Updated: Jan 4, 2021
... and Reiki isn't witchcraft. This subject comes up in our large community Reiki group about once a week. Every post seems to say, "I started my Reiki practice. Why do people say I'm practicing witchcraft?".
There are many reasons for this. When I opened my practice and started doing Reiki healings for the public, I would hear
this a lot. I'd have random people come up to me and say that what I was doing was evil, or Satanic, or that I was a witch.
This sounded really strange to me. I've always respected the Catholic church, that is how I grew up. And nothing I learned in my Reiki classes said anything about witchcraft or even plants or herbs. So where was this coming from?
Witchcraft is one of many practices where women (and men) commune with the energies of the Earth. It is used in ways that promote good energy, or send negative energy. There are blessings, spells, incantations, hexes, and curses. Some witches are very practiced and only use their abilities for good. Some do not.
I was curious, since one of my teachers was both a Reiki Master and a witch, if Reiki gave me the ability to practice witchcraft or Wicca, its more benign cousin. She said no. And I'll tell you why...
Reiki is a Divine energy. The Zen Buddhist monk that founded the modern practice, Master Usui, studied in a monastery and fasted for many years before he discovered the power of Reiki during a vision quest on the holy Mount Kurama in Japan. He received the energy when he received enlightenment.
In Kundalini circles, a guru initiates your energy. Kundalini theory says that the energy is naturally curled at the base of the spine, in the shape of a snake. When it is initiated, called shaktipat, the energy begins to move up the Shushumna, or central channel of the body. It leads to enlightenment, but it is a long process.
It is the same with witchcraft. One does not become a practiced witch overnight. Most witches are women. Women naturally attune with the energies of Mother Nature. Our cycles follow the lunar cycles, and because we give birth, we are attuned to the fertile nature of Mother Earth.
Witchcraft is seen as Earth-based spirituality. It works with the properties of plants, herbs, and the cycles of Nature to both honor the Earth and achieve magickal outcomes. You may notice that I spelled that with a k. Magic is something that a magician practices, Magick is what spiritualists, occultists, and witches practice.
Witches are often seen as negative or bad, basically because we have rejected our natural world. We have become out of sync with its rhythms and have forgotten the power of plants to heal us. We do not often interact with Mother Nature on a daily basis, unless we intentionally go outside and enjoy the grass, the trees, or the rain.
Where it gets sticky is in the distinction between witches and other practitioners. What most regular people object to is anyone who uses energy to heal. This is often seen as co-opting the Laying on of Hands where the Holy Spirit comes through a holy man or woman to heal someone. Anyone who does anything similar to what happens in the church is labeled a witch, even if the practice has nothing to do with witchcraft.
The problem is, witchcraft is simply not being practiced today the way it was in the past. Without plants, herbs, and other materials, blessings, incantations, spells, hexes, and curses are empty energy directed at others. This can lead to negative consequences, if the energy is simply being sent to disrupt someone else's life, even if it is a blessing that contains a future prediction.
I'm going to rant a little here, because my teacher that I mentioned before went on a long rant with me when I wanted to dabble and explore and see what a hex could do. I had someone in my life that was particularly abusive, and I wanted him to stay away from me, and the Reiki methods of bubbling, shielding, and protection were not working.
I thought since some of my origins are Celtic/Druid, I would already have the energetic knowledge needed to practice. But I didn't. I tried to send a hex and it didn't work. It actually just made things in my life worse. And my teacher wanted to have my head for it, because she warned me that using practices I didn't understand would lead to heartache.
In Reiki and Buddhist thought, and in Hindi and yoga circles, there are a lot of precepts that center around Karma. The Reiki precepts are very straightforward about the treatment of others. It is believed that karma is only action. The Universe doesn't see what you are doing as good or bad, because energy isn't judged that way.
Karma is action that you take, and Karma creates energy. Energy given out is always returned. It doesn't matter if this energy is "good or bad", it always comes back. And it is believed that energy that you send out with negative intent comes back 3 to 10-fold. Life lessons are not learned unless you understand that what you are giving out also affects you.
This is where neo-witches get caught up. They believe that witchcraft will solve all their problems. They send a spell, or the more powerful hex, or actually curse someone's life, believing that this will solve all their issues, never suspecting that energy in any type of negative package will land back on their doorstep in a matter of time.
My teacher was livid when I told her what I had done. Not only do new witches need an older, more experienced witch to guide and teach them, they also need someone to help them when they screw up. Because that is what learning any spiritual practice is, you will mess up at first, until you get good at it, and she was teaching me Reiki, not witchcraft.
I learned the hard way how to clean up spiritual messes. She left me on my own for a while, and then stepped in to help me learn how to bind and break spells, how to dissolve hexes and curses, and how to appeal to our ancestors to help us break a family curse. But the key here is that she didn't do it for me. She empowered me to do it myself.
This is an important distinction. I often have clients who want me to come in and either fix, counter, or help them fight against magick from others. Many times these issues are caused by either practicing without a mentor, or allowing a healer to magnify or counter the magick you created. Again- Reiki is Divine and not magick, and it isn't practiced this way.
The problem with this is that once magick is created, it can only be recalled by the person who created it. Even if you've seen a healer or a psychic who sent a spell, hex, or curse for you, it was your energy and intention that created it. And if you are not ready to be responsible for the energy that comes back to you, it is best to recall and dissolve it.
The history of witchcraft revolves around the coven. Each witch is a practitioner in her own right, and the comraderie of the coven keeps practices intact, and witches learn from each other. However, the coven protected some group sexual practices that are no longer as accepted as Tantra is in today's world.
Some of the coven practices used a group to raise sexual energy so that it could be used for magick. These practices are not in use these days, and Tantra often revolves around a couple, not a group. However, both practices can have negative consequences if the energy being created is not directed properly.
One of the biggest issues in covens was jealousy. 12 was the number of women in a coven, and the man that participated was number 13, which is the number of the Divine Feminine. This is partially why 13 is seen as unlucky, and Friday the 13th is particularly seen as unlucky, as this was the day that the coven practiced these group rituals.
The unlucky part is that witches often fought over the man. Just like in Tantra, energy raised between lovers or sexual partners creates bonds and energetic cords that are hard to break. This heightened energy created division in the coven (and still does in Tantra when multiple partners are in play), and led to spells, hexes, and curses within the coven.
This has carried over into modern life. It's commonplace to see types of witchcraft, or the more benign cousin Wicca, all over the internet. There are instructions on spells, and witch jars, and the like. The problem with this is that the group of women is missing. There is no one to learn from, and no one to turn to when the energy comes back on you.
Again, anything you put out comes back to you. And if you send out negative energy, hexes and curses come back on you. It doesn't feel good, it is powerful energy that feels very bad- some people feel like they are going to vomit or get physically ill. And in all actuality it is your own negative energy being reflected back to you by the Universe.
The saying in witchcraft locally is If Anything Can Go Well, It Will. The problem with this is it ignores Karma. In Reiki, we let go of outcomes. We want the highest and greatest good for the person we are helping. And the precepts hold us to our own behavior towards others and Mother Earth, because it is well known in Buddhism that Karma is real. Saying that you wish for something to Go Well sometimes means that it only goes well for the witch.
Practiced witches know this. They know that what they send out may or may not work, and that the will of the Divine works things out, but sometimes it can take years. The wise ones who have been mentored know from experience what not to do to others. They have made mistakes, and many who keep practicing hold that same belief, that we let go of outcomes and let karma take its course.
When sending a hex or curse, neo-witches don't let go of the outcome, they wish a specific outcome for others. It is well known that the history of witchcraft involves sending negative energy to others, to try to steal a lover, or make them fall in love with you, or get you to leave them alone. However there are more negative practices that wish ruin on others, like family curses. Unfortunately this is what attracts a lot of novices to the practice.
Whenever a Reiki healer uses energy, and doesn't let go of the outcome, we say that ego has taken over. When ego is in charge, the Divine Energy actually doesn't flow to the highest and best good of the client, because the practitioner is standing in the way. We ask our ego to step aside when doing Reiki, so that we do not interfere with Divine Will.
I'm not saying that witches never use their energy to bless someone or a situation, because they do. What I am saying is that when you wish a specific outcome for someone, even if they have asked you to intervene and to help them, you are taking on the karmic debt of others.
Whenever we speak something over someone else, we interfere with their free will. Our Creator made humans with free will so that we can direct our lives. When someone speaks their own opinion or energy over our lives and we don't agree, we get angry. When someone speaks a blessing, we thank them.
In witchcraft, even if someone is assisting you, if you are speaking something over someone's life that is going to change their future path, you are violating Universal Law. Anything that interferes with free will does not work. The Universe does not see this as humans helping each other, it is seen as interference.
I'd like to restate this to make it more clear. When we receive a reading or any type of healing where the healer speaks what they think over you, you are then susceptible to that energy. That means that your karmic path has been adjusted to their vision of your life. And many times, what they think you should do is not what is right for you or your life.
It's the same when you have done a blessing, spell, hex, or curse over someone. Again, even if it is a blessing, if it contains energy or words about what this person should do with their life or how their life should go or what choices they should make, that incurs karmic debt and leads to a whole host of messes for the witch, because we are not supposed to take on the karma of others.
So, back to my teacher. She was ranting about this very issue. You cannot bend someone else's free will. She said that usually energy sent with this negative intent does not have the desired outcome, because ego is at play. It actually usually blows up in the face of the person sending it, and aggravates the person it was intended for.
It does not work. So as a healer, I do not speak things over people, ever. I have learned from my mistakes and I will not repeat that one again. I do not predict futures nor do I tell people how their life needs to go. I am a facilitator and I ask only open-ended questions to help them find their inner wisdom, so that those answers come naturally on their own.
I think one of the main issues in a mostly Christian society is that we see God as a punisher. That we have an outside energy that will hold us accountable for our actions, and any energy practice can do that in a similar way. Reiki simply cannot be used to do harm. Divine energy cannot be directed negatively. Witchcraft can be directed negatively, however.
So, in closing, Reiki and witchcraft are not the same. They are separate practices and each have their own philosophies and ways of being sent.
If you need help dismantling witchcraft in your life, I can help you. But I will not step into any magickal mess and fix it for you. I can show you how to do that for yourself.
If you practice witchcraft or Wicca, I wish you well.
To work with me, book an Intuitive Reading or see the Advanced Lessons page.