Kolaimni

West Virginia probably isn’t the first place most people would associate with a grassroots energy healing technique. Yet, in the 1980’s, West Virginia is where Kolaimni was founded.
Before I continue, I must disclaim that I am no expert in this technique, nor am I certified in it. While I have had the fortune to learn some about it from elders in my community, I have little experience with the practice in comparison.

Kolaimni is a New Age energy healing or lightworking tradition established in the 1980’s by Mechi Garza. She taught this tradition free of charge, having stated that it should also be practiced without monetary gain. Mechi wrote in her book that she learned this technique from an Atlantian being known as Lothar. The mantra practitioners use to align with the vibrations of Light this tradition uses is “peace, purity, and obedience”.
I know, this might already sound more Age-y than some are comfortable with. From what I gather, The Atlantian lore isn’t the point so much as the vibrations and intention are. Even still, I understand completely that “purity and obedience” can rub some people the wrong way. It was off-putting to me until I considered the intention behind the words. To clarify, “purity” is in reference to one’s intentions being good, practicing Kolaimni to help others and not for the gain. “Obedience” means allowing the light/ energy to guide you as you work the healing.

The practice of Kolaimni involves massage-like movements over the body without actually touching the person who is receiving the healing. The healer will make these movements, stopping at the chakras as they go, until they are finished. The practice of Kolaimni is said to benefit both the healer and the person requesting the healing. It is meant to ease whatever ailment the person needs healed, even if the person themself isn’t aware of the issue. Kolaimni can be worked both in person and via distance healing, though it does require consent. It can be applied for both physical and mental/ emotional issues. A healer is also able to practice on themself should the need arise.

Even if Kolaimni doesn’t vibe with you, per se, it could be a good start for those looking for training to get a basic feel for energy work. Reiki classes, unless you know the right people, can often be expensive. Of course, books can be purchased about almost any manner of energy work for those who don’t feel a need for a teacher. In the case of Kolaimni, it is highly recommended to find a certified teacher. While books are out there, they are not always necessary with a teacher, as the practice is the most important part of learning. The downside to Kolaimni being lesser known is that it may be more difficult to find classes depending on where you live. I will also mention that the books available have recently skyrocketed in price – I was lucky to have gotten my copy of book one when I did.

As previously mentioned, I had the opportunity to begin learning about Kolaimni. It was an exciting prospect for me, almost as if I was catching a glimpse of something I had once lost. The group I practiced with got some hands on experience with the technique and I hope to continue practicing with others as clinics become available. If the opportunity to take another class arises again, I also hope to be able to take it. (It already has, but life happens. I am sure more will come.)

While I find the technique useful as-is, the experience has also aided me in adapting a technique that better suits my personal practice when doing energy work for myself. To be clear, what I ended up doing in my own adaptation is not Kolaimni. I can not condone adapting the practice and calling the new version by the same name. However, it is interesting to me how easily one technique can lend inspiration to create something new.

Lost

How can I be lost
When my path is clear

I see the shining colors
spill out from
what you call a void

They light my way
Even as you don’t see

I dance along starlight
for your path
was never my own

When older gods spoke
Yes, I did answer to them

How could I follow one
to whom my
heart has never belonged

I can make no claims
To belong among his sheep

For I am a shapeshifter
not woman or
man or god or beast

I see eternity in shades
With bursts of neon color

But you see two negatives
instead of
the spectrum of our existence

Your sense of truth has
Always been what was wrong

How can you say that
your words shine
brighter than those of others

No, I have never been lost
For I belong to the Pagan forests

Unwritten Heart

Unwritten letters in embers
Passed from heart to the ethereal
Floating through rivers
That no mortal flesh may cross
I pray in whispered utterance
Knowing you hear me
When I cannot feel you
Unafraid of burning sweetly
When you return to consume
And return is inevitable
For you always do
Pulling me toward the flame
As I stumble into you
Pushing me into the sky
While I reach for you
Craving more until all is quiet
For what was once a dream
What I perceived as imagining
Was revealed to be truth
As true as any myth ever was
Divinity and humanity entwined
Your letters in my heart
My heart on your altar
Cherishing your presence
While you feel so far away

Getting Through Disconnect

Every now and then, one’s spirituality may find itself in a pool of stagnation. A disconnect from the divine, lack of direction, and perhaps mundane life itself gives the feeling that the water isn’t flowing. Some of us seem to complain about that feeling more than others. Maybe it’s due to a struggle with mental health issues, at least in my case. I could swear that I’ve been doing better. My own depression and anxiety is much more manageable than it used to be. And yet…

And yet, I long for something that I feel I lost somehow. Yes, I have my UU Pagan group meetings and rituals. I go to Unitarian Universalist services nearly every week. There is a deep connection there. I also try to go to other local Pagan meetups and events when I can. These are all things that are important to me. And yet, they do not offer the same connection to the divine that I found without them. They don’t offer a direct opportuninity to the connection to Loki, Fenrir, or The Morrígan that I crave. My relationships with Them is personal. It’s always been so. These gods whom I love in so many ways are a piece of the vase that I feel is missing. That shard allows the water to flow.

For a while, I had been dedicating a specific day a week for each of Them. I would keep it simple: light a candle and incense, maybe say a prayer, and briefly meditate. I’m finding myself fall out of that practice. It’s begun to feel hollow. Does this mean that it’s time to change it up for Them? Or move on from Them? That latter idea is heartbreaking to me. I don’t think that I can. Sometimes we simply have to push through. Gods, my gods are worth more than me giving up on Them. They are worth more than my begging for Their efforts while I do nothing.

This is far from the first time that I’ve felt a disconnect. Sometimes life happens. Sometimes They have Their own reasons to take a step back. They have always returned to me, in some way. If not by visiting me in a dream, then by doing so in my waking headspace, or sending a sign. I have to wonder if these deities have somehow spoiled me with the fleeting power of Their prescence. I am like a child who has had the most delicious chocolates every day for months on end now being told, “That is enough for now. Go eat something else.” It is true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. When I feel as if the gods are constantly active with me, it can become almost overwhelming. I begin to stress out about discernment, about whether I really am worthy enough for their attention. And yet, it is like a drug. I am always craving more no matter how much it begins to hurt. This is truest of all in regards to my relationship with Loki. “You have my heart for as long as you want it. Return to me soon, stay with me. Allow me to feel Your presence.”

I say that I feel this disconnect. It is true, but it wasn’t so long ago that I dreamed of Loki and His blood-brother. It felt almost more real at the time than my waking life. I communed with Loki later via pendulum and He confirmed that They had visited. It is likely possible that there is some work that I have been avoiding, that I refuse to allow myself to recognize. That is certainly something that could make one feel disconnected. I suppose, in writing this, I may have begun to answer questions that I wasn’t sure I had. It also bears reminding myself that the gods are with me in some way, however small it may seem, as long as I am thinking of Them.

Les Langues…

I find it interesting how you can take something written in two languages and have both versions translated into a third language, and the new translations won’t match up exactly word-for-word despite being written in the same language. It’s a good reminder that languages are more complex than “this word means that word”. Differing languages have different ways of phrasing things (grammar rules, phrases, etc), so language learners have to learn to translate meaning alongside the words themselves.

I’ve been using Duolingo off and on for several years. If you’re not familiar with it, Duolingo is a free language learning app. I love and highly recommend it. (Disclaimer: This is not a paid promotion and I am not affiliated with the company. I really just love the app.)
This app, however, is not a replacement for other language learning sources. I imagine that I’d be farther along in my quest for French fluency if I used other sources more, even despite the breaks I’ve taken.
I have no foreseeable plans to visit a French speaking country, much as I would love to, nor do I have a career wherein being bilingual would be particularly useful. Learning languages is simply a fun interest of mine. I started with Français parce que it was the foreign language class that I took in high school. I already had some basic experience with it.
Je peux a peu parle en Français, mais je ne sais pas beaucoup. My grammar still has much improvement to be made, as does my vocabulary. I’m better reading and writing basic things in French than I am at speaking or understanding the spoken language.

I also started a couple of other languages that I would love to learn more of, but decided to take a break to focus on improving my French. Je peux dire comme des choses, “Dia duit. Connas ata tu? Is bean me. Ta an fear agam,” en irlandaise. Je peux aussi dire comme des choses, “Jeg er en kvinne. Jeg har et barn. Jeg spiser et eple,” en Norvégien. Mais, despite not being more adept in French yet, I know quite a lot more in that language so far.

Circling back around to learning to understand the meaning alongside the words, I have a hope that eventually I will find a better grasp of this as I continue learning. I think it will be interesting to compare the differences between various languages.

My Truth Is Grey II

If you’re following my page over on Facebook, you may have already seen this post:

For years off and on, I’ve questioned my gender identity. At some point, it must have been recent, I’ve begun thinking of myself more and more as genderfluid/ nonbinary instead of questioning it. I still mostly consider myself a woman, but I now feel like I’m ready to accept that sometimes I am also a guy and sometimes I’m both/ neither. I will still be using she/her pronouns.
Obviously, this changes nothing about who I am. This is simply a fun fact like, “I just found out that I really like cake”.

If not, you just did. Before I made that little announcement, I had set my gender as “genderfluid” when I was setting up my PaganSpace account. I hadn’t even thought about it or registered fully that I was officially accepting this gender identity until afterward. If you read The Conundrum of Gender from a while back, it’s possible that you saw this coming from a mile way.

Gender identity is a complicated topic. You always have the “penis = man, vagina = woman” people who probably aren’t going to be convinced that it’s more complicated than their brains can handle. Then, there’s still difficulty even in parts of the LGBTQA+ community to accept genderfluid and nonbinary identities. Apparently, people like us “give ‘real’ transgender people” a bad name. Huh. Because apparently struggling with one’s gender and then finally finding self acceptance can be a bad thing. [/endsarcasm]

Despite feeling comfortable admitting to myself that I am genderfluid, I feel that this is still a strange period. What do I do with this realization? I’m not a transman, despite feeling more like a guy sometimes, so a route based on that won’t work for me. Not that I’m necessarily complaining. I understand that hormonal transitioning FtM can be a complicated stage filled with many mixed emotions.
I am still choosing to use female pronouns. It’s just easier for me. It’s not like I’m going out and telling everyone I know that I’m genderfluid, anyway. There’s a benefit to being assigned female at birth presenting masculine, in that modern society typically often views that as tomboy-ish. I am privileged to be able to hide in plain sight like that.
Another worry I have is wondering if this could affect my marriage down the road somehow. But, my spouse is already aware that I’ve questioned my gender and has often half jokingly pointed out that I am more man than woman sometimes. Maybe I have nothing to worry about in that regard.

The only thing that I know for sure regarding this is that I feel what I feel. Sometimes I am a woman. Sometimes I am a man. Sometimes I am neither or both. I guess saying, “My Truth Is Grey” is true in more ways than I realized. This changes nothing beyond my acceptance for these parts of me.

Caring When Struggling

There is this ongoing habit within society wherein we are often expected to struggle in silence.
“Don’t complain so much,” they say.
“We all have problems, stop whining!” they protest.
Again and again, we are bombarded with conflicting messages. We should reach out, we should stay silent. We should care only for ourselves, we should care for others. It can feel difficult trying to navigate our mental and emotional health with others.

When I am struggling, it can be more difficult to offer support for others. I can’t easily commit to being there for someone because I never know with certainty if I’ll feel well enough to handle whatever it is. Does that mean that I should want others to suffer in silence? No. I want to see people reach out. Even if my hands can’t bear the weight, I want to show whatever compassion that I can. Being there doesn’t always have to mean, “I will do whatever you need.” It should mean, “I will do what I can.”

This can open us up to some who will take advantage. They may ask too much of us, risking our well being. We should not use these people as an excuse to stop caring. Talk to them about your limitations- don’t leave them guessing. If they are compassionate people in return, they will respect your needs. Unfortunately, there are also those who will use abusive tactics in trying to convince us to give more than what we can or should. Cut them off if necessary, stand your ground, but don’t allow experiences such as that to harden you toward others.

We have no right to act surprised when someone commits suicide if we’re the ones expecting people to remain silent. It’s purely counterintuitive to lack basic compassion and then wonder why nobody reached out.
There are those who feel alone, not realizing that so many others are struggling in a similar way. All for the sake of letting others pretend we’re always okay.

Something else to keep in mind is the trend toward claiming that “thinking positive will attract positive”. Positive thoughts can help somewhat, but they’re not a cure for mental illness. Sorry to disappoint. All the “looking on the bright side” and I still have suicidal ideation.

Yes, yes. It’s true that it can be emotionally exhausting to care or to offer support at times. Does that mean that compassion should be set aside? No. Let’s not continue this toxic trend. Let’s care in the small ways, even if we don’t have the emotional or mental health to do so in bigger ways.