In the National Library of Ireland is a 15th century manuscript containing a much earlier text called Bretha Déin Chécht, the Judgements of Dian Cécht. In the middle of what is otherwise a legal text dealing with the rights and duties of medical practitioners and their clients is a passage that begins, “There are Twelve Doorways of the Soul® that are in the body.” It goes on to list their locations, from “the crown of the head” to “the centre of the foot.”
Coming across an English translation of this passage many years ago, I had little idea of its significance. Years later, while researching native British and Irish healing techniques, I re-read the passage having just read the myths and legends of Dian Cécht, the foremost Irish god of healing. In doing so, I noticed that the list of locations of the Doorways was similar to a short list of marmas, points in the body relating to healing in Ayurvedic medicine. Comparing the two, I realised that the Doorways are the key to a unique native system of healing. There followed one of those periods in life when the universe rewards one insight with a hundred more. Books I needed to continue my research would appear for next-to-nothing in charity shops (thrift stores). Books bought thirty years ago and never read would suddenly provide the exact information I was looking for. The internet became a veritable fountain of wisdom.
Within a short time, I had outlined the basis of the Twelve Doorways of the Soul® as a practical system of healing. It only remained to put it into practice. Luckily, one of the techniques is a way of self-healing combining meditation and posture. This meant I could be my own test subject. The results were amazing. I felt enlivened, re-awakened, uplifted and tingling with energy.
Our first workshop weekend was an overwhelming success. It was there that I worked for the first time with my friend and colleague, Amanda Foale-Hart. Amanda has thirty years of clinical experience working with the National Health Service, mainly in oncology and terminal care, as well as a similar length of experience with alternative therapies. Bringing this rare combination to bear on the Twelve Doorways, we began to understand the physical mechanisms that make the healing system based on them so effective.
Until now, most European and American alternative therapists have practiced techniques originating in Japan, China, the Indian sub-continent, or with First Nations Americans. With the rediscovery of the Twelve Doorways of the Soul®, we now have access to an ancient healing modality native to Britain and Ireland.
As well as collaborating on a book on the Twelve Doorways, Amanda and I offer talks on this uniquely native healing system, a series of weekend workshops to train therapists, and individual healing sessions.
Philip Shallcrass & Amanda Foale-Hart