Heart of Healing

The art of healing 

Has changed much 

In many thousands of years. 


Only a few hundred of years ago, 

The healer would travel to the patient’s home,

Cross the threshold 

Invited into the hallowed sanctuary where his family and his spirits lived. 

You would help a man die,

Help his soul to pass over to join his ancestors, 

And a few weeks later,

Help his great-granddaughter to give birth, bringing forth another life.

Witnessing the full cycle was a comfort, I imagine.


Thanks to the advancement of science, we specialize now.

It’s possible to see only a small fraction of the full human experience. 

I have shepherded souls out of this world.

An honor, of course,

But it wears on me some days.

I look forward to guiding them in, 

Red-faced and squaling.

One day.


For now, I know that I am needed where I am.

It is still an honor, 

And it is still difficult.


Most run from death, 

Shy away from madness –

I look both in their hooded faces.

I have received oracles on the lips of those whose minds are gone,

The meaning of which I am still puzzling out. 

My first week on the ward, 

A demented woman looked through me, 

Through the fog of her mind and my past,

And cried for the child I was.

It shook me how much she knew.

I’m prepared for it now, but it still shakes me at times.

Another kissed my face and hugged me, thanked a coworker for all that we do,

And said “He’s coming for me soon” – 

The blood is flowing, and so are my tears –

I don’t want to see her go,

But I fear it won’t be long now.


The art of healing

Has changed much. 

But it’s heart remains the same.


I tell myself it had to have been simpler,

One time, in a far-distant past –

But was it ever really?


Asklepios, Eir,

All the Gods and Goddesses of Healing,

I pray to You now. 

Guide my hands and steady my heart,

Odin, give me the strength to grid my loins to walk back into my daily battle

Dionysos cleanse me of the miasma I face daily

Athena help me to learn and absorb the knowledge of my elders in this field,

Sigyn bless me with compassion and empathy,

And may all my Gods and Goddesses and spirits 

Bless me as I walk the path of the Healer.


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