I met Herbalist Monica King-Ellerby at the Red Road
Gathering in Vermillion, South Dakota this past summer.
She was one of several healers who graciously shared
their services gratis with the conference participants.
During the 3-day gathering and conference, Ms
King-Ellerby performed the healing practice called
Deeksha on me. The experience made me curious to
learn more about what she does.
This interview with Ms. King-Ellerby was conducted with
QME editor Suzanne Sunshower, via e-mail, in October
I know that you are an Herbalist, but do you also call yourself a ‘healer’ or teacher?
MKE: Yes, all of the above. As an Herbalist I offer the gifts of nature, as a healer I open
the way for grace to enter, and as a teacher I give recommendations for how to live a
healthier lifestyle (ie. foods, exercises, meditations) for a client’s specific constitution. With
my clients my philosophy is “nature is your cure, let me be your guide.” I help people come
into a state of balanced health by empowering them, giving them the tools to awaken their
own inner wisdom.
What pointed you in the direction of the healing arts, and how long have you been a
MKE: I started on this path about ten years ago when I got a terrible kidney infection. I
was in the hospital with a fever of 106.5 for 3 days, totally out of it and hallucinating. When I
came to, the Dr. told me I had acute nephritis. I had no idea what that meant, so I went to a
medical dictionary and figured it out, then I began studying herbal remedies that could’ve
helped me in the early stages (like Juniper berries), and what to do to prevent it from
happening again. At the time, I didn’t even know where my kidneys were or that my diet,
lifestyle, and emotions were contributing to the problem.
I have been advising people with nutrition and herbs for 7 years. I started out doing this by
working in a health food store while I took my studies in Health Sciences. After I graduated
from college with a degree in Herbal Science I began seeing clients, which was about 2 years
ago. I’m building my private practice here in Tucson, and opening an herb store/ tea house/
eco-gift shop next year. It will be called Moksha, which means liberation from suffering.
Just to throw you a zinger – do you feel that there can be healing without spirituality?
MKE: Well yes, with minor superficial wounds, simple stomach aches or a common cold, a
person can be healed without having to get into the spiritual aspects. On the other hand, I’d
say most chronic health problems need to be addressed by going deep into the person’s mind
and spirit to see why the health problems are surfacing in the body. I’ve seen many illnesses,
are playing the role of a teacher. The teaching is that our spirit has asked us to go on the
journey with the illness to learn something and unravel the story we are playing out.
A person can take the journey & learn more about themselves, where they need more love/
attention/medicine, and where their weak place is genetically or psychologically. Or a person
can avoid the journey, take strong (pharmaceutical) meds to cover up the symptoms and
avoid getting to the root cause of their problem. This is not to say that I’m against allopathic
medicine… it certainly has it’s rightful place in the world today, but if a person has some kind
of health issue that keeps coming back to haunt them there is a lesson in there to discover.
Can you describe a little bit about the new practice you’re involved with now – Deeksha. Briefly
( if you are able), tell us the philosophy behind it; and, please, a little about the special trip you
took abroad to learn the technique:
MKE: Deeksha is a transmission of energy for implanting the seed of enlightenment and
compassion. It is typically a hands-on transmission on the crown chakra which begins
rewiring the brain to allow a person a profound connection with the Divine, and a sense of
peace and oneness with the Divine and all beings on earth. The “Oneness Movement” is the
fulfillment of many prophecies including Hindu, Hopi, and the Mayan calender. It is believed
that humanity as a whole is reaching a heightened state of consciousness at this moment in
our evolution. We are leaving the “Piscean Age” or Post-Industrial Era which is a
masculine/yang time with great importance placed on the accumulation of knowledge. We
have been scrupulously and competitively devouring information (Internet) and creating
technological advancements. Now, as we enter the Aquarian Era, a feminine/yin time, our
emphasis is on nurturing and regenerating. This is why there is so much “crisis” in the media
about the environment, war, and such. It’s the cleansing of the planet, and it’s not going to
get any easier for another 6-7 years. 2013 is the big turn-around year when people will really
begin experiencing Oneness and the healing of the planet will follow. Really the
environmental crisis is a crisis of our minds. The planet heals herself, we’re just realizing and
letting go of our ego and irrational behavior. Mother Earth is so much wiser and more
resilient than we could ever fathom.
The trip I took to India this past March was with a delegation of 13 Indigenous healers from
around the world. I was asked to go as a translator for a shaman from Peru named Lauro
Garcia. We went through a 21-day process including Deeksha 4-20 times/day, teachings,
mantras, and a lot of silent meditation. It was beautiful and a life-changing experience. Their
website is www.onenessmovement.org [see page bottom],and the organization that invited me is www.journeytotheheart.org
You told me that Deeksha recommends that women reclaim our root roles as nurturers. Can
you speak to that a little?
MKE: I would restate that by saying that receiving Deeksha has further awakened the
feminine principle of the Divine within me. While I was there I was having some messages
from Creator about this, and I began drawing symbols associated with the Goddess, not
knowing that’s what some of these images were. It’s part of awakening the feminine, not just
in me, but in all of us. I am part of a Women’s Circle here in Tucson, and before that in
Seattle. We share stories, wisdom, do meditations, singing/chanting, dancing, art, and all
kinds of fun exercises for developing and maintaining our core feminine energy. There are a
lot of similar groups popping up all over. I guess bottom line is to embrace the Divine
Feminine within ourselves in any way we feel called to do that. Read up on powerful women
in history, find out what kind of crafts, or gathering in nature, the women in your ancestry did;
take bellydancing, start your own women’s group. The idea is to reconnect with that tribal-
woman identity and see what transpires. We need to slow down, honor, nurture, and re-
sensitize ourselves to the minuscule messages in nature, allowing us to use our bodies and
our hands in ways that connect us to our creative self. This alone can begin to heal us and
the planet. There is a great book called When the Women Were Drummers about the ways
we used to celebrate the feminine.
Over the years, there has developed an argument called ‘biology is not destiny’ – meaning that
women are more than simply walking wombs and caretakers. This has confused some young
women into believing that feminism is a movement which discourages women from calling
themselves nurturers. What’s your personal take on women identifying with being both a
feminist and a nurturer?
MKE: I think we as women are incredibly complex and exquisite creatures that have an
infinite capacity to define, experience, and redefine ourselves. The feminist movement to me
is about making sure we are heard and understood; standing up for ourselves and letting our
voice be heard. The nurturing aspect is part of what needs to be heard, both inwardly and
outwardly. Women today need more space and freedom to be healthy emotionally. We need
the right to refuse whatever we choose because our emotional body isn’t ready at that
moment. We need the space and time to feel deeply and listen to our intuition. To sum it up,
I hope women can identify with both.
Getting back to Deeksha – in your personal experience, have women been receptive to its
message; and, are there many women practitioners?
MKE: Yes, there are literally 1000’s of women who give Deeksha across the world, and
there are literally 1000’s more who have received Deeksha. Check out the website
[OnenessMovement.org], and choose a country and a state to find women who offer it.
Just to be clear though, Deeksha is not a feminist movement – it’s a Oneness Movement.
The whole feminine consciousness aspect is just a part of what awakened in me, and what
some Elders and gurus have taught as part of the process as a whole.
When people have been raised within conventional organized religions and believe in
conventional therapies, they are often leery of forms of spirituality or healing that are new to
them. Do you find it difficult to turn people on to new ways of looking at spirituality and
MKE: The thing I like about Deeksha is that it is not part of any organized religion. So I
can easily incorporate it in my work, and it can connect people to whatever form of the Divine
they identify with.
As far as the healing goes, I don’t push alternative healing on people who aren’t interested.
What is going to work best for any patient is the type of medicine that they believe in the
most, if they have faith in a certain practitioner or modality of medicine their body and mind
are already in alignment with it and the healing can take place. I work with herbal medicine,
energy medicine, food, supplements, exercise, and the ancestors; if those are things you
believe in, call me.
I hope I have this right – you mentioned to me that Deeksha teaches that the world’s native
peoples will be crucial in saving humanity and Earth. I believe that is true, too, but could you
speak a little about that… Is it that Deeksha practitioners acknowledge the power of traditional
(meaning Native) ways of living, spirituality, and healing?
MKE: Well, you mostly have it right… Sri Bhagavan, the avatar in India who started the
Oneness Movement, believes that the first people to get enlightened would be the Indigenous
peoples of the earth, and these people would facilitate the process for others. If you think
about it this is already happening. Who lives a simple material life in alignment with the
principles of the natural world, and a rich spiritual life? The Indigenous people of the world
do. What does it take to save humanity and the Earth? Slow down, stop shopping and
competing with your neighbors, be in silence, honor the earth by spending time with her,
singing to her, cultivating her, getting to know her. The Earth doesn’t need to be saved, we
need to save ourselves.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with QME readers about your practices and beliefs?
MKE: Hmm, well I guess to whoever is reading this I would just say that you are perfect
just the way you are, you have all you need to be a happy, healthy, and an enlightened being.
Step out of your own way and let yourself shine.
Thank you for your time and sharing, Monica!
MKE: You’re welcome ………………………blessings