Oliver Klatt shares his memories of Wanja Twan, one of the 23 Reiki Masters trained by Hawayo Takata. Wanja passed away in autumn 2019.
What can I say about Wanja? Even though I actually spent very little time with her in person, I felt surprisingly close to her ever since I met her for the first time… and that feeling continues to this day.
The Reiki Blessing that I received from her in 2002 at the Reiki Alliance Conference in Gersfeld touched me deeply. And I can say the same about being allowed to learn from her how to give the blessing shortly thereafter. Many years later, just before her death, her permission to also teach it filled me with great joy. And everything that resulted from this blessing unexpectedly continues to this day.
The hours that I spent with Wanja in a personal encounter – especially at the Reiki Alliance Conference in Gilleleje in 2005 – are deeply engrained in my memory. Sitting at a table with her and other Takata Masters … in a talk with her in which she told me about her life… learning the Reiki Blessing in a small group… driving her and her companions after the conference to a ferry, my little car filled to the roof with people and suitcases, and I don’t know to this day how that was actually possible…
And then: further contact via telephone and email, later also on Facebook. I had planned to visit her several times in Canada, but it simply didn’t happen. I read her books and translated texts by her into German, which we published in the German Reiki Magazin.
The many hours that I spent translating her texts and, above all, her remarkable contribution to the Takata Special Issue: These were times of great inner closeness to her, which also applies to reading all of her books.
Takata Special Issue
Even three years before (!) we produced the Takata Special Issue, I asked her to contribute to it. Why so early? She actually wrote her article immediately, sent it to me by email and then: a long period of silence.
Two years later, I received an email from her: She had had serious health problems for a long time … and she probably wouldn’t have been able to write the text had it not already been finished beforehand. She thanked me for having asked her for it so much in advance.
In September 2019: her death. In March of the same year, Phyllis Furumoto had passed away. Wanja followed her six months later. I wrote my condolences on the website set up for this purpose… and came into contact with Anneli, Wanja’s daughter.
This was followed by Anneli’s article on the life of her mother, also published in Reiki Magazin. And ultimately further translations of Wanja’s texts, which appeared in Reiki Magazin in 2020.
At the Reiki Alliance Conference of 2002 in Gersfeld, where I received the blessing by Wanja for the first time, Inger Droog told me:
“Wanja is the ‚Joker‘ among the Takata Masters!”
It took me a long time to understand what she meant by that – even though the statement is actually quite clear.
As far as I’m concerned, I have encountered the “Joker theme” time and again in my life. When I play cards, a lot of them usually wind up in my hands. The correlations related to the associated symbolism are complex, diverse and unambiguous. A Joker always has a feeling of “everything and nothing”… and is paradoxical in a certain sense. When playing cards, a few Jokers are helpful – but it’s interesting to note that this sometimes doesn’t apply at all when there are too many.
(Above all, the well-known feature film Joker with Joaquin Phoenix explores the confusing and dangerous aspects of this symbol. I think that the feature film Harlequin by Simon Wincer is much more expressive as it treats a different, more essential nuance of the underlying symbolism. And the archetype of the “Fool” – familiar to us through the Tarot card of that name, among other things – provides further insight into it.)
… what remains?
A deep connection.
A photo of Wanja, which has been given a permanent place in my seminar centre since 2019.
In giving the blessing: inner closeness to her, resonating, “impersonally personal”.
When I think of her: a profound sense of closeness on the ethereal level.
Copyright: Oliver Klatt
Translation from German into English: Christine M. Grimm