For peace and tranquility, for relaxation and rejuvenation, for aches and pains, for old injuries or new ones, reiki activates your powerful, innate healing and balancing capacities by aligning our shared intention and mindfulness to the efforts your body is making and invite universal energy to pitch in. Often while offering reiki, my ancestors or guides (or YOURS) will prompt me to add other medicine from my personal spiritual practice, such as burning sage, using crystals, or ritual objects to the session. Sometimes I am moved to sing over you as I continue to move energy through my hands. Sometimes your ancestors may give me messages they want me to pass to you or I may simply have a sense of something that will assist in your journey and include it as I work or offer it to you to work with. This work supports your integration and relaxation, so you can do you from a grounded, centered place.
Hi! I’m Catherina Willard. My upbringing was confusing. My white family had no idea what it meant to me that I am Native. Thankfully, my Native grandparents showed me what it means to live the way my ancestors lived. But when I was with my white parents, at my white school, I was hiding. I had imposter syndrome and learned a silent self-hatred that I couldn’t name. It didn’t help that I suffered unspeakable abuse and chronic pain from an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder. But again, my Tsalagi grandparents saved my life. I knew from the time I spent with them that I was loved, that peace and dignity were my birthrights, that Ateshna Heyna, the Great Mystery, held me in love and abundance. Still, the messages I received to fit into white dominant society had me searching for something I didn’t realize I already had…
After some years of self destructiveness and addiction, trying to work out all those mixed messages my life had given me, with the help of the Creator, my ancestors, guides, and many a wise, earthly teacher, I found my way to sobriety and wellness and back to the spiritual teachings of my grandparents. I offer the teachings and tools that I have gathered that they may help others find their way to peace, dignity, and liberation as well.
Symbols are the language of the soul. Ceremony and ritual speak to our deep psyche and invite the Great Mystery, the Divine, your guides, Nature, unseen forces, or whatever higher power you believe in to assist you on your journey toward embodying your wholeness. Whether you need a personal transformative ritual or a group ceremony, I can help you explore the symbols of your culture, your life, your community, and more to design a ritual that will support your hopes for your growth. We will work together to discuss how ritual may serve you, what you need to research to make it meaningful, what will actually happen during the ritual or ceremony, and even to create the ritual objects or artifacts that you need to complete the ritual. I will help facilitate to whatever degree we design and follow up with you afterwards to amplify the impact with attention and intention.
What is Deerheart?
When I first began to listen to my ancestors talking to me from the other side of the veil, the first thing my Tsalagi great grandfather Joe Reese said to me was, “Less bear, more deer.” At first I thought this meant less forcefulness, less imposing posturing, less growling! More cautiousness, more peacefulness, more calm (but I could still lock horns when I needed to!). There was some truth in that but as I understood Tsalagi teachings more deeply I learned that bear represents the intellectual, thinking mind while deer represents the heart-centered, intuitive mind. As I discovered how growing up identifying as Native but being seen as white and having all the privileges associated with whiteness, had impacted my psyche in our racialized society, I came to connect my over-abundance of bear energy with toxic whiteness and dominant ways of being and knowing. I came to see leading with deer energy as a more indigenous way of being and knowing. So in a way, my grandfather was saying, “Hey! Remember who you are! Bring all of yourself to your life." I have been cultivating my Deerheart since he said these words to me and they have guided my healing and integration.
"I’ve been dealing with anxiety and other challenges in my life. Reiki with catherina at deerheart has made me feel empowered. During my first session, I felt connected to catherina, to the healing energy she brings. afterwards, I felt extremely relaxed."
Louise, Reiki Client
Please feel free to reach out with any questions. I love texting too!