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intrinsic alchemy

An intrinsic alchemy session begins with discussing any of the items brought up on the intake form and how they might be affecting your wellbeing, a full reiki treatment, pulling tarot cards to explore the work that could be done to assist you and your healing, and looking at your natal chart to devise and tailor a path forward using your own personal strengths. I facilitate using the tools I have studied over the years, but the work comes from within you. A truly unique service that is fully designed around whatever you are comfortable bringing into the session. I meet you wherever you are on your journey.  An intrinsic alchemy session is a truly unique experience. We will begin by exploring where in your life you might be feeling imbalances or facing certain challenges. From there, I draw on the many metaphysical modalities I have studied to develop a personalized plan forward for you. Typically this will involve using reiki for balancing and laying the framework for healing, using tarot to explore where these issues might be coming from or to gain some guidance in how to move forward through them, and we will look at your natal chart to determine which of your innate strengths you can lean into for support.

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Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) is a Japanese form of energy healing that is used to help relax the mind and body, as well as to promote and support healing—mental, physical, and spiritual. It is often translated as meaning Universal Life Force Energy.    Reiki is a gentle, subtle energy. It can do no harm, will only work on the willing, and is not in any way affiliated with any religion. Practitioners come from many different religious and spiritual backgrounds.    A Reiki practitioner has gone through training and ceremony to become attuned to the frequencies of this energy. The practitioner acts as a channel for the reiki to flow from the Source to the person in need of healing. Using other modalities, the healing energy is typically directed by the practitioner and their intuition; however, the flow of reiki is guided by a universal spiritual consciousness that sends the healing energy to where it is needed most.   Many who have a reiki treatment will leave the session feeling a greater sense of wellbeing, renewed personal energy, an optimism they may not have felt before, and just generally better. Some report very sudden healing, while for others it takes more time to notice any change. This can depend on your frame of mind when you enter into the session, your willingness to accept the reiki energy—consciously or unconsciously—and various other factors. However, even if you don’t immediately feel any results, know that it is working. Resistance introduced through doubt can slow, stall, or block the process.   There is no element of massage therapy in a reiki session. In fact, reiki can be done without placing hands on the body at all. Some clients even prefer a session to be hands-off. A light touch is typically used, though, as this further promotes relaxation of the body and assists in easing the flow of energy.    It is not uncommon for each practitioner to put their own individual spin on their practice in other ways. Some may use crystals to aid in the session. Some will intend for the flow of reiki to go first to the aura, then to the body. A number of practitioners prefer to use the chakra system when using reiki, while others may use the traditional Japanese hand placements. Practitioners will also perform distance reiki, sending the flow of reiki to a client in a different physical location, or even a different time—the flow of reiki is sent to the past to heal trauma or the future to when healing will be needed. ​ Looking for a FAQ? Click here!

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Tarot cards really have no clear history. The first recorded evidence of tarot decks as we might recognize them comes from Milan, somewhere around the year 1440. But even those cards had evolved over the years, with roots that extend back into the mysterious shadows of the past, all the way back to shortly after paper itself was first invented in China (somewhere between 202 BCE - 220 CE). If you are interested in learning more about the history of tarot, I suggest looking at the books written by Robert M. Place, perhaps the most well-known modern tarot historian.   Regardless of its history, the modern tarot is used in a number of different ways and has ties to almost every other divinatory system—Astrology, Numerology, Qabalah, etc. Many readers use the cards as a tool for divination; that is, to communicate with the divine, typically for guidance or insight into a situation. Some use the cards for fortune-telling, predicting the events of the future. This is what many people are perhaps most familiar with, thanks to Hollywood depictions of the tarot. Others prefer to use them for forecasting—rather than stating concrete predictions, they look to the cards for trends in the energy around a situation that might indicate what could be coming down the road. Still, others use the cards as more of a meditative tool, looking to their spiritual lessons in order to facilitate their growth or understanding. Most readers use some kind of combination of all of these, and more.   A tarot reading can be general in nature, turning over cards “just to see what comes up” or specific inquiries can be explored. It isn’t uncommon for a reading to start as a generalized reading that then brings up specific questions. Readings can start as a quick fifteen-minute check-in, and end up going into quite some detail, lasting for two hours or more. Or the opposite can happen when you realize an issue that you thought was very complicated just needed a fresh pair of eyes and the conversation is over in twenty minutes! A reading is dynamic and you never know where it might lead before you begin.   What is important is that there is no right or wrong way to use the tarot, it all depends on the reader, their code of ethics, and what the querent is seeking and comfortable with.

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other methods

Astrology The first recorded practice of astrology comes from markings on bones and cave walls that date back more than 25,000 years. Events in the natural world, the seasons, tides, floods, migrations, and so on, were all observed and charted to the movement of the stars through the night sky, the phase of the moon, and the position of the sun, all over thousands of years. Eventually, trends and truths emerged after the collection of millennia’s worth of data.   Today, western astrology has extended this observational art to include us humans, our personalities and motives, as well as events important to us, since certain traits and happenings have been witnessed to be more prominent or frequently occurring when specific planets or stars are in specific locations in relation to each other and the zodiac.    Using a person’s birth date, time, and location, a natal chart can be created that explores the person’s life, personality, areas of strength or challenge, hopes and dreams, and so on. In our daily lives we can look to the transits of the planets to gain an understanding of the energies operating in and around us. And because the planets move in completely predictable ways, we can look to the future to make predictions about these energies, as well as possible events that may transpire because of them.

Lenormand Another form of cartomancy, the Petit Lenormand is named after the French fortune teller Marie-Anne Lenormand. Mlle. Lenormand claimed to have worked with leaders of the French Revolution, Empress Josephine (whose husband Napoleon Bonaparte did not like her—probably because Mlle. Lenormand accurately predicted his divorce from Josephine, his exile, and his death), and Tsar Alexander I.   Ironically, Mlle. Lenormand may have never actually used Lenormand cards. After her death, her name was used on a number of cartomancy decks. The 36-card Petit Lenormand was modeled after a German deck of cards for a game known in English as “The Game of Hope,” a sort of hybrid card-and-board game of chance.   While the tarot is typically used for more spiritual, psychological, or abstract readings, Lenormand is best known for its ability to bring the mundane to the table. Very straightforward questions with very straightforward answers are the strengths of this system, usually in a predictive sense.

Sortilege This is the umbrella term I use for various other methods that might be used in a session, even though some are not technically a form of sortilege. This includes things like charm casting, lithomancy, reading tea leaves, scrying, and so on.

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I began my spiritual practice at the age of 16 when I picked up my first deck of tarot cards. (Or rather, when they fell on my head in a bookstore during a school trip to New York, but that’s a story for another time). It began as a solitary practice as I finished high school and went on to study more traditional subjects at a handful of colleges and universities (theater, English, sociology, psychology, chemistry, and finally biology). But the tarot has always remained my true passion. For decades, I have studied this pack of cards, have given countless readings, attended numerous conferences related to the cards, read and wrote about the tarot daily, taught others how to read them and about the wisdom they contain, studied directly under the modern masters of tarot, and so on.  As a gateway into many other spiritual and esoteric subjects, the tarot eventually led me to other divination systems, sortilege, qabala, and astrology. Over the years, I’d met various readers and psychics who'd kept telling me I had healing gifts that I needed to tap into and share with the world. Unfortunately, for quite some time this was always met with resistance. Even though I could dive head first into occult studies and embrace the concepts of energy healing, auras, and such, something was holding me back from embracing the role of healer others kept telling me to step into.  ​ For a long time, I told myself it was my academic background in biology and chemistry—I could not untrain my brain from that line of thinking. I couldn’t practice anything that deviated too far from the ideas of Western medicine. After a lot of work on myself and really exploring what was going on, I eventually understood that the resistance was the fear of taking on that responsibility, that role in someone else’s life--and some good old imposter syndrome we Millenials seem to all be plagued with. From there, I noticed that the tools I learned to use over the years acted like a buffer between me and that responsibility. In their own way, the practices that I had established and which I offered in service to others were wonderful for helping people heal and grow; however, I realized what they excelled in was identifying specific areas that needed attention, and offering some strategies or advice that might be necessary—but they had no real-time effects. In other words, these tools were mostly catalysts for the work to be done, which is excellent and certainly serves a purpose; but beyond that, their usefulness for actual, experiential healing was… limited. With this realization, I finally felt the call to learn a more direct healing method I could help others with. It was around this time that I kept hearing about Reiki. I’d never heard of it before, and it suddenly kept popping up. I met Reiki practitioners and Masters; I had friends who began looking into it and taking classes; it was suddenly everywhere. I began searching for classes while trying to decide if this was for me or not. Each time I found a class, something on my calendar would interfere. This happened for years, but it was because it wasn’t time. When I was finally ready, the teacher appeared, as the saying goes. I studied under the same Reiki Master/Teacher from my First Degree training through my Master and Teacher training. Now, in addition to my other metaphysical interests, I have established a daily Reiki practice based on the traditional Usui Shiki Ryoho. However, I do include other non-traditional elements as I feel necessary (such as the chakra system, supportive crystals, aromatherapy, etc.). That is one of the beautiful things about a Reiki practice: each practitioner can make it their own. ​ Intrinsic Alchemy was born of my love for all of the tools I have picked up over the years and a desire to combine them all into a service that could help others heal and grow during every step of the journey.

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Michael King Intrinsic Alchemy Durham NC 27713