Prior to arriving in New Zealand this September I set my intention on visiting a Marae and learning a little bit more about Maori / Pacific Island cultures. Within the first month my mother-in-law delivered a small newspaper clipping that was inviting ‘One And All’ to a Healing Weekend at a local, Upper Hutt Marae.
Thank you synchronicity!
Is This A Place For Me
I pulled up on Saturday morning to the correct address feeling slightly uneasy and awkward. The type of feelings one might get when they step into a church or temple of a religion they are unfamiliar with.
A Marae is a gathering place for meetings and ceremonies of the Maori people in New Zealand. I did not realize it was not just one building but an entire complex of buildings and rooms. People were chatting, walking, running, lounging, laughing on the grounds. Everyone seemed to know someone. I felt as a bit of an outsider, but stood my ground in hopes of getting a bit more out of this experience.
The main hall where all the healings took place.
The magick happened when I asked for direction. Immediately, I felt the care from all side pour into me. I was passed down from person to person, introduced and reintroduced. I was shown where to go, how things work, where the workshops were and how to get to the bathrooms. I was ushered to the main beautiful building where all the healings were taking place and explained how to choose the proper table by Feeling The Pull. It only took me a few minutes to feel completely at home.
Blast of Energy
That morning, prior to setting off, I did a little meditation to open myself to all the experiences and people that will cross my path. This meditation worked a bit too well. As I took off my shoes and opened the large, wooden door to the Healing Hall, I immediately felt the blow from all the energy in the room. It was so intense I stood there frozen for a moment and then needed to sit down.
This photo was taken on the last day at closing time
with quite a few people still hanging out.
Inside this hall there were at least 100 people. There was little room to move. Massage tables lined the walls with people who were receiving healings. The middle of the hall was all chairs for those waiting. Others were standing to watch or chat. You need to squeeze by in order to get anywhere.
My Western trained mind saw chaos. How does anyone know what is going on and who is where and who is next? At this point, my mind decided to take a break and all I could do was feel. I felt the strong bond in the room. People around me were high on life. There was a lot of love, peace and goodwill floating in the air. I wanted to stay in here for as long as possible and experience the strange peace and relief I was feeling.
When I could not handle the intense energy any more I went back to my car to relax, ground and shield myself.
I rejoined the festivities feeling confident and comfortable.
This quick visit to see a Marae turned into two full days of healings, readings and workshops. I learned a lot about fear, relationships, and healing oneself. I felt fantastic in my body.
In a workshop titled ‘Constellations’, I watched a large, powerful man participate in a skit playing a role of a broken, alcoholic father. At one point the skit became so real for him he began to cry. As tears trickled down his face the entire room could felt his pain. About 40 people let go and cried together sharing the experience, feeling the devastation and pain of this situation. We all felt how connected we were at the moment and how group support was such an import of a person’s healing process.
Many Maori and Pacific Island people provide what they call ‘healings’ for a ‘koha’.
A Healing is whatever body or energy work a person knows how to do. It can be a massage or a reiki session. Often they combine the two or create their own special style using their own tools and skills.
More then one practitioner can work on a person at the same time.
The didgeridoo vibrations can be felt in the entire hall during this man's healing session. A didgeridoo instrument is native to Australia.
A Koha is a donation. Everyone is welcome to receive a Healing while paying as little as a $1 if that is all you can afford.
This practice is a beautiful way to give back Love those in the community. Body and energy work are such helpful tools in everyone’s Spiritual and Physical Journeys that every person should have affordable access to these types of services.