Healing Children

March 30th, 2008

A Baby Reaching for a Hot Stove - (c) Renee LeeOur son, the Warrior, injured himself when he was seventeen months old. He reached up to a kitchen counter and pulled a cup of hot tea onto himself, causing second-degree burns. It caused a great deal of trauma. The burn itself, the ride in the ambulance to the hospital, the hospital treatment, and the constant changing of bandages when he got home. Since he was a young child, he had to endure the stress of the Child “Protection” Service interrogations with all of us as well, even though they found no abuse occurred. It was a significant event that changed him on many levels.

Prior to the accident, he was a happy, curious boy. Very energetic and very headstrong, as it typical for that age. Afterward, though, he was much quieter, more reserved and had a chronic anger that came out in bullying his siblings and taking pleasure in causing others pain.

Having such a hurting boy caused a lot of stress in our family. We didn’t realize for a while that a lot of his personality changed after the accident. It was a slow transition during a time in childhood that is naturally full of change. We thought it was his natural personality coming out more during the tumultuous-twos. But we later realized it was more than that.

We were recently suggested to perform a healing ritual for him. His skin was completely healed with no scars, but the deeper parts of his body were still hurt. His emotional body was still hurt. And his spirit was still hurt.

Last night, we did that healing ritual. Since he is young, three and a half years old, we kept it short and simple, though powerful. Since the accident affected all members of our family, we all participated in the healing ritual.

To start, we calmly asked him to remember the accident and how it felt. He was the “tough-guy” during this part of the ritual, as he normally is when he feels uncomfortable. After we were sure he was remembering it, the remaining four of us each took a feather and swept the area of his body where he was injured. During the sweeping, he kept his tough-guy armor up while he played with a new doll he received earlier.

We put the negative, painful energy collected in the feathers into a heart-shaped box that was filled with different feathers, which he held near his heart. Each sweep of the feather collected more pain and discord from the accident and put it in the box. We talked out loud about the pain being lifted as it happened.

About five minutes later, the Warrior whispered, “That is enough.” Since it was so soft, we asked to confirm that he wanted us to stop now. He simply repeated, “I have had enough.” We stopped.

For a minute, we all just sat and relaxed, talking about how much we love him. Then his “tough-guy” armor cracked and he ran to his room crying and screaming. He had so much pain and hurt feelings bottled up from the injury that he never could get out. They all came out at once now.

We sat with him and he screamed for many minutes, crying out all that stress and pent-up emotion. It was a catharsis that he wasn’t able to have earlier. For an hour we held him, rubbed him and told him that we loved him.

This morning, he woke with a fever as his body worked to flush out all the negativity. It appeared as a normal illness such as he has occasionally. We expect him to recover from his healing crisis over the next few days as a new boy. We have faith that the cheerful, curious boy we knew before the accident will return, made wiser by the experience.

It is like Persphone’s return. She has experienced great trauma, been through the underworld, and returned back to the world of the living. She is happy and joyful, but she is wiser and deeper than the blind innocence the maiden Kore had.

Looking back, we wish that the accident never occurred, but we’ve learned that everyone has to go through their traumatic tests. These tests and the suffering that accompanies them are what propels us forward on our path, leading to new understanding and wisdom. It is the suffering that allows us to learn.

As Demeter could not prevent Kore’s traumatic descent to the underworld, we cannot always protect our children from pain and suffering. What we can do, though, is help them to recover and heal from the trauma on all levels. Unfortunately, the medical system does not acknowledge this, so we, as Pagan parents, need to remember to do this on our own. And trust that we can heal our children because of the intimate connection parents have to them.

10 Responses to “Healing Children”

  1. Ruinwen Says:

    I’m sorry your son had to suffer this injury. I applaud that as parents you saw his need to find further healing even if the physical scars are gone. I hope your ritual will help him to move on in this area of his life. *hugs*

  2. Morninghawk Says:

    Thank you. His fever broke this morning, so things are looking up. We definitely learned a lot through all this, both about us as parents and about our children. *hug*

  3. Diana Luciano Grayfox Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. You touched upon a really important point about Pagan parents helping to heal their children where modern medicine lacks. We do that as well. We also hope to teach Sophia to maintain the balance within and harmony without that will help her maintain a healthy body, mind and soul.

  4. Morninghawk Says:

    That is definitely important, especially in this frantic society that promotes everything except balance and harmony. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Annette Says:

    Wow — what at amazing time for your family. May the healing continue for your little Warrior and for all of you. You are to be commended for caring so much and for taking the time to truly help your son through this. I think so many of us would be tempted to rely on doctors and others to “fix it,” but really, the responsibility lies primarily within the hearth.

  6. Morninghawk Says:

    I agree. We have always seen western medicine and doctors as having a specific place in our lives. That place mainly is when there is an acute medical problem, such as he had when he burned himself. But their expertise is limited to those specific acute conditions. Beyond that, we believe in Traditional Chinese Medicine and, more importantly, ritual and prayer. Those are what heal all bodies, not just the physical one.

    Thanks for the comment.

  7. Cat Chapin-Bishop Says:

    What a powerful story. Thank you for sharing it here. (I have posted it to MetaPagan, under both the Pagan parenting and spiritual experiences tags.)

  8. Morninghawk Says:

    Thanks. I added the MetaPagan widget. Lots of great articles there. I highly recommend people read them (and add the widget to their blogs too).

  9. R.E. Says:

    Despite your caring, the healing ritual must have been very difficult carry out. Whew, I would have found that tough. How wonderful that he is doing better and now is free to heal more within. Blessings to you and all your family. 🙂

  10. Morninghawk Says:

    It was difficult, but it was something he has needed for a while. It was hard seeing his underlying bitterness and anger that was beyond what a normal three-year-old would have.

    He is much happier now on a deeper level, which made it all worth it. He still has his usual tantrums, as is normal for his age, but he doesn’t carry that anger and bitterness around with him. He is also starting to use the arm he injured more. Thanks.

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