No Such Thing As Moonlight, Healer

“Yes, you are,” she said, then went on. “I’m having a vision. I see a gold outline of a woman’s form surrounded by white jagged light, radiating out. She’s waiting for you in the center of the Labyrinth. Tomorrow night, during the ceremony, you will step into her.” Then she sheds tears.

“I seldom see visions,” says my Reiki master friend. “It’s not my usual modality, and I always wonder if I’m making it up.” As she says this, she wipes tears from her eyes, and I recall a moment about twenty minutes earlier when she mentioned the power of her tears as a sign, a confirmation of her truth.

She goes on to school me on what I already know: “The Imposter Syndrome,” how it is a patriarchal construct designed, like the billboards and magazine ads of skinny, buxom, “perfect and happy” women, to keep us thinking we are not good enough and that we never will be enough, at anything.

We begin to get the messages in childhood, before birth even, and all too soon, we lose touch with our own inner knowing, our sense of self as real and powerful, as beautiful, a divine child of God; and instead the inner critic, our own personal portable mean girl, takes on the oppressor’s voice, and we underachieve, to get love, to fit in—to survive.

One of my earliest memories of this dynamic is from sixth grade, standing against the wall at a dance, with my glasses, splotchy complexion, and all the insecurities of a twelve-year-old with a beautiful older sister (who, of course, was dealing with her own mean girls—beauty is no safe zone). On the way home, when I tell my mom no one asked me to dance, she says, “Boys are intimidated by smart girls.”

And so it began, this race to the top and bottom at the same time. Overachieve and under-acknowledge. “I’m sorry,” and “No problem, you go first,” etc. Not from genuine politeness, but from a belief that I am not to take up space. Don't get too happy, confident, or powerful, or you will be alone. Better to commiserate. At least you will have company. Ugh.

Voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in 9th grade and recommended by the head of the Music Department in high school senior year as the student most deserving of a scholarship to the commercial jazz hot spot, Dick Grove School of Music (where Linda Ronstadt trained… oooo!); I go on to become overqualified in several more careers. Blah, blah, blah.

The thing she said I am is a “Ceremonial Healer.” Well, actually, I said it first (though I cringe as I write the words), followed by, “I don’t know what I am.” That’s when she began schooling me.

“You have no problem calling yourself a writer. Why not?” she asked.

“I’ve been paid to write, and, I don’t know; a writer is simply someone who writes. I can't claim to heal.”

Then she shared what I’ve heard so many women share before (something which she helps them overcome): it took her years to take on the title “writer.”

Still… a healer?

“What do you think of other people who call themselves healers? Do you judge them?”

This question wakes me up. I don't judge them at all. If they are genuine, in their hearts, and provide good work, I may hire them. If not, I don’t. But I don't judge them for calling themselves healers.

All at once, years of trainings fill my mind, like actors backstage awaiting their cue. No formal training to be writer (only life itself), but healing? Gosh, 500+ hours at the Institute of Psycho-Structural Balancing, followed by cranio-sacral therapy and somato-emotional release with the Upledger Institute; birthing assistant training; four years and a license in spiritual counseling and prayer; an eight-month course in shamanic healing; who knows how many years on the Medicine Wheel and in the prayer lodge; countless hours of sacred time on the Land, alone with the elements; and now, over 500 hours in Nonviolent Communication with a focus on self-empathy and the spiritual aspect; etc.

And what about the esteemed Chinese doctor who told me I’m a healer close to twenty years ago, and the young man with severe depression who asked if I take on interns and who became my first Nature-healing client?

Then there are the visitations from the animals, and the way the Trees speak to me. Still I doubted.

Last night, filled with this question, I walk on the canyon Fire roads. The Moon, one and a half days till full, is up and shining. I soak in the Moonlit darkness. When I am sure no other humans are near, I turn to face Her. I’ve come to be in ceremony, to “draw down the Moon,” but first I want to chat.

“Help… I need clarity. I am afraid. What if I step into this role, and it's too much responsibility? What if someone expects something based on the label, and I fail, miserably? I know it’s ego, but I’m terrified of humiliation. And, oh yeah, I’m also pretty sure I'm making this all up; I really am an imposter.”

Looking up at Her, a silent statement appears. The words go something like, “The Sun is the one shining; still, who am I to say it’s not Moonlight?”

Wait… what?!

There is no such thing as Moonlight.

The Moon simply reflects the Sun, which is shining on the other side of the world. However, even though she has no light of her own, we need the Moon. By simply being a space to reflect the light, she brings Sunlight to the darkness. In her Isness, we can see in the dark.

What if healing is like that? What if we are all capable of providing healing, by creating conditions in which healing can take place? Isn’t that what healers do, provide conditions for Life to restore Itself? What if the denial of being a healer is just another symptom of an oppressed culture, an expression of fear, an attempt to survive, to stave off the fear of being burned at the stake? What if we all embraced the possibility of and responsibility for our power to be a space where Life can have its way?

What if we are all potential healers?

The question is unanswered. Tonight I will lead a group in silence up a mountain to a Labyrinth, where we will call in the directions, offer water to the Earth, pray, and do ceremony together, each one bringing a prayer and a question to the center of the spiral. As each person walks, I will circle the Labyrinth, quietly drumming and singing prayers, holding space for whatever gifts they are to receive in their personal ceremony.

When it is my turn, hopefully someone will be a healer for me; they will take the drum and hold space as I walk to the center, where I will step into a vision of the gold-and-white-light woman seen and gifted last night by Reiki master, writer, healer and friend, Dee.

As I write that last sentence, the tears form.


This piece came through yesterday. Last night we walked. Yes, someone drummed for me; yes, the golden-light woman was there in the center; yes, I walked into her. But even before we started, as I described the separation humans have manufactured and the healing that is possible, two participants began to weep. (Btw, the fear is still here. So be it.)

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