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This morning I went out to check my original beehive and found that half of the bees had swarmed with the old queen. The steady streams of workers were no longer there, though I could still see bees inside the hive. Although I never witnessed the swarm, I knew something had changed and I felt like a piece of me had gone with the bees. It had been over a year since they had arrived and interestingly, today is a new moon in my sun sign of Leo. Somehow I cannot see this as a coincidence, as my birthday is also next week.
This original hive was my initiation into the realm of bees. They taught me how to overcome my fears through working with the hive, they taught me about the mistakes I made along the way (and there were many) and they taught my son and me how to develop a love and respect for beekeeping, though it is not an easy art as it requires time, patience and dedication to get it right. It truly is about being a steward and developing a relationship with the bees and not about 'having' or exploiting them. Had I known how much it entailed, I probably would never have gotten involved. It's like that with many things in life, but in your heart you know that what you're doing is what you're supposed to be doing and you continue because a love gradually ensues and it envelopes you as each day your relationship grows and you look forward to it's existence and you can no longer imagine life without this passion.
The bees have become my allies in so many ways. They have taught me my priorities, how to conquer my fears and how to be prepared during these tumultuous times. Each step along the way has been like a milestone toward a better awareness of the beehive and how it functions in unison as one being comprised of many collaborators each fulfilling an important role. Though I'm saddened by the loss of half of my bees from my original hive, I am also happy and concerned for their welfare as they venture out into the unknown searching for a new home. I'm told they have three days to find one, otherwise they perish.
Gunther Hauk explains this process so well in his book "Toward Saving the Honeybee." Contrary to what has been done in the last century and the ways of modern beekeeping practices that often seek to exploit the honeybee, swarming is a natural process that is necessary to maintain the well being and vitality of the hive. Ironically, just when everything is fine at home, the food is stocked and the bees might be able to rest on their laurels, a new queen is created and half of the colony leaves with the old queen in search of a new home.
This is in sharp contrast to what we as humans strive for and live out during our existence on this planet. And yet, perhaps the bees' message is even more relevant during these times of upheaval and change-- searching out into the unknown, into territory that is at times both exhilarating and terrifying not knowing what you will find. Simply knowing that this is how it needs to be. Gunther Hauk and Rudolf Steiner talk about the swarming of bees as a rebirth of the hive. In essence it truly is when you understand the complexities and perfection that exist within a honeybee colony.
Interestingly, the swarming of my bees was part of a series of experiences I had involving both my original hive and a second hive that I acquired as a result of a swarm that we captured one evening hanging from one of our pine trees. At the time, I thought this swarm was my own, but later I came to see that it had probably been from a nearby property that also had bees, as I could tell that my original hive was still intact and the bees in the second hive were much more docile.
So, this past weekend I had to correct a mistake that I had made with my second hive-- that of not being prepared. I did not have additional beekeeping supplies ready in the event of a swarm and so when it happened, I was scrambling to put things together having to borrow supplies from a mentor friend and buy new ones. Because the main hive box was not my own, I would eventually have to switch this out with my own and that's what I did this weekend with trepidation because it meant taking everything apart and reorganizing the bees by myself. I had to do it alone because my son was away on a trip and my mentor was also unavailable.
What ensued was rather complex and unexpected. Amidst opening the hive and seeing the queen for the first time since I had begun beekeeping, I was so intensely focused on what I was doing and keeping the queen and workers safe, that I completely lost track of time. I became one with the beehive. They were part of me and I was part of them. It was as though I had gone on a shamanic journey, though I did not set out with this intention. Yes, I was functioning as a normal human being going through the activities of beekeeping, but at some point which I think was upon encountering the queen, I went into an altered state of consciousness and remember little from what happened thereafter. I just know that when I had everything rearranged and reassembled, I had no recollection of many of the things that I had done. As I spent time in my gardens, for several hours thereafter, I could not remember what exactly had happened to me.
Simon Buxton talks about altered states of consciousness achieved while working with bees in his book "The Shamanic Way of the Bee: Ancient Wisdom and Healing Practices of the Bee Masters." It is a profound book and one that at times is difficult to conceptualize and understand, if you have not experienced anything similar. It is nevertheless, a delving into the mystical and complex world of bees that we as humans have yet to understand fully. Though I do believe that ancient cultures once understood the honeybee much better than we do today. The honeybee has long been revered for its ability to work in such complex unison and produce such a 'nectar of the Gods' from within it's own body via the perfection of Nature and the beauty, complexities and high vibration of flowers.
I have spent a great deal of time observing the bees in my gardens and I can say that the relationship that exists between bee and flower is truly a love affair as I have ever seen. The fervor with which the bees gather pollen and nectar is really quite interesting to observe as they both depend on one another for their very existence-- the bee to create honey to feed its queen and colony, and the flower to perpetuate it's life cycle. What can we as humans create, if our very survival depends on it?
And so, my experiences with the bees have come full circle. I have experienced the joy of capturing a new swarm to create yet another hive to pollinate our gardens and offer us the rich golden rewards of honey-- gifts of which I have given to family, friends and neighbors. And I have also experienced the sudden anguish and sadness over losing part of a hive due to my inability to attend to the needs of the hive in a timely manner by not providing them with adequate space for their colony.
Did I error greatly by not putting on another hive box in a timely manner or was the rebirth of the original hive meant to be to serve as a signpost for a new life that is beginning for all of us-- the bees on their journey with their beloved queen and I having completed a year of honeybee stewardship and many, many years of healing the lands where I have lived, ready to face what new surprises lie before me in this ever changing world.
Blessings on Your Journey!
2013 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
|Posted on July 16, 2013 at 11:42 AM||comments (2)|
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After a long cold winter with loads of rain toward the end, we've had a series of beautiful, warm days. The dandelions seem to be flourishing as a result. My lawn is aglow with a proliferation of yellow. Today I came home to find a brochure from a rep for a commercial lawn and herbicide company offering a free consultation to help "Start attacking weeds today!"
This just put me into an agitated state as I read further about how this company could help rid my lawn of "unsightly dandelions." It's very possible that I was being singled out for my yellow lawn, as were others on my street who choose to go natural or it was just a general attempt to get business. I've had a barage of solicitations from chemical lawn care companies since spring began. Being in a seemingly non-progressive suburb, it appears to be the norm to treat your lawn and sadly I wonder how many homes on my street are pursuing these offers.
I won't go into the virtues of dandelions here because I did that in a previous post "Gardening with Nature: in Defense of Dandelions." Nevertheless, I realized how despite all the progress we've made on this planet in terms of environmentalism, there is still such a profound attack on unwanted vegetation and insects and anything else that gets in man's way. The lack of awareness continues out there in terms of what is healthy for this planet and what is contributing to the continued decline of honey bee populations and other beneficial pollinating insects, not to mention wildlife, as well as the increase in human diseases.
So I decided to give this guy a call and tell him my thoughts. I felt his excitement as I responded to his flyer, only to hear him go into the defensive mode when I asked that he not make trips to my house nor send me further literature. I told him right out that the product he was representing was contributing to the environmental degradation of this planet and perhaps he should find another form of employment.
I've simply reached the point that I no longer feel like putting things mildly to people or ignoring their attempts to continue the status quo. I feel the lines of demarcation becoming stronger and stronger as the old world is falling and the new world is manifesting on this planet. The continuous natural disasters and acts of violence are a sure sign of changes that will continue and perhaps even escalate.
To me the dandelions are a source of inspiration in their beauty, their courage to keep coming back despite their persecution and their ability to bring healing to this planet both in the unseen realms beneath the Earth and to those who will allow them to be their allies.
I know that this plot of land I live on is healing and I welcome those beautiful bursts of yellow energy in my gardens despite what those who don't know better think. Perhaps it's time we all continue to shine regardless of what we encounter out in the world. I know the dandelion is truly a wonderful role model of endurance and strength. If only we would take more cues from Nature...
Blessings of Sunshine to All!
2013 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
|Posted on April 13, 2013 at 11:33 AM||comments (3)|
|Posted on December 12, 2012 at 12:12 PM||comments (3)|
"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." – Alexander Graham Bell.
This year is nearing completion as we also approach the time of prophecy for the Winter Solstice of 2012. This astrological aspect has been spoken of in many ancient cultures, as it is the moment our planet shall align with the galactic center of the universe thereby completing a 26,000 year cycle which shall affect the energies of this planet for many years to come. It is also a time of new beginnings.
While many may continue in fear and chaos, others will find peace and a new sense of empowerment-- a knowing of their true selves grounded in relationship to All That Is. The choice is yours. Do you now see the path you have taken and understand the greater significance behind it? Do you take responsibility for your experiences and embrace the unknown trusting that you are the creator of your own life and that you will be Divinely guided? If you don't, then perhaps it is time to have faith in the vast power of this universe.
As this year draws to an end, there are so many reasons to be grateful. A worldwind of activity has occurred in only one year and this will continue as the frequencies on Earth continue to rise. I know that I cannot look at things the same way that I did just a year ago and I think many can say the same. Amidst all the turmoil we have seen and many have experienced in the form of extreme weather patterns, disaster and disruption to their lives, it makes you realize how fragile life is in all its forms. This is not a time for fear, however, but a time for courage. It is a time for re-alignment with all that you hold precious and all that you believe in. The process of transformation on this planet is just beginning.
Are there ways you could have done things differently? Sometimes I look back at my life and think how different it would have been if I had made different choices. Regardless, I think that although we certainly have free will to orchestrate our own lives, there is also much that is out of our control, subject to the laws of Nature and things that we have perhaps agreed to at a soul level prior to this lifetime. There is also personal karma to work through with people that cross our path and patterns inherent in the locations we have chosen to live. It is up to us to resolve them, individually and collectively within our communities.
Two years ago during the Winter Solstice I began this website and blog never knowing where it would lead me. I have often wondered what difference my writing has made. Have I fulfilled my purpose for writing? There have been numerous times that I have considered writing my last blog, but something has always pushed me on, some inner knowing that defied comprehension, as well as the many comments I have received both publicly and personally from people around the globe. Knowing that in some way my writing has affected people's lives encourages me to continue expressing my views and experiences. I know I also write for the countless creatures and beings whose voices and messages need to be heard to affect change. Sometimes it is just my love letter to this awesome and inspiring planet that fuels my fire.
"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us."
---Sir Thomas Brown
I do know that by sharing my experiences here on this blog, I have grown tremendously in both the strength of my convictions and also my understanding of my self. Writing about these thoughts and emotions is not always easy because many times I have shared intense, highly charged moments and other times they are things I feel somewhat helpless to change because of the sheer severity of the problems and/or mindset within our world. But then I remind myself that it all makes a difference. I know that in my heart. Each time there is a shift in perspective or an increase in awareness, it matters.
As we approach this year's Winter Solstice, I give thanks to all the people, creatures and circumstances that have taught me about myself and reinforced my inner strength. Knowing myself and what I will or will not tolerate has been half the battle. Speaking my truth is something that at an earlier part of my life, was virtually non-existent. Becoming clear about what I invite into my life and what I choose to participate in has been an ongoing process. Boundaries that once didn't seem to exist, continue to be created and/or revised. And yet others fall away as I realize the futility of them.
It is an irony that the stronger you become and the more connected you feel with the Earth, the more sensitive and aware you are to dissonant energies within your environment, and the more uncomfortable they make you feel. You also realize that many of the feelings you experience, are not always fully your own but part of the collective consciousness. I realize now how important it is to differentiate between my own energy field and what I encounter on a daily basis, combined with maintaining my own inner strength and clarity. As the fear may heighten on this planet in the coming year, the need for greater balance within one's self becomes an absolute necessity.
Some of you may wonder why I have a lion on my site. I am in awe of these beautiful creatures who protect and balance the Earth and are so often exploited and misunderstood. I am also a lion at heart with my sun and several planets in the sign of Leo which greatly affect my personality and path in life. My lesson in this lifetime is to have courage, to protect that which I hold dear to me and to maintain my boundaries despite whatever may come my way. It has been quite a challenge to create balance in my surroundings, as well as within my own life given the path I have chosen. I'm sure there are many of you who can say the same.
By clearing patterns held within our ancestral memories, we pave the way for future generations and for a healthier balanced life on this planet. By working through our own issues, we also clear patterns held within the collective unconscious-- patterns called miasms that exist within society. We all hold these patterns whether human, animal or plant form within our DNA. Whether you believe in past lives or not, they are passed on through our ancestral lineage as I have mentioned before. They must be healed and released for new patterns to emerge. Know that when you resolve these patterns within yourself, the patterns of consciousness on this planet are changed.
"The acts of this life are the destiny of the next."--Eastern Proverb
I recently came across some information mentioning that the location of thoughts and memories is outside of our brain and that we access this information via magnetic fields in the Earth. Since science has told us that it is largely our brain that stores our memories and knowledge, this is a concept that is tough to accept. If this idea is in fact true, it puts a whole other perspective on our personal experiences. I believe the answer lies somewhere in between-- memory is held within us and around us. I believe that we have to stay open to embracing ideas that are contrary to what we've always been told. I think it will be the only way to thrive in the years ahead and change the way we've always done things.
This Winter Solstice, be kind to yourself. Find the strength to go within during the darkest days of the year and plan the renewal of your body and spirit. Reconnect with your senses, honor your own temple, embrace the spirit within your daily life. By creating balance within yourself and outside of yourself, you will affect this planet more than you know. Reconnect with the rhythms of this planet and those within your own body. Reawaken to the spirit in all life and embrace your authentic self. Find gratitude and beauty within the smallest of moments and there you shall find peace.
Contrary to what some may have lead us to believe about this time of prophecy, we can we can all be encouraged to hear that several respected Mayan spiritual leaders have recently been quoted as saying "This time will bring positive changes for humanity, more balance and more consciousness to the world." It is simply an end of a cycle and a way of being, not the end of the world. I think it's time that we all embrace the change that lies before us, not fear it or fight it.
Trust that as long as you honor yourself and this planet in a sacred way, you will be safe. Anything that comes your way whether seemingly difficult or unusual, is all an opportunity for growth and re-alignment with our changing planet. Outmoded ways of doing and being shall fall away as we embrace that which we once knew and that which we have yet to learn-- our ancestral heritage originating from this vast, magnificent universe.
"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."-- Joseph Campbell
Blessings of Peace this Winter Solstice!
For more information on the Mayan message visit here.
2012 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.