As many of you have heard of my recent Mastership into Sekhem-Khrem, I thought it would be nice to write out a more personal account about my journey into this incredible healing art. There are near to no practitioners of this particular lineage in the United States, and my voyage through it has been a very unique experience. I think it goes to show that no matter what, life will always bring you back to what is important and to what was always meant to be.
It first began with my teacher from Secondary School, who was an incredible woman. Mrs. Valerie Richards had short purple hair and multiple earring holes on both sides. She taught our sciences classes and she was definitely the most eccentric of my teachers. But outside of school, she was a very powerful healer and she practiced several different traditions. Reiki being one of them but also, Sekhem. She had offered Reiki as an after school program that would last the entire year and she would only teach one level at a time. When I reflect on how people today think it “innovative” to do meditation instead of detentions, Val was clearly way ahead of her time in the late 1990’s. I entered her program when I was 11 years old, and I couldn’t have known back then the life changing effects it would have on me. I arrived to her class thinking about two things: 1. My parents and teachers emphasized that extracurricular activities are important as I progressed towards a college application. So, I had better start collecting right away. 2. Seeing that I wasn’t particularly athletic or nerdy, I was however enamored with magic, fantasy and witchcraft. When I saw the class description of Reiki, how could I say no?
I remember I had to ask for parental permission for this class. Many parents in Hong Kong would think it highly odd that their child would want to do something so New Age. Hong Kong is a very business oriented society and most people are Protestants or Buddhists. But not my parents! I remember my Dad finding it highly amusing - he was a Chi-Gong Master himself, which is a cousin to Reiki. They were very happy to sign the piece of paper.
Once I started classes, I couldn’t get enough. Apart from my Dad, Val was really the only person who taught energy as a tangible substance. With a few thoughtful intentions and hand gestures, you can make Reiki flow anywhere you want. I followed Val for years, and after I completed Reiki Levels 1 & 2, Val had invited me to learn Sekhem at her home. I was having so much fun learning with her, that naturally I wanted to continue with whatever Val said. She made it a point to introduce Sekhem as a completely different energy system than Reiki. Reiki channels a very broad “Universal Energy”, whereas Sekhem streams from the Orion, Sirian, and Lemurian star systems. Sekhem has a bigger emphasis on grounding a client’s energy before and after a healing session so they don’t feel dazed after. Its symbols are much more complex and we conceive these symbols as multidimensional rather than 2 dimensional (for example, it is not perceived as flat like how it is written on a piece of paper). Lastly, Sekhem works on the energy channels in your body, which are the same as what Acupuncturists would use. It is not so much focused on the 7 major chakras like in Reiki. I was fascinated by this and really loved how it made my whole body light on fire from head to toe. I remember my last initiation with Val in Sekhem level 2. My head kept on swerving backwards and forwards. I wasn’t asleep but aware of everything that Val was doing as she walked around me. The whole room was filled with what seemed to be like cats. They were everywhere but nowhere at the same time! These cats were energetic beings that were not physical, and felt as if they were walking between worlds. I remember at the end, Val told me that she knew I was going to be a Master in Sekhem one day, and she was happy to complete this level 2 training for me.
When I was about 16, Val had decided to retire from my school and move to France with her husband. I was asked to do a goodbye speech for her and I really missed her. After such an amazing experience, I did not train with anybody else for many years. For me, no one was going to be as good as Val. I also suddenly had bigger concerns like college and, “what do I want to be when I grow up?” After Hong Kong, I went to college at the University of Southern California and did 8 years of Stage Management with professional theater companies all over Los Angeles. I applied energy in my day to day things, however, it wasn’t so “practiced” like healing other people. I used it during my productions to maintain peace in a show, to read my company’s people’s auras in order to gauge them to improve our work together, and lastly, to see what life was like without it too. How can we expect “normal” people to do this life thing without the knowledge of energy? To my unfortunate exploring and ignoring, I became dis-eased in my energy system and my physical body. Towards the end of my Stage Management career, I started doing shows only because it was my job and not for the art. I wasn’t working with people who inspired me and I was not participating artistically in any of the projects. It isn’t expected of the Stage Manager to do so in that capacity, and my job was only to manage. I felt suffocated through this process and it hugely affected my root and second chakra. To compensate the stress, I did what any average American would do: I drank a lot, I ate fast food because I didn’t have time to cook, I dated very toxic people. Isn’t that what we were supposed to do in our 20’s? I developed what the Doctors call interstitial cystitis. Symptoms are very much like a UTI but with no real infection. This dis-ease really affected my health and my quality of life, and I clearly had to do something to get myself back on track.
In 2013, I decided that I should take a sabbatical from work to focus on what was important. I tried to look for a Sekhem healer in the United States to get through this process, searching for anyone in Sekhem that was from Helen Belot’s tradition - Val’s teacher and the creator of this tradition. I read about Patrick Zeigler, who had claimed to be the creator of Sekhem or Seichem. In further reading, I saw that Helen and Patrick had a huge lawsuit with each other about who created what. But seeing that I wanted to stick with what I had already learned, I kept on searching for Helen’s students. However, I did not succeed in finding anyone in the United States or in Hong Kong, and I thought to myself that maybe the Universe was telling me to go a different direction. Maybe I was supposed to do Reiki as that seemed to be the only thing I was able to find in Los Angeles. Most of you have probably read my story with Reiki already, so I will not waste time here for it. Since I took my sabbatical those many years ago, I ended up not going back to Stage Management and getting the highest degrees in 3 different types of Reiki you could look for today. The best part was, I completely healed from my interstitial cystitis and, it ended up healing my eczema too.
But it wasn’t enough, and this part may be hard to explain. Although I could use Reiki well, it didn’t give me the same fiery experience as Sekhem did back then. I felt like my soul was perfectly aligned with the heavens when I did Sekhem, but Reiki didn’t quite feel the same. Seeing that there were no further places for me to go with Reiki, I resumed my search for Sekhem once more. I went back to Helen Belot’s website to see if there were any new developments. Then, I took a chance and wrote to Helen Belot’s website directly, asking if they knew of a teacher in the States or perhaps in Hong Kong as I still travelled home once a year. At this point, I was even willing to fly to Australia! I really doubted I would hear from anyone and I had almost forgotten that I wrote the e-mail until a week later, I received a reply from the website… from Master Belot herself. Stunned for a few moments, I had to re-read her e-mail. She simply said that unfortunately, she didn’t remember anyone being in Los Angeles; however, she did have a student in Hong Kong named Surj Bahra.
So this is when I e-mailed Surj on July 17th, 2015, to begin my 3 year journey with her. She was everything I wanted in a teacher: specific, attentive, kind but still diligent in making sure that I got the simplest hand gestures right. She reviewed everything that Val had taught me and informed me that Sekhem had changed quite a lot since I did it in the late 90’s, and even the name itself had changed to reflect the evolution that the energy system had gone through. Energy evolves just as the Universe evolves. What Surj would be teaching me is called ‘Infinite Sekhem-Khrem’ which was refined by Helen Belot. She also said that some of the symbols are different too and gave me a whole new set of symbols. She went through every symbol and through the whole healing procedure with me from scratch. Then she took me across my Advanced and Master level training.
I went back to Hong Kong this past winter and Surj and I met for my final initiation into my Master’s degree. It was one of the most humbling, aweing, and enlightening experiences of my life. I have participated in many initiations through Reiki and Sekhem: none of them can compare to this one. Just like my practice with Val so many years ago, my head started rolling from side to side as if it was in the middle of a vortex. I felt Surj moving around me. I felt a distinct PING right in the middle of my forehead where it snapped my head backwards. Gold and purple colors swam before my eyes even though they were closed. I finally saw a vast desert in front of me with the milky way above. I wasn’t scared at all; I was serenely happy to see the Universe so perfectly appearing to me with no disruption, and the silence that came with the desert. It was beautiful. I would be honored if I ever saw that in real life.
Surj and I were planning to visit Helen in person after this. She was going to go see her anyways and Helen had mentioned at the beginning of the year that she had felt her time was coming to an end. Plus, since I was a new Master, I actually should go meet her, so I bought a plane ticket. There were a couple of days when I had to book myself a hotel room between flights, which I kept on putting off for “some reason”. 2 weeks before we were meant to be in Australia, I got a phone call from Surj. I was driving at the time and she said to pull over, and then said that Helen had passed away on the 11th of January in her own home. Of course, I was shocked. However, I also knew somehow that this was exactly right. This is why I didn’t book a hotel room. I never met Helen in person, I only knew her through her literature, from what Val and Surj had taught, and from the one phone call I had with her. In a way, I’ve known her my whole life. Yet, I felt this huge gap. The Universe didn’t let me quite get to the finish line. How could I have spent my whole life working up to one moment to have the one person pass away just like that? I called my Dad and told him what happened, and as always, he phrased the response to my question perfectly: “You didn’t need permission from anyone to be a Master, Jaclyn. You already are one.” It’s true. I was already a Master, and I was seeking permission from someone I idolized. This was something that needed to be shed and let go in order for me to become truly self-sustained.
One of the last things Helen said to Surj before she passed away was to acknowledge that Sekhem-Khrem was ever changing. We as the practitioners have to give ourselves permission to explore and play. We should always honor this and constantly ask “what’s next?” This includes the way in which this knowledge is passed on. Surj and I are still talking about the possibilities of this. When I am finally going to officially teach Sekhem-Khrem later this year, it is going to create the most interesting journey for me, for the rest of my life. I am filled with bittersweet joy, excitement, and a sensation like being about to leap off the edge. Words will never be adequate to express how truly aligned to my purpose I feel. Even though Helen is gone, I know she is still around, evolving with us and watching over from the stars above.
By Jaclyn Kalkhurst
Edited by Patricia Krebs