I’m Coming Out…

My new friends and neighbours still don’t know what I do and I am looking for a way to tell them.

The answer comes in the form of a newsletter my son brings home from school. There’s a little girl just six (we’ll call her Lily), one of twins, who has a form of cerebral palsy which means she has difficulty standing and walking unaided, and often suffers with pain in her limbs.   The family are fundraising to finance an operation that is only done in the US, and they are gaining a lot of support, but there’s still a long way to go.  The newsletter puts out an appeal to everyone to do what they can to help with the fundraising effort.

What can I do?

Reconnective Healing.

I play with the idea. How could it work?

I could hire a room at the Community Centre for a Saturday morning to coincide with the Craft Fair, offer short sample sessions for £15 (a huge reduction on the recommended fees)  and donate the proceeds to Lily’s fund.

This would be a good way to let people in my small town know that this is what I do.

A bit like coming out.


Feeling the fear but doing it anyway, I print off some posters for local shops to display in their windows. I make an ad, using an online app.  Then I tweet and share and tweet and share some more.

I even get a sign for the door printed by Vistaprint.

Attachment 1

The date approaches.

Despite my manic attempts at social marketing, frequent harassment  of my Facebook friends,  insistence that people don’t even have to turn up because distance healing works just as well, my phone remains pretty quiet.

Silent in fact.

All along I have shared my fears with the Universe in our quieter moments together.  What if no-one comes? What if I look stupid (ha – get used to that).  And the more pertinent question, what if it doesn’t work?  Yes, that devil on my shoulder is always there whispering doubt…

I’ll turn up if you do.

The nerves in my tummy are still there, but we have a deal. And somehow, deep down, I know the Universe won’t let me down.  I’ve done all I can now, I say.  It’s out of my hands.  Just send the people who need the healing.

The event is scheduled for Saturday.

Come Friday I only have two pre-bookings. One is from Nick the ‘egg man’ who generously gives me £20 up front for Lily but says he doesn’t want a session.  Another is from a friend with an art stall who I suspect just feels sorry for me.   That makes £35 – better than nothing.  But I’m worried I’ll be sat twiddling my thumbs on my newly acquired treatment couch while people amble past and head for the lemon curd, Nick’s eggs and various knitted creatures in pastel shades with button eyes mocking me pitifully.


It’s now 4 O’ clock, Friday afternoon. I call in at Jenny’s Flower Shop.   We’d had a conversation a couple of weeks earlier and  I remind her its tomorrow I’m doing my fundraiser.  Yes, she wants to book.   She’ll stick a note on her door ‘ back in half an hour’  before she opens the shop.   I have my third client.

Later, at 10pm I get a text. ‘Is it too late to book?’  And a fourth.


A calm smile begins to spread across my tummy.  I sleep soundly, trusting for the morning.

After my first session with Jenny, my artist friend takes her turn earlier than scheduled. We agreed a sign, husband and I, that he would hold a yellow card against the frosted window if another client is waiting.

And there it is, the yellow card!

One after another, they come…

And what happens in that room is amazing. Some people are very still but describe vivid internal experiences evoking an emotional response, others display stronger responses – twitching arms and legs,  shaking bodies, laughter.  Almost everyone looked somewhat incredulous afterwards.  Often finding it hard to comprehend; leaving the room talking about it in amazement… and others who overhear want a go.


And they’re not necessarily people I would expect; business managers,  a Town Councillor, a published illustrator, teaching assistant.  Professionals who are rational thinking, but curious enough to try something new and find out for themselves…

By twelve noon, seven people have come for Reconnective Healing, and some give more than the suggested donation so that the the total raised is an impressive £160.

Thank you Universe.

Funny how, when put to the test, faith always delivers.

I return home feeling elated and mildly dazed. Elated because once again I have confirmation that That Which Is, Holy Spirit, Love is guiding my steps and this whole new project .  Just a little reminder in case my ego steps in and whispers ‘well done’.  And dazed because having bathed in the Reconnective Healing frequencies for three hours I feel slightly disorientated and think I am beginning to experience an altered state of consciousness by inter-dimensional osmosis.

Then my eight year old son  spills ketchup on the new carpet and steps in it.

Hello again Earth.


To Facebook or not to Facebook


That is the question. They are telling me that Social Networking is the key to growth and it is a free self-promotion resource.  ‘They’ being the Marketing Consultants that have followed me on Twitter.  They give me tips about how to grow my followers and increase my list.


It’s all new to me, but I can see it makes sense, and I really don’t want to spend money I don’t need to on advertising that may or may not work.


So, naively I create a Business Page on my existing Facebook account. Most days I don’t even bother to comb my hair as I am either digging on my allotment or painting skirting boards wearing husband’s work jeans.  But thanks to Colin at Nirvana Hairdressing Company (real name used this time – happy to give a shout out) I look uncharacteristically well-groomed and have a reasonably decent photo to use.

Now I have completed the profile, Facebook is asking me to invite friends to follow my page.


I scroll down the list, and find myself ‘umming and aahing about this.  One by one I imagine the reaction of all these people to my new title: Reconnective Healing Foundational Practitioner…


You see, most of my friends, correction ALL of my Facebook friends belong to the ‘old’ me – my previous identity as a professional.  Most were colleagues I had taught alongside at the past three schools I worked at.  Others of course go back a long way – to my ‘ministry’ days even – Christian friends.  Did I want everyone to know I was doing this?  In truth I rather feared their reactions.  I can hear the raised eyebrows over cyberspace; sense their surprise, disapproval, judgement…


Maybe I can circumnavigate them?


You are laughing because YOU know how social media works.  Remember, I don’t.  Not at this point anyway.


I tick husband. He can know.  Best friend for twenty years plus is allowed in.  The colleague I had confided in and practised distance healing on – she’s OK.  As I read some of the other names I shudder at the thought of their reaction.  There’s one in particular, let’s call her Miss Dismissive.  This person I would regard a work colleague rather than a friend.  We never socialised outside work.  We don’t really have that much in common, and to be honest I found her a bit of a challenge.  She is loud and very vocal in her opinions.  Furthermore she is particular dismissive, even derisive, regarding anything to do with spirituality or religion and tells us repeatedly she doesn’t believe in ‘any of that rubbish’.  Miss Dismissive is blunt and speaks her mind, often unaware of the collateral damage this causes (you know the sort, right?).  Needless to say I don’t tick her box. In the end I have about eight people who I think are sensitive and open-minded enough to accept my new vocational choice without judgement.


That still leaves about 90% of them left in the dark. I’m playing safe.


It’s not long before I get a notification. Tracy (one of my trusted friends) has seen and liked my RHFP page.


Good, I now have two likes. Husband and Tracy.


Soon the others follow, and each time I am notified. I feel a sense of satisfaction that I am in control and things are going to plan.


Then something unexpected happens.


I am notified of a new page like. It is from someone I used to work with; a friend of Tracy who has seen that she has liked my page.  Woops – curve ball.  But it’s not too bad.  This person isn’t too much to worry about.


Then the penny drops. If this person know about my page (because of Tracy’s ‘like’), all of her other friends know, which is pretty much the entire staff of the previous school I worked at (Tracy is a popular lady).  And now this new person’s entire list of friends knows. The circle widens.  I guess that’s why it’s called a social network!





I decide the best way forward is to bite the bullet and go for it. After all, nine page likes is a pretty paltry show, and makes me look a bit sad, should someone randomly land on my page and scan the likes to rate me.


I take a deep breath and start typing. I write a confident and friendly message on my timeline addressing ‘all my dear Facebook Friends’.  I explain that I am pursuing a long-held interest and have become a qualified RH practitioner.  I thank the people who have already liked my page, and I make a point of saying I value this as a sign of their support for my choice ‘even though it may not be your thing’.


Then I press ‘post’.


It feels liberating. Like coming out.

Like I am unashamedly saying “This is me – the real me.”


Now there’s nothing more I can do.


I have tried to explain to you who I am; what I believe in, what I am now doing and why it’s important to me.

And if I’m totally honest, I would really, really like your approval. That would be nice.  But if it doesn’t happen it’s OK.


It really is OK.


I shut the laptop lid. Get on with other things.  Put the washing in the drier.  Peel the spuds.  Get lost in the busy banter of family life as we gather for our evening meal.


It must be three hours later when I am next online. I have a notification.


This is good. And significant.  It must be the first response from the group I had deemed ‘unsafe’.

I touch the little globe icon showing the number one in red.

Yes, somebody likes my page – Jill Brennan: Reconnective Healing Foundational Practitioner.


And when I read the name I have to blink.

I really didn’t expect this.

My first ‘coming out in the open’ page like is from Miss Dismissive.


Maybe I’m the one with the lesson to learn:  not to be so quick to judge.









Irreversible Change

One of the best things about being a primary teacher was teaching all the different subjects. I used to wear my white lab coat (from my King Technique days, remember) in the classroom whenever we had science and the kids thought it was fun.  They especially enjoyed the practical investigations whereby we might heat something up, like chocolate or butter to demonstrate a changing state.  Some things can reverse back to the state it was before; melted chocolate when cooled solidifies; ice returns to water when heated.  Other things, like bread becoming toast, raw egg fried, can not return to their former state.

The change is irreversible.

That’s just how I feel.

Irreversibly changed.

As I sit on the train home from London once the training seminars are over I am buzzing. Literally buzzing, like there is an electric current circuiting my body.  Everything about the last twenty-four hours seems surreal.  After the closing speech I did the usual sycophantic thing and had my photo taken with Eric Pearl.  I thanked and hugged him.  His body felt small, fragile – in contrast to his large personality.


That night I had a strange dream. The kind that feels very real.  I was lying on a couch – like a treatment table, but this one was covered with lights, circular and maybe other geometric shapes.  These lights were coloured, and went off in a sequence.  The sequence of the flashing lights was significant.  It reminded me of that game, ‘Simon’ I used to play as a child where you had to remember a pattern of lights and repeat it back correctly.  With each success the pattern would get longer and more tricky to recall.

In my dream I was watching myself lying on top of this bed with all these lights beneath me. Standing at the side of the bed was Eric.  It was as though I was being shown what happens during a healing session.  I remember that ‘AHA’ moment – ‘I get it now’, when I made a connection between the light patterns and the sensations I had felt within my body, that seemed to be like ‘little light tickles’ (as my eight year old son describes them) moving around inside in a grid-like pattern or sequence.


It felt important that dream, somehow. I can’t explain why.  Maybe I was being shown some lost knowledge – or some technology from the future?  Who knows…


Later I phone my Mum to tell her I am back home safely. I enthuse about the weekend, and she immediately says ‘Oh you’ll have to help your sister’, who I am told is suffering from lower back pain – so severe she can hardly get out of the car.


I phone her and explain that I will ‘do’ some healing for her.

“Why?” she says, ‘Where are you?  She thinks I must be in Yorkshire, close enough to call in.


I explain I can do it by distance. And tell her about the ‘experiment’ we did in London whereby people were displaying registers remotely corresponding to changing movements we were making with our hands 30 feet away.  It’s something to do with quantum physics, I say.

“Oh my word!” She is incredulous.  But she agrees to me having a go on her.  But she asks for the name and phone number of my (ex) chiropractor anyway, just in case…


Later that evening she reports that the pain is easing slightly. The next day when I ask her how she’s feeling, she says much better.  She is walking as normal without discomfort.  She never made that appointment with the chiropractor.


She doesn’t know what to make of it, but wants to find out more. I order her a copy of ‘The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself’ from Amazon.  I want her to understand what it is I do now and what has happened to me.

How I like a fried egg have undergone a change.

An irreversible change.







Meeting Eric Pearl

He’s coming to the UK. Eric Pearl.  London.

It’s not exactly on my doorstep and the seminars are pricey. But I have to go.  I just have to.

I have to know for certain once and for all if it is true. I have to ‘test the spirits’ as they say.  Is Eric Pearl the genuine article or a false prophet?  I don’t know.  But I do know that I will know when I meet him in person and spend four days in his company.

I book my place on the training programme in May. I buy my train tickets online in June, book my accommodation in July, spreading the cost.


When I step into the conference room I am overwhelmed with the amount of production – the large screens at either side of the stage and the cameras. And a whole host of people behind production, pushing buttons, sliding levers, making the whole thing super-sized and sensational.  It jars with me at first.  I associate it with those Saturday night TV talent shows where over-production becomes easily equated with fakery and deception.

And I’m not sure what to make of Eric Pearl at first, to be honest. He is like a caricature of himself, with his drag-queen sarcasm, strutting around in his Italian silver-plated heels like Armani Versace.  Can this man really be the chosen vehicle for evolutionary advancement of humanity?

I’m not too sure.

Later I am to discover there is a valid reason for the cameras and magnified image. When table work is being demonstrated from the front, we are asked if we can identify the more subtle ‘primary registers’. The tiny flutters behind closed eyelids, the subtly pulsing veins in the neck – how else would we see this? Would all seventy-five of us crowd round the table, struggling to see? Or take turns to walk by which would take ages and eat into our valuable training time?

Back in my hotel room I sulk. I realise that I am prejudiced.  Maybe it’s a test. I must learn to suspend my judgement.

“Show me what you have bought me here to learn,” I say to God.

He just smiles and says nothing.


The next morning I feel completely different.   I wake up with a sense of knowing.  Knowing that when we are willing to face up to something about ourselves, and genuinely ask to be shown something new, revelations flood in.  And it is always progressive.  It is always good.  I just know that today will be a good day.

And it is.

The highlight for me is during the afternoon table work. We stand, three of us around each table with one lying down.  One with hands at the head, one at the middle, the other at the feet.  When prompted we rotate so we all get a chance to be the receiving ‘client’.

Something in the room changes. The air becomes thick with the Holy Spirit (I say this because I recognise this from years before in large gatherings on Spiritual Days – the distinctive character and quality is exactly the same) .  Eric Pearl is guiding us through some ‘nuances’ of working with and feeling the frequencies.  The showman is gone.  His voice is gentle, sincere, sensitive.

“Look at the person who is lying on the table,” he is saying.  “Find in that person something to love.”  I feel exhilarated and overwhelmed at the same time.  This is my calling.  I know it, I feel it.  The same calling I felt twenty years ago that first took me into ministry.  There has been no diversion, no detour.  This is a continuation,  an evolving process, progressive revelation.   As I am thinking this I hear Eric’s voice continue. “Some of you just now are finding your life’s mission – it is a high calling.”

My soul dances. My spirit soars.  Tears flow.  I am flooded with joy.  He has no idea what this means to me – what he has just said.

And I have my answer.

Eric Pearl is a good man with spiritual integrity.

And I also know why he was chosen.

So that we would all think…


(Eric’s words not mine, I hasten to add.)

And how I laugh.

I laugh and laugh, till tears wet my cheeks once again.

Because now God has spoken.

And I have heard.



My Holy Grail

They say that just holding it in your hands is sometimes all it takes to be affected by the energy – to begin to feel the frequencies.

The book. I’m talking about the book.  Not THE BOOK –which granted has already changed my life, or shaped it to this point, but a more humble paperback which was to influence where I went from here – the next stage of the journey.


I didn’t actually have a physical copy of the book to hold in my hand. I had downloaded it from Kindle, remember, with an impulsive flick of my finger on the one-click setting.  But that didn’t seem to matter.  I COULD feel it.  A slight, warm tingling at first that intensified to pin-pricks that indicated undeniably something akin to an electrical current was flowing in and through my body.


The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself tells the story of how Eric Pearl, a chiropractor in LA, began to feel similar sensations after receiving some form of quantum re-calibration from a gypsy woman he met on a beach. I’m not selling it very well, I know. You’re thinking it’s all a bit whacky-do.  The point is, his patients began to experience cures.  Incredible, miraculous cures.  And rather than enhance his professional success, he began to lose clients.  It all became a bit too strange.  Indeed he knew himself he was dealing with something ‘off the scale’ which would take some re-adjustment on his part, and on the future direction his life would take.


I won’t go into more detail. You can read the book for yourself should you have a mind to.  Suffice to say, that what he came to name “Reconnective Healing” is indeed a form of healing that appears to be newly accessible to us, and that anyone can learn.

Eric Pearl now dedicates his time to travelling the world, teaching others how to access these frequencies to facilitate healings.


What is most surprising to me is the ease with which I picked up these sensations just from reading the book. There is a section that instructs you on how to try it out at home on friends or family members.

Once again husband became guinea pig. As I let the palm of my hand float about four inches in front of his open palm I began to feel sharp pin-pricks randomly at different points on the surface area of my skin.

As I ‘hit on’ a sensation I stayed with it, refining and stretching, as I had read about and seen Eric demonstrate on the You Tube videos I had watched.

‘What do you feel?’ I ask.

‘A sort of breeze on the back of my hand,’ he replies. ‘And it feels as though it’s being pulled, like a magnet. It’s weird.’


Yes, it is weird. But very exciting.


A few days later our eight-year old son returned from school with a slight limp. He says he hurt his knee when he fell playing football.  When he was still limping a day later I asked if I could try to heal him.


It was then I had the idea to test out one method of healing against the other.


First I ask him to sit on a stool (a white stool, it must be white).   I go through the procedure of the King Technique.  Now the full thing takes  about thirty minutes, if you do it correctly, and I didn’t want to leave any bits out in case it wouldn’t work.  (Even as I write this I realise how wrong it all sounds).    Whereas some people might enjoy the hands-on focussed attention for a full half-hour, and regard it as quality time, eight-year old boys have a tendency to get restless and wriggle about.


He tells me he felt some heat from my hands, but his knee still hurts. I leave it a couple of hours before a second attempt using the hands-off Reconnective Healing approach.


This time it doesn’t matter where he sits, or what colour the chair is. In fact I ask him to lie down on the sofa, which he is quite happy to do.


There is no beginning ritual. No counting the number of sweeps in a certain direction.  No visualising white light.  So I can relax a bit.  I have freedom to begin how I choose.  Instinctively I raise my arms above his head, slightly to the side and kind of swoop into his field, a bit like a gentle big dipper motion.  And there it is, the first ‘indicator’ – a little nip in my palm.  I pause, stay with the sensation, circling it, pulling it higher.  My son begins to respond.  I notice his closed eyelids flicker slightly.  Then I move slowly across his face.  At his right shoulder I sense another ‘prick’, in the tip of my index finger this time.  I move my hand so the sensation is localised in the centre of my palm.  Then I rotate, stretch, ‘playing with it’ as Eric likes to say.

At this point my son gasps, and reaches down to touch his knee.

“Ooh… I felt something in my knee,” he says.  “Like a little tickle.”


I wasn’t anywhere near his knee. And I was working on the left side of his body (at the other end) not the right.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Immediately I want to test it out. The book tells me a healing can be instantaneous – there doesn’t need to be a set length of time for sessions in order for a healing to ‘work’.   So I ask him to get up and put some weight on it.

He does, and he can’t feel any pain.

He starts running around the room. Then he is out of the door and I don’t see him again until tea time.  But there is no limp this time.


I feel uplifted and inspired.

This is more like it. This is natural, intuitive and I don’t feel compromised in any way by taking on new rituals or belief patterns.

I think this is it. This really is it.

I’ve found my Holy Grail.









I just want to be normal

I buy myself a medical/lab coat from Amazon because I am told I need one. I put it on and look at myself in the mirror.  I like the way it looks, but it feels like dressing up.  Secret dressing up.  I’m not sure I’d answer the door wearing it.  So how am I going to do this healing thing that I feel I’m called to do, and keep it secret at the same time?

I wear my white coat when I practise on my Mum. I take it with me in a Next carrier bag.  But just as we finish some visitors arrive.  I whip it off quickly and shove it back in the bag before they see.

Goodness – I can’t be doing with this carry on every time.

Maybe I could become a volunteer with at the Aetherius Temple, where all the other healers will be wearing white coats too and I won’t feel so conspicuous. But the Aetherius Temple is a long drive from where I live.  It isn’t a practical option.

Maybe I should join?

The thing is, I’ve already joined one organisation in my life – the evangelical Christian mission of which my family were members. I even became a minister within this church myself.  But when I decided I really wanted a life for myself,  and to be free to make my own choices, I left.

It was like the unforgiveable sin, because I’d signed up for life.

It wasn’t easy.  I wrestled with the dilemma for a long time.  Should I sacrifice my own desires (for a husband, a family) and put God and ‘the work’ first?

Then I heard the voice within.

Why do you find it so hard to believe I would want to give you something good?

The ‘something good’ was my freedom, my personal happiness.

This ‘word’ was enough for me. I accepted the fact that they would try (by their silent disapproval) to heap guilt upon me.  I had failed, given up, abandoned the ‘good fight’ and put myself first.

I knew that God didn’t think this, but they did. And I didn’t want a repeat of this sense of  failure.


Nevertheless I go along to Sunday worship at the Aetherius Temple, out of curiosity and because I genuinely liked the people I’d met.

The two lovely ladies are there. But this time they are wearing robes, as are all the others.  Helen leads the worship. Behind her is a wooden cross embedded with crystals.  To the left is a picture of Jesus.  I recognise it as the same painting we had in our family home when I was growing up.  How I loved that picture.  I had spoken to that face many times.  Poured my heart out and felt its loving response. To the right is a portrait of Dr George King.  For this face I feel nothing.  Both these figures are esteemed Ascended Masters by members of the Aetherius society.  But to give them equal status?

I’m not sure how I feel about this.

During worship I am allowed to join in with one of the mantras:

Om mani padme hum.  Om mani padme hum.

We had already been introduced to the use of this mantra for the purpose of distance healing at the training day.

But other mantras I can only listen to, and must not try to join in with.

There seems to be a lot of protocol. And it all seems very alien to normal everyday life.

The rules, the chanting, the robes…


The organisation to which I belonged before had a uniform. There was always internal disagreement about whether it was a bad thing because it separated us out from others, or a good thing because it identified us with a set of values and beliefs.

I don’t want to set myself apart as different anymore.

I just want to be normal.

Or as normal as is possible when you’ve decided you want to be a healer!


The Aetherius Society’s beliefs cover a wide spectrum of philosophy, religion, metaphysics and spiritual sciences, in a similar way to the Theosophy movement. Their particular focus is helping the world through dynamic prayer and spiritual healing, both incredibly worthy priorities and values I share.

I know, however, I cannot make a commitment to another organisation. I cannot take that spiritual ‘vow’.

I am grateful to the Aetherius Society for introducing me to healing, for giving me faith in myself and showing me I could do it. Through my encounter with them I met some wonderful spiritual people of real integrity who will remain life-long friends.

But I know this is not the way forward for me.

So what is?

A Close Encounter with the Aetherius Society

It’s not long before I stumble across a book during an internet search that catches my eye. The book is called ‘You Too Can Heal’.  Its title answers my burning question, and what’s more, I can download it on my Kindle for £4.50.  Within minutes I’m reading about Dr George King, a bus driver who also practised Yoga for up to twelve hours a day (back in the day when it was hard to lay your hands on a book about Yoga in England) and became a Master.  He was also a trance medium, and was contacted by an ET intelligence known as “Aetherius”.

George King is telling me that I too can heal if I have a desire to do so, and I can develop the skill through practise and following certain technique given to him by Aetherius. I test out my propensity by standing in front of a mirror and holding my palm about 6 inches from the surface as instructed.  Do I feel any sensations?  Yes I do –  a slight pulsating energy in my palm.  If I move further back, can I still feel it?  I take a few steps.  Yes.  And a few more until my back is against the bathroom wall.  Although its weaker, I can still feel some kind of sensation in my hand.

I am encouraged by this initial positive sign and race through the book, testing out the technique step by step on my husband. He tells me he can feel heat coming from my hands.  I watch a video on You Tube of Aetherius Society members demonstrating the King Method at a Festival for Mind, Body, Spirit.

All the healers are wearing white lab coats which is explained in the book as being mandatory (because white is contains all the colour energies) and preferably cotton not polyester. Volunteers sit on chairs on the stage.  The healers begin at the same time following the routine outlined in the book.  To begin they stand behind placing their hands on the person’s forehead and make seven passes across the forehead and right down the back with both hands still close together.   This is followed by seven swift strokes down the full length of the back.  This is done to stimulate the nervous system and charge it with your healing power.  Also adverse conditions are pulled away from the aura of the patient this way.  Following this the hands must be moved away from the person and shaken to shake off the negative condition.  Then they begin to work down the body starting with the head. Using both hands (one at the front, one at the back) they hold the position for about 20 seconds, then move to the other side and repeat. While this is happening they visualise white light entering the body. This pattern is repeated as the healer systematically moves down the chakras of the body to the base chakra.  The better your ability to visualise is, the more effective the healing will be, according to the instruction manual.


I am excited to discover a method that anyone can learn that I decide to sign up for a training day to be held at the Aetherius Society Northern branch.

When I arrive slightly late on the Saturday morning, I am warmly greeted by Helen and Emily (not their real names), whom I can only describe as beautiful ladies, not just because of their outward appearance, but the joy and love that radiates from them. Immediately I knew I was among friends.

There are only a few of us and we each introduce ourselves. The first hour is spent learning about the philosophy and teachings of the Aetherius Society. We are then asked to choose a white coat as the practical sessions begin.

Helen and Emily demonstrate, before we practise on each other. They observe our technique to ensure we are doing it correctly.  I begin, doing the passes as I had been doing them on husband at home.  Helen jumps to her feet and tells me I have my thumbs up!  I didn’t know I wasn’t meant to.  Thumbs must be down, flat against the index finger, she explains.  If thumbs are up, I am making a Mudra, which is a powerful spiritual symbol.  I could be inviting energies in without knowing.  Woops.  This is trickier than I thought.  I must be more careful.  Is the problem with my inadvertently forming a Mudra that I could bring in negative energies, or is it because I haven’t yet been initiated into the use of Mudras.  I don’t know.  But I do as I am told and quickly tuck my thumbs in.

It becomes clear as we progress that it is very important to follow the technique precisely.  This makes me feel under pressure, especially as they keep a close eye on us to ensure we are getting it right.

At the end of the afternoon we are assessed. I feel nervous; there’s a lot to remember.  I don’t want to forget any part of the technique, or make a mistake.  The timing has to be right, the position of the hands on the chakras, the closing shaking off ritual.  Nothing must be left out.  And at the end I must remember to wash my hands to cleanse away any residual energy from the last patient before starting with the next.

I pass. And I feel really pleased with myself.

I can’t wait to test it out.


The opportunity comes when I visited my Mother the next day. She had been complaining of a sore shoulder from a fall she had about six months earlier.  The Xray showed no fracture, but she continued to be troubled with a nagging pain in her upper arm.

She agrees to be my ‘patient’. I work my way through the King Technique, then I place my hands around the specific area of concern as we had been directed.  I kneel beside her and place one hand on her shoulder, the other beneath her arm.  Immediately I began to feel heat in my hands.  Then, after a few moments, to my amazement, I hear the unmistakeable sound of clicking coming from inside her arm.


Afterwards I ask her if she also heard this. No, she says, but she felt the bones inside her arm move!

What’s more, she felt some relief from the pain.


How did THAT happen?

This is momentous. I know that a new phase has begun.

I am on my way to becoming a healer.







‘In the name of JEEEESUS!’

So I resist the obvious Reiki route and decide that since I am a Christian I really should stick with the Christians and join in with their healing thing.   The only problem being, in your ‘bog-standard’ (is that irreverent?) church you don’t see much healing going on.  You have to go to one of these MEGA-churches like you see on the tele (or You Tube).


Now it just so happened that we lived within walking distance of one of these free independent churches that was well-attended and ‘alive’.  I also found out that this church had followed the US model of having associated Healing Rooms that people could attend mid-week.  So clearly this church prioritised healing as a central part of its ministry.


I went along to Sunday worship.  I rather liked the band – the electric guitars and drums, played by very talented musicians skilled at enhancing the mood; rousing and euphoric one minute and with a soothing and gentle sensitivity the next.  I seem to remember being rather mesmerised by the bass player who must have only been about 15.  These guys are clearly dedicated and put the hours of practise in.

The people were very loving, very joyful, glowing in fact.  Their love of God, their sincere worship created a sacred space. Tangibly so. The air became thick with the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Shekinah.  I recognised it.  Years earlier I had followed a calling into the ministry.  I was familiar with the Holy Spirit, and the intensity of experience that could be witnessed at such collective gatherings.

We sang.  And sang. And sang some more.

People were standing, arms in the air, eyes closed, swaying gently, and their was a sense of collective hypnosis that seemed to take effect and swell in magnitude.  Only I was on the outside.  I didn’t feel comfortable putting my hands up in the air.  Bit self-conscious maybe, but that’s just me.  So after the sixteenth repeat of “I will sing of your love forever,” (not being facetious btw – the chorus is that same line four times,  so after four repeats of the chorus it adds up),  I sat down and just bathed in the presence.  By now I was starting to get hungry.  I know it’s wrong, but I’m not used to these two hour services. I glance at the lady across the aisle who’s gone a bit When Harry Met Sally – her face is creased up, I think in ecstasy rather than agony, but it could be either.  Yet I’m not feeling it. My stomach’s rumbling and I can’t help thinking about roast potatoes and gravy…

I slip out before the end because it’s OK to move about here – all very relaxed and informal.  As I walk home I feel different.  I can tell my consciousness has been altered.  It’s how I imagine being on drugs to be like. A gentle sedation that softens everything along with a wonderful feeling of pleasure and deep peace. This altered state temporarily cushions me from the harsh reality of living in the world, this town that could be grubby and hostile.  The pavement seems more vivid, I notice.  And the litter….  And the blaring sirens of a police car racing past…  I don’t want my bubble to burst.  I’m enjoying this cocoon.  The contrast is striking and the wonderful inner feeling stays with me all day.

I decide to visit the Healing Rooms the following Wednesday.  Having had corneal surgery on both eyes, I am left with compromised visual acuity.  I give some details, fill out a form and three volunteers are assigned to me.  We go into a quiet back room.  I sit on a chair and after listening to me,  the three of them surround the chair, placing a hand on my shoulder, arm, back.  They are so gentle, warm, loving.  I feel the air in the room thicken with grace one again.  As they lay hands on me and take turns to pray I feel deeply blessed.  Beryl tells me she feels my healing will be gradual and I must just trust and know it will happen.

I make a return visit a few weeks later.  This time a different lady leads.  Before we go into the room she tells me she had a ‘word’ about eyes this morning, and that she feels sure a miracle is going to happen.  Irene (not her real name)  asks me to stand.  She places her hands over my eyes, but that doesn’t seem to be enough.  She places her index and middle finger together and presses them against my eyelids while she’talks’ to the cornea, commanding it in the name of Jesus.  I am then asked to sit down.  She begins questioning me about my past, my relationship with my first husband.  I answer truthfully, but am beginning to find it all a bit personal and, well invasive to be honest. My husband didn’t treat me right.  Did I ever wish he was dead?  I am astonished.  The others seem a bit awkward too.  It’s important, she tells me.  I need to repent of sin that may be blocking and preventing a healing.  I am asked to repeat certain phrases after her.  Not in my head, out loud.  It has to be out loud, witnessed by others.  I do as I’m told, but inside I’m squirming.  It’s embarrassing as much as anything.  I know all about using spiritual authority, but this is a type of aggression.  “I cast out this spirit of infirmity and disease in the name  of JEEEESUS!” she almost shouts,  pushing back my forehead.  I think this lady has been watching too many You Tube videos.  She is styling herself on the evangelical celebrity pastors with their theatrical stage tactics that I find such uncomfortable viewing.   The others are muttering “Thank you, Jesus” and “Yes, Lord” while she’s doing this, but all I can think is let me out of here, and I know I won’t be coming back for more of this – there won’t be a next time.  I found the experience unpleasant and humiliating.  It was so very different from my first visit to the Healing Rooms.


So what do I learn from this?   That Christian healing doesn’t work?  That it’s all hype and hot air?  No.  I believe that Jesus can and does heal through this followers today.  But more significantly I learn that there is a lot about the style, presentation and delivery of healing within the evangelical church that I do not feel comfortable with.  The emphasis on proclamations and declarations I believe to be unnecessary and fear-based, reducing a living faith to ritualistic superstition.  Why was it so important I had to say certain words out loud?  Who makes these rules?

I also know I cannot be certain what kind of experience I’m going to have when I ask for Christian healing.  Some will say, that’s because the Holy Spirit will do what he will, and we can’t predict or control what that will look like.  But I’m not talking about this.  I’m talking about the things we can control.  Making sure the encounter is user-friendly.  That a person would know pretty much what to expect when they made a visit, and there wouldn’t be any curveballs.  This doesn’t seem to be the case because the priesthood of all believers encompasses a diversity of personality types each with their own way of doing things.  And if someone says the Spirit led them to do it like this, who can argue with that?


So I choose Anglicanism.  The uniformity of the liturgy and communion service gives me the  ‘quality control’ and assurance against vigilante charismatics I need.  Every second Sunday of the month, the Communion service incorporates an invitation to healing prayer.  As the organ plays you can go forward, kneel at the rail, and the vicar will place his hand on your head and voice a personal prayer customised to your concern.  No casting out spirits, no raised voices, no undignified falling backwards on the floor.

But does it work?  I commented to a friend who happened to be on the church council, that we never seemed to hear much about healing in the Anglican church (surprising considering healing was such a central part of Jesus’ earthly ministry).  She told me something that made my mind up once and for all.

She told me of a lady (without disclosing the name), who had gone forward to the rail to receive healing prayer.  And had indeed received a miraculous cure.  I was fascinated.   Was this something that might have got better by itself, or could it really be classed as a ‘miracle’?  She confirmed the latter.  BUT the details of this unexplained improvement in symptoms was told in strictest confidence, and my friend had to promise never to disclose this information to anyone.

This lady’s healing was clearly a source of embarrassment to her.

No testimony.  No glorifying God for the sake of expanding the Kingdom and bringing others to faith.  Secrecy for the sake of respectability at all costs.


I feel disappointed.  Disillusioned. Saddened more than anything.   I realise that the stigma attached to healing has become a cause of real division within the church, an inconvenient political fly in the ointment.

And yet I know more than anything That I want yo be involved in healing.  I want to help people overcome illness and suffering because I don’t believe this s part of the Father’s design for us.  And I believe it s possible to heal through the same transformative power that was demonstrated in Jesus, and that he promised would be available to us.


I love Jesus.  Passionately.  Deeply.  And I know that my soul is eternally ‘in Christ’.

But what I don’t know, what I’m unsure of is whether I will find an avenue of service within the church.


Where do I go from here?





























































































































































































































































Andrea’s Kitchen

I’m sitting in Andrea’s kitchen.  The chairs are white, the table is white (although it’s covered in a red velvet tasselled throw for now) white voile drapes the windows, and the white shelves are prettily littered with clear polythene bags filled with pink and white marshmallows and tied with white ribbons.  “Sweets for the fairies,” she tells me.

I suspect Andrea is away with the fairies, but I decide to reserve judgement for now.

Andrea is a psychic and a medium. I’m here for a reading.  It’s not the sort of thing I normally do, but she was highly recommended by the girl who does my toenails. Let’s face it,  I was after all considering leaving my job without another to go to and moving to the other end of the country simply on a hunch. It would be interesting to know what clairvoyant Andrea had to say about it all.


She has her back to me as I sit waiting at the small table. She is taking her time filling the kettle at the sink.

“You’ve cried a lot of tears,” she says as she spoons coffee granules into the cup.

It hits me in the gut. I don’t know what to say.  My eyes fill, but I swallow hard.

What did she just say?  How could she know that?  I arrived all cheery and bubbly making small-talk about the good weather.  How could she possibly know about my silent years trapped in an abusive marriage; about the unexpected and untimely death of my first husband and the strange mixture of guilt and relief it left me with?  How could she know about the depression that swallowed the memories of that precious first year with my newborn –  the slow stream of tears in the darkness that no one saw?


Then another casual comment as she approaches the table – she’s hitting me with them hard and fast.

“Did you know you were a doctor in a past life?”

She pulls up her chair – lights a cigarette.

“No,” I answer truthfully, “But I am interested in healing.”

This seems to interest her. Something with a bit more juice than “will my new boyfriend be faithful?” or “should I buy the Corsa or the Kia?”

“Let’s try and find your guides then,” she says, rubbing her hands.

I’m scribbling in my journal. It’s a tapestry-bound special book I always have beside me during ‘quiet times’ in case I get inspired or hear a new idea.

But it’s quickstream and I’m struggling to keep up.


She tells me I’m going to live near the sea. She can see a house, a white house, ‘only small mind’, and she can see dark tall rocks, ‘what do you call them… cliffs’, behind me.  She can see green fields, countryside, open landscape,  and it’s  warm.  There’s a horse.  My son wants a dog, he will write songs and live next door.  Whereas my daughter’s a different kettle of fish altogether.  She will fly the nest and wants to travel.

She’s good, Andrea. Spot on.


She tells me the name of my main guide who has been with me since birth. (They can come and go at different times for different purposes apparently).   I write his name in my notebook…


She is sitting across from me at the other side of the table. She sees him wearing a long, black hooded cloak.  He is a mythical creature who has never incarnated on Earth.  He is magical, and brings magic and fun into my life.  I need to talk to him more.   Now she’s pointing out the spelling of his name.   It’s P-H, she says. She’s nowhere near my notebook.  “He’s looking over your shoulder.  He’s telling me you’ve spelt it wrong.”

I look down at what I’ve written. I cross out the ‘th’ and replace it with ‘ph’.  “Of course, Orpheus… as in Orpheus and the Underworld?”  I say.

She looks at me blankly.

“It’s a Greek myth.”

Andrea’s never heard of it, but tells me again he’s saying that’s the right spelling.


She goes on to give detailed information about my family history, some of which I knew, some of which is verified later. My late husband tells me he doesn’t know what I was doing with him – that I was ‘out of his league’, and that he is sorry about it all.  He was mentally ill, and can see that now.


Most significantly she talks about healing.   ‘They’ are rubbing their hands, showing her I will use my hands to heal. Andrea tells me I have potential.  I have a lot of power. “You could be a ….”  She hesitates.

A what?

“… a Master” she says.


Later Andrea suggests I should take up Reiki. She gives me a business card of someone she knows to get in contact with.


Back at home I try to take it all in.

Was it really possible I could become a healer?

I had always thought it was a gift only for a chosen few.     And These select few were born with the gift and usually aware of psychic abilities from an early age.  About 8 or 9.


I was 45 and definitely not psychic.


I looked into Reiki. Read a bit of background about it.

But if I’m honest, I feel slightly indignant about this.  So now I’m dabbling in Japanese Buddhism?  Where’s my foundation, for goodness sake!  Why should I need to look outside my home tradition to become a healer when I was a follower of Jesus – The Great Healer?  Didn’t he say to his followers, ‘the things I do, you shall do also.’

In fact I seem to remember it says, ‘even greater things.’

As a Protestant I’m supposed to have direct access to Jesus and the Father and Holy Spirit and all his gifts.

Why then do I have to look up some stranger in the Yellow Pages to do some attunement initiation thing on me?

If I’m meant to use my hands to heal, God will need to show me how, and make it clear.

That’s what I tell him anyway.

Resisting ‘the will of God’

My interest in healing goes back a long way.

At a young age my father suffered a severe stroke that paralysed him, taking his speech which he never regained.  At the time I believed that he could be healed, yet the church to which we belonged didn’t seem to offer much hope. I couldn’t understand this because I had heard so many stories from the Bible of Jesus healing people.  I remember making a little notebook, copying out all the verses in the Bible I could find about healing and answered prayer.

“Ask anything in my Father’s name, and I will give it to you.”

“People came to him with their illnesses and diseases and Jesus healed them all.”

“Nothing is impossible with God.”

But I remember the minister telling me in a solemn voice that the Consultant’s prognosis was bleak. We were lucky that my father had survived the stroke.  It was very unlikely he would recover his speech or use of limbs and we needed to come to terms with the fact that things would be very different from now on.  We would have to adapt, and I would need to be strong for my Mum.


I remember feeling a terrible sadness inside, not just because of the doctor’s words, but more so the desolation that comes when hope is crushed. I felt isolated.  Abandoned with my naïve faith.

The minister meant well.  I could tell she thought I was in denial. She was waiting for some sign of acceptance from me.

Bible verses swam across my mind.

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.”


I didn’t want to look into that dark abyss. I didn’t want to face the reality of those long, long years of house-bound disability that were to stretch out in front of us.  And I didn’t want to be told I must ‘accept’ this by a minister of religion.

“The will of God is a mystery to us.”

“We don’t understand why things happen the way they do, but we must trust that God can use our suffering to help us learn and grow.”

I was familiar with this theology.  I’d heard it all before.  But up to that point suffering had never really touched my life.  Now it was happening to us I just couldn’t accept it.


Why should this happen?  My father was a faithful Christian all his life, working full-time as a social worker trying to help others, and in his spare time heavily committed voluntarily to mission and outreach.  We were already believers and didn’t need to be ‘brought to faith’ by some crisis.

I didn’t want to believe in a God that could’ allow’ or ‘will’ illness, disaster, disease, disability and all forms of suffering to teach us a lesson for our higher good.

That God would be a monster God.

Something inside protested. It was to stay deeply buried for many years.

But it started me on a search ….