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A Reiki Master’s Redemption

In an issue of CT magazine Nicole Watt shares her journey from spiritism to faith in Christ:

From the time I was a child … I felt I could sense (and at times see) what you could call the unseen or spirit world. Sometimes this world was as sweet as the childlike wonder of knowing where the prize Easter egg was hidden. Other times, an ominous flash of perception would warn me that I was in a home where witchcraft was practiced.

As a teenager, I was curious about the supernatural realm, and I started satisfying that curiosity with books on the occult. I loved God, but I also nursed a disobedient streak. And even though the subject matter was frightening, I found myself gradually lured in. I bought a Ouija board and became interested in clairvoyance.

As the doorway to the demonic realm swung open, terrifying incidents occurred. At one point, I slept with a Bible because I believed I was hearing demons in my room. Another time, I woke up in a cold sweat after feeling a tug at my nightgown and hearing a low, menacing growl in my ear.

Yet the idea of accessing supernatural powers remained appealing …. Looking back, I see how Satan was preparing me to be seduced by one of the greatest dangers of New Age thinking: the false promise of peace through spiritual enlightenment.

In my mid-20s I began studying Reiki, a New Age healing technique that uses different symbols and hand positions to supposedly channel energy from the universe. (The term itself means “universal life energy.”) At the time, I was desperate for peace and longing for spiritual awakening. Wanting to belong, I eagerly accepted the idea that Satan was a manmade myth contrived to keep people in religious bondage.

By the time I became a Reiki master, I was also a mom living on my own. And as so many new parents can attest, the anxious and awestruck feelings of parenthood have a way of awakening interest in religion. Next door to me lived an elderly couple raising their young granddaughter. She invited me to her church, where I finally found a home for my soul … and was baptized.

Now, I was straddling two worlds. On Saturdays I would offer Reiki sessions and teach classes …. But I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the Reiki world. Every day I felt a greater burden of conviction to tell people that whatever healing they experienced during Reiki sessions was a gift from God, not me. He was the answer to all their questions, problems, and longings.

Soon enough, I came face-t0-face with the foolishness of serving two masters. The crisis point arrived when a friend asked if I would teach Reiki to her and another woman …. The first session went smoothly enough, but that night I had a terrible dream of two witches attacking me. I yelled out the name of Jesus, and immediately they disappeared. I awoke from the dream scared but in awe of a name so powerful that satanic forces fled at its mention.

The next day I informed the women that I wouldn’t teach the class any longer. I said, “You do not need more teaching. You need Jesus.” They erupted in tears and anger, accusing me of arrogance, stupidity, and a lack of empathy …. But I also felt an incredible relief. I ripped up all my Reiki books and asked God to forgive me. That was over 15 years ago, and I haven’t practiced Reiki since.

The New Age is the old Satan playing on our deepest longings for peace, connection, abundance, and immortality. In contrast, the Christian path of obedience, sacrifice, and suffering can seem foolish. That’s why I praise the name of Jesus, who laid down his life not for spiritual masters but for weak and wounded sinners he loved so dearly.

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