I will always remember my first experience with a healing circle, well… most of it anyway, as a newly pledged witchling, learning the Gardnerian tradition, at that time. Our High Priest and High Priestess had been teaching us for a few months. We had been receiving one-on-one instruction sometimes at our home and sometimes at theirs. It was a daily adventure learning the craft from experienced practitioners instead of on our own. There were new ideas, new rules, and new procedures to learn and master. As such, when not at the little pagan shop we owned, we were studying and getting hands-on learning, too. They would even drop by the shop on occasion to see new works added to consignment or created and an impromptu lesson would spring up if the place was slow.
At that time, my newly beloved husband’s father had just been diagnosed with cancer after an already two years long battle where incompetent Veterans Administration doctors claimed to not know what was affecting him. I suspect a lack of actual or decent testing had something to do with the lack of a diagnosis in time to save him. At the time, we convinced him, finally, to go to the local hospital instead for testing and treatment and thus the cancer was discovered. We had a great deal of hope that the medical treatment and magicks combined would all come together in time to save his life. As such, upon our request, the HP/HPs decided to have a little healing circle and brought a couple more of the existing coveners into it with Az and I.
They prepared the circle and began the healing work. When the proper time came, Az and I were to join the other four at the center and, in deference to my extremely pregnant state at the time, take a seat on the floor in the circle. At that time, we would encircle a large blue pillar candle, which they had carved with various symbols and runes. We would join hands to raise energy and send it to my father-in-law. The HP/HPs began the rites with a set spell working with which they were already familiar. Az and I were to enter at a set point in the ritual and all were all to join hands and begin the specified chant. As the time neared, we grew excited at being able to do something to try to help, anything to try help, the sweet man who was suffering so in hopes of easing the suffering of both him and the family who loved him so dearly.
We spent time focused on pulling in energy from our surroundings and tapping into our own energy. We raised, melded, and gathered together energy from everything around us, all the elements we had in our sacred space and every fiber of our being. The time came for us to be seated and we joined hands.
They had split Az and I, up as we were considered the “weak links” in the chain and they felt it best not to have us side-by-side for this working. We held hands with the others and began the chant. As we chanted, we sent the energy from our left hand into the person holding it and at the same time, we drew the energy from the person seated at our right. At each slowly spoken word, we did our push/pull on the energies between us.
I will never know if it was the effect of being 40-years pregnant, (well… it felt like 40 years by that time, anyway) or if it was just the novelty of the particular group that was gathered and the intensity of focus we had worked up, but the energy became a palpable thing. It started slowly as we all strove to get in sync with the others’ spoken words. Striving for a rhythm and harmony in our voices, we continued the chant. As the pace evened out and we began to speak in perfect harmony and rhythm with one another, the power increased. At that, the speed of the words increased as well. I felt the power physically as it raced up one arm, shot through the center of my chest with a little tickling sensation as if a fast bug were racing across the surface of my lungs and heart and down the other arm.
I had never felt anything like this. I had not expected to feel the energy physically. As a newbie to energy work, I was used to feeling small tingles and wondering afterward, “Did I really feel that?” However, this… this was shocking in its intensity. Scary? Oh HELL yes! Surprising? Even more so! Exciting…. absolutely… but more scary than exciting at that moment, as it was so obviously “there” racing through my body, in one arm, across, and out the other.
Afterward I was told that I did not miss a beat with the chant; that I did not stall out, stumble on passing the energy, or do anything else stupid that could have negatively affected the spell. However, once I started physically feeling the energy race through me, I do not remember anything else until, as one, we spoke the ending of the spell and sent the energy into the candle to send it on its way. It was as if I had woken, suddenly from a dream. I could not remember the time between feeling the energy begin circling until I spoke the last word. It was just not there. My memory of the time was completely gone. To this day I cannot remember how long we chanted, I do not know how I knew when to speak the final word. Was there a signal? I do not remember. All I know is that I felt the rush of energy leave my body and go into the candle. It was a thrilling thing to experience as a new witch to the craft and something I will never forget, at least not entirely forget. I also remember that, once we got home, I slept for 14 hours, straight.