‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for February 18th

By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

We all know that if it were not for the little kindnesses, the helping hands that we receive from those who touch our lives daily, we would fall more often and much harder. Yet, we must expect others to rush to our aid. It is then that we test the strength of our own self-reliance.

We should make every effort to be worthy of the concern and help of others. It is sharing all phases of life that makes living more than just an existence. But none of us can support others for long who have no will to use their self-reliance. It is said that God helps those who help themselves, but even God cannot help where help is refused.

Then, how much can we depend on ourselves? How would we react to the same situations we see other people experiencing daily? We, who depend so much on our external advantages to pull us through, cannot truthfully foretell our actions in a crisis. But we can have a reserve of faith and strength behind us so that when others reach our to lift us up, we will be worthy of their time spent in helping us to build our self-reliance.


Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – February 18

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – February 18

“Laughter is a necessity in life that does not cost much, and the Old Ones say that one of the greatest healing powers in our life is the ability to laugh.”

–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

Laughter is a good stress eliminator. Laughter causes healing powers to be distributed through our bodies. Laughter helps heal relationships that are having problems. Laughter can change other people. Laughter can heal the sick. Laughter is spiritual. One of the greatest gifts among Indian people has been our ability to laugh. Humor is natural to Indian people. Sometimes the only thing left to do is laugh.

Great Spirit, allow me to laugh when times get tough.

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February 18 – Daily Feast

February 18 – Daily Feast

We need to get our priorities in a row. A lazy person never has priorities and never plans anything. He lets circumstances make all his decisions – and believes fate has the final say. Even though he has had a thousand nudges to do a certain thing, he ignores them because it is only himself dreaming again. If we cannot hold onto a plan long enough to do anything about it, then we should write it. Write it so plain that when we read it, we run – we run toward putting into practice what we set out on paper. It is essential to decide the ultimate outcome of our lives. If we do nothing, then that is a decision. Our lot in life is what we make it, using every delay, every pain, every injustice as fuel to fire our determination.

~ Let the young men of this nation remember that idleness leads to poverty. Industry is honorable and leads to contentment. ~


‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Daily Motivator for February 18th – Face forward

Face forward

Yes, it’s interesting and somewhat instructive to know how things got the way  they are. What’s far more important, though, is what you choose to do going  forward.

Pay attention to what has happened but don’t waste your precious and powerful  energy becoming obsessed by it. Put that energy into moving in a positive  direction.

It’s what you can do now that really matters. As big as they might have been,  the expired opportunities of yesterday are now negligible compared to the  possibilities of today.

What you can do now is connect with your most treasured dreams. What you can  do now is act with passion and the highest expectations to bring those dreams to  life.

Instead of living with wistfulness, regret, or anger about the past, you can  live with positive purpose toward a great and shining future. The direction you  face makes all the difference in the world, so make the choice to face  forward.

This is a new moment, and with it comes the chance for a new start. Take that  chance, grab that opportunity, and live your life forward in a beautiful and  fulfilling way.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

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Daily OM for February 18th – Open and Listening

Open and Listening
Respecting Wildlife

by Madisyn Taylor

When in nature we often forget we are moving into another realm, one that asks us to drop our baggage and surrender.

For better or worse, much of the world we experience is dominated and controlled by human beings. We spend our days in houses, cars, and buildings, and inside these structures, we are in control. We assert our wills and manipulate our environment. Within the context of the human world, this is natural. However, we often carry this attitude with us into the world of nature. We forget as we enter the forest, or sit on the edge of a pond, that we are moving into another realm, one that asks us to drop our baggage and surrender to a different sense of order and meaning.

When we move from our everyday world into the world of nature, we may not even notice at first. We might continue talking loudly into our cell phone or to a friend that is with us. We might walk quickly as if we are on a busy city street, our eyes downcast, our thoughts hectic and hurried. In the best case, if we are sensitive to our environment, we will soon notice that it has changed. We may hear ducks calling, or wind moving through the leaves on a tree. If we notice the shift, we will naturally shift as well. If we don’t, we may get all the way through a beautiful park without having lowered our voices. Next time you find yourself in the presence of wildlife—even if it’s just a duck pond in the midst of urban hustle—try to move into a receptive state of openness and listening, no matter how much or how little time you have. Allow yourself to be captivated and calmed by the energy of the wildlife that covers this earth. Teaching our children to be respectful of nature and to stop and observe is a gift they can always cherish

We preserve pockets of nature in our urban centers and large expanses of nature in our national parks because of the magic we feel in its presence. It reminds us of our smallness and calls us back to a deeper, quieter part of ourselves. When we honor nature by being respectful in its presence, we honor the mystery and wild beauty of our origin.

The Daily OM

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Amulets for Health

To relieve pain, touch the affected area with an amulet created from a poultice
of red coral and ash leaves. Bury the amulet under an oak tree. Similar methods
were used to rid the body of warts. A potato was applied to the wart, then
buried. For any health-related magic, coral, ash leaves, oak leaves or a piece
of potato makes an excellent focuses or components.

One teaspoon of chopped garlic twice daily with water is reputed to ease
arthritis symptoms. This folk remedy may have come from the belief that garlic
aids the blood circulation. Other options include wearing charmed belts or
blessed cords of wool near the afflicted area.

Athlete’s Foot
Saltwater soaks and cornstarch powder dusted on the feet daily work against the
fungus that causes athlete’s foot. In ancient Greece, you may have been given
powdered orris root. This not only helps keep your feet dry, but also relieves

Bee Stings
Plant leaves are the common denominator in methods of relieving the pain and
itch of bee stings. Turks apply wet tobacco leaves directly to the sting. In
other cultures, various types of plant leaves or petals are used, including
burdock, dandelion and marigold.

The three most universal aids to spread over a burn are damp baking soda, honey
or aloe. Any of these might also be metaphorically applied in a spell to ease
fiery anger. Rub the substance over a picture of the individual who is irate.

A tea made of lemon juice and honey in warm water is soothing, and hot tar smoke
is thought to relive and prevent coughs. If you put seven beans in your pocket
and throw one away each day, but the end of the week your cold should be gone.
This can be further assisted by eating horseradish.

A daily cup of licorice and senna tea works to relieve constipation. These herbs
are also excellent magical ingredients for spells to overcome an artistic block
or any other barrier.

Ginger and pepper combine for a good hot drink to ease stomach cramps.
For muscle cramps, wear a garter of corks near the afflicted muscle or place it
between the springs of your bed and the mattress. This last idea may have
developed because, when a cork is taken from a bottle, it releases pressure with
a pop. Consider employing this symbolism any time you feel constrained or

Peppermint tea is one of the best-known remedies for this uncomfortable
condition. An alternative drink is ginger tea with two teaspoons of vinegar and
a dash of salt.

Dog Bite
The bid of a mad dog was once thought to be cured by eating some of the
creature’s hair boiled or fried with rosemary. This was how the saying “hair of
the dog that bit you” came into being and is an excellent early example of
sympathetic magic. Thus, when people drink alcohol for a hangover, they are
using the “biting” item to effect their cure.

Ringing the eye with the water used for steeping a lapis stone is said to
relieve itching eyes. One work of caution: be sure the lapis and water are both
clean and free from impurities. Lapis water blessed beneath a full moon can also
enhance psychic vision.

Goldenseal tea and a teaspoon of lemon juice taken every four hours reduces
fever. Another recommendation is to take clippings of your fingernails and mix
them with warm wax which is then bound to a tree or rock so that the fever is
attached to something other than you. Similar symbolism can be used when you are
feeling angry and out of balance. In a symbolic sense, you are literally
disengaging the negativity from yourself.

The use of gem stones in remedial work was closely tied to their color, planet
of influence, and other commonly associated superstitions. Red stones, for
example, were frequently considered helpful for blood conditions, green stones
for all type of healing, and blue for improving emotional disposition.
Gems were used in a wide variety of ways not only as curatives, but also
to ward off sickness. In many instances, the individual was instructed to wear
or carry the stone in a specific manner, frequently near the center of the
prevailing problem. This was done so that the stone could collect any illness.
An alternative to amuletic work was the gem elixir. These may or may not
have actually been made from gemstones, considering the expense involved and the
cleverness of many healers. Instead, solutions likely had the appearance of a
particular stone in coloration. The other option was to place a particular stone
in any liquid for a duration of time to allow absorption of its positive
remedial qualities. Some of these costly cures include diamonds and emeralds for
an antidote for poison, jade for kidney disease, jasper for stomach ailments,
ruby for flatulence, topaz for the plague, and bloodstone to stop hemorrhaging.
Crystalline elixirs are used by many people in the New Age community today
to internalize specific aspects of a stone. Usually the gem (or crystal) is
steeped in spring water by the light of the sun or moon, depending on its
intended use. The stone is removed afterwards and the liquid drunk.

An amethyst, warmed by the rays of the sun, wrapped in silk, and then bound
lightly to the temples, eases the pain of a headache. Wearing rings of lead or
quicksilver also prevents and soothes this difficulty. These suggestions are
likewise applicable for psychically caused pain as experienced from overexertion
in a reading, or returning to normal awareness too quickly after meditation.

King’s Evil
This is a disease of the lymph glands thought in the Middle Ages to be cured
only by the touch of a reigning monarch. The first instance we see of King’s
Evil is during the time of Edward the Confessor (A.D. 1024-1066). Most likely,
this superstition was invented by the court to improve the king’s esteem in the
eyes of the populace.
Since kings are not readily available these days, a supplication directly
to the king and queen of the heavens can be made to reduce the swelling of the
lymph glands. Or wear a piece of blue flannel tied nine times around your neck.
The warmth of the flannel, combines with its peaceful color was considered a
powerful combination.

When your voice leaves you, try gargling three times with a combination of
vinegar, rainwater and honey. Salt and garlic water are also effective. In
England, country physicians recommend the juice of a boiled cabbage with honey.
By adding a little incantation, such as “through the guns and past the
lips, my speech is strengthened with each sip” you can also use these
concoctions before a speaking engagement to empower your presentation. While the
incantation may seem a little silly, it is easily committed to memory and has a
meter which allows for rhythmic repetition.

Laying On Of Hands
Great power and reverence has always been given to the hands of the healer. They
are the conduit not only of divine energy, but also, more immediately
significant, of relief from pain. Many religions and even modern science speak
of the amazing power of touch to calm, reassure, and grant emotional relief on a
temporary basis. Many healing methods have developed from the simple laying on
of hands, for example, acupressure, shiatsu, and reiki. In these methods,
pressure points, massage and touch are incorporated to improve circulation, ease
pain, perform auric cleansings and even cure hiccups.

To cure a case of melancholy in India, healers suggest wearing lapis lazuli
around the neck and keeping busy so there wasn’t time to think about troubles.

Jade or lapis worn on any afflicted area is thought to relieve pain. Once the
pain is gone, the stone should either be thoroughly cleansed in saltwater or
buried so the pain isn’t returned the next time the gem is handled. For
emotional pain, place the stone over your heart.

Medicinal prescriptions have been found in cultures dating from ancient
Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. These first prescriptions included clearly
written instructions and pictures. These images were not only for the
illiterate, but also were believed to help improve the effectiveness of the folk
cure. (Considering the handwriting of many contemporary physicians, they might
want to consider doing likewise.)
More seriously, we can continue this tradition by adding appropriate runes
or other personal symbols to any written spell.

Sand Paintings
One of the more interesting healing traditions is that of sacred sand painting
practiced by the Hopi culture in the southwestern United States. Here, it is
regarded as a kind of magic, where the ancestors and the Gods are called in to
aid the patient.
When the shaman finishes the painting (usually a two-day process), the
patient sits on one portion while the shaman chants and blesses him or her.
Eventually, some indication is given to the healer that the work is complete and
the sand painting is destroyed with the remains being given to the winds.
In our own healing rituals, sand could be used in a similar manner.
Personally significant symbols can be sketched with various colors of sand, then
given to the afflicted person to hold. He or she should then direct all aches
and pains to the grains of sand while releasing them to the winds. This will
carry the sickness away.

The term scapegoat dates back to the time when animals were used for disease
transference. Here, one particular animal would be chosen to bear the sickness
of the entire community, and would then be ritually killed, burned, or buried to
cure the people.
Most magical people today disdain such activities as disrespectful to the
animals involved, so a kinder alternative should be considered. Inanimate
objects such as the sand illustrated above can be substitute for a creature with
equal effectiveness, since symbolism is the most important factor in sympathetic

Skin Disease
Tenth-century Anglo-Saxons used a basic preparation of goose fat mixed with
elecampane, bishop’s wort, cleavers, and a spoonful of old soap, lathered it
onto the skin at night to relieve skin problems. Additionally, a little blood
taken from a scratch on the neck was released into a flowing stream to magically
carry the sickness. While it moved away, the afflicted person would say, “take
this disease and depart with it” three times, then return home by an open road,
going both ways in silence.

The sneeze was considered a message direct from God or a bit of the soul being
released. In Scotland, parents waited impatiently for their child’s first sneeze
to prove there was no fairy hold over him or her and that the child was thus of
sound mind.
There is also a form of divination by sneezing: if you sneeze after dinner
it means good health; three sneezes in a row portend gifts or a letter; two, a
wish; five, silver; six, gold. Perhaps it seems a little silly to try, but if
you are performing prosperity magic, you might keep a little pepper handy to see
if the sneeze helps empower your spell!

Sympathetic Magic
Sympathetic, or symbolic magic, whether called by that name or not, is common
throughout various cultures. For example, the patient would have a string
attached to the affected area and the healer would place the other end in his
mouth to suck out the sickness; to break curses or mark transitions from the
sickness to health, the patient would be moved through a fire or wreath.
Similar versions of sympathetic magic can be seen in prescriptions calling
for a wool string to be worn around the neck to cure a cold, red glass beads
worn as a necklace to prevent nosebleeds, placing medicine on an object of help
cure a wound it inflicted, and making headaches disappear by sleeping with
scissors under your pillow.
The marvelous part about sympathetic magick is the wide variety of
creative approaches it offers. Consider what it is you are trying to accomplish,
an appropriate symbol of that goal, and finally what magickal procedures you
want to follow, and you have just originated a personalized spell or ritual.

A nearly universal treatment for toothaches is clove oil.  In Kenya, wax or
chewing gum is used for temporary fillings. Another interesting superstition is
that a wedding ring touched to an aching tooth will relieve the pain because of
the power of love.

In Scotland, a poultice of onions is applied to the stomach and armpits in order
to help the body sweat out any toxic materials. This might be a good folk remedy
to try when you are going through a personal purification or attempting to rid
yourself of a physically addictive habit such as smoking.

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Folk medicine consists of traditional healing beliefs and methods used in
past cultures mostly by people deemed to have the healing power. As an part of a
culture’s knowledge and values, folk medicine is a system based on traditional
modes of conduct, of coping with sickness. Often sanctioned by the population’s
claims or religious beliefs, these popular practices are used to alleviate the
distress of disease and restore harmony in people who are emotionally or
physically ill, or both. Folk medicine’s lore is widely known among members of a
culture and is usually handed down from generation to generation by word of

In general, the system is flexible, allowing the introduction of new ideas about
sickness and healing practices, many of them borrowed from classical and modern



To implement the various folk curing practices, most social groups have
established a hierarchy of healers–beginning with the individuals affected,
their immediate families and friends, knowledgeable herbalists, members of the
clergy, faith healers, and SHAMANS, or medicine men. Many are consulted because
of their empirical knowledge of roots and herbs possessing medicinal properties.
Others are considered endowed with healing gifts because of station or accidents
of birth. The belief that posthumous children have such talents is widely known
in the United States. In the European folk-medical tradition, seventh sons and
daughters are said to possess unusual curing powers; the same applies to twins.
Often spouses and children of known healers are automatically considered to have
similar gifts. As in primitive medicine, many people affected by ailments that
are considered minor and natural treat themselves, with the help of family
members. A vast array of easily available herbal preparations known to most
members of the culture is used to effect a cure. More difficult cases suspected
to be of a magico-religious nature are referred to local healers who are endowed
with special powers. These shamans stage a variety of ceremonies and employ many
of the techniques used in preliterate social groups.



Native American folk medicine is popular in the less acculturated Indian
tribes. A notable example are the Navajos still living in their homeland.
Disease is considered a disruption of harmony caused either by external agents
such as lightning and winds, powerful animals and ghosts, and witchcraft, or by
the breaking of taboos. Three categories of folk healers are usually consulted:
first the herbalists, for symptomatic relief of minor ailments; if no
improvement is observed, then the hand trembler, or diviner, is called; finally,
the singer, or MEDICINE MAN, will carry out specific healing ceremonies
suggested by the hand trembler’s diagnosis. Ritual sweatbaths, drinking of
herbs, and elaborate sandpainting ceremonies characterize Navajo folk healing.



The hot-cold theory of disease ranks among the most popular systems of
contemporary folk medicine in the United States. In health, the human body
displays a balanced blending of hot and cold qualities. Sickness will ensue
if an excess of hot or cold foodstuffs is ingested. The basic scheme was
introduced into Latin America by the Spanish during the 16th century. Reinforced
by native cultural values, it became firmly embedded in popular Latin healing
traditions. The hot-cold scheme is applied to foods, diseases, and remedies. The
terms hot and cold do not necessarily refer to the temperature of foods or
remedies. Qualities are assigned on the basis of origin, color, nutritional
value, physiological effects of the food or remedy, as well as therapeutical
action. Among New York Puerto Ricans, for example, bananas, coconuts, and sugar
cane are considered cold, whereas chocolate, garlic, alcoholic beverages, and
corn meal are hot. Cold-classified illnesses such are arthritis, colds, and
gastric complaints must be treated with hot foods and remedies. Their hot
counterparts –constipation, diarrhea, and intestinal cramps–require treatment
with cold substances.



The medical folklore of black Americans contains elements derived from popular
European and African beliefs, blended with religious elements belonging to
Christian Fundamentalism and West Indian voodoo. The world is seen as a
dangerous place, prompting individuals to constantly exert caution because
of the whims of nature, frequent divine punishment, and the threat of witchcraft
practiced by hostile humans. Individuals are urged to look out for themselves,
be distrustful, and avoid the wrath of God. Sickness is broadly divided into
“natural” and “unnatural.” The former comprises bodily conditions caused by
environmental forces as well as God’s punishment for sin. Unnatural illness
represents health problems caused by evil influences and witchcraft after the
loss of divine protection; the magical intrusion of “animals” into the body and
the placement of a certain hex play prominent roles in the causation of disease.



Folk medicine is still popular among large groups of Mexican-Americans in New
Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, California, and especially in West Texas. Their
healing system, based on pre-Columbian indigenous lore, reflects a degree of
isolation and unwillingness to assimilate Anglo-Saxon culture. Moreover, the
inability of scientific medicine to offer relief for various categories of folk
illness further enhances the usefulness of these practices. Five types of folk
illness are most prominent: mal de ojo (evil eye), empacho (gastro-intestinal
blockage due to excessive food intake), susto (magically induced fright), caida
de la mollera (fallen fontanel, or opening in or between bones), and mal puesto
(sorcery). Prominent among Mexican-American folk healers is the curandero, a
type of shaman who uses white magic and herbs to effect cures. In the cosmic
struggle between good and evil, the curandero, using God-given powers, wards
against harmful spells and hexes. As in other folk systems, faith in the
curandero’s abilities is the essence of the healer’s continued success.



Folk medical systems, especially those ftinctionffig in a pluralistic society
comprising several distinct ethnic groups (as in the United States), govern
domestic healing activities to a great extent. Recently, the increasing
complexity, technicality, and cost of modem medicine have spurred renewed
attempts at self-medication and the use of herbal preparations, thus reviving
folk medical practices.

A number of folk remedies used *in the past are now manufactured as
pharmaceutical preparations prescribed by physicians. For example, rauwolfia is
an extract of the snakeroot plant, which was used for centuries in the Far East
for its calming effect. It is now prescribed by physicians to lower blood
pressure. Reserpine, a derivative of rauwolfia, has been used by psychiatrists
‘in treating severe mental disorders. Foxglove was first brewed by Indians to
treat dropsy, fluid in the legs caused by heart problems. This practice occurred
for hundreds of years before it was discovered that foxglove contributed the
active ingredients now known as digitalis. Today digitalis is commonly used to
stimulate weakened hearts.

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Homeopathy, from the greek word homoios meaning like or similar and pathos
meaning suffering was developed and given a scientific basis by Dr. Samuel
Hahnemann in the late 1700’s.  The basic principle of Homeopathy is
“similia similibus curentur” or “let likes be cured by likes”.  In
conventional medicine we are taught to think in terms of disease character-
ized by certain symptoms and the suppression of these symptoms as the cure.
Homeopathy, on the other hand, see the symptoms as evidence that the body
is working in a healthy way to overcome an unhealthy condition.  Cure in
homeopathic terms a restoration of normal internal stability in the
organism (homeostasis).  This is accomplished, not by opposing the natural
efforts of the body reflected in the symptoms, but by stimulating the
body’s own self healing power.  This is accomplished by administering
homeopathic medicines.

Homeopathic medicines are prepared in a unique way from fresh plant, animal,
or mineral sources.  In the case of sunstances that are insoluble, one
part of the original substance is mixed with nine parts of an inert medium,
usually lactose,  This is then triturated (ground) and tabletized.  The first
trituration results in a 1X potency and each additional trituration consist-
ing of one part of the previous potency and nine parts of lactose produces
the next potency (i.e. 2X, 3X, 4X etc.).  In the case of soluble substances
such as plants, a “mother” tincture is made by macerating fresh plant
material and then mixing this with alcohol and water.  Exact formulas are
contained in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoea.  After the prescribed period of
time, the resulting mixture is filtered  and the liquid is then the mother
tincture.  This liquid is made more potent in a step by step process
requiring the addition of alcohol in a nine to one ratio..  This is then
succussed, and so on for successive potencies.  This method is thought to
increase the effective surface area of the healing substances which in turn
stimulates an increase in the self healing power of the organism.  It is
important to realize that homeopathic potency is not just a highly diluted
solution but one made by a prescribed procedure of serial dilution and

In using homeopathic medicines care should be taken that it is taken when
the mouth is clean, that is not contaminanted with food, tobacco, tooth-
paste, etc.  Coffee is a antedotal to most homeopathic medications, that
is, it will cancel out the effect you get from the medicine.  The remedies
should be taken at least 15 mins. before or after eating.  They should
be held in the mouth, in order to facilitate the active substances to
be absorbed directly into the blood stream via the mucus membranes in
the mouth, thereby avoiding destruction by gastric acid in the stomach.

There are two different schools of thought in homeopathic medicine, one is
to treat the symptoms as they occur the other is method is to take a very
careful and complete history to develop a picture of the patient, his/her
constitution, and the ‘root’ of the problem.  The constitutional then
prescibes remedies not necessarily based on your current symptoms, but
on your overall ‘picture’… constitutional homeopaths argue that this
is the true way to heal a person.  When being treated by a doctor of
homeopathy, you could be given dilutions of a millionth potency (1,000,000X)
which can cause a temporary worsening of your symptoms as your body clears
itself of your illness.  The doctor will look to see if your symptoms are
occuring in reverse order. (i.e. say you had a skin rash, then developed
allergies, then developed asthma…the doctor would look to clear the asthma
first, then see the allergies clear up, finally you might develop the skin
rash you originally had which would be neutralized rather than ‘driven into
your body’ by various topical creams and/or cortisone).

Homeopathic remedies are quite safe to use.  The dilutions that are avail-
able over the counter (1X to 30X), will gently affect your system without
causing the reaction a higher potency might.  They are very handy to have
at home and work quite well on children. Homeopathy is very popular in
Europe, approximately 35% of the people in France see a homeopathic
physician.  The Queen of England’s personal physician is a homeopath.

If you are interested in learning more about homeopathy, a good book is
THE COMPLETE BOOK OF HOMEOPATHY by Michael Weiner and Kathleen Goss (Bantam).
There are many other educational organizations and pharmaceutical houses
devoted to homeopathy and they are a great source of information (the are
listed in the appendix of the afore mentioned book).

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Pagans/witches have a wide variety of healing techniques in their
arsenal.  The healing arts encompass the magical and medicinal herbalisms,
shamanistic practices (roughly speaking, using the powers of a spirit
guide), the raising of energy directed towards the patient (cone of power,
creative visualization, etc.), “direct” intercession with the gods, and
standard medical practices (Western medicine, Oriental medicine.)
An effective healing may be any combination of the above, depending on
Several rules of ethics govern the use of the healing arts.  These
follow, along with a few suggestions that may prove useful to the
practicioners of the healing arts:

*If a circumstance calls for standard Western medicine, do not ignore
this in favor of other methods of healing.  Any “witch” who tells you that
his/her treatment is only valid if one stops taking prescribed medicine, or
forgoes recommended surgery should be reported to the local Better Business
Bureau, post haste.  Either they do not realize that the magical methods can
complement “modern” methods, or they are (more likely) con artists.  Stop
them before they hurt someone else, in some cases, fatally.  There is a case
in New Jersey of someone who halted her insulin treatments by the order of a
“witch”, as proof that she had “faith” in that “witch’s” treatment.  Those
pagans who are M.D.’s see no substitution for standard medical practices.
Rather, other workings may be seen as supplementations.  This cannot be
stressed enough.

*Avoid charging for healings.  Certainly, reimbursement for equipment
used is valid, but charging for healings is both unethical and can get one
in trouble with the law, for practicing medicine without a license.  Now,
there is much debate within the Pagan community over charging for magical
services of whatever kind; but it seems to me to be a cheapening of the gift
to charge for it.

*Never heal someone without their consent.  Reasons a person may not
give his/her consent are varied, and must be considered.  Respect the wishes
of others.  One may, however, heal those for whom there is no way to ask
consent — if someone is in a coma, it is permissible to work a direct
healing upon that person.  I find that, for people I cannot mention Craft
healing work to, for one reason or another, that sending healing energy to
the VICINITY of that person is ethical.  The person is then free, on a lower
or subconscious level, to take in that energy (in whatever form they can use
it) or to reject it.  The energy is simply made available for their use,
interpretable by their psyches, and usable according to their own Will.  To
force healing upon someone, whatever your intent, interferes with the other
person’s freedom of choice, unethical in itself, and will have unfavorable
repercussions both for you and for that other person.  You might, for
instance, become the sort of person who Presumes to know what is Good For
Everyone Else, and you might have a good future as a book-burner (at least
in spirit).

*Some people seem to have more of a knack with the non-standard healing
arts than others.  Those people who are the best healers are not necessarily
in the best graces with their god/goddess.  Just because a person can heal
does not imply that their theo/a/logy is the best.  Much of non-traditional
haling may tap into some of the same wellsprings, but healing in and of
itself does not guarantee religious correctness.  Some healers, indeed, are
only marginally religious.  (Obviously, the same applies to MD’s.)

*A healer using herbs has the responsibility of knowing about the herbs
he or she uses.  There are many contradictory statements in the literature,
and there are some herbs that should not be taken in large concentrations;
and there are some herbs that should not be taken by pregnant women or
nursing mothers.  A herbalist should learn the literature, and learn to
distrust literature that does not list contraindications.  Some herbs
recommended in the literature are, frankly, mere superstitions.  Others have
indeed proved effective, and some of these have even passed on to Western
medical practice (digitalis, for instance).

*Those using creative visualization are advised to visualize the
patient as being healthy and happy.  Avoid, while doing the working,
visualizing the patient in his current sick or unhealthy state.  Sometimes
it helps to imagine the patient doing something he or she enjoys doing.

*In creative visualization/cone of power methods the patient may be
present, or may be absent.  It helps, if the patient is present, to touch
the patient directly and gently.

*Those using shamanistic techniques should be well-grounded in such
techniques.  They should have gone on various shamanistic journeys
themselves, and have overcome obstacles on such journeys.  This is in order
that one might be confident and capable during the ordeal of shamanistic

*After doing energy raising and/or shamanistic techniques of healing,
be very certain to “ground out”.  Shamanism has some of its own techniques,
but after Craft-style healings one method is to lay one’s hands forcibly on
the ground (or floor), exhaling deeply, feeling the excess power returning
to the Earth.

*As a healer, remember that a person’s sickness is not some sort of
supernatural punishment for something he has or has not done.  It is not
your position as healer to cast that sort of judgement.  There are some who
would disagree with me on this, but these are the same sorts who would
reckon AIDS to be a karmic punishment, or who would reckon the starvation in
Ethiopia to be another sort of karmic punishment.

*Know your level of competence.  If you are asked to do a healing, and
you are competent, and the person is sensible about seeking standard medical
help if appropriate; and/or if standard medical help is not helping, it is
in your position to render such aid as you are competent to render.

*No matter how you do whatever it is that you do concerning healing, a
proper “bedside manner” must be more than cultivated; it must be believed.

*Western culture is beginning to realize that standard medicine cannot
solve all illnesses.  Hence, the advent of hospices.  Non-standard healing
practices are (or should be) well-grounded in the notion that not every
ailment, disease, or illness can be cured.  It is a heavy responsibility
upon the healer to deal with this realization.  The pagan religions see
birth, life, and death as an acceptable and natural cycle.  At some time, a
pagan healer will likely come face to face with the notion of mortality;
with the notion that there are patients, despite all skill and caring, that
cannot be cured.  Depending upon the ailment, the healer must know how to
react.  This is true, of course, for even standard MD practice.  At a
certain point, the wholistic/pagan healer must accept the inevitability of
failure; possibly even the inevitability of death.  At such point, whatever
techniques the healer knows for bestowing a sense of tranquility to the
patient are appropriate.  Healing energy may be sent; sent to comfort and
confer the peace of mind essential for a good transition between life and
death.  It is also beneficial if people close to the patient relate to the
patient on a day-to-day basis of support and encouragement, allowing that
person to express whatever he or she needs to express.  Similar energy and
support, sent to a person to help them deal with a permanent but non-fatal
disability, is also appropriate.  Patients require confidence and strength
in such situations, and these may be reinforced in a number of ways, both
magical and day-to-day.

*Remember, take a lot of healing practices with a grain of salt.
Filipino spirit surgery I’d take with a whole bushel.

*One should also be aware of the values of preventative medicine.

– Jehana, 1987.  Distribute freely if copied in entirity –

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