Recently I attended a charity event and ran into a young woman I had met nearly 2 years prior through a mutual friend. Feeling out of place in the bar environment, I was excited to speak with her, as I recalled her also being a Reiki practitioner.
We started to chat. It wasn’t so much a chat, as it was her own monologue, detailing her recent achievements. She begins by telling me she recently began attending a University to pursue a new program that sounded unique, progressive and like it would change the way medicine is performed in typical Western institutions. Pretty cool. I told her that I, too had recently been accepted to the same University for a different holistic medicine program. At this point I’m psyched we are chatting.
She then launches into how she had just completed a multi day conference in this field as she is a speaker at conventions. I find this extra intriguing, and somewhat suspect, as, when we met, just 20 short months prior, she seemed to not know anything about spiritual healing, and was grilling me about my work; in particular how I supported myself financially as a ” healer”….. I begin to wonder how, in such a short duration, she became so expertly qualified to speak at conferences. My ego/bullshit-antennae pop up but I give her a pass, as up until this point, her work seemed transformative and mostly legitimate.
In comes the braggadocio, “Not only THAT, I’m a Reiki Master, and now I’m doing ‘Reiki Shamanism’ ”
My bullshit antennae are then fully engaged, as ‘Reiki Shamanism’ is a fluffy new agey branding term that isn’t really a thing… and the way she was speaking about Shamanism led me to believe she truly had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. I tell her my roots are in Hawaiian and Celtic Shamanism ( this is true) and I have extensively studied the Indian and Nepali traditions, (also true) but I dont know much about the African tradition she claimed to follow. (not entirely true). I figured if she was telling me the truth, she could actually follow the conversation and offer something. I begin speaking about the work that I do.
Sure enough, she changes the subject completely… and shifts the conversation back to the problems she sees in the medical field. I express my disgust over healers who charge exorbitant amounts, “I believe healing should be accessible to all. Ive seen some Reiki practitioners and people like ‘us’ charging $300 a session and have these ridiculous plans where people are required to purchase more than one session, like a subscription…. so they roped into spending like a thousand bucks right off the bat…”
She retorts , “well I charge $400, but its for two hours… so its not that bad….. I do require a follow up …. but I have thought a lot about pricing and I know that’s what I’m worth. I am a Reiki Master with over 10 years in the Wellness space and this is what I feel I deserve.”
Say what? Yeah, no. Ego and Bullshit meters are now reeling off the charts.
As her egoic monologue continues, I think back to when we first spoke 20 months prior. She was pretty humble at the time, volunteering as a Reiki practitioner at a hospital. I gave her a referral to my Reiki Master, as she was a level 1 and was looking to advance. I remember her being super interested in my work and the fact that I made a living full time as a healer. Whatever she was doing at the time, it was not Reiki and definitely not healing. Her lies about her experience were so egregious it actually made me question my own recollection. On the way home from the event in the taxi I pulled up our facebook conversation from the day after we met, and sure enough, found my message referring her to my mentor to learn energetic and spiritual healing as well as continue her Reiki studies. I even pulled up her LinkedIn profile, which boasts of her decade long experience in ……. nope not ‘wellness’ .. are you ready ?
So a mere 20 months after she had literally zero experience with spiritual healing, she somehow is a “speaker” and requires those interested in healing themselves to commit $800 to even BEGIN with her.
As I was reeling in disbelieve that this ” healer” was blatantly lying to my face she asks me, “So do you know how to do a Soul Retrieval by yourself? ” I nearly fell off the banquette as she then indicated that she does not know how to Journey.
For those unfamiliar, Shamans do all of their work on the astral, or spiritual plane. Journeying involves going into trance, leaving the earth plane, and going off on the astral to interact with spirit for the purpose of healing. This woman’s inability to Journey, as a self proclaimed “Reiki Shamanism” practitioner, is like someone calling themselves a Nascar driver and not knowing how to drive.
The real crime occurred moments later, when got up on stage to lead the 150 or so gathered in a “grounding meditation.” She instructed everyone to close their eyes, ” breathe in love and intention, and breathe out everything that doesnt serve” (cliche. but ok) and picture a white light beginning at our feet, and travelling up to our crowns.
No. Just No. Grounding is the complete opposite of white light travelling UP the body. That sort of meditation, if anything, will connect you to the higher realms via your crown chakra. Grounding 101: you send your energy DOWN into the earth, similar to the grounding prong on an outlet. ..NOT UP !!
So this “Shaman” who doesnt know how to journey, with less than two years experience as a Reiki Master, is charging DOUBLE what most far older, wiser healers with decades of actual life experience charge, and is standing up in front of large crowd, and giving them complete bullshit instruction. I sat there becoming simultaneously sickened and irate that the 150 or so folks in that room might do this nonsense meditation on their own, when they have an actual need to ground. Anger boiled inside of me thinking of all of he clients who come to her sad or feeling helpless, seeking spiritual medicine, but instead are force fed a metaphorical sugar pill, and wind up just as sad or broken as they were before…. and $800 poorer.
Still wondering why this liar made me so livid?
Fakes like her make it difficult for actual healers to heal. Countless individuals truly needing unconventional methods such as energy work and shamanic healing will be deterred from going deeper and doing the work they truly need to do, after their $400 session yields zero results. Some will see her super high rates and assume she must be very special to command such money, and choose her over a true and humble healer charging half, under the assumption that the cheaper healer might not be as good. Instead of referrals, those who couldnt feel the benefits will tell their friends that Reiki and spiritual healing is a bunch of baloney. Instead of helping the greater good, these bullshit artists hurt it.
In New York City, there is a pretty large pseudo-spirituality culture forming, where nearly everyone is a self professed ” healer”. Parties abound combining fluffy self invented healing meditations of dubious origen, mixed with “yoga” mixed with DJ’s. More often than not, the ” healer” up there on stage leading the meditation is similar to the specimen I encountered last night : lacking substance, humility and experience, while egoically seeking to build their practice/ name by doing their “work” at these trendy functions. Somehow the instagram/facebook self-branding of everyone has yielding “healers” believing a following cultivated by by speaking/ attending parties / hashtagging will yield a successful practice.
All of the real healers I know just fucking do the work. When youre aligned with your purpose and acting in service, as a healer or otherwise, the universe facilitates the rest : clients find you, money flows when you need it, you get exactly what you need.
What began as anger for this woman, turned to pity when I realized that she charges what she does, and talks the way she does because she is so rooted in her own ego, she couldn’t possibly align with the flow of her purpose. She is struggling, and will continue to .
Please choose to heal yourself alongside someone to whom your soul is drawn, NOT because they speak to crowds and charge exorbitant fees. Experiential knowledge dictates that the more branded and fluffed up a healer is, the more inexperienced and full of it they usually are.
Please consider this as a cautionary tale.
Lots of Love,
P.S. Extra-curricular activity if you want a really good chuckle : Watch ‘ Kumare’ , a documentary in which a totally normal dude pretends to be a healer… and amasses a cult following who eat his b.s. up with a spoon. Its available on Netflix, I believe…