Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Ethics for Magical People: Healing (2 of 2)

Reiki Symbols

The other thing that novice healers may forget is that the sender and receiver are connected by an “energetic cord”, since this is how the energy is send and received.  If the sender is not careful, they could end up syphoning off the receiver’s energy later on.  It can also happen in reverse with the recipient depleting the sender. For these reasons, Wintersong Tashlin adds that the energy body is just as inviolate as the physical body. 

The Eden Energy Medicine Institute has an ethics committee to outline their code for energy healers.  One section from this ethics code states that, “EH practitioners closely monitor their needs to be liked, to be admired, to achieve status, and to exercise power.”  The Ethics Committee explains that these needs interfere with the healer’s discernment and judgment.  Also the Committee stresses that these desires prompt the healer to make unrealistic claims of effectiveness, which in turn raises the client’s expectations.  To avoid this from happening, the healer should be mindful of their own hidden desires.

Clarifying these desires is necessary.  John Coughlin, author and occult magickal practitioner, suggests asking yourself the question:  “Are you sure the intent of your decision is from vested interest or ulterior motive?”  He continues, “Are you helping your friend for purely selfish reasons?”  Therefore, Coughlin counsels before you offer any type of magickal healing, you need to be crystal clear about your motives.

In the case study of Tracy and Jennifer, they are two fourteen-year olds faced with a traumatic situation.  Because her grandmother is dying, Tracy wants Jennifer, her best friend, to do magickal healing for her grandmother.  Neither has the maturity to deal with this dilemma.  Tracy cannot let go of her grandmother, and Jennifer cannot disappoint her friend.  Meanwhile Tracy’s grandmother wants to be left in peace to die.

As a compromise, Jennifer suggested doing a healing ritual where they would ask the grandmother on the astral plane.  She believes that if Tracy’s grandmother consents astrally, then the girls can send magickal healing. This ritual is problematic since the grandmother may be unconscious and unable to consent.  Moreover, according to John Coughlin, contacting people on the astral plane is difficult even for the experienced magickal healer.  He stresses that this option is the “the escape clause” for doing magickal healing without the recipient’s permission.

The other ethical problem the girls have is Tracy’s intense desire to have her grandmother not die.  Since Tracy’s grandmother is adamant about not receiving any treatment, the ritual would make Tracy the final arbiter of her grandmother’s fate.  This would deny her grandmother, her final agency.

Furthermore, Jennifer’s “healing ritual” would be a violation of Tracy’s grandmother’s stated wishes.  Moreover, the ritual would compromise the grandmother’s religious beliefs.  As a Christian, she would be aghast to discover that she unknowingly participated in a “witchy healing.”

Jennifer could do the following instead.  In the ritual, she could ask Tracy to envelope her grandmother with her love, since they have a natural bond.  This would affirm her love for her dying grandmother.  By doing, this Tracy would begin to understand that she needs to let her grandmother go.  The focus of Jennifer’s ritual would be Tracy, instead of her grandmother. 

Works Used:
Coughlin, John, “Magical Ethics and Pseudo-Metaphysics”, Author’s Website, 2004,

----, “Ethics Code for Energy Healing Practitioners”, Eden Energy Institute, 16 September 2010,

Feinstein, David, Douglas Moore, Dale Teplitz, “Addressing Emotional Blocks to Healing in an Energy Medicine Practice: Ethical and Clinical Guidelines”, Energy Psychology 4:1, May 2012,

Harrell, Kelly, “Intentional Insights: Q&A From Within”, blog,

Kaldera, Raven, “Wyrdwalkers: Techniques of Northern-Tradition Shamanism”, Asphodel Press: Hubbardston, MA, 2006.

Morningstar, Sally, “The Art of Wiccan Healing”, Hay House: Carlsbad (CA), 2005.

Tashlin, Wintersong, “Invoking Consent”, Huginn Journal 1:2, Midsummer 2011,

No comments: