The world needs help.

There is a tremendous amount of bad going on lately. But more than that – there is a lot of FOCUS on all this bad. And the more we focus on negatives – the more we draw these negatives to us.

As a Warrior of the Light (and for a full definition of that phrase, I refer you to Paulo Cuelho’s book of the same name) I feel I must do my part to be a bright spot in the darkness. Even as I go through my own personal dark patches, I must still hold onto the spark of light within.

Yes, that does sound kinda hokey. But nevertheless, it is still an important truth. And if I forget it (and sometimes I do) then I am doing myself no favors – nor am I all that much good to help others.

Long ago and way back when, somewhere in 1998 or 1999, I was introduced to the practice of Reiki. Reiki, for those who do not know, is an energy healing modality that can be helpful to pain, fatigue, depression, and overall wellbeing. It can cause no harm, either to the practitioner or the recipient. It is a bright point in the dark.

What IS Reiki? I get that a lot from people, and I believe I have a simple explanation. But it requires a couple basic facts.

Fact 1. Everything is energy. We are made up of cells, which are made up of atoms, which are made up of electrons, which are made up of strings, which are made up of energy. It is the point of origin for EVERYTHING in the universe, and it flows around us, into us, through us. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It just IS – and it changes form from the visible and physical to the invisible and untouchable.

This has been expressed by science, religion, and even fiction. “Luminous beings are we – not this crude matter,” stated Yoda in Empire Strikes Back. And he’s right. Buddhism, Christianity, Islam – the way they describe God is on the same line – always is, always was, always will be. The key to it ALL is energy.

Fact 2. Energy is all around us. We take form, as do cats and dogs, planes trains and automobiles, trees, clouds…you name it. But in addition to the energy you can see and touch, there is formless energy as well. And it is always flowing around us. There is visible and NOT visible light – like infrared. We KNOW it is there, even though we cannot see it. This applies to universal energy, too.

Fact 3. Universal Energy is neither good nor evil. It just IS. It is pure, neutral energy. It DOES have many of the properties of a living entity – but it remains a neutral thing, until it is channeled into a form where it can become good or evil, light or dark, whatever.

Fact 4. Good and Evil are just abstract concepts. VERY VERY little falls into either of these absolutes – and they are both easily subjective terms. Bearing that in mind – energy being neutral, no practice is good nor evil unless the intent behind the practice takes one of those conceptions.

Fact 5. There are forces beyond scientific explanation. ESP. Telepathy. Telekenetics. Ghosts. Spirits. Faeries. Magick. Past lives. Some people believe in NONE of these. But I have seen and experienced too many inexplicable things to dismiss them as non-existent. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy – and I don’t care how much of an atheist or pragmatist or humanist or realist you consider yourself – there are explanation defying things out there.

Fact 6. Medical science is NOT infallible! I am living proof of this. I have the tibia and fibula of my right leg FUSED TOGETHER. According to medical science, I should walk with a limp. BUT I DON’T. One explanation has been that I subconsciously misalign my hips in order to effect a limpless walk. But even if that is the case – it has never been definitively proven – and I do not suffer any ill effect in my hip from this.

Cancers that are incurable have been cured. People told they had months to live went on for YEARS. Wounds incapable of healing healed. Women incapable of bearing children are mothers. And no matter how much medical science attempts to explain these things – they happen too frequently and in too many different ways to be easily explained away.

So you get alternative therapies. Accupunture and accupressure. Massage therapy. Reflexology. Cranial Sacral therapy. And crystal and energy healing.

So back to the original question. What IS Reiki? Reiki is the practice of channeling Universal Energy for overall wellness, wellbeing, and healing. Reiki is the giving and receiving of pure energy to be used as necessary by the recipient. Reiki is available for everyone.

Reiki uses energy to help with the overall wellness of a person or even an animal. But there are a couple key misconceptions about Reiki that bear explanation.

Misconception: A Reiki practitioner uses his/her own energy for healing. Reiki uses Universal Energy. A Reiki practitioner (and practitioner IS the most correct term for a user of Reiki) does NOT use his/her energy in the healing process. That one bears repeating. A Reiki practitioner DOES NOT use his or her own energy in the healing process. A Reiki practitioner is a conduit – you are simply channeling Universal Energy into your client for their benefit.

When I first began to understand energy, and my own abilities to manipulate it, I used my own energy. And that’s a mistake a LOT of energy healers/wiccans/etc make when it comes to energy work. You DO have a finite amount of energy that is PURELY YOURS. And it really is NOT a great idea to use it on others. But Universal Energy, which is everywhere around us, is universal – it is for anyone and everyone. And it belongs to everyone and no one. It cannot be created nor destroyed – it simply IS.

Misconception: Reiki either involves no touch at all, or it has set hand positions. This is part of why several of my friends refer to Reiki as “I’m not touching you – I’m not touching you!”

Now over the decades since Dr. Usui brought Reiki back from its long absence from common knowledge, a number of different schools of thought have emerged about its exact practice. I have studied several of them – and reached my own conclusions. This is purely MY opinion on this topic.

Reiki is intuitive. And when I am practicing Reiki on a client, I don’t have a set way of doing it or specific hand positions for specific parts of the body. No, I go with my intuition. And I go where I feel I need to place energy. Sometimes I touch my client – sometimes I don’t. I certainly do not place hands on my clients’ private parts – even though I have seen practices for how to do this, I don’t feel it is necessary. I don’t think it makes a difference if I am working on someone’s front, back, or what. With the exception of specifically directed practice (limbs, joints, that sort of thing) I focus on general body energy flow.

Misconception: Reiki can only be practiced and received by those who believe in it. Now it’s true that you will get more benefit from Reiki if you believe it can benefit you. But even if you don’t – it cannot hurt you. And it is for EVERYONE.

Misconception: Reiki can cause harm. Not true. Universal Energy is neutral. Harm can only come from harmful intent on the part of the individual – Reiki itself can do no harm.

Misconception: Reiki practitioners take on the illnesses of those they help. Not true – you are not TAKING anything when you practice Reiki. You are GIVING. More than that – you are CONDUCTING. You are passing Universal Energy through yourself into and through your hands into your client – taking nothing, giving nothing of yourself, simply being a conduit for the energy to pass into another person for their own wellness.

Sometimes you DO take in some of that energy for yourself – but that’s only because the intelligence inherent in the Universal Energy has determined that the practitioner needs some it, too. But that remains separate from the energy you are passing through to the recipient.

Reiki is about pure energy. It is about being a Warrior of the Light, and helping to bring about healing and wellness to the world. Reiki is a good and positive thing. And my intent is to do more to share that.

The Urban Muse started to do a Wellness clinic for cancer patients and cancer survivors once a month. This clinic is staffed by volunteers, practicing aesthetics, massage therapists, Reiki and other energy healing practitioners. About six months or so ago, I began to volunteer to do Reiki at these clinics.

It has been an amazing, VERY positive experience for me. I have been having a wonderful, positive, healing effect on a number of people going through something pretty terrible – and I am so deeply grateful to be able to GIVE this back. And that has gotten me to thinking about sharing my gift.

I began to give thought to the fact that I am, though I seldom have practiced, a Reiki Master – and am attuned so I can pass attunements to others. I determined that the time has come to be more confident in my abilities, and to pass on my knowledge. The world needs all the health and healing we can give it – and part of my duty and joy as a Warrior of the Light is to be a guide for any who may heed me. I have begun to study the attunement symbols again, so I can start passing it on.

So even if you think I am a little nuts (I probably am) or being oddly hooky-spooky – I want to make the world a better place, in whatever way I can. And if this has opened your eyes to possibility you may not have considered before – then my work is meaningful.