Spiritual Healing During Sickness
First off, this is not a blog or a post that will claim at any point in time to forego sensible or medically-appointed medical checkups, treatments or regimens. In other words if your doctor says “you need to drop that weight to drop your blood sugar” I’m not going to say something like “P’shaw, take this herbal supplement and do some energy work, that’ll clear up.” I’m also not going to say something like “you can’t be a Pagan and be mentally ill”, as keeping anyone who honestly seeks religion and religious community is something I seriously do not believe. There are boundaries one can draw between mental illness and psychic phenomenon, and while I do not know them, I have talked to those with honest-to-the-Gods mental illness, and according to both them and their respective counselors there are differences that can be drawn, and boundaries that must be kept. However, as I’ve neither the training, expertise, licensing, or ability to go into them right now, I won’t. That’s the end of the lengthy disclaimer.
What I am here writing about is about the topic above, and its uses. Since I came down with this nasty flu/cold bug I’ve been doing spiritual healing. I think, however, it is important to note I’ve not been doing the healing in lieu of treatment, but alongside of taking care of myself. The bug hasn’t been so nasty that I felt I needed to go to the doc, though trust me I would be there ASAP if I did. I simply don’t get sick that often, and when bugs hit my system, they tend to hit in a big way. During the colder times of the years I may tend to get asthma attacks if I’m out in the cold during sickness, but that’s the only time I get them now. In addition to bedrest I’ve been taking Aleve for the headaches, and DayQuil for the congestion and other symptoms. I’ve been eating quite a bit of fruit and soup, mostly apples for fruit and chicken noodle variants for soup, and drinking lots of orange juice.
Why all this mundane stuff first? Because if you don’t give spirit avenues to work through, what would be the point of trying to heal yourself? So often cited in the occult communities is the example of ‘sending in an application before you do a spell for a job’, though I’ve heard of a very few people just doing the spell and getting a job offer dropped on them. What isn’t talked about in the latter case, often, is the word-of-mouth or public profiles on sites like Monster.com, all of which required, to one degree or another, effort for the spellwork to pay off. I’m not saying the rare case doesn’t happen where the person just throws the magic out there and gets a hit, but I would argue that is quite, quite rare. Personally, I’ve yet to see a spell of mine work that hasn’t required prep work.
For healing, a lot of that prep work is doing the required self-care so the healing can be facilitated. You could argue “What’s the point of spiritual healing?” then. I look at it like this:
- Spiritual healing can allow your body, mind, and soul, together, to participate in a unified, holistic way toward your healing.
- Spiritual healing can offer your body a time to relax and recoup in the middle of stress on its immune system or other systems.
- Spiritual healing can offer your mind a way to focus on what matters in the midst of sickness: recovery.
- Spiritual healing can offer your spirit a method of integrating its gifts into your life in a new way, and enhancing your wellbeing.
- Spiritual healing can offer your whole Self a chance to work toward a common goal while still maintaining separate relationships among your Being.
Can it do it guaranteed? No. Nothing is guaranteed by spiritual healing, and if you go into it declaring “this will fix all of my [sickness name/issue]” then you are probably going to be disappointed. Magic is not a shortcut, if anything, I have found it to be a tough road to go down with good rewards for those who stick with it. This does not mean that even completely new beginners cannot use magic to help effect healing, but understand that input tends to equal output, at least in my experience. That input is largely up to you in terms of your sickness at hand, the amount of work you’ve put so far into your own magic, any spiritual relationships you have (including Gods, spirits, etc.), and what kind of magic you want to use in the first place. Below I’ve put the steps I use as prep work:
- Before beginning any magical working, I recommend some serious reflection on the illness: have you done as much as you reasonably can to work with it, treat it, etc.? Have you gone to the doctor if you needed to, followed the pill regimen or treatment? If not, you need to do this first.
- What stage of the sickness are you in? How much energy to dedicate to this? Would it be better for you to save your energy and trust others to work on your behalf?
- Decide upon what kind of magic you want to do. Do you want to eradicate the virus? You’ll probably be looking at destructive magic. Do you want to enhance your body’s healing? Then you can look at enchantment (i.e. cutting or tracing runes onto food/drinks) or the wearing of crystals or amulets against sickness.
- Write out or otherwise plan a ritual, spell, enchantment, etc., taking care to be aware of your needs before, within, and after the working.
- Reflect upon the working, asking any Gods, spirits, etc. that you plan to call for advice, or commune with your Higher Self, to determine, spiritually, if the working is what you need. You can also get a divination spread or two from a source you trust just to be sure.
- Execute the working.
- Allow the results to come into your life, but do not be bound by a timeline, your own or someone else’s, for the healing. Let your body, mind, and spirit work as a team, and do not rush the healing with thoughts of “I should be over this now” any more than you would push your immune system with extreme exercise. To take care of the spiritual angle, I would recommend you do not do any other workings until you have recovered.
Do not stop treatment or taking medicine, pills, etc. just because you’ve done a working.
If you are just starting to learn, I would advise you to do small things which I will go over in the 3-part section on types of healing I would recommend to beginners, intermediates, and advanced practitioners. Note that, for right now, I’m talking only about you doing spiritual healing with just yourself. Groups are another matter entirely, and I may cover it in another post. Don’t think that the ‘small things’ can’t be powerful. Some of the biggest things we do in life start or are small. My wearing an eagle ring every day goes completely unnoticed to most people, but to me it is a symbol of Odin, and confers His protection and sense of Presence to me. I wear the Thor’s Hammer for the same reason, in addition to it being an outward sign of my path as a Northern Tradition Pagan.
Keep in mind that as we go through this section, I have my own biases and understanding as to what a ‘beginner’ is, and rather than ‘beginner’ and ‘advanced’ being opposed concepts, I look at them like I do a lot of things: they’re on a continuum, and even inside the concept of ‘beginner’ there is a continuum as to how ‘beginner’ and ‘advanced’ one is within that being a ‘beginner’. For each technique I will be giving I will have done it just prior to typing it.
Healing for Beginners
I’m more or less assuming this section is for the person not even out of 101 material yet, and is still figuring out a lot of the basics. It assumes that all you may have at this point is a basic understanding of working with energies, maybe the Elements. So it is kind of scant because I don’t want to throw a lot at a newcomer.
The first thing I would say a beginner can do is very basic: blessing salt and water. These two objects are some of the most used objects in ritual magic today of any religious tradition. Catholicism makes use of them in holy water, and most modern Pagan religions use them as their own holy water, and additionally use them to consecrate by Earth, and Water. Buryat and Monogolian Shamans have their own holy water which is called arshaan, (Sangarel) which is either vodka, milk, tea, or perhaps water dependent on what realm one wants to work in (for more details see pg. 188 of Chosen by the Spirits). It is used for many of the same purposes as above, as holy water: conveyors of purification, consecration, and sometimes, of healing.
The act of changing water into a container itself of healing energy is a worldwide religious phenomenon, and occurs in a vast number of ways. One of the ways that works for me is to put my hands over the container in the form of a triangle or left hand over right, and speak a prayer over the liquid. In my case, I’m using orange juice. Given that OJ is often grown in sunny climates and it is acidic, I see it being aligned with the Elements of Water and Fire, Sun, and given its Vitamin C, healing in this case. Since the Rune is a Rune of the Sun, I am tracing this over the cup three times, a magical number in the Northern Tradition system. So I give it the following blessing:
“O being of Water and Fire, healer, I bless you by Sowilu; may you strengthen and empower me, and may I honor your gift.” I believe that when you ask a spirit, even the spirit of a plant-being like orange trees to help you, that you give something back even if it is small. A gift can be of energy or time, savoring the orange juice, doing something with your time of import rather than wasting it when you are healthy, anything that the spirit asks for in kind (within reason!) or a gift you wish to give of yourself to the spirit. Yes, I am serious in offering to the spirit of the orange tree; it has given me much of its fruit, the least I can do is give back in my own way. When you do make that gift, I would say:
There are plenty of other techniques beginners can use, but I figured this would be an accessible one for any beginner. When I first started I had a couple points of sea salt in a small glass vial and whatever I could scrounge together from my dorm room, and that was it for my beginning ritual tools.
Healing for Intermediates
Intermediates I see as those who have a good grasp of ritual, God/dess, spirits, energy-work, spellcraft, ritual-craft, and are perhaps specialized or knowledgeable of areas of psychic or magical ability (i.e. psychometry, reading the tarot, energy healing, etc.) They may or may not be engaged in experiments regarding magic, they may or may not be delving deeply into themselves or their faith, but I think what really marks an intermediate from a beginner is an ability to explore their magic, themselves, their Gods, their religion, the world around them, or some other aspect of life, and have the means to do so even if they don’t. I sometimes have a hard time of discerning what an intermediate does or doesn’t know versus what an advanced practitioner might, so what I write below is as close to what I can get to an intermediate working.
An intermediate could do something like make a crystal matrix (setting up crystals in a pattern, using the effects of the crystals energies and the pattern to affect the changes one wants), or do an intricate ritual, but as with the beginner material I wanted to write something that would be accessible. There have been a lot of times where I didn’t have access to basic ritual tools like most would have on an altar. Keep in mind these workings are adjustable to what you need them to do; you do not have to work within my paradigm.
Since we worked with Water and Earth last time, this time we’ll work with Fire and Air. These two Elements can be incredible for healing and relief, despite their other nature as destructive forces. In many religions Fire is a purifying force, a force that can comfort or destroy, while Air is the giver of Life itself and at the end of Life, is its taker. So, working with this idea in mind, the working is centered around purifying, comforting, and bringing the flow of Life back into balance in health for the worker.
All that you need is a simple candle and a means to light it with. When you begin to take out the match or lighter, feel the potential energy of purification flow through that object, the Fire waiting to be born from the striking or flint and steel. When it lights and you light the candle, bow to the flame, saying:
“Spirit of Fire, healer and and comforter, hearth-flame and fighter of sickness, help my body to purify itself, [name body part or system that is sick, i.e. lungs/head for cold and headache], help my mind to focus on the healing I need to do, and give my spirit comfort.” Then, blow out the flame, and as the smoke curls, say, either breathing in the smoke or speaking to it:
“Spirit of Air, Life-giver and fear-killer, purifier and knower of sickness, help me to bring my Life back to balance, make my body strong, my mind clear, my spirit whole.”
With this blessing, align yourself with your energy centers, and let the energy you have received integrate itself, trusting the Element to help you. Keep in mind that by this time I assume you have healthy relationships with these Elements. To be blunt, if you don’t, don’t do this working.
Upon letting this energy integrate into your energy body, sigilize it by using the Osman Spare method or another that works for you. This link provides an incredibly detailed look at the background of the Osman Spare method, while this link is the practicum of doing it. Either way, the sigil is there so you can call on the energies of this working whenever you have need of it.
Healing for Advanced
Designating what is advanced is hard in magical working and Paganism because there’s so much attachment that comes along with it. Whether you’re looking at potentially being called elitist for saying something is advanced, or silly, one person’s advanced is another’s beginner level work. Some people might put the sigil method above squarely into advanced territory, while others may have been doing it since they began working with magic. So please understand that when I write this next section it is with bias of my own understanding of advanced. Again, this is wrote as though you have limited resources, namely a pencil and pen, and match.
Start off with what kind of healing you want in mind before this working begins. You’ll be incorporating your own body into this working, so make sure of what you want. When you have decided, sigilize it using the techniques above. From here, you create a mudra, chant, or other sacred gesture for each direction (include above, below and middle if you feel inclined). You could also incorporate your chakra system, as you are combining your energy with that of the Gods, spirits, or energies you’ve called into your space.
Once the prep work is finished, place the sigil on your altar or person, call to the Powers you wish or that will help you in this working. Do not rush this; let the energies unfold slowly. Go too fast and you might stress your already-taxed system. As each energy comes in, adding to the sigil’s energy, pour your own in from your own Elemental Self (or chakras if you are interfacing with them) until the sigil is charged as much as you feel it needs to be, and in the manner you feel it needs to be. When this is done, chant your Elemental chants or make your mudras over the sigil, then either light the sigil on fire, ingest it, put it into running water that you stand in or wade into, or perform another action that you feel ‘releases’ the energy towards its destination, namely you. Whatever your ritual actions, it should be involving yourself as much as any other energies you call in, and the release of the energy should direct the sigil’s energies back to you.
My hope is that this is just a small stop on your way to discovering more effective methods for yourself on self-healing and healing of others during sickness. Thank you for reading.
Sarangarel, Chosen by the Spirits.