Oracles, Egypt and Auras
by Mimi Ghez
During a break, the Reiki Master instructs us to go hug a tree because they need loving kindness and they are alive and have both sap and feeling, and are in relationship with oxygen just like us. So we go outside and the big-bellied one with the large smile who has just told the group he hasn't had sex with his wife for almost a year lets out a whooping laugh, planting one foot on either side of the smallish pine, extending his meaty hands around the bark, in a bear hug that seems to involve not only his chest but also his crotch, where there is plenty of energy, I'm sure. And I am lying back on a wooden picnic table that is outside of the training center, an apartment someone has converted into an energy healing space comprised of a room with massage-like tables, stuffed animals and mood music, and another room for the initiations, which we have just gone through, sitting next to each other in straight-backed chairs, eyes closed, stones and crystals in the center of the circle we formed, the soft feather-like feel of hands glancing on shoulder blades, applying gentle pressure on the crowns of our heads. Now I am lying with my back on this picnic table and my feet on the ground, trying to stretch out my back, which always hurts no matter how many times my backbends crack something and provide temporary relief. I figure I am hugging wood in my own way, since I am not about to hug a tree that may or may not be alive, and I press my back deeper into the slats that support me. I don't want to talk with anyone, especially not the enormously overweight woman who says she consults an oracle every day and can sense that what I really need most right now is to drink a lot of water, liters and liters of water, because she feels nothing but dryness, as if she were touching a shriveled up leaf, when she puts her hands on me in the energy room, and the feeling is making her nauseous. During lunch the first day of the training, she tells the group that two years earlier she lost her daughter to some kind of illness I can't remember because I can't deal with any more pain, not hers, not mine, not anyone's, not even the tree's. I just want the reiki to work on me like a drug, as quick as valium and as sure as wine. I want to learn how to lay my hands on myself and on others in spots that align with my meridian lines and energy centers, and make the pain of all the hurts in my life go away, transform into something that can keep me from seeking out places like these. I'm quiet at lunch, order fries and a milkshake I don't need. We come back for more training—to learn healing symbols that facilitate clearing out and filling up – and after I have digested these like my fries and milkshake, the instructor tells us he knows with all his being that he was a slave in Egypt in a former life, who was decapitated and died a painful death, drip drop one at a time. I'm starting to feel queasy myself, all six of us initiates sitting in the small ante-room to the training center in a way-too-tight circle, knees practically touching, close enough for the massage therapist to my left to tell me she can see my aura, it is blue and green and yellow, which fascinates me and actually makes me want to take another class, this one on reading auras, so that next time maybe I'll be able to read myself just a little bit better, know what I'm getting into just a bit ahead of time instead of always just jumping into things, believing I've found the cure, which is a strange thing because a fortune teller I paid way too much money to a few years ago told me my energy was fear.