Healing and healers have long been a part of Caribbean culture, which has been known to foster understandings of sweat lodges and ayahuasca as a form of release and finding higher levels of self awareness. From the often-misunderstood Santeria in Cuba to Obeah in Jamaica, to even voodoo in the rest of the Caribbean, animistic approaches to religiosity has often been portrayed as a barbaric and heathen-like tradition devoid of clues of enlightenment by Western traditions of pop culture. Indeed, just the thought of voodoo sends chills of palm-frond clad tribal people poking dolls with needles into our over-active imaginations.
However, despite the stereotyping that we can allude to these religions, they provide clues into the meanings of how nature, foliage, folklore, and oneness with all these, form the roots of spiritual awakening. I’m no expert on any of these things, but yesterday, I passed by an impromptu healing workshop that was taking place at Cedar Ridge Lodge, where I am currently staying.
Although I had pressing deadlines, I did manage to sit down with one of the workshop facilitators today, a Dutch lady named Joanna Hijner, who spoke to me at great length this morning about channeling spirits and energy in the right manner. What followed was a fascinating conversation about oneness, enlightenment, and how we should use our bodies to channel our energy, and become the instruments to peace.
What was refreshing was how positive her energy was, particularly given how difficult it is for so many of us do not sit on a daily basis and use positive energy, think positive thoughts, to transform our own realities.
What happens then, when you meet a spirit?
“I would tell it to move towards a light or ask it what it wants. We are surrounded by spirits all the time. There is one reality but this reality is the present, the past, the future- all of it, in one realm. They usually do not mean you any harm but are actually trapped within their own realms.”
How did you get into this line of work?
“I’ve always been interested in healing. I’ve been doing it from when i was small in different kinds of ways. I place my person above a person’s head and bless them. There are about 100,000 of us who know how to do this kind of healing. I did a workshop yesterday where I taught two women from Jamaica about my processes.”
“You learn how to place a hand over someone’s head, and let them channel their emotions. A lot of people find answers to questions they were wondering about. They may even have visions. Yesterday, I did a workshop, and one woman saw her grandparents. Another saw a lot of colors, a lot of purple.”
“They had a beautiful experience. This morning one of them called me to ask me a lot of questions. I love to do that and I am happy they can do it themselves right now for the people. So it was really nice”
What have you learned about energy from the different types of healing you have encountered?
“Before, I would do reiki, but then I got interested in a form of healing that I discovered in South India. I spent a month near Chennai in a village learning this kind of healing, I’ve done for just a couple of years. I did shambala, Egyptian healing, other things too. There are some forms of healing where you think the energy is stronger, and this seizes you more and more with the passage of time and the place you are in.”
“Reiki was great for me 25 years ago, but then I found something stronger than reiki. Everything replaces stronger versions of things to each other. Today we have something else from what we did even thirty years ago, just because the energy in the world has shifted so much in the past couple of years. Depending on the time we live in. we are moving from the third and fourth realm to the fifth dimension, and we have to find different ways of channelling energy to do it.”
What is the ultimate goal of your craft?
We are moving from time periods of the third dimension into the fourth and the fifth one. The fifth has more oneness. your perception of seeing things of life is changing. Not life itself, but the way you see life. You can live in peace now. In the fourth and fifth dimensions, you begin living in the way how Buddha, Jesus was living, in peace, in oneness. Times are changing rapidly. I have a friend who was enlightened by the Buddha and wrote a book in one week two hundred pages. he was an instrument. The duality will get erased. We have to become the instruments through which we can channel positive energy. I am just an instrument when I bless people. I am also blessed by the transformations I can perform.
Have you ever performed anything that has caught you off guard?
Yes, every experience is different, but one time, I met a man who had not walked for two days. I healed him, and within an hour he went down fishing to the river. This happened when I was living in Gambia. It’s happened so many times in so many different ways and settings that I have lost count of the number of people. Of course, sometimes people are very closed off, and it’s difficult to get through to them with a simple blessing.
What brings you to Jamaica?
Exploring my oneness, of course. That’s why I came back to Jamaica. to find out if I was strong and could be one with myself. It was a beautiful process because I found out that I could.
Have you been here before?
I lived here from 2001 to 2006. I had a hotel in Port Antonio. Three wonderful wooden huts that I built. I sold it for a profit and moved back to Holland. I had been shuttling back and forth- my daughter lived near the town where I grew up and I did not want her to grow up in Jamaica. It’s no place to be for a young girl.
Do you think you could ever move back here?
Six months after I left, a hurricane took out everything. I was lucky. The next owner, not so much. I left right before I would have lost everything.