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A witch working a magical cure on a man's foot. Drawing in the style of Ulrich Molitor, 1489. Courtesy Raymond Buckland.


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The old "Wise Ones" of the villages, from whom Wicca stemmed, were perhaps best known for their healing. Cunning men and women, pow wows, conjurers—these are but a few of the many names by which the healers were known. They had a great knowledge of herbs with which they could treat any illnesses from which their neighbors might suffer. They also, of necessity, had a knowledge of poisons, so that they could treat accidental poisoning.

It was, in fact, from this knowledge of poisons that the confusion arose which led to the King James translation of the Bible to state, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (see Bible), rather than the more correct, "Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live." But in addition to using herbs, many of the Wise Ones worked healing magic and practiced various forms of hands-on healing. All of these types of healing are utilized by Wicca today; both by coven groups and by Solitary Witches.

Healing is a most important part of Wicca, and many covens and individuals specialize in it. The first thing any Witch does before healing is gain the permission of the person to be healed. The prime axiom of Wicca is to not interfere with another's free will. Some individuals feel that if they are sick, it is for a reason and they need to experience the illness. Such a person would be averse to anyone trying to cure them. Only the individual could decide if and when it was time to seek relief. For this reason, the first step for healing Wiccans is always to obtain permission to treat from the sufferer.

If at all possible, a Witch has the afflicted person actually present in the Circle while the healing takes place. It is possible to heal from a distance, but it is far better to have immediate contact. In hands-on healing by a coven, one Witch makes the contact while the others direct their power into her. This can happen from their individual positions around the circle, or they might actually make a point of physically touching the healer so that there is contact between all involved. The Witch doing the healing starts by drawing off any negativity that is present, then proceeds to direct and project positive, healing forces, including the energy from the coven.

Healing may also be done by projecting healing colors (chromotherapy), and by affecting change in the sufferer's aura. Actual color may be projected using color gels, or colored precious and semiprecious stones might be laid on the body. In the late 1980s, there was great interest in crystals as amplifiers of energy, and crystals were— and are—used a great deal in healing. As a natural process, bodies select from the sunlight whatever colors are needed for balance, absorbing the vibrations of those colors. The principle of healing with color is to determine what color(s) is lacking and to provide an extra dose of that color. This can be done the aforementioned color projection, and also by absorption through drinking color-charged water.

If it is not possible to have the patient present in the healing circle, then the projection of "power," whether in the form of color(s) or simply as healing energy, can be done at a distance. Burning candles is another method that may be utilized from afar to ease suffering. Candleburning magic is extremely popular, not only by Witches, but by many people, including Christians and others. The basis for this is sympathetic magic, where candles represent different objects, people, or ideas and are manipulated to influence those things.

Another popular method of healing at a distance is using what are known as

poppets. These are dolls that have been specially made to represent the sick person. They are filled with appropriate healing herbs, stones, and other objects. If it is possible to obtain a lock of hair or nail parings, a piece of clothing, or even a photograph of the person seeking the cure, then those will be incorporated into the poppet's stuffing, making it that much more personal. A poppet is another form of sympathetic magic. (See also Absent Healing)

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Healing demonstrations at the 1997 Festival of Mind, Body and Spirit in London. Courtesy Fortean Picture Library.


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
see also Distant Healing; Spiritual Healing

There are a number of methods of healing apart from the standard medical approach. Laying-on of hands, Reiki, spiritual, herbal, magnetic, faith, auric, distant, color, and crystal are some of the types and terms used. Healing is making well someone who is ill. The method used to bring about the positive change is what varies.

A psychic healer is one who has a basic desire to help those in need and who will dedicate him-or herself to that task. Bletzer suggests that “all methods of orthodox and unorthodox medicine and therapies are designed to help change the body chemistry in their particular way, making the cells normalize to make it easier for the body to heal itself.” In other words, it is the body that is healing itself; it is not a person, specific therapy, or outside power that is doing it.

Invariably the healer has no knowledge of the process of healing, and does not know what actually takes place within the body. With the laying-on of hands, for example, there may be the general supposition that when the hands come into contact with the patient’s body there is a magnetic current that passes from healer to healee (a term often applied to the one receiving unorthodox healing). The healer may imagine that current coming from deity, from the infinite intelligence, from the earth, or from any number of origins. Seldom does a healer believe that it originates in him-or herself. Nandor Fodor said, “[The problem of psychic healing] bristles with interesting and stubborn facts which refuse to be fitted into pigeonholes. Suggestion is entirely ruled out when healers cure animals. The process is interwoven with psychical manifestations, the success of healing often serving as evidence of the supernormal, and the supernormal serving as evidence of extraneous intervention.”

Fodor said of early healers, “In England the first spiritual healer, a lecturer on mesmerism, named Hardinge, became convinced through spirit communications that epilepsy was demoniac possession and undertook to cure such cases by spirit instruction. J. D. Dixon, a homeopathic doctor was the next English healer who, being converted to Spiritualism in 1857, treated his patients with prescriptions obtained by raps.” A nineteen-year-old English boy named Daniel Offord wrote prescriptions in Latin, a language of which he had no knowledge. Two months before it happened, he predicted the cholera epidemic of 1853. As an antidote he prescribed a daily dose of a half teaspoonful of carbon.

In spiritual healing it is frequently the spirit of a deceased doctor or surgeon who comes through the medium to give or suggest the necessary healing. Munich-born Dr. Adolf Fritz, who died in 1918, worked through Brazilian psychic healer José Arigó. Sometimes it is the spirit guide of the medium. Gladys Osborne Leonard’s Native American guide, North Star, would work through her.


Bletzer, June G.: The Encyclopedia Psychic Dictionary. Lithia Springs: New Leaf, 1998
Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933
Leonard, Gladys Osborne: My Life in Two Worlds. London: Two Worlds, 1931

What does it mean when you dream about healing?

Healing in a dream often reflects a need for physical or emotional healing, the power to put right those things in the dreamer’s life that need to be cared for and made well.


The outermost layer of the roof of a building.


See also Medicine.
Achilles’ spear
had power to heal whatever wound it made. [Gk. Lit.: Iliad]
Augeas’ daughter; noted for skill in using herbs for healing. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 11]
Ahmed, Prince
possessed apple of Samarkand; cure for all diseases. [Arab. Lit.: Arabian Nights]
cripple cured by accompanying Magi to the Christ child. [Am. Opera: Amahl and the Night Visitors, Benét, 28]
Lord’s disciple restores Saul’s vision. [N.T.: Acts 9:17 19]
balm in Gilead
metaphorical cure for sins of the Israelites. [O.T.: Jeremiah 8:22]
Jerusalem pool, believed to have curative powers. [N.T.: John 5:2–4]
Indian talisman to prevent cholera. [Ind. Myth.: Jobes, 369]
cures madness; stanches blood from wound. [Gem Symbolism: Kunz, 68]
relieves diseases of the eye. [Gem Symbolism: Kunz, 370]
Jesus’s five cures
he makes blind beggars see. [N.T.: Matthew 9:27–31, 20:31–34; Mark 10:46–52; Luke 18:35–43; John 9:1—34]
sweet fennel
said to remedy blindness and cataracts. [Herb Symbolism; Flora Symbolica, 164]
References in periodicals archive ?
In this study autonomic self-healing process in composite material is shown using microencapsulated healing agent.
Key Words: Self healing, Cracks, Microcapsule, Composite.
A patient's spiritual insight may play a role in influencing the healing process, and the authors of the various essays in this book attempt to address this important aspect.
In other words, the author claims that spiritual healing should be considered a scientific process that has a spiritual basis.
Ordinary Catholics praying over others for healing -- for arthritic knees, for depression that started with a job loss, for an addiction to alcohol or nicotine, or pornography?
No one familiar with the American Catholic scene will claim that healing prayer ministry is routine in parishes across the country In fact, many Catholics have never seen other Catholics respectfully and prayerfully place their hands on the heads or shoulders of other people to pray in a way that's described in the Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles.
In other words, in Mark's narrative world exorcisms and healings are equally powerful examples of a great showdown between bigger-than-life constellations of reality: Good and Evil, Life and Death.
They see flash healings from the sky as the stuff of manipulative evangelists and followers too swayed by the emotion of the moment to think clearly.
The Movement sponsors prayer groups, Bible study, faith-sharing groups, conferences, healing Masses, covenant communities, evangelization schools, and social action groups.
Several healings are mentioned which are not explicable scientifically.
But the miraculous is just one end of that continuum of which regeneration and recovery are the other--which is to say that healings are not synonymous with miracles.