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What is MariEL?

Updated Feb 13, 2024
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MariEL, or more fully the MariEL Healing System Reiki, is a healing energy system that is said to draw its powers from the Mother Mary, commonly known as Mary the mother of Christ. The energy system is predicated on the belief that each of the body’s cells possess a memory and that these cells and the memory therein can be released by proper manipulation or channeling, thus effecting a catharsis of the bad memories and traumas that are apt to linger and have harmful physical and psychological effects.

MariEL is the brain-child of the American Reiki Master Ethel Lombardi. In the 1980s, she forewent siding with either of the then two leading practitioners of Reiki, Barbara Ray and Phyllis Furomoto, in order to forge her own innovative energy healing system that took its name from Mary the mother of Christ and El, a godly appellation found in the Old Testament.

A MariEL master has at his disposal the MariEL Reiki toolkit of energy manipulation and three important symbols. These symbols are called distance, power and higher self connection. The energy in the body is manipulated or channeled by non-tactile massage that the MariEL Reiki Master summons by positioning his hands near the subject’s body. This channeling of the body’s energy is brought about by the Reiki master positioning his hands in special positions along what are called energy lines.

A typical MariEL session takes longer than an hour, during which time the body is said to reveal to a practiced Reiki master its "narrative." The body is first prepared for this energy release and then the Reiki Master will channel energy in a regular Reiki manner, which is often performed by touching the subject but can also be non-tactile. The amount of cellular memory that is channeled is in accordance with the subject’s volition. The Reiki Master is said to facilitate the release of as much energy as the subject is prepared to release.

At each subsequent MariEl session, the energy probing is deeper and more pervasive; with each cellular release, the energy build-up of a deeper and more latent facet of the subject’s energy narrative is revealed. The Reiki Master will often employ different methods in the sessions, with typical means of energy manipulation including vibrational sound therapy, chelation techniques and CarnioSacral therapy. A subject who has undergone a series of productive sessions will have excavated their energy narrative and have arrived at a better sense of "self-hood" and energy equilibrium.

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Discussion Comments
By anon1005071 — On Jun 14, 2021

Ethel did not teach anyone how to attune others, therefore, you cannot practice MariEl on anyone unless you studied with Ethel. She taught about three levels of training, and then wrapped it up with a final workshop, "The Next Step," in which she basically closed it up and left it in the hands of a team of angels to do the healing work.

This article has some of the ideas of MariEl, but also a number of inaccuracies. It was Ethel herself, who attributed Mary and God as the sources of the healing energy, but then, Mary is a symbol of the "feminine" aspect of God, so it is simply Divine in origin, and was given to her by tangible spirits/angels, who could be present in one of her workshops.

Sending healing was a vital part of the technique, also using beams of healing, from the heart or as a beam ala Star Wars, beacons of light, fountains of light, cleansing beams. She did not teach people to interpret anything with the patient, simply to "pull out" negative energy. She herself could "track" and interpret, but she was a powerful psychic beyond compare, as well as a clairvoyant and medium, perhaps. She was Catholic, which influenced her understanding of what she was doing.

The symbols she used actually seem to come from Hebrew, which only makes it all the more divine.

She emphasized healing the Earth, as she saw it as in trouble and needing assistance. By the end of her teaching, she felt the planet had been permeated, and certainly there has been a growth in the consciousness of healing, if not in the understanding of it.

Ethel did not want a community forming among practitioners, did not encourage networking, did not want it to continue beyond her ability to control its use. It's likely the most powerful method ever given, and so she was very responsible and careful about its use. But sadly, I think that is why so few people use it anymore. It does transfer, in an unconscious way, from one to another, without specific attunement.

By anon1004483 — On Feb 21, 2021

I also learned Mariel healing techniques. I was mentored by a special woman who taught me all aspects of the techniques when she told me I was a healer. My mentor was taught by Ethel Lombardi.

I have done this technique since the 90's. I have been blessed to facilitate this lovely energy for clients in my home on a massage table just as my mentor did for me.

I am still doing this and will do this healing technique for others until I can do it no more.


By anon997252 — On Dec 04, 2016

Does anyone still do this work? I was a kid and had it done on me in 1983. Very effective and I had no preconceived notions back them at all. It totally helped me then (it was a minor but very painful physical ailment).

By anon339341 — On Jun 22, 2013

When Ethel was teaching us one day, we formed a circle and we were being blessed by the angels. I moved my foot and my whole leg became numb. Afterward, she told me to walk on the grass barefoot. At once, a great beam of energy flowed through me from my head to my toes into the Earth and feeling returned to my leg. I knew then that she was indeed a Master sent by God. MariEl stands for Mary and God. Ethel said His name is Jesus. MariEl is much more powerful than the Reiki teachings it is based upon. When Ethel died, it twas a great loss to the world as she was a living saint.

By afw1980s — On Nov 17, 2012

I have been thinking about taking Reiki. I woke up thinking do I need to do that. I took Mari-el with Ethel in the 1980's, two levels. I found my notes and can't wait to practice again. I wonder if anyone is doing the attunements she did in class? I wonder if the attunements are still necessary? Are there attunements in Reiki?

By anon269098 — On May 16, 2012

I learned MariEL in February 1990. I did not really appreciate the power of this system until I began to work with clients, years later.

I have witnessed people release chronic pain, migraines, and a whole variety of negative emotions. The energy is powerful, very loving and non-judgmental. Ethel Lombardi was brilliant in bringing MariEL into experience.

By anon142832 — On Jan 14, 2011

I learned the MariEl from Ethel in 1986, this was the most profound experience of my entire life. I'm 73 now. If anyone wants to be truly healed of experiences of this lifetime, and any other, that are affecting them now, this is the most effective process on this planet. It truly comes from Mother Mary and Heaven.

By anon117996 — On Oct 12, 2010

My attunement in Oct 1987 with Ethel Lombardi was one of the three most powerful moments in my life. One cannot put into words the altered state this created.

I was sitting in a chair and she was working behind and over me. Ethel was a short redhead, about 5'-5'2".

The attunement energy was so powerful I turned to look at her to see if she was using any mechanical equipment? She wasn't and she also appeared as a reptilian to me.

Afterward, she told you to go outside, connect with the earth and hug a tree. I did! I was holding on for dear life as I thought that I would float away. I couldn't believe what had happened to me. --RGB

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