Woo woo workshops, woman’s circles, transformational rituals, spiritual sister circles and womb women gatherings seem to be the ‘thing’ right now.
And these are fantastic and great and can be life changing….
And you may ask yourself, what’s so hard about facilitating them?
Spiritual rituals are eeeeasy, right?
Pop a few crystals here, do some guided meditations and sit with a heap of women around a circle with oracle cards and hey presto… you’re in the woo woo crew!
Or you may think that a 2 day Reiki Mastership will be just the trick to get you your certificate in that modality quickly? (And yes this does exist, I’ve seen classes which, in one weekend, you can do Reiki 1, 2 and Master!)
Or you’ve seen that amazing biz blogger who you have been following for so long, suddenly teaching transformational circles and women spiritual groups and you just gotta go!
Or your regular massage therapist invites you to her full moon releasing ritual.
But did you know that anyone can hold a spiritual circle without any experience?
And did you also know, that there can be challenging or negative consequences for some people when they practice spiritual work?
And this is why it’s so important to do this work with experienced guides or mentors.
Colourful flowing clothes, lots of crystals, grid work, flower crowns, mandalas, oracle cards and incense doesn’t make a person a teacher or an experienced mentor. They can have all the tools in their treasure chest, they can look the part, but they also require substance, grace, groundedness, discernment and most of all…. experience!
Just like you wouldn’t go to a herbalist who didn’t have training, or get a person to fix your wiring who wasn’t an experienced electrician, you also need to be aware and take time to research the person who is guiding you through your energetic shifts and spiritual awakenings. As this can be heavy stuff!
One of my very first experiences with an inexperienced teacher was when I was in my early 20’s before I became a qualified Energetic Healing Practitioner and Meditation Facilitator.
I had been going to Iyengar Yoga regularly and loved it. The teacher was obviously a qualified Yoga teacher and really good at it but, I’m guessing, not so much an experienced Spiritual guide or mentor.
She had opened up a meditation class that followed her yoga classes and I jumped on in.
In the 1st week of meditation, she guided us to meet a tree and place all our worries on it. At the end of the meditation, out of the blue, I had a crowd of Gnomes come and greet me. It was magical and amazing and I was so excited to share my experience with everyone. I told the class what had happened though didn’t get any response from the teacher. So I thought, ‘oh, mustn’t be a big deal’ but the excitement I felt was so uplifting! I knew it was something special.
The 2nd week of the class she told us that she was going to be guiding the class to meet our animal guide. In today’s spiritual world it seems like a very benign and common thing to do, but in a group setting this is a powerful process. The meditation started off really well, my Gnomes came and greeted me again and lead me into the forest to meet my Spirit Animal. I was patting and cuddling my animal when suddenly it morphed into my father, who had died when I was a baby.
It was a very moving and an amazing experience. We looked at each other, hugged and told each other we loved one another. It was very real. Very emotional. And I was lying on the floor in the meditation shaking. And then, that was it, we were guided out of the meditation and I was back in the room with the rest of the class.
I was also an emotional mess. My body continued to shake and I was crying. I’d never had an experience like that before.
I was also the last one to speak to the class about my experience. Which also meant she clearly wasn’t watching the participants during the meditation because she would have noticed my reaction from the meditation and should not have made me wait until the very last person to speak.
I quickly told everyone of my experience. Very obviously in emotional shock, crying as I talked and was physically shaking like a leaf.
My teacher’s response?
‘Oh’ and then carried on talking to the class about the following week.
The only person to provide some form of reassurance was the woman sitting next to me who told me she had a similar experience with one of her friends who’d passed.
That’s it. I rode home on the train that night totally out of it. I was in emotional and spiritual shock. I called my mum and told her what happened. I was also visited that night by a spirit guide who gave me the thumbs up, something I had not experienced before. And I found the whole experience difficult to process.
The main concern was there was absolutely no support or understanding from the teacher. And at that stage in my life, I didn’t really know what I needed. But it was clear that this yoga teacher didn’t have experience in how to support someone once they opened up into a spiritual realm or channel.
What was required, was to be heard and understood, for someone to reassure me that it wasn’t purely my imagination and for my teacher to help ground my energy after this emotional shock. She should of even recommended me have some form of professional follow up as it brought up intense grief.
Another example I’d come across was when I attended a weekend Reiki certificate class. It was a small group and we went around and told our story of why we were there. I had already finished my studies and had been in practice for 3 years or so. A woman in the group told us of her previous experience at another Reiki class which had consequently kept her a hermit for the past 5 years.
Apparently she had been to a class with no previous experience or understanding in the healing or spiritual world. Though, after the class, all of her spiritual channels had opened and she had become extremely clairvoyant. To some people this may seem to be an awesome and welcomed gift, but this woman found it extremely frightening and so, over the 5 years became more and more reclusive because of it.
I politely asked this woman some questions and she mentioned that the teacher hadn’t provided any further mentoring outside of the class nor did she follow-up and see how her participants were feeling after their Reiki alignment.
Also, this woman didn’t seem to know that this was something she could actually manage and could learn to set energetic boundaries for herself with some simple techniques.
It came to the end of our Reiki weekend and I was expecting the teacher to finish the class off with some information about self-care regarding energy work, especially after the other participant’s previous experience. I was so surprised that the Reiki teacher of this class also didn’t mentioned anything about how to ground your energy, set boundaries or how to release energy picked up from others etc. I’m hoping now, that the other participant was guided to seek other support this time around.
Though, I have also had experiences with mentors and teachers who do have the knowledge and ability to hold space.
As part of my Diploma in Energetic Healing, we had to do 80 hours of clinic with our teachers supervising our work. Many times we would do a session with two practitioners with the one client. We would learn from each other and be guided by our teacher.
After seeing a client whose brother had just committed suicide, we finished off the night and was about to head home. Though, I noticed I kept getting sharp pains in my head and so spoke to my teacher.
It turned out, the brother (who had passed) had come into the session with his sister. I had seen him but thought he had gone once we finished. What actually happened was that he had attached his energy to mine.
Gracefully and with ease, my lovely teacher sat with me as she cleared his energy from me and knew just what to do. My head pain cleared and I was grounded again, ready to go home and she also helped the brother to pass on.
You see, when you open up space and open up realms, you also open up the possibility of other energies to come in.
And sometimes these energies are intense, others can be needy and some will actually stick around for quite sometime until they are addressed.
Holding space and opening up space for spiritual work, can open up parts of yourself that you didn’t know were consciously there. Spiritual awakenings or Spiritual Emergencies are very real, they can be frightening and you can feel like you are not yourself or in your body.
Or you can leave a workshop and feel a little out of whack and can’t quite put your finger on it. These are the times it’s so important to be able to have access to a teacher who can guide and redirect you.
I ran a crystal singing bowl workshop for 6 weeks and even though I had done all the grounding and energy work that was required at the end of the first class, one of the participants emailed me that evening saying she felt odd, ungrounded and very emotional. You see, the practice that we usually use to ground is to tap into and connect to the root chakra and Mother Earth, but if someone in the class has most of their challenges in their root chakra, do you think that they will be able to ground and come back into their bodies as well as others?
Thankfully, she did contact me as she knew I was available for support, and I was able to give my client some tips and advice, do a mini clearing for her and she felt fine immediately afterward.
I also had another participant from a chakra class I ran, approach me after the first weeks class to say she felt weird. We stayed back from the class and did some energy work with her to discover that she had picked up and was holding onto another participants energy from the class. After 20 minutes we were able to clear this for her and she felt much better.
These are just some examples of what can occur during Spiritual classes. In fact, they are actually much harder to manage energetically than seeing one-on-one clients as you are having to manage a number of energies, multiple people’s emotional challenges and history, trauma and energetic boundaries all at the same time.
And therefore, it’s so important if you are attending any of these types of classes …
- to be able to have access to your teacher after the class.
- to be able to rely on your mentors experience and knowledge to support you through emotional trauma that may arise
- for your teacher or mentor to be able to clear your energy if needed or have someone close at hand to do it.
- for your teacher or mentor to teach you to ground yourself and keep your boundaries strong.
Even though its woo woo, doesn’t mean there are not challenges and consequences both positive and negative to spiritual circles.
Do your research.
Check out who your teachers are.
Make sure they provide access to them if you need guidance or help after a class or workshop.
And find a Spiritual Teacher or Mentor with actual experience and qualifications in the field they are teaching.
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