Over the past few years I’ve been exploring a few spiritual healing circles/workshops which I discovered through my networks. It’s difficult to describe the work they do, but in general, across all of them, it has been about clearing and transformation. The work is very intense. I always go through a lot of anxiety before the event, as though the darkness in me knows something’s about to shift and is kicking up a fuss. Then after the event I am left feeling utterly exhausted, but there is something very special about being witness to each member’s journey and the raw emotion they’ve kept hidden from the world, and likewise being seen and held with compassion.

One of my first workshops of this kind was with “Innate Wisdom Connection” run by Mike and Phoenix. Just this year I found “Living Illumination” and then just this month, “Rainbow Star”. I would like to write a post for all these workshops, but for now I will focus on my most recent one which was with “Rainbow Star” and simply name the others as other opportunities out there for anyone who’s interested.

At this circle we had Manena, a Chilean elder, and her partner Denis, who are in Australia at the moment to do some healing. Her work was deeply shamanic, and amidst the parties and fireworks of Christmas in Melbourne we were swept away to tribal culture. Of all the circles I’ve been to, this was by far the most “earthen” and “primitive”. At one point a symphony of wild chanting emerged from the group spontaneously and without rehearsal it seemed. I have never seen anything like it. It was like watching people turn into werewolves, but far more graceful than that. If you can’t tell I am really stuck for words and analogies right now. Anyways, I felt like I should be joining in but I couldn’t. I didn’t trust myself, I didn’t trust my intuition, the innate music that lies deep within us all but can only be accessed when we are fully present. It is a block I keep hitting at every circle I go to. I am intimidated when I have to do anything without a recipe, anything unpredictable, anything I cannot prepare for. I am terrified of losing control. It is a deep wound that I recognise as an inner child issue and I feel like an idiot standing there like a peg while everyone’s moving and dancing and singing. I’m not going to sugercoat how difficult these circles can be at times and they make me realise just how much I have to grieve on top of the more obvious things: my spontaneity, my creativity, my wildness, and that freedom that paradoxically comes from letting go of control and going with the flow.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from these circles, it’s not to expect anything. Every circle is different, organic, and brings its own magic and volatility. At the beginning of the circle, Manena lit some sage in a large shell to cleanse each person in the room. She moved around the circle, but when she came to me, it kind of “blew up” and before I knew it I had smouldering sage all over my dress. “Get up” she said. I stood up like convict making a confession. The smoke detector then went off. I don’t know whether I was more amused or embarrassed and I was somewhere between laughing and crying. Amongst the mixed emotions there was also relief, too; I can slap on a great façade in public but it’s like something could see straight through that to how unsettled and intense I really am. I was, in fact, shaking when I arrived and that day I had been going through something which felt very hormonal. Manena asked if anyone saw anything. One member of the group said she saw two energy blocks in me. One was around the throat chakra, which made total sense to me as I’m having a lot of issues expressing myself and this is a massive source of alienation for me. The second block is where I experience bad pain and inflammation. I felt so privileged to be sitting amongst such intuitive people, many of whom were psychics and healers. Manena shed further light on what just happened. She described it as a very ancient, angry earth spirit which had reared up from underneath. I was given a special stone to hold. It was cold, weighty, black and had two halves which joined together. It was a bit like a fossil, though Manena insisted it was not a fossil but an instrument made with a specific purpose and would help ground me.

During the rest of the time, each of us were able to come into the centre and have a healing with Manena and her partner. All were done individually except for one because Manena felt these two girls in the group needed to do their healing together. She asked the group whether they could see the energetic similarly as well, which others could. She felt they had a past life connection. It was a very sweet surprise. I must say though, many of the healings were quite an unusual thing to watch! They were very physical and often involved stomach wacks, heaving people up, and expelling stuff through fierce “ha’s”, a bit like what Arthur Janov, author of “The Primal Scream”, does with his clients.

Unsurprisingly I was one of the first to be invited into the centre for healing, probably because I was amongst the most un-grounded. My healing was very gentle and beautiful. I remember feeling a gentle pulsing. Then Manana spoke to me in her native language, which consciously I didn’t understand but unconsciously I probably did. Her words felt very peaceful, and while I have a hard time looking at people, I found it easier to look at her. She then reverted to English and I remember her reassuring me, like a mantra, that I am protected. I have a feeling she was speaking to some aspect of my unconscious. They then slowly moved a ring, which looked like a metal hulahoop, over my head and down my body until it reached the floor. I stepped out and sat back down. It felt as though my system had been slowed down and I was less overwhelmed.

After the circle I had some lovely feedback about my healing from others in the group. One woman described it as powerful and said she saw an “Ascended Master” standing behind me. Another woman said I started to look like a 9-year-old child again. I understood what she meant by this as I have seen it happen in other circles I’ve been to. It is quite interesting to watch, and I see as a sign the inner child feels safe enough and ready to come out of hiding again. It then occurred to me that the healing Manana did with me may have been a soul retrieval. I found a great description of soul loss and retrieval on personaltao.com:

“From a shamanic perspective, soul loss is a common cause of illness. Traditionally, a shamanic practitioner would conduct a soul retrieval within three days of someone experiencing trauma. Today, modern shamanic practitioners seek lost soul parts that are willing to return from any point in life.

Soul loss is a helpful response in that it allows our essence to remove itself from suffering and pain. In her book, Soul Retrieval, Sandra Ingerman describes soul loss as “spiritual illness that causes emotional and physical disease…(and) losing crucial parts of ourselves that provide us with life and vitality.”  A soul retrieval is the shamanic method for bringing back those vital parts.”

I found Manana to be a powerful medicine woman and her work has been incredibly complementary to what I’ve been doing in counselling. Manana will be doing some individual healings in February. Denis is also available for healings and I feel he would be wonderful with our brothers.


Rainbow Star email address: rainbowstarsisterhood@gmail.com

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