My First Reiki

I’ve been doing some work this year around getting in touch with my intuition and manifesting positive change in my life. It’s been in fits and starts and I don’t have any real routine, but I have done a lot of reading and have become familiar with some concepts.

For a variety of reasons, not the least of which was positive testimonial from friends, I decided to try a reiki session. I am so not in touch with my intuition, but I felt like I’ve done enough work thus far that I was ready to give it a try. Whatever “ready” means.

I used to get massages from a guy named Scott, aka Northern Druid. Scott’s also a reiki master, but he’s not currently practicing, so I asked him for recommendations and he sent me to Angela at Artifex Manuum.

I came in, filled out the necessary form, and followed Angela down the stairs and into a room which was pretty typical of bodywork. Low light, nice smells, and soothing music. She asked how I was doing and noted I had said this was my first reiki. I said I was feeling great today. Work was boring and annoying and I generally didn’t move around a lot, but as usual I come home and see my wife and my dog and do some yoga and life is good. I felt quite energetic today.

She asked me if I had any questions. In retrospect I wish I had asked her what to expect. I didn’t think there’d be much to it. There wasn’t much to it. But it would’ve helped me transition into the whole thing.

I laid down on my back on the throw-covered massage table. She stretched out my legs so I was laying flat and presumably in reasonable alignment. I closed my eyes and we started with my setting an intention while she gave my neck a little stretch. I set my intention for clarity and guidance and then, per her instructions, enveloped it with love and light.

And then basically she laid her hands on me in various places over the course of 30 minutes. Partway through I turned over so she could repeat the process on my back. At each point she almost-imperceptibly moved her hands back and forth. I figured this was to help facilitate energy flow. I could be wrong about that.

I was trying very hard to calm my busy brain, so I mentally repeated my intention over and over for a bit. While this was happening, she laid her hands on my shoulders and the crown of my head. I then decided I would try clearing my chakras. I started with my root chakra and worked my way up. When I got to my throat chakra, her hands arrived there at the exact same time. At that point I realized she had moved from my crown to my forehead to my throat and that she was following my chakras in the other direction. I then thought my spinning my chakras might be counter-productive, so I finished up quick and then tried to just focus on my breath.

A number of times I got a full body chill. It was a tad cool in there, but the chill felt like it originated from deep within my chest.

I had expected a post mortem, but she left, giving me a minute to collect myself and let me wander back upstairs when I was done. So as I was checking out I asked her if she noticed anything in particular.

Before we get to what she said, I’ll mention that, as you may know, my project for 2011 is to figure out what my next career is going to be since I know my current job is coming to a close in the next 6-12 months.

She said she felt congestion on the back side of my neck. She pointed out that the throat chakra is where we manifest from.

The throat chakra represents communication and self-expression. It connects your thoughts with your feelings. I’m not going to overanalyze this one. I’ll just recognize that I’m lacking some clarity in where to go next. I figure this is probably related: the last two nights I have had dreams that involved me trying desperately to get somewhere but having extreme difficulty navigating.

You can help clear your throat chakra by singing and dancing. Looks like tonight calls for a pants off dance off!

She also said she consistently felt the presence of the Archangel Michael and that he was saying I have free will to stay in my job but if I want to move on he will help me do it.

Michael is a warrior and a protector. He is often depicted wearing armor and carrying a sword. He’s a great defender (particularly against the devil) and leader of the charge (particularly championing the chosen). There are only two or three or four archangels, depending on which religious tradition you follow. Michael is the most powerful. Chief. And he’s here to help.

(Aside: The grade school I went to in Southfield, MI was St. Michael. Our mascot? The Warriors. I only just now made that connection.)

I found this blog post about Michael interesting.

I began connecting with Archangel Michael during the Reiki treatment sessions for one particular client, who was keen on his direction. And indeed he responded to her with practical and directive answers. As I talked to him, he showed a wonderful sense of humor. His choice of words was really funny. However, he not fooling around with respect to the content of his advice. In my experience, he has always been direct, clear, practical plus kind-hearted. His words related to both our heads and hearts.

So I may not know where I’m going (or I may have not yet become able to listen to the answer that’s out there), but I definitely know I have help.

The throat chakra part is not surprising. The Archangel Michael thing I’ll have to sit with.

Next time I go in for reiki I’ll do some things differently.

  • When we start I’ll go right for meditation right away and stop thinking so much.
  • I’ll take care to craft an intention ahead of time instead of trying to come up with something on the fly. I think a better intention would be more specific than the one I had, like a specific question that I’d like answered. Or possibly a better intention would be more vague like a desire to achieve a certain emotional state. I ended up in the middle and it felt muddled and clunky.
  • I’ll definitely ask right away when we finish what feelings, images, and/or messages she got. It’s not an intuitive reading, so I wouldn’t expect there to be much more information to convey at the end than what she gave me today.

The post session instructions are to drink a lot of water. All that energy moving around requires some lubrication.

All in all, I didn’t physically feel anything earth-shattering. Nor did I experience any especially strong emotion. But the message I got at the end felt significant and was worth it. I’ll definitely do it again.

P.S. Artifex Manuum is located in my old neighborhood so it was nice to hang out there for a bit. It’s in an office building on a totally residential corner that also houses a bike shop and some other kind of medical professional. It’s a two block walk from the apartment building I used to live in.

P.P.S. I can get $5 off another 30-minute session if I rebook with Angela within 24 hours. I flipped through my calendar and my schedule did not match up with hers for another two months so I didn’t sign up right then. I have a gift certificate for craniosacral therapy which I am now especially eager to book. A good ol’ shiatsu massage to get my chi moving would be really nice, too.

The End of and

As of mid-July, my cityblog will cease to exist. I will let the domain expire. The tumblr and Twitter will hang out for a while as they are not hosted on that domain. My other .mn domain,, will also be expiring. I am shutting down both that blog and The Dish mailing list as well.

I’ve had a lot of fun working on these projects. They’ve fundamentally changed the way I approach and experience living here. I think it’s fair to say that the cityblogging specifically is part of the reason I still live here.

I’m at the point where I can say “been there, done that” and be comfortable that I’ve done all I’m willing and able to do with it. I’m at the point where what got me here won’t take me to the next level. I’m confident that the things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met won’t disappear when the sites go away.

This wasn’t a hard decision to make in and of itself, but I sat on it for a long long time, letting myself get distracted by and bogged down in technical details and logistics. I thought too hard about it and then got overwhelmed. That’s a normal phenomenon for me. Finally, the expiry of the domains forced my hand. It could and maybe should be more elegant, but I certainly have the freedom to simply stop doing it.

I said in my farewell to’s readers that I hope each person reading learned at least one new thing about life in the Twin Cities that they didn’t know before. I never explicitly stated that as’s mission, but that was pretty much it.

That same philosophy applied to I have a little more guilt stepping away from The mere fact that a site focusing on minority experiences in Minnesota even existed was important to people, even though I never gave it as much attention as it deserved. I also hosted The Dish, a newsletter for queer women of color and friends, on It was pointed out to me that social media has all but made that newsletter (in its current/historical form) obsolete. Sistas are doin’ it for themselves with facebook and blogs and tweets. That was the perspective I needed to lay it to rest.

I may aggregate all the archives somewhere, just because I’m a packrat like that. Plus, importing from tumblr could be a good exercise in playing with WordPress’s new post formats capabilities. Maybe I’ll have a burst of freedom and light and just blow them up. They’re all in the Google machine if anyone really wants to see them, though it is a body of work of mine that may be useful for other purposes.

This is just one part of my ramp down as I prepare to make a mid-life career change. It feels like it’s a big one; I’m imagining I’ll reclaim a good chunk of time and brain cycles. We’ll see if that’s true.

Actually, it’ll be true if I make it true. This is as much a matter of me changing my habits and thought processes as it is a reduction in actual or perceived responsibility. Affecting this change could be harder than the status quo has been thus far.

See? Bogged down in details.

But excited for the possibilities. Next!