How To Find A Reputable Spiritual Healer

 artwork:  David Kelmer

artwork: David Kelmer

I work in a field (some might call it New Age, others might call it the spiritual or healing arts) where unfortunately there have been too many instances where people in need of guidance and personal transformation have been taken advantage of (and in some cases bullied) by unscrupulous people looking to make a quick buck off their vulnerability.

It's because of these tricksters among us that I understand why some people are quick to write off astrology, tarot, clairvoyance, chakra cleansing etc. as being nothing more than a cool party trick because..let's face it -- fraud is a real thing (no pun intended).

As matter of fact, now that Neptune, the planet of healing and healers is retrograde (and as such we're being asked dispel the illusions in our lives); the problem with fraudulent healers makes me think about the two sides of Neptune and Jupiter -- the two planets in charge of faith, spirituality, mysticism, as well as guides and teachers. I bring up Jupiter as well because with Jupiter currently in Virgo, there has been a noticeable uptick in the coaching business. On the positive side, Neptune and Jupiter help to uplift, inspire, heal, and unite people together. However, on the shadow side, Jupiter can just as easily exaggerate the truth as well as the ego, making us prone to lies or a God complex; whereas Neptune can make us prone to addictive behavior, deception (or the refusal to accept reality), and victim-savior like relationships. Sadly, it's these kind of dynamics that fuel a bad or imbalanced relationship between a healer and a client.

As a healer, I am happy to say there are ethics and rules that I abide by in running my astrology practice and providing services for my clients. Some of which includes me following-up/delivering on anything that I've verbally promised to my client, informing my client what to expect from me and my services before and after accepting payment, and encouraging clients to ask any questions they may have about me, my work, or the reading process. Incidentally, there have been cases where I have turned down a potential client because they have either asked me for something that I wasn't qualified/skilled to do or they wanted something that I was unwilling to do (like them wanting a reading to find out what someone else was up to -- a BIG no, no). The good news here is that I am not alone in running an ethical healing practice (and I'm always striving to learn how to be a better reader and improve my practice). And there are many other amazing, authentic, and responsible healers out there too. You just need to know how to spot one. As such I've come up with a quick list on possible red flags when dealing with a fugazy healer, as well as tips on finding a reputable one.

Beware:

1. The healer who over-promises on results or isn't clear about what they do/how they do it (aka The Donald Trump). Do they make themselves or their services sound like they're the answer to every problem you've ever had? Do they make grandiose statements about what they can do for you? Are they clear/forthcoming about what they do or does it feel like pulling teeth in trying to get information from them? A healer should be confident in their skills but they should only promise you what they can deliver, especially since most readers know it's up to the client to really make use of the tools, guidance, or information they receive. Also, when it comes to what a healer/reader does, it should always be made clear to you and should you have questions, a reader should always be able to answer your questions in a thorough and timely manner.

2. The healer who uses scare tactics to get you to purchase their services or take their advice. If a healer makes you feel like things will grow from bad to worse if you don't seek out their help or their consistent message is one of gloom, doom, and a sky is falling kind of sentiment, find someone else. Fear shouldn't be your impetus for working with someone.

3. The healer with the God complex. No one and I mean no one, knows you better than you know yourself. If you come across a reader who makes you feel like they know you best or what's best for you even though you disagree, if they make you feel like they have something over you in some way because of their skill, refuse to listen to or accept your questions/feedback, or forget that their job is to support/assist you in making the best choices for you; walk the other way.

4. The healer who is abusive, negative, or just outright creepy. If a reader belittles you, disrespects you, oversteps their boundaries with you, talks down to you, makes you feel bad about yourself/your decisions or just leaves you feeling shitty: don't be afraid to stop/leave the reading, ask for your money back, or dump/avoid them as your reader.

5. The healer who is just trying to get your money. Do they keep trying to upsell you on their products or services using any of the tactics as noted above? Just say no.

Do:

1. Your research. If there's a reader you're interested in, research them. Do they have social media pages where you can get a vibe of what they're like? A legit-looking website? Testimonials from real people or honorable mentions from notable people in their field? Complaints from people online or people you know? Have they been published or featured by reputable media outlet? If you research a doctor, lawyer, hairstylist, etc. before entrusting your care to them, you should do the same with a healer.

2. Consider word of mouth. If someone you trust has been to a healer and has good things to say about them to you, it's a good chance that reader is legit. However, since what may work for one person may not necessarily work for another, see my next point.

3. Trust your gut. I can't tell you how important this is. Regardless of how successful or legitimate a reader looks, it really all comes down to the vibe or the first impression that you get from them. Do you feel like you can trust this person or does something feel off about them? Your intuition will never steer you wrong.

Ok, now I'd like to hear from you. Have you ever had a bad experience with a healer? How have you been able to figure out when someone's legit (or not legit)? Comment below!

Pluto Transits: A Need to Come Undone

Recently, I received an email from an acquaintance that has been concerned and rather confused about the behavior of a mutual longtime friend. It appears that our friend, who for privacy purposes shall remain anonymous, has dropped off the map; refusing contact with either one of us. While I share concern for our beloved comrade, I decided some time ago (namely after a couple of failed attempts to reconnect) that I wasn't going to go beating down her door anytime soon. Why? I suspect she's going through a major Pluto transit.

Pluto transits to key planets or points in a birth chart can make a person feel as though the very ground itself is being torn out right from under them (largely in solitude--Pluto is a behind the scenes kind of guy).  Associated with the zodiac sign of Scorpio and the Eighth House of Sex, Death, and Transformation (add other people's possessions in here too); Plutonian energy roots out whatever "ugliness" we try to repress, deny, or hide about ourselves and draws it out into the open by way of upheaval. Reality gets tested. People around us cease to recognize who we are, the old us, and wonder who we've become. We will wonder if we're losing it, and more than likely we are.

But what exactly are we losing?

Pluto forces us to get rid of what no longer works. Weak, faulty structures that we built up in our lives come crumbling down when The Dark One shows up; a nasty breakup, the loss of a job, disillusionment are all side effects of the Plutonian cure. Working with extremes, Pluto helps to heal us by testing our mettle. We feel as though we are both living and dying at the same time (Folks that have ever befriended or betrothed a Scorpio, probably know just what I mean. Life or death. LOL.). Whatever doesn't survive in the process of this trial by fire period either has served its purpose or wasn't really meant for us in the first place. A Pluto transit isn't solely about losing things but about finding a clearer path to our personal source of power.

Currently, Pluto is transiting through the sign of Capricorn and making a tense aspect with Uranus in Aries. However, both essentially are on the same mission: to put an end to stagnation. People who have major planets or points in their chart between 5 to 10 (update: 12-14) degrees of Cancer, Capricorn, Libra or Aries have been learning how best to work with this energy as they've been feeling it most intensely. Personally, I have had both planets rocking and rolling their way all over my little Mercury in Capricorn which at times has been supremely frustrating (and a little frightening) but has led to improved perception and a shedding of outworn beliefs.

Having already been made familiar with Plutonian energy what  I have learned thus far is this: 1) the best way to work with the flow of this transit is to get comfortable with leaving your comfort zone and 2) how important it is to have a space to privately fall apart and then rebuild. With Pluto we come undone, then find the strength to pull ourselves together.