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Sacred Energy Immersion

a yearlong, monthly weekend immersion teaching counter-colonial, ancestrally-aligned, sacred energy work via Reiki-inspired palm healing

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An Introduction: Sacred Energy Immersion

Are you ready to shed a generic spirituality for a personalized, heart-based and culturally responsible practice?

If so, you're in the right place!

At Transgressive Medicine, we began replacing colonial-capitalist “Reiki” intensives with Sacred Energy Immersions in late 2020, and we’ve seen much success. The Sacred Energy Immersion is rooted in:

  1. counter-colonial practices + ethics, including intersectionality, disability justice + neurodiversity

  2. palm healing as a pathway to understanding subtle energy work (includes Reiki foundations)

  3. earth-based animism + ancestral practice

  4. heart-based desire + unique gifts

  5. community support

  6. ritual foundations of grounding, cleansing + protecting

  7. skillful life transformation

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Video - Introduction Page

This is a wonderful experience for folks who

  • Are uninterested in the mainstream approach to “good vibes-only” style “wellness” that avoids critical conversations about class, race, ability, neurodiversity, language, culture + accountability
  • Have not felt seen, heard, understood, or validated in other trainings (e.g. conventional Reiki, Yoga & Meditation, trainings)
  • Have felt uncomfortable learning about cultural practices that are not their own without centering privilege, oppression, intersectionality, cultural misappropriation and colonization
  • Have felt under-prepared to effectively support multiply-marginalized clients without reproducing harm
  • Have wanted more structure and community support to deepen understanding of their own ancestors and their ancestors’ spiritual practices
  • Have felt unsure about how to provide sacred energy offerings in alignment with their own life’s purpose, unique set of gifts, and specific community needs
  • Have wondered about the role of sacred energy work in supporting deeper understandings of psychological, physical, emotional and mental wealth
  • Feel ready to begin processes of expansion and transformation and want to be in community with others who are ready for the same kind of life-work!
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What is Reiki?

Reiki is a healing modality in which the practitioner weaves the worlds of the divine and the material through sacred communication with the divine and a reading of energy pathways.

Usui Reiki is a relatively modern Japanese energy practice rooted in ancient Japanese spiritual-cultural practices, and influenced by South Asian spiritual practices. Japanese influence includes the folk animism of Shinto, and South Asian influence includes Vedic traditions associated with Buddhism.

The Reiki practitioner connects with the Royal (Rei) Energy (Ki) and, acting as a medium, uses that connection to support healing via mediumship and open pathways in parts of the body, the atmosphere, and materials. Reiki practitioners typically use their hands in a practice called “palm healing.”

Ki is similar to Prana + Qi, both often referred to as Universal or Vital Life Force. Ki is concerned with the mystical, mysterious and subtle aspects of divine energy. Much like in Yoga, Reiki practitioners work with energy systems. Conventional modern Usui Reiki practitioners use Chinese energy maps and abdominal maps, nadis, marma points, chakras and other vital life force pathway frameworks. In Usui Reiki, practitioners also typically employ symbols (Japanese and Tibetan) whose names function similarly in theory and power to South Asian Sanskrit Mantras, each with their own associated vibration.

Most Western Reiki sessions are similar in style and experience to massage sessions, except Reiki practitioners will not physically manipulate the muscles. Recipients often lay down on a massage table or sit in a massage chair. Reiki can be practiced with touch (hands on) or without (hands off) or even via distance (virtual). It is often referred to as an “energetic massage.” However, in the Sacred Energy Immersions, we move beyond Reiki as a medical or manipulative practice.

After a Reiki session, most people report feeling a shift in energy, and that shift will vary depending on your healing needs. Some may experience increased energy; some may experience deep relaxation; some may experience physical pain relief; others may experience psychological/emotional pain relief. Still others, who are welcoming of Spirit, may experience a visit from an ancestor or spirit guide. Most will experience some variation of all of these.

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Overview & FAQ


Transgressive Medicine’s Sacred Energy Immersion is a 12-month program that meets 1.5 weekends per month (see detailed schedule with dates and times in the Sacred Energy: Art + Science Section) and provides structure for personalized home—and life— integration of core concepts via personal and small-group mentorship. Immersions allow participants to explore sacred energy and life force through palm healing, counter-colonialism, ancestral connection, animism and Earth-centered relationships in a way that supports the development of personalized and aligned daily practices, rituals, and community offerings that don’t reproduce colonial violence and harm.


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Am I Called To This?

That's something we can figure out together in community! If the below resonates with you and your journey here, than it's very likely that this experience will be a valuable part of your path.

Many people are called to Reiki due to its animist and earth-based approach, its emphasis on the hands and palm healing, its notable lack of gender references, the possibilities for anti-patriarchal practices, its relative simplicity and accessibility for all bodies, and its inclusion of spiritual guides.

Many Black and Indigenous folks find the animist and earth-based approach very similar to their household diasporan practices. Many yoga teachers are called to Reiki because of the modern mapping of chakra, marma + nadi systems and because of the similarities to tantric and kriya practices, which use visualization, mantra + energetic seals to shift + release energy.

Like Yoga, Reiki has been bastardized in Western energy communities, with its spiritual homes of Shintoism, Buddhism, and pre-colonial indigenous Japanese practices remaining largely unshared. However, there are not many other widespread formalized approaches to animism in Western energy communities, leading many people who want an animistic practice (especially one without an emphasis on physical fitness) to only find courses in Reiki.

So, if you are called to Reiki, but unsure if Reiki itself is your path, this is a wonderful container for exploration -- learning about palm healing, Reiki, your own soul purpose, and your own ancestral lineages as a pathway home to your own authentic practice.

Some people are primarily called to Reiki for the quickness with which one can become "certified" and add another "tool" to their professional docket. The Sacred Energy immersions will not cater to these seekers.

Instead, the Sacred Energy Immersions cater to seekers who wish to embark on a supported life-long relationship with Sacred Energy that enables them to release attachments to colonialism, deepen understanding of relative social location, privilege + oppression, reconnect with ancestral relationship, and cultivate unique spiritual practices that highlight their personal gifts + soul purpose.

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Is this Investment Right For Me?

This experience is for you if:

  • You have felt called to healing practices, including palm healing, rooted in intuition, in spiritual connection & communication, and in higher purpose
  • You seek an equitable relationship with a teacher and a long-lasting community of peer energy workers, rather than just a certificate
  • You are curious about establishing or are already establishing an intimate relationship with energy and vital life force, spirits, mindfulness, ritual, altar work, healing & grace
  • Your prior certifications just haven't felt quite right or deep enoug
  • You want to refine your understanding of our life experiences and relationships from an animistic and Earth-centered perspective
  • You want to inextricably integrate your Black liberation, Indigenous sovereignty, queer & trans liberation and anti-imperialism + capitalism work with your spiritual, energetic, self-actualization, healing, and leadership practices
  • You want to learn in a way that honors the cultural roots of these practices and helps you cultivate your own authentic practice not rooted in cultural misappropriation
  • You desire an intimate knowing of your whole being -- emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically -- and you want to refine your intuitive and psychic gifts
  • You want to learn to live in full alignment with your purpose, and direct the power of your energy practice toward the manifestation of your life's purpose
  • You want to learn in a virtual community with collective commitment to the principles of Brave Space

This experience is not for you if:

  • You just want to add a Reiki certificate to your list of wellness tricks
  • You're comfortable with your energy and spiritual practices perpetuating individual or systemic social harm
  • You believe our wellness practices should be separate from our collective responsibilities to each other and to Earth
  • You want an extractive relationship with the information, rather than a generative relationship with community
  • You are not committed to lifelong learning and personal growth
  • You are committed to cisheterosexist patriarchy, racism, ableism, imperialist capitalism and/or any of their supporting values
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What Anchors This Course?

The Sacred Energy Immersion is anchored in counter-colonial philosophy and practice, sacred ritual, personal gifts, heart-centered purpose, ancestral connection + communication, and palm healing. However, palm healing does not have to look for you like it does for others. Palm healing can be used as part of divination practices, in spirit communication, in daily rituals, and as part of a more embodied mindfulness practice instead of or in addition to medicalized Reiki (e.g. treatment for energetic ailments).

The immersion is primarily facilitated by a Blacqueer, multiply Neurodivergent, NB-Transbeing, and all guest teachers are BIPOC, including teachers of Japanese descent. Anti-Racism, Queer/Trans-Affirmation, and Neurodiversity are baked into the very fabric of all training materials and experiences.

These immersions are considered introductory and intermediate as developing a relationship with Sacred Energy is a lifelong practice of growth, grief, bliss, relationship and inner knowing.

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Japanese Influences

This course presences Japanese context and includes Japanese facilitators, but is not centered on Shintoism. Why? Well, because Zel is not Japanese! Learning from the Japanese + Vedic traditions of Usui Reiki and the South Asian/Vedic traditions of Yoga have helped lead Zel come home to an authentic energy practice that does not glorify cultural misappropriation or require people to pretend to have expertise in a culture with no lived experience, family experience or ancestral experience of that culture.

  • Marika Clymer, a mixed Japanese, Ainu + European traditional Reiki practitioner is a guest speaker.

  • All students are welcome to join a panel about cross-cultural communication featuring spiritual practitioners of Asian descent.

  • If you are looking for a Reiki training completely rooted in Japanese Shintoism, please check out Marika Clymer's Energetic Soveriegnty Offering.

Folk Animism is present in every spiritual tradition, no matter the lineage -- so learning about animism via Reiki is a wonderful starting point to understand where you'd like to end up, and how to get there in an counter-colonial way.

  • For example, prior practitioners have used what they've learned here to find similarities and pathways into Hoodoo, Ifa, Phillipine traditions, Southern Italian Traditions, Scottish Traditions, Astrology, Tarot and more!

  • This often feels more accessible to people already familiar with Asian spiritual traditions e.g. Yoga, Ichirei Shikon, Chakras, Marma Points, Nadis, Tantra, Meditation, etc (whether at the surface level or deeper)

  • For many multiply-marginalized folks and/or people with fraught family relationships, having a starting point outside of their own culture can be less traumatic or activating than attempting to immediately jump into the work of their ancestral lineage / generational trauma.

Zel's most potent offering is one that helps you root into your own authentic ancestral practice by learning about your own gifts and lineages while anchoring in an understanding of Usui Reiki, which comes from a combination of Japanese Shintoism / Folk Animism and the South Asian / Vedic traditions of Buddhism. If you are interested in understanding these practices and cultures as reference points to better understand what your own authentic practice might look like, then this immersion is definitely a good fit!

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What's Included?

Regular live meetings include centering practices, community shares, content “lecture,” interactive processing & q+a.

Each lesson is recorded and uploaded to the online course platform for review; this platform also includes course downloads.

Each person will have a small group of 3-4 people, to whom they will connect more deeply in small group sessions with Zel

There are also practice sessions, affinity groups, and two 60min 1:1s with Zel built in.

We also have a private Discord server that folks can use to hangout, request support, share personal wins, link to events, etc.

In between meetings, you will have suggested “homeplay,” such as cleansing practices, journal prompts, and 40-day practices, that are designed for integration into your particular life.

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Is this Like Reiki?

The Sacred Energy Immersion centers Reiki-Inspired palm healing skill-building. However, the immersion deliberately works against Westernized Reiki capitalism, which is rooted in cultural misappropriation. Students will learn all of the same skills learned in weekend Reiki intensives, plus SO much more!

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Will I get a Reiki certificate?

Instead of certificates, participants will receive community endorsements from the facilitator and members of the cohort who have been particularly inspired by their transformation. This endorsement will indicate that the practitioner has completed a course rooted in animist, ancestral and anticolonial energy practices, including Usui Reiki. Instead of individual attunements (which are not necessary to connect with Sacred Energy), the cohort will participate in an equitable community co-attunement using both the Usui Reiki symbols and individual practitioners' personal ancestral symbols.

There is not an authoritative certification body for Reiki, so this endorsement (which will look similar to a multi-page certificate) will still serve your certification needs. The idea for community endorsements came about in a conversation between Zel and Marika Clymer.

Will I be attuned to Reiki?

In Sacred Energy Immersions, attunements are considered to be community initiation rituals, NOT master-student gatekeeping rituals. You are naturally attuned to Reiki / Sacred Energy and you do not require a Master to empower your connection.

However, community initiations are part of most ancestral spiritual traditions, and many people enjoy and appreciate the sacred ceremony. As such, we will have an equitable community-coattunement, which is optional. This will include the traditional Usui Reiki symbols as well as the personal ancestral symbols that you resonate with.

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Video - Is This Like Reiki Page

We learn and share in accordance with the needs of the mind-body-spirit.

Therefore, we emphasize:

  • Immersions over Intensives
  • Embodiment over memorization
  • multi-directional, community learning over patriarchal master teaching
  • equitable relationships over accomplishments
  • forever-learning over levels or instant mastery
  • decolonization over assimilation
  • anti-oppression over delusions of supremacy
  • unique combinations of personal gifts over expected expressions of patriarchal practice

We are no longer here to quickly induct you into colonized Reiki Capitalism!​

Therefore, we emphasize:

  • Curating a unique practice over time that reflects your spiritual gifts and divine purpose.
  • Developing a personal relationship with Sacred Energy and learning to embody your connection to Sacred Energy
  • Understanding palm healing as it fits into your unique personal practice
  • Learning to ritualize your own life with Sacred Energy as the catalyst
  • Connecting deeply with guides, ancestors, angels, spirits, saints, etc
  • Integrating your expanded knowledge into your daily life, with ongoing support
  • We want to change the nature of Sacred Energy Education on Turtle Island

    Therefore, we emphasize:

    • Honoring Reiki's roots as an animist tradition & spiritual practice beyond palm healing
    • Respecting Reiki as a cosmology that can lead us into our own authentic ancestral practice (within or outside of Reiki cosmology)
    • Counter-colonialism, Intersectionality + Antiracism throughout
    • Respectful integration of additional energy practices that are aligned with your ancestral guidance
    • Community responsibility as a practitioner, leader and holder of sacred space
    • We want to increase accessibility & diversity of experience.

      Therefore, we emphasize:

      • multiple ways to participate, honoring disability, neurodivergence and mental illness
      • Sliding scale and scholarships
      • Community co-attunements over individual attunements
      • Community endorsements over certifications
      • Remembrance of your unique spiritual path curated in concert with your Guides and Ancestors, your gifts, and your soul purpose.
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How is a sense of community fostered?

It is still possible to generate a sense of community via an online immersion.

The primary ways this is built into the course is:

  • Small group mini-cohorts of 3-4 people of similar background or region that you can connect with offline. These are the people you will be in a separate mentorship group with.
  • Affinity group sessions for Black and Indigenous folks, Mixed Folks, European-Ancestry/White Folks, Queer folks, TGNC folks, and Cisgender folks.
  • 1:1s with Zel, through which Zel can get permission to directly connect you with other participants experiencing similarities
  • Discord server (available as desktop or mobile app) where folks can virtually hangout, ask for support, share wins + inspiration, and ask questions
  • You can always let Zel know additional ideas!

Sacred Energy Immersion Reviews

Over the past three immersions (and other courses) of Zel's that I have been part of, I have been guided, supported, and challenged through self-study and community accountability. Zel's immersions create a brave container to acknowledge and understand the harm that colonizers and an exploitative colonial mindset toward healing have caused and continue to cause. They go beyond acknowledgement of colonial harm to empower practitioners to create pathways home to the truth and integrity of their own ancestry and energetic gifts. Rather than simply acquiring the knowledge and skills to receive a form of certification, Zel's immersions hold space for personal and communal transformation both within and expanding beyond the course timeline. If your experience is anything like mine, you will likely never practice, learn, or hold space in the same way again. Zel's presence as a compassionate, generous, honest, and humble mentor is a balm during the - at times destabilizing - journey of questioning and unlearning colonial frameworks of spirituality, healing, leadership, and community relationship. I am forever grateful for their guidance as I shift from holding the space of a visiting guest within various healing traditions to remembering a home space within my own ancestral healing wisdom and practices.

— Brooke McMillan

I am so grateful for Zel and Uma. This program has truly been life changing for me as a holistic practitioner. My anticolonial Sacred Energy practice has deepened and improved my life both personally and professionally. My appreciation for Energetic practices and the respect to Usui Reiki beyond our Western perception of it has been amazing. This journey is immersive and you will not come out the same person as when you entered. So for those who are considering and may feel some ambivalence, this is your confirmation that you must sign up for this journey/experience.

— Biany Perez

Zel's course offering is transcendent, wise, and radically caring. So many aspects of it have been completely transformational for me. The way Zel seamlessly and unapologetically connected spirituality and cultural practices to social and political histories and realities brought so many things together in my understanding in a cohesive and vital way that has already had deep impacts on my own spiritual and social justice journeys. The self-knowledge, community, and connection to sacred energy that this offering fosters are so empowering, and Zel is a graceful, knowledgeable, and powerful guide.

— KS Brewer

Zel's guidance throughout this course was truly a blessing. The curriculum was so welcoming and accessible. I looked forward to every class and now that it's ended, I can't wait to go back and review the recordings and handouts again! I will draw from and carry the knowledge and resources that were shared in my practice always. Zel's an amazing facilitator and person. Their warmth, concern for the cohort's well being and openness to share their knowledge was so beautiful to witness. I am so grateful to know them and to have been a part of such a safe, spiritually accessible and non-oppressive learning environment.

— Elisa Perez

I came to this course specifically wanting to learn how to do something (healing in particular). What I didn't expect was to come away transformed in my understanding of spirituality and healing, in how I connect to sacred energy, and really how I live more intentionally in my day-to-day life. This course and really Zel provided the community, space, content, and guidance I needed to start creating spiritual practices and rituals that connect me deeper to sacred energy. I'm eternally grateful that my path magically crossed with Zel and this offering.

— Klarrisa Frank

This course was so much of what I needed as I experienced a lot of transition in my life. Zel was patient, joyful, present, and created a space for folks to engage with regardless of where they were at. I felt very held and grew so much spiritually through this course. Thank you Zel!

— Kunal V

As a yoga teacher, I've been aware of energy transfer for a while. I have felt called to learn more for years, but never found the right training or course. When I found Zel on instagram I was drawn their realness, anti-colonialism and spirit. It has been one of the great honors of my life being a student of Zels. I cannot recommend this course enough, it has changed my practice and my work for the better.

— Nikki McMaster

The container that Zel holds is the most spacious, generous and supportive learning environment I have ever been in. This course has touched every part of my life, imbuing my day to day with so much wonder and reverence for sacred energy. After my time here with Zel and this community, I feel like I finally have the tools and support to feel confident continuing my life-long relationship to palm healing.

— Santi

Zel really took the time to teach us and keep the floor open for discussion amongst one another throughout the last few months. What I also really appreciated was the emphasis on practicing Reiki and other everyday practices from a decolonized mindset. They had us think about how to be and move in the world with ourselves and with community. Thank you Zel!

— Anon

Zel is a profound teacher who has created a container that was evidently created with much intention, love and dedication to anti colonial practice. The space is one which is based on compassion, accountability and dedication to community growth, and so I highly recommend people who are searching for a space with those values to participate in this offering.

— Juan Imperial

like any and all offerings i have experienced with zel, the intentionality, accountability, and alignment of this offering to practice what it preaches is very clear and deeply felt. zel teaches/guides/facilitates with such authenticity and integrity that it feels safe to show up as exactly how and whoever i am any given day, and they share such a deep and ever-evolving perspective and framework for understanding (anything/everything) that i can really feel my experience of life expanding. i learned as much from lectures and practices as i did from the integration and rest in between, and can feel the material shifts in my life both internally and in relationship with others (humans, land, energy--all of it!) from learning new ways to listen to and receive the guidance that sacred energy is always offering.

— jacjac devorah

Zel is extremely thoughtful in how they present this course. As a student, I developed a clearer knowledge of palm healing in various forms and how important it is to look into your own ancestry and lineage, whether biological or chosen, in order to form a healthy and consensual spiritual practice. I encourage people who feel unsure about how to approach thinking of their ancestral lines, especially folks who identify as queer, trans, and BI/POC, to consider this course. Zel does a great job at also prepping folks who may want to run or improve their businesses to think deeply on how to ask for consent, to create clear boundaries, and to preserve your own energy.

— June Cheung

Sign up for this course with Zel if you are trying to expand your personal view on reiki. I had considered signing up for a reiki course and found this one. I love that Zel constantly reminds us that sacred energy is within all of us and that that energy shows up differently. I was able to let go of expectations of what that relationship "should" look like and open myself up to what it is. I am excited to continue expanding.

— Anon

Zel has created a wonderful exploration space! their emphasis on building self trust during the early stages of the immersion really set me up for a fluid transition to engaging with energy in both a personal and public way.

— Elliot Warden

I had been looking for a queer-friendly Reiki training for over a year as I was/am in a process of re-committing to my Reiki practice (I trained over 15 years ago and had not been actively practicing for some time) and let me tell you it is HARD to find! I was so excited when I was on another round of searching and came across Rest In Power's virtual Reiki training. Not only is it queer and non-binary friendly, but it's also queer and non-binary run and more than that has a anti/decolonial foundation which was more than I could have asked for and was so in alignment with my values. I cannot recommend Zel and Transgressive Medicine enough. This is a truly special Reiki training program that really challenges your practice and therefore deepens it in crucial ways. Furthermore, it is so important to support the healing work of Black femmes and Zel is a true gem, along with their support staff Crystal and Uma. Much gratitude!

— Lindsay Lee

When I first received this message that I was receiving this energy exchange, I was so grateful. Going into the class I felt very welcomed and I felt this overall feeling of love. I had doubts about my abilities and these doubts were soothed when the curators spoke honestly and openly about channeling Reiki. We spoke about channeling our own ancestors and spirit team. Cultural appropriation and its connection to Reiki was addressed with respect and understanding. We learned techniques for creating mindful lifestyles and incorporating Reiki into everyday life such as mind mapping. The course itself was clear and went over how to perform. I felt that all of my questions were answered in ways that always lead to deeper insight. I felt supported by the team, Zel, Uma, and Crystal. I feel like the training took into consideration the humanity of the participants which is important to me because of the ebbs and flows of my own energy. Even after the training I did not feel drained.I found that the directions for channeling Reiki was clear, concise, and relatable. I personally felt my ancestors speak to me during this process and got very clear on those who either worked with energy healing in some form or was in close proximity to it. I also found that when other participants shared their stories it was really in alignment with what I was going through. Almost affirming exact stories, such as a candle breaking during the session or just becoming more attuned to my own sensitivity to things. I am grateful to have received this experience and my specific accommodations from Black folks and femmes. Thank you for the opportunity to dive deeper into my own healing and transformation.

—Angelica C