A Healing Journey Begins
By Ruth Egan McCormack
When I was five, my older sister Jane had a wart on her hand which refused to go away. At first it was a small little bump, barely noticeable, but as time progressed it grew into an ugly little formation, large enough for the kids at school to laugh at her. My mother ridiculed her when she complained about it and told her not to be silly, it was nothing serious! My grandfather, more lovingly known as ‘Pop’ by his grandchildren, was a little more sympathetic. One day, Pop found Jane crying, her best friend Mary had teased her, telling her only ugly witches had warts. He scooped Jane up and brought her to see his old friend Con, a local faith healer. Con was a seventh son of a seventh son, and in Ireland, such a child is born with the gift of healing. When the child is born, a live worm is placed into the palm of the child’s hand. If the worm dies instantly it confirms the child's gift.
Jane was shy at first, she’d never met Con before, but he was a jovial sort of a fellow and quickly put her mind at ease. He recounted tales of The Children of Lir, CúChulainn & Tír na Nóg and Jane listened intently, engrossed in the stories of old Irish folklore. However, when he told her a story about an Irish witch, Janes eyes widened in horror remembering what Mary had said.
"Will I turn into a witch, Con?" she asked her little face scrunched up in fear. Con laughed and told her not to worry, her wart would be gone in a week, and it was!
For me, growing up in Ireland, local healers were a way of life. When I had the whooping cough, my mother gave me brown soda bread to eat, which my neighbor had baked. My neighbor, Nuala, was a McGovern herself before she married her husband Paddy McGovern. Due to the fact that her maiden name and married name were the same, it was said that the bread she baked had the “cure” for the various ailments, whooping cough being one of them. Sure enough a few days later my cough was gone.
As I grew up, life went on and I moved abroad. I forgot about all these quirky little things from my youth. Years later, I read the book ‘The Secret’ and started making vision boards to attract positive outcomes to my life. At some stage I stumbled upon Reiki. It fascinated me that here was a healing ability that could be learned as opposed to being born with. Could it be real? Could I learn Reiki and have the ability to heal others?
As much as it peaked my interest I was busy with work and planning my wedding. I didn’t have the time or money to pursue a course in Reiki at that point, so I put it to the back of my mind as something I would look into someday in the future. Shortly after we got married my husband, Richie, was diagnosed with a stomach condition that could potentially lead to cancer. Here we were, a young couple embarking on our new life together, hoping to start a family, and this was how married life began - we were devastated!
Richie's doctor wanted to put him on medication for the rest of his life. Richie loathed taking medication. He always cringed at tv adverts with long lists of side effects, some of which included death. We decided to explore other avenues. Juicing came up as an option to give his stomach a break from digesting food. I was apprehensive as I had previously done a few juice cleanses; 3 days once, 5 days another time, so I knew how tough it could be to go almost a week without solid food. My willpower had definitely been tested when I did it, and I knew how much my husband loved his food!
However, Richie a very headstrong person, decided he would start with a 28 day cleanse so I agreed to join him for moral support. To keep our minds off our food cravings I suggested we do a Reiki course and my husband agreed. At the time, I had no idea that many Reiki practitioners undergo a cleanse to assist their bodies to adapt to receive Reiki energy during attunements. It seemed the universe had already decided that this was the right time for me to take this course! My first project was to send healing to my husband. He gave himself self-healing as well. When we went back to his specialist a month later for his follow up his doctor was amazed. All his scans were clear!
As the years went on, I took additional levels of Reiki and became a Reiki Master. I found the practice of Reiki very comforting in situations where a loved one was in pain and the only way I could help to ease it was Reiki. I remember spending hours sending Richie distant reiki while he was undergoing cervical spine surgery a few years later.
Reiki has changed my life in so many ways. Reiki has connected me far more to my surroundings. When I go for walks I feel part of nature - the birds, trees, squirrels, even the clouds in the sky. I feel far more connected to what I cannot see; my spirit guides and angels which often show themselves to me in signs that I would have previously called coincidences. Now I smile at these little synchronicities and look upward and say Thank You!