In of June 'o8 I wrote an article on here about the various methods that healers can go to to protect themselves during energy work. I spoke of how most healers are empathic to some degree and how empaths often need to take extra measure to ensure that the integrity of their personal energies stays protected and intact when doing healing work on clients. I also mentioned the variety of methods that I was currently using to best protect myself - at the time it was a group of crystals, and a flower essence blend, along with some shielding techniques.
That October my fiance (now husband) and I took a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico to experience and participate in the Dia de los Muertos festivities down there. Being half-Mexican myself, but having never known my biological father or his family I had no exposure to the Mexican culture, and this trip was important to me to help me connect to my heratige, even if only in some small way. It ended up being a really amazing trip, and also very valuable for my healing and spiritual practice!
While we were down there I managed to arrange to have a limpia (traditional spiritual cleansing) with a local native Mexican shamanic healer. I was excited because I wanted to experience first-hand the egg-cleansing techniques, and also interested to see what the healer would tell me about my spiritual state of health. I was amazed at how much the healer told me about myself before he even got into the reading (healers will perform some kind of divination to help them ascertain the situation surrounding the client so they can tailor the healing to their needs)! This healer had also studied Traditional Chinese Medicine at some point, and found their system of organ balance to be very helpful. He told me right away that my liver needed more support, and I already knew that was the case at the time.
As he began the reading, he picked up on the fact that I myself work as a healer. The first thing he said to me once he got that info was that I needed more protection. I was surprised to hear this as I am such a huge proponent of spiritual protection and use many methods of cleansing and protection as a regular routine. He then asked me what was to be a KEY question for me: "What do I carry on me for protection?" I told him that I have a selection of protective and cleansing crystals I wear during treatments. He then asked, "What do you wear the rest of the time?". I said I did not wear any protective items when not in session.
Then he said what I have since found to be absolutely accurate, "When you are doing this work, you need protection ALL the time. 24/7. [I laughed at his use of this colloquialism] Doing this work attracts attention, both from people and from spirits. That attention does not go away when you are done working with someone. You must wear something to protect you always, or you will have many problems."
He showed me the leather pouch that he wore at all times that contained protective items, and also another necklace that he wore specifically during healings. I asked if there was something specific that I should use, and he answered that there is no one thing, since every culture and spiritual tradition has many options for protection. It was a matter of choosing something that I could easily wear at all times (for example, a chunky leather pouch would not have been ideal for me due to my other career, and my regular style of dress), and something that I felt connected strongly to.
Right at that moment I knew what would be best for me - a blessed St. Michael holy medal!
Now, I am not Catholic, but I recognize that there is alot of spiritual power in many of the practices of Catholicism. They also just have so many neat things - medals, statues, holy cards, holy water, blessed oil, rosaries, 7-day vigil candles, etc, etc! If you turn to angels and saints for aid in your path, then you likely can make great use of many Catholic spiritual items. I work very closely with Archangel Michael who is a very strongly protective warrior angel, so wearing a medal that represented his energies made perfect sense to me. I also wanted to have it properly blessed. Now I know that being a Divine Being, that I can bless my own spiritual items, but I wanted to have this one blessed by a cleric that I knew had a great deal of spiritual understanding and power.
When I returned home, I wrote to Tau Malachi, head of the Sophian Gnostic mystical and esoteric Christian tradition. I follow many Sophian teachings and practices, and felt very connected to the energy that Tau Malachi works with. He graciously agreed to bless the medal for me, and so I sent it off to him right away. A few weeks later I received it back with a message that he had blessed and empowered the medal for protection during a group ceremony and ritual. I was extremely grateful to him. I put the medal on that very day, and have never taken it off since!
I can attest to the fact that since I have been wearing this protective medal I have been able to maintain my personal energetic integrity with much more ease than previously. I no longer need to wear the crystals and take the flower essence blend. I simply say a prayer to St. Michael to surround me with his protective energies and angels during healings. I use my Smokeless Smudge Aura & Space Clearing Spiritual Aromatherapy Spray before and after each treatment, and I do a very thorough smudge of my healing studio once a week with sage and frankincense. I've found that this has now enabled me to practice very safely, and with much less ongoing effort to preserve my energetic health.
Since then, I have suggested to all my Usui Reiki students who are practicing professionally, or plan to, to consider obtaining a protective amulet to wear on their person at all times. And I am offering this suggestion to my readers as well! It can be a ring, or a bracelet, an earring, or a pendant, or anything that one can easily wear at all times. Make sure that whatever the amulet is crafted out of, that it is made from authentic items that have a history of being used for spiritual protection.
Some may feel drawn to wear a bindrune made for protection, while someone else may wish to use a seal of protection from the Western ceremonial practices. There are protective amulets from the Buddhist and Hindu faiths, and amulets from the Islamic and Jewish traditions. Whatever your background may be, you should be able to find something that you resonate with. If you are not someone who knows how to perform their own blessing and empowering rites, then it is fairly easy to find a spiritual practitioner who can empower an amulet for you. If you come from a tradition where a priest/ess or other spiritual leader generally performs this service for their members, then it should be very easy for you to have your item blessed.
It is definitely true that doing spiritual work on a regular basis draws attention to yourself. If you are practicing and lecturing publically, then you are bringing attention of other people upon yourself. Certainly not all, or even a large minority of this attention will be negative or harmful. But there are always people out there who will think ill of others - and negative thoughts do carry energy with them. The malocchio, or the evil eye, is well-known throughout the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern worlds, and is brought about my people thinking envious thoughts while looking at someone. Most of the time this is unconscious, and the people do not realize that they are casting negative energy upon others. One does not have to be Greek to suffer the effects that this kind of transfer of energy can bring. Unfortunately there are the very rare individuals who will actively try to bring negativity and harm upon other spiritual workers and healers for a variety of reasons - sometimes it's simple competition, and sometimes it's more irrational. If you are coming into contact with many new people in your role as healer and spiritual practitioner, you leave yourself open to this kind of energy if you are not protected.
Also, when doing healing and spiritual work, we create a great deal of Light on the astral and subtle planes of existence. Just like moths to a flame, some of the astral wildlife will be drawn to us and our places of work. Most of these are harmless and can be, at worst, somewhat of a distraction from time to time. But there are also entities out there that are more mischievous, or downright malicious. Spiritual work creates a beacon of sorts, and many curious critters come sniffing around. Some are hungry for energy and Light and will attach themselves to places or people that are good sources of this food. They can drain our personal energies, or impinge on the sanctity of our working space. Keeping a strong field of protection will help keep these and other astral pests at bay.
So, it is just another aspect of healing and spiritual work that we need to be aware of and find efficient ways of dealing with. Wearing a protective amulet has been one such method that has been around since the dawn of time. Take some time to consider if obtaining and wearing one would aid your practice. I know it has helped mine many times over!