Ancient Soul Medicine: Edward Tick

My first time meeting Dr. Edward Tick (Ed) was at a friend’s home. A quiet, humble man, an authentic smile, powerful yet kind gaze, and a prominent turtle on his belt! We would later discuss the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta Caretta, native to the Mediterranean (under protection as deemed by the WWF), a symbol of good luck, protection, motherhood, and wisdom. Dr. Tick spoke of his spiritual transformation on top of a hill on the isle of Poros, a Greek island of the Saronic Bay, place of ancient worship to the sea-god Poseidon as well as one of the Asklepieian healing centers (the most well-known sacred healing center being in Epidaurus).

Dr. Tick is an honorary citizen of the island, featured in several articles of Saronic Magazine (March 2023). My own turtle 🐢 paraphernalia in appreciation of this reptile, includes creation of a heavy tile mosaic, that for years sits in my parents’ garden. Dr. Tick has been training healers, civilians seeking healing, veterans, all suffering from “soul wounds” to pilgrimages in Greece, to places of transformative soul healing, writing about these experiences in several of his books, including his latest: Soul Medicine: Healing through Dream Incubation, Visions, Oracles, and Pilgrimage, and his poetry book Coming Home in Vietnam.

I first read his book, The Practice of Dream Healing in the early part of the millennium, how honoured we are to continue sharing his wisdom through today [Dr. Tick’s complete works can be found here].

Asclepius (or Asklepios in Greek) son of Apollo and the mortal princess Coronis, a Greek (Hellenic) god of medicine taught by the Centaur Chiron, the art of healing . One who recognized his own wounds and would establish a sanctuary at Epidaurus so others could heal their own “wounds”; his immortal daughters His daughters, Hygieia, Aceso, Iaso, Aegle, and Panacea, representing the stages of the healing process and pharmaceutical treatment. His sons Machaon (Μάχαων — the Father of Surgery) and Podalirius (Ποδαλείριος), a legendary healer. 

Dr. Tick has deep knowledge and appreciation of the lands that relate to the warriors and healing, as well as being a poet, rekindling our interest for Jungian archetypes, and dream incubation.

As my own psychology students stated, it gives another dimension to their understanding of healing and becoming better therapists, at a time where the field of psychology places far too much emphasis on replicating studies or “hard science”, forgetting often what we are here to do, to listen and help people truly heal … how can we remove “soul” from “Psycho-logos” (as indicated on Tick’s presentation)?

Ed’s own story of healing from almost paralysis, is powerful. As he calls himself the “Compopolitan” citizen of the globe, his love of Socrates and subsequent philosophers who wrote about the latter, leads us all to think that we too “know nothing” [ἕν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα –“the one thing I know is that I know nothing” attributed to Socrates by Plato symbolising that we know only little, and how complacent it is to consider ourselves ‘wise’]. Of course, even in modern cognitive behaviour therapy based on stoic philosophy, we help patients with various reframing techniques by using the Socratic method of questioning their logic (eg. If this is true, then? What do you mean by the word “courage”? to help define and revise). Dr. Tick reminds us that holistic healing ❤️‍🩹 goes beyond, as it should integrate the mind, body, heart, and more deeply, the soul.

Dr. Tick is a transformational healer, holistic psychotherapist, educator, consultant and international journey guide, but he is also a poet, his selected poetry and prose can be found on WordPress on this page. After his presentation to over 200 persons both in Athens, Greece and global virtually, he read “I am The Bull…” in Greek Ο Ταύρος Εγείρεται, poetry book published in Greek and English (Athens) translated by George Kanavos, which will be presented in a local bookstore in Athens; powerful words of transformation symbols of life, death, and the resurrecting of spirit. The entire process of combining poetry, art, music, to bring forth that which is set in the unconscious or conscious mind are powerful mediums, in a world that continually needs collective healing. This is ever more powerful for those who suffer from trauma including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and we have much knowledge now of how both individual therapy but also the community can facilitate our healing.

This power of transformation, is reflected even in the god Hephaestus (Ήφαιστος), whom Dr. Tick reminded me to seek commonality and inspiration, since my recent foot injury involves taking the “next steps”; thus, encouraging me to seek a new approach to my own thinking. What do we each need to learn at this point in your life when we have these experiences? Hephaestus, son of Zeus and Hera, was conceived with help of an herb — we may assume this acted as a teratogen, as this lead to his being born “lame”, his feet were malformed, they are often depicted in statues as curved; modern scientists believe this was indicative of a clubbed foot (What makes Hephaestus lame? 1997).

Hephaestus may have been sent in exile and rejected by his mother, but was brought back by Dionysus to be ‘reinstated’ in the gods of Olympus, and the goddess Aphrodite may have become his wife, she was not exactly faithful… Hephaestus a talented blacksmith and craftsman, creator of fire, made weapons and military equipment for the gods and certain mortals, including Achille’s armour, and the famed winged helmet and sandals for Hermes (anyone see the FTD florists logo?), and inspired many humans as the patron of craftsmen and manufacturing.

The Temple of Hephaestus — Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

We all carry wounds, let’s facilitate each other’s healing, we do not walk alone.

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It’s the little things…. this holiday season

Nostalgia over melancholia (be nostalgic but fight off being melancholic 😔) you can do it! The newest trend is 21 days of daily meditation — affirmations and guided versions are great 👍 — to help one change their subconscious mindset. It works.

As a kid we watched a lot of common Christmas movies, like Scrooge which taught us not to hoard wealth, the Little Donkey or Rudolph about how differences make us unique. Somehow Coca Cola red and white colors has now overtaken any idea of the “giving” Saint Nicholas.

Saint Nick 🎅🏻 I hear is taking precautions this year as the word spreads. Someone sent me this image, a welcome reminder of capitalism at best 😆 ….

Currently, “Happy Holidays” is the politically correct terminology for the new world order but nevertheless it’s the little things that feed our subconscious that make this season great.
The other day my good friends surprised me with a beautiful plant 🪴 for celebrating my Saints day, how special that felt. Yes 👍

Each item we choose to display may remind us of a trip, a friend, an accomplishment — like our last year’s making a wooden “Rudolph” with the help of Lions Club & Black and Decker (corporate social responsibility as all money made went to local charities).

Let’s be “rebellious” and stop destroying the little things that give us hope and positivity — even in our part of the world where Dec. 6th marked a tragic event — a big mistake — by one police officer who accidentally took the life of a teen boy who was with his friends bad mouthing the local cops the “ACAB” mentality (not a race issue but definitely a local community gone amuck), 12 years later the trauma keeps being politicised — this community needs healing not more trouble! It is time to refuse focusing attention on the anarchy of youth who resort to burning, looting, destroying our cities — no more PR by media (where is their responsibility not to focus on this?) Can we re-shift our thinking? Yes “Imagine” with the Swoosh effect and also neurolinguistic NLP techniques !

‘Tis the season then! Perhaps you can:

  • drop off a gift 🎁 to someone not expecting it like a “care package” of goodies, a plant, or send flowers 💐
  • make some soup or shovel the snow for your elderly neighbor without them asking (or paying for ….social security checks are low now, and people are suffering enough)
  • send cards with a note 📝 about your news….so much nicer than email which can be “deleted” and forgotten more easily. Thanks 🙏 dear ones who still do this!
  • say “hello” or a nice compliment ….it’s amazing what it does!
  • revamp or redecorate a family heirloom to keep fond memories and share stories
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

We miss being able to give, and of course we should be open to receiving. Several years ago students moved to give hope to others with programs like “Make-a-Wish” foundation. What comes around goes around, and specifically giving and volunteering also contributes strongly to our own happiness and well-being. Thus, add this to your “health literacy” matrix.

Loving the “we serve” purpose

A recent YouTube video was circulating pre-Covid days by GENTRI that took the “Little Drummer Boy” to a new level giving meaning for children fighting cancer….. 💕🙏

Living and walking the “talk” of the Christmas spitit

Healing wounds and seeking rainbows

Pain is real, it’s subjective, collective, imagined, even infringed on you. Healing hurt and injustices may leave one a ‘scar’ of remembrance. Healing takes time. This June has been marked by a modern day “lynching” some say of George Floyd not marked by the silent protests of years past (see article) but of huge rallies where in some cities like L.A. the protesters reached over 20,000 persons of all colors and races, while in the UK statues of supposed slave traders were knocked down.

Racial disparities are referred to in health and this is also part of the Covid-19 numbers of many Black people who have died, and one of the “black lives matter” claims. We may not be ready for healing, but anger is a big part of this grief process (first referred by Elizabeth Kubler Ross and the Stages of Grief, not in this order — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance).

I remember what it was like to get pushed around, put down, all for the sake of social games, backlash, for something I did not understand at the time in racial disparities and discrimination. For years I went home hurt and devastated, sometimes even from my “own people” until my mom showed up at my school to “take on” the situation. She was fair and she always stuck up for the underdog no matter what gender or race. Thus, I understood the tough cookie attitude of the mother in one of the best books I read — The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to his White Mother (c) 1995. This book by James McBride a journalist who talks openly about his own life experience. We can destroy or hate, but if you want to build relationships you must build trust. Since trust has been my issue of study the last years, I’ve naturally been drawn to books like this one (faithfully read near the healing sea …) by Steve Covey.

“Sticks and stones, can break my bones but words will never harm me” a quote that always stuck as it struck a chord with me about strength. Whether you’ve been harassed, bullied, abused, dragged through the mud, when you’ve done nothing wrong. And even if you’ve done ‘something’ you might get away with it, get punished, no one deserves to be killed…. human emotions are real. We all need to see what is projected on us by other people, and for sure people make mistakes, big mistakes. There can be cause to complete distrust to jobs and institutions — we are seeing this clearly in 2020.

From pharmaceuticals to police departments, to government. People are getting beat up and killed for their skin color or their job. From the US to the UK, it’s all there. Guns, punches, fear, smear, anarchy or peace? You help decide. One Mayor went one step further to commemorate “Black Lives Matter” on the street. I say “all lives matter”… we are therapists. Speak truth, walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. Help people find the antidote to racism, injustice on all sides.

Maybe you’ve been fighting for your life and for others, but it’s never enough… you get “doxxed” or “gaslighted” when it’s others who are at fault, but somehow they make you feel it’s you. You know what I mean. They don’t see YOU for you they see your appearance, they don’t ask questions, they assume you have “an agenda” are “privileged,” but never see the history and all the sacrifices made. There are others that live for power to “divide and conquer” — this proves to be worse for all years we’ve been working towards community health. Two steps forward, three steps back 😣

In the dark part of the day, like one of those 40 days and 40 nights, part of Covid-19 lockdown as with the biblical story of “Noah’s Ark” I saw the rainbow of hope and told the salesclerk as we looked up. We need to move on. The rainbow is all colors — in a prism coming together becomes white while the absence of color is black. Opposite sides of the spectrum but still together!

You can destroy and smash but deal with your inner demons …

We need to sit down and talk. Societies are built and destroyed in a moments notice. Some of this is intentional as I recall from the American History X movie (c) 1998, and the neo-Natzi movement. We often perceive and act on our fears and yes we know stereotypes and racist statements and actions exist. One of the best movies to witness this is Crash which won the Academy Award for best picture in 2004.

I kindly ask that we pray, for loss and healing, and that we don’t label everyone as being part of this global problem. Some countries like Greece have been enslaved and traded for years in antiquity and beyond technically were the same color and race! Again, power and conquest.

Sometimes the “servant” can teach the master so to speak as witnessed in harems of the Ottoman Empire, and in other parts of the Middle East. One story relayed to me about an older woman (now) who had been kidnapped as a 16-year-old because she was beautiful, eventually living as the outcast, never married (because she was taken to the harem) but wise despite her trauma. These women returned to their homes destroyed even as late as the 1960s!!), even though the harems closed in early 1900s supposedly, the last harem closed in 1970s in modern day Turkey! Those who are resilient overcome, others do not and need healing.

So many examples — the arts (Marilyn Monroe & Ella Fitzerald), stories of travelers to South Africa during and after the apartheid. From the religious side, recalling how St. John of Damascus (Syria) in the 7th century was educated in classical studies rivalring much of the Ancient Greek philosophers, eventually converted by his mentor-servant Cosmas (a refugee monk from Greece – Sicily who was sold into slave labor to educate the son of the wealthy merchant) to become one of the most important saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Perhaps people who struggle are also more tolerant of pain, for sure have more compassion. Education and lived experience matter. Having lived in the South in the US, in cities in the North, I know first-hand ! Now with the Covid-19 lockdown we understand fear, loss, anger, denial, compassion.

Martin Luther King in the 1960s marched in peace with several religious and political figures on his side as part of the civil rights movement. One of these supporters was the North American Archbishop of the Greek church, Iakovos, an immigrant himself (archive photos — civil rights movement); more recently in New York, helping the “Black Lives Matter” movement was Archbishop Elpidoforos with mask 😷 — a double message of what’s important for individual and community “health”.
This past Monday, always 49 days after Easter, the feast day of the Holy Spirit was celebrated. At no other time have we needed clarity, enlightenment, and peace.
We will overcome …. someday.