is pills and surgery. Change happens slowly here – think of the mouth of a river as it enters the sea, wide and slow moving.
The symbolic level is the level of the mind, language is in words as knowledge, but also in symbols and stories e.g. how to be a man, how to be a father. At this level are mental problems. Healing is through NLP and other therapies. Change is faster here – think of a narrow river – there is depth, power and flow at a steady pace.
The mythic level is the level of the soul. The language is in images and visions not words. This is the level of ceremony and ritual. Here we heal the feeling of separation. Change is much quicker here – think of a fast-flowing stream coming off the mountains.
The fourth level is the level of energy. The connection to all life. There are no words at this level, it is the level of spirit. Change is fast, the level of energy is the source of the river. We can put a finger in the spring as it exits the earth and change the whole course of the river. This is the level of the techniques that we were being taught.
Healing needs to happen at all four levels. If we release the heavy energy that is the source of an illness, and don’t support change at the other three levels, the energy will just build up again. So, as we were learning the energy healing, we were also given ceremonies and tools and shown ways to use the introductory and exit interviews to support healing at the other levels and The NLP Masters working at the literal level and symbolic level had come to learn how to work with the mythic and energetic.
As an example, one of my first healings was with one of the people in Skyros. She was a beautiful, intelligent young woman with cancer so advanced that she was yellow with jaundice. She asked for some healing, so I used the Illumination Process. During the healing she had a memory of the first time she had been told she had cancer, many years ago. Her first thought had been “At least I will get some attention now”. We worked together to release the energy. When we talked later, she told me that her parents had been very busy running the family hotel and the only way she could get attention as a child was to be naughty. This had continued all through her life. She had run off to Paris and done lots of exciting things but all of this ‘seeking attention’ had built up the heavy energy that was driving the cancer. She had been clear of it once, but it came back because the momentum was still there. Unfortunately it was too late for the body to heal itself but she was happy and very peaceful after releasing the energy and the story.
The first ceremony we experienced was the fire ceremony. We all gathered around an unlit fire in a big circle. Alberto called in the four directions, Mother Earth and Great Spirit and lit the fire, while we started chanting a Navaho song for Mother Earth and we rattled or drummed. When the leader of the ceremony feels we are up to the temperature of the fire he or she approaches the fire, kneels before it, blows what he or she wants to release or attract into a stick and then places the stick on the fire, and then pulls the smoke into the second, fourth and sixth chakras. While they are at the fire someone stands behind them to protect their back so that they can focus on the fire. There were over a hundred of us and we all came to the fire alone. It took three hours. I was still singing the chant as I went to bed that night.
During our training we were told to do fire ceremony every new moon and full moon for the archetype of the direction we had just been trained in so, for the six months until the West workshop we did fire ceremony for Serpent. Normally the full moon fire is for the healing of Mother Earth, as well as an opportunity to release and attract for us. We pass around a Pachamama stick, into which everyone blows what they wish for Mother Nature. I think of clean air, clear mountain streams and sharks. After every individual has gone to the fire, the youngest or oldest offers the Pachamama stick on behalf of us all. It is wonderful to think of all the shaman fires lighting up all over the world on the full moon.
One of my early full moon fires was in Skyros, while I was one of the people running sessions there. In the first week I used metaphysics as the basis of the sessions and in the second week I used shamanism. I mentioned at lunch that I was going to do a full moon fire in the second week and suddenly everyone wanted to take part. We couldn’t have a full fire on the island because it was very dry, so we used a barbecue instead and we used leaves of sage that I had brought, instead of sticks. All 80+ men, women and children listened as I gave instructions and as I explained about blowing into the sage and putting it on the fire, a little voice was heard to say, “and God sees the smoke and says Aha!” The youngest (5) and the oldest (70) carried the Pachamama stick to the fire. It was a beautiful, magical ceremony. All the mums thanked me later for letting the children take part. Children love ceremony.
The tool we learned in the South was the sand painting. This is not necessarily made of sand. It works at the symbolic level. I made a circle on the ground, about 2 feet wide, using twigs and other natural materials. I placed a stone representing me in the middle and divided the circle into three sections. In each section I created a collage of natural materials and one of my three stones to represent how I felt at that point about my three issues. I shared my painting with a partner. I left it out on the ground.
When I was the subject of healing for one of the issues, I would take that stone out of painting so that the healer could use my stone as part of the Illumination Process. This is how we energise the stones and make them part of our healing bundle. After the process the stone was returned to the painting. Over the next couple of days, I would sit with painting in spare time and think about the issues and make any changes in the three sections that I felt were appropriate. After two days I went out and changed all the collages to how I would like the issues to be resolved now and for the future. Once I was happy, I shared this with the same partner. Then I broke up the painting and returned the materials to nature.
Again, the first time I taught sand painting was in Skyros. After a short instruction I sent them off. I confess I was worried about their reaction, but they really liked it and for some of them it was very powerful. Try it yourself. Think about three issues in your life. Make the circle with three sections and create a collage in each for how you feel now about that issue. Over the next few days sit with it a couple of times and make any changes you feel are appropriate and then, after two days change the collages to how you would want the issue resolved. When you are happy destroy the painting. I have used sand painting in an all-female legal practice, using the contents of their desks and handbags plus sweets and Lego to create the circles and collages. It provided a very safe and positive way to create change and it was fun! I would love to use sand painting to create a business strategy as Alberto did for a division of Disney.
The other main activity in the South was that we received the Foundation Rites. These rites were to plant the seeds of our transformation and healing and to provide protection. The rites were given to us in the traditional way in Quechan.
The Healers Rite links us to the lineage of healers and provides protection for ourselves and our clients. I think of it as a circuit breaker to ensure we don’t overextend ourselves.
The Seers rites increases our ability to sense and to do that with love by connecting our third eye and our heart centre to the ‘canvas’ at the back of our brain.
The Aini Karpi rites attunes each chakra to an organising principle of nature e.g. the base chakra is attuned to serpent. This rite helps us reconnect with Mother Earth on our healing journey.
The Bands of Power go together with the Aini Karpi and act as a protective layer in our light body to prevent us affecting others with the heavy energy we release, and to prevent us being affected by their energy.
These rites were given in ceremony with the hall covered in flowers. They felt very special and something to be respected, just like the pipe ceremony.
Our days in Holland were full on, so Susan and I and our two friends used to go out for dinner in the 90 minutes allowed, to chat and laugh and avoid ‘spiritual indigestion’.
In the 6 months between workshops we held our fire ceremonies, we tuned into the chakras and their organising principles, and we practised the Illumination Process with lots of friends and strangers with good results.
To be continued…. Philosophy 2 – healing