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     Awen Environments

                                                inspirational living arts

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Reawakening the Spirit: the Art of Authentic Living

Posted on February 17, 2017 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (3)
For a long time time I have been contemplating how I would integrate my lifelong skills with my many passions in life. I am now happy to announce the creation of my new site which is a culmination of my lifelong pursuits and the direction I wish for my work to take. 


While I love design and being creative, I love being out in nature as well and helping this planet to evolve into a higher state of being. My new site is a collection of offerings of products and services that I feel accurately reflect the body of knowledge and experience that I hold, as well as the direction I wish to take with my life and my business.


Reawakening the Spirit is about the shift in paradigm that is currently taking place on this planet. In order for new systems to be put into place, the old ones need to be dismantled. You cannot build the new on top of the old by continuing old patterns that do not work. You have to eliminate that which does not serve you before you can create anew. When you live more authentically, you feel the flow of the universe and harmony abounds. Everything becomes easier and the obstacles disappear. You become healthier, more vibrant and the energy you put out into the universe is magnetic to new opportunities. In order for this planet to evolve, we all need to step up and live more authentically by following our heart and intuition. We all need to remember who we are and why we came here.

It is my intention to assist you in fulfilling your authentic path via my offerings, my continued blogging and my photography. I will be teaching new workshops in the areas of dream interpretation, shamanic journeying and embracing your authentic self, as well as offering a variety of products such as space clearing tools to harmonize your space, vibrational essences and herbal teas and tinctures to help support your own personal transition.

When we stay in a place of gratitude and focus on beauty and balance, we envision a new future. Often this means reducing stress, taking more time for ourselves and living more slowly and authentically. When we live intentionally rather than being a victim, we create a new future for ourselves. 

My new site will give you a more intimate view of my work and how I am contributing to this planetary transformation that is currently taking place. Please come join me in Reawakening your Spirit.

Bountiful Blessings!


2017 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison

 

Searching the World of Dreams: a Story of Empowerment

Posted on December 1, 2016 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)
It has been many months since I have written due to a deep journey of spiritual and physical transformation I have been on healing my body and the remnants of ancestral trauma hidden within my DNA and also my psyche. This journey has lead me to study with various shamanic teachers, work further in my gardens and focus on my dreamwork, while seriously deepening my relationship with Nature. I thought that I had gotten as far as I could go until I lost my health due to the stress in my life, the toxins within in my environment and perhaps even the result of my trip to Peru. I thought that by eliminating some of this stress and detoxing via herbs, I would recover my health, but in fact my condition worsened until I was forced to dig even deeper.

When you are on a spiritual path, truthfully the learning never ends because we are all walking this Earth seeking to learn what we have forgotten. We have forgotten what we once knew, the wisdom of the natural world. It is only through our reconnection or reawakening to our true selves that we can walk our true path and embrace our destinies. As long as you suppress your deep, inner passions, are untrue to your heart and do not live in alignment with your inner guidance, you will not find true happiness or balance within your life. 

I had to find this out the hard way when my body no longer responded in the way it always had. I had always taken my health and my physical strength for granted, however suddenly chronic fatigue, pain and inflammation in my body brought on by the stress of not living my truth fully, was coming back to haunt me. My body begged me to wake up. The answer came through in my dreams, in my waking life and in my physical cells which were screaming loud and clear that I was not living fully in alignment with my highest truth. Despite the help of various alternative practitioners, I continued to make only minimal progress and would often rebound afterwards which left me extremely frustrated despite my belief in the methods I pursued.

By listening to my dreams, the constant signs within Nature and by facing my fears one by one, I was able to heal myself slowly, very slowly. It has been an arduous journey over the past 10 months filled with anxious moments, fear and moments of self doubt. During these moments of deep, inner searching, it was always Nature that did not fail me. This autumn I was finally able to restore much of my energy via my dreamwork and the introduction of wild mushrooms into my diet. The mushrooms actually found me and it was incredibly empowering to begin foraging and creating new meals to heal my body. I knew I was about to delve deeply into another level of understanding of the natural, miraculous world we live in where all that we need is there for us, if only we remember and use this ancient knowledge.

As a first generation American, I was born into a culture that associated darkness and fear with the realm of the mushrooms although this knowledge still remains in some areas such as Europe, Asia and Siberia. Today mushrooms are just something we may occasionally buy at the grocery store and most of these mushrooms do not have nearly the properties that wild, medicinal mushrooms have in nature. However, incredible breakthroughs are currently being made into the healing powers of mushrooms both for the human body and also in terms of bioremediation for our planet through the healing of soil, as well as providing many forms of resources in a sustainable manner. 

As much as I was fascinated by the fungi world for longer than I could remember, I had never found anyone that could teach me this ancient wisdom so they remained relatively unknown to me-- a deep mystery within my psyche. That was, until the mushrooms came to teach me themselves... This autumn the mushrooms caught my attention via my own property as well as a nearby park. They screamed loud and clear that I needed to access this ancient wisdom within me. 

Gradually with the help of books, an online forum and trusting my own inner guidance, I began to overcome my fears and heal my body. It seemed the more I went off the beaten trail in the wooded areas I searched, the more I would find another mushroom that gradually healed my nervous system and the inflammation within my body. It was a test of faith of the deepest proportions, but one that was richly rewarding as I accessed ancient memories of my ancestors who once knew the healing powers of the mushroom realm. I am certain that my Russian/Ukrainian grandparents knew this wisdom. 

(Note: Photo to the left is of Amanita Muscari var. Guessowii which is not edible but poisonous/ hallucinogenic though it is believed to have healing properties in certain shamanic traditions.)

And so I continue deepening my connection to this misunderstood realm that is available to all of us, as well as the deep healing available through the plant world and all of Nature. As a result of my experiences and tracking my dreams for more than 20 years, I have decided to teach a new workshop "Introduction to Dream Interpretation: Finding the Guidance Within" at Ceier Chiropractic and Holistic in Elma, NY beginning January 2017. Please see my 'Green Inspirations' page for further information.

Blessings of Abundance and Joy this Holiday Season!

2016 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.





What My Gardens Have Taught Me

Posted on June 23, 2016 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)
My gardens have evolved so much over time and taught me a great deal about life and myself. Gone is the need to control everything in a precise, neat manner. I have found that when I set my intention by planting my desires and allow Nature to unfold her deep wisdom and artistry, sometimes the most amazing landscapes can appear. At times you need to be patient when nothing seems to be happening or when things are not quite as organized or beautiful as you would like, but the results will always surpass your limited view of things.

Nature is always giving us direction and guiding us through subtle and sometimes blatant messages. It's up to us to interpret these messages and act accordingly. Very often I have used gardening methods that did not seem to make rational sense, but intuitively felt like the right thing to do. Navigating our life path can be the same way. It's up to us to follow our instincts and put together the pieces of the puzzle. Over time as a garden grows and develops through loving attention and care, our vision manifests into reality.

If I had chosen to control every aspect of my gardens and use traditional gardening methods such as eliminating all weeds, which essentially is anything I did not intend, I would have missed out on the true beauty and healing power that Nature is capable of. I would have missed all the unexpected flowers that suddenly appeared or the unexpected caterpillar, bird or butterfly that suddenly graced my gardens because of these so-called "weeds". I would have missed out on the moments of shear Divine inspiration that I received when viewing my gardens in a certain morning light or after a gentle, nurturing rain. I would have missed out on the unexpected flowers which would heal me simply through their fragrance or presence in the soil that I had never imagined.

Gardening with Nature is a process that evolves over time. It is a test of faith that leads us in the right direction if we allow it to. It is an intuitive process that guides us step by step, year by year to discover our boundaries by eliminating that which we don't want, trusting that Nature knows more than we do and following the guidance that you receive through what you see, feel and experience. Sometimes you have to just follow your heart, despite what others may think.

It requires spending time just being in your gardens without doing, sensing the energy of space and how it makes you feel. It requires opening up all your senses. It is a collaborative process that teaches you where you feel uncomfortable, what your body is telling you and what all the beings of Nature are telling you including the ones you may not feel comfortable with or understand. Insects are very finely tuned to our energetic vibrations and will let you know when they are disturbed by you and also when they are in harmony with you.

Sometimes you have to allow a process to unfold despite the discomfort you may feel. Sometimes you just have to allow a little bit of ugliness to unfold in the form of aphids congregating on your flowers, a wasp carrying off a caterpillar, a spider entangling her victim in her web or a flower to go through her dying process without needing to cut her off once her beauty is gone. A garden is never perfect. She has her moments of glorious beauty and vibrancy and she has her days when she may be wilting and seem weak or very little appears to be in bloom. But overall, if you trust in the process and allow this process to unfold, you know that over time everything will come together and each year your garden will be that much stronger, that much more vibrant and that much more grounded and healthy.

If you allow Nature to take her course and you allow your inherent creativity to unfold, you will receive unexpected visitors that you never imagined. There's something really powerful about allowing. There's a point where the Earth dances with the light of the Sun and the Moon and everything comes together and sparkles vibrantly telling you that everything is exactly as it should be and all is well. It's a knowing that comes from deep within your heart and soul that tells you everything is going to be alright despite whatever turmoil or dissonance may surround you. Its a deep faith in the process of life that carries you through the discomforting moments of doubt, feelings of fear or uncertainty that occasionally (or maybe too often) rear themselves once more in your life just when you'd thought they had gone.

I am truly confident that if more people took up gardening and grew their own flowers or vegetables and aligned themselves with the healing powers available to us within all living things, this world would be a different place. Take time to see the beauty that is all around us in so many sweet, tender moments.

Solstice Blessings!

2016 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.

Shungite: a Look at the Healing and Protective Powers of a Russian Mineral from Karelia

Posted on April 11, 2015 at 3:33 PM Comments comments (1)
I've been using the Russian mineral Shungite for almost a year now and felt it was time to share my experiences. I am reluctant to write about anything until I've had personal experience so I felt now was a good time to do so after many months of seeing how it has affected me and everyone in my home including my pets. I have continued to order more pieces in a variety of forms to help harmonize and balance the challenging energies in my home and also to improve my health and energy level. 

Given that I am extremely sensitive to all things in my environment, having this stone around me has greatly increased my energy level and eliminated many problems I was having with fatigue and constant migraines due to stress from varying sources. Despite the fact I live a pretty healthy lifestyle and know alot about earth energies and alternative healing modalities, I could not seem to determine what was causing my exhaustion and contributing to the health issues of my son and our animals until I began reading more about Shungite and realizing what the cause might be and that a solution did exist.

I originally purchased three pieces of this stone last summer knowing very little about its properties and I instinctively felt it necessary to carry it with me everywhere I went. Gradually I began doing more research on Shungite. What I found out intrigued me and I eventually purchased different forms of Shungite and larger pieces for my home in order to begin working with it from a geomancy perspective, as well as to purify my water and food. I wanted to see if my experiences were similar to what had been written and seemed to be well documented and researched. 

Though relatively little is known about this stone in the US, the Russians have known about the healing properties of Shungite for centuries in the town of Karelia, the only place on earth where this healing mineral is found. Peter the Great of Russia was said to have ordered his soldiers to each carry a piece of Shungite with them into battle in order to purify their water. This mineral, which was formed billions of years ago is formed from varying amounts of organic compounds. What's unusual about this stone is that it contains fullerenes which were named after Buckminster Fuller who designed the geodesic dome which is a spherical geometric structure of circles. These fullerenes which may have originated in the cosmos, have bioenergetic properties capable of healing and protecting the human body and all life forms. 

Written records of Shungite go back centuries from various rulers and nobles of Russia who knew of the healing powers of this powerful stone often referring to the pure spring water that sprang forth from the the natural Shungite stone found in the landscape of Karelia. The Russians have since spent many years doing research on the powerful healing and protective influence of Shungite in the areas of water purification, illness and protection against harmful rays such as cell phone radiation and harmful energies such as geopathic stress emanating from the earth. They have found the fullerenes in Shungite work both at a cellular and whole human body level to restore balance and well being. Shungite has repeatedly been proven to protect human life as well as restore health to those with a wide range of illnesses, many which now stem from our modern day life. 

Since learning of this stone, I have used Shungite in a wide variety of ways. I now have a small disk for my cell phone to neutralize the harmful rays and I've noticed that my phone no longer heats up or gives me headaches when I talk too long. I also have a large pyramid placed in strategic points in my home to neutralize the entrance of electricity into my home, as well as areas of geopathic stress which I am aware of. Because constant exposure to electricity can not only interfere with our sleep patterns, but also create damage to our immune systems over long term exposure, Shungite helps to neutralize these harmful rays and enable you to sleep better and allow your body a healthy environment to recover from stress. I have also been wearing a Shungite pendant which helps my own energetic field to remain balanced despite whatever toxic energies I may encounter in my daily activities. I now use Shungite pieces to purify my water on a daily basis and a plate to neutralize and restore the natural, healthy qualities of food including neutralizing GMOs. 

The change in my energy level and the restoration of health of my son and my animals has been very noticeable. I no longer have the constant migraines which plagued me and I believe were caused by all the unwanted emanations traveling through my home resulting from living in a highly populated suburban area. If you live in a highly populated urban or suburban area you are constantly being bombarded on a daily basis from electricity and WIFI reception all around you, not to mention toxic chemicals emanating from neighboring properties which also affect the well being of the land that you live upon. The pyramids are best to neutralize geopathic stress areas and electricity entrance points into your home and the round orbs are best used for sleeping or meditation areas.

Imbalances of land energies due to redirected water, fault lines or toxins held in the earth can also be a leading cause of illness, depression, fatigue and unhealthy vegetation on the land. When the land is not well, animals will be susceptible to a wide range of health problems including cancer, thyroid imbalances and many other illnesses, as well as being plagued by insect infestations such as fleas. A normal, healthy animal is capable of fending off fleas and other parasites because its immune system naturally repels these pests but when the land is unbalanced or bombarded by toxic rays, they cannot. By drinking Shungite infused water and having this stone in your home, the natural strength of your animals' immune systems will be restored over time by combining this with a healthy diet and other life supporting habits.

If you would like to restore health and well being to your life, Shungite can be ordered directly from the mine in Karelia, Russia at very reasonable prices and delivery only take a few weeks depending on your location. Please contact Anastasia at www.store.shungite.com and if you mention "Clarissa" in the coupon code, you will receive a free circle pendant with your order. A wide range of products are available and their customer service is great. 

Blessings of Health and Vitality!


2015 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.


References:

Martino, Regina, Shungite: Protection, Healing, and Detoxification, Healing Arts Press, 2014.

Bee Feng Shui: the Energy of Space

Posted on September 7, 2013 at 11:01 AM Comments comments (4)
I've been thinking lately about how my interests and my work through out the years went from working inside the home with regard for the energy of space to where my focus is presently, which is outside with the land.  This has been an ongoing process for quite some time, but yesterday when someone from Myanmar found my site using the key words "bee feng shui," I just had to explore this idea and write about it.  I've written on feng shui and I've written about bees, but I've never written about how they relate to one another.  I doubt that many people have made a connection between the two, but there is one and the principles are at what I believe to be the very foundation of our survival here on this planet.  It has been said that humans will not survive on this planet more than four years, if the honeybee should disappear.  That's a scary thought given the honeybee is in tremendous peril at this particular moment in our planet's history.  Whether or not it would be that quick remains to be seen and I hope we never find out, but there's no doubt the loss of our pollinators would change our food supply as we know it, as well as the energy of our natural world.
 
So how does the honey bee relate to the energy of our homes and spaces?  Although I've loved seeing bees in action for quite some time now, it's been over a year since I began working with them intimately and observing their activities and behaviors as a caretaker of two beehives.  The insect kingdom in general has taught me a great deal about my own personal energy field and now the high energy honeybee has brought me to an even greater understanding of the dynamics of this planet and our own personal spaces.  I truly believe that it is our relationship to all insects that is the key to our survival as a human species.  In actuality, the insects do not need us, we need them and it's time we all changed our attitudes and stopped treating them as insignificant. 
 
Honeybees and insects in general are all finely tuned to the invisible strands of energetic grids that run through this planet.  You may not be familiar with them or you may choose to deny their existence, but ancient cultures knew about them and managed their societies accordingly.  The Earth has natural and man-made electromagnetic fields that run through the planet and we also have this energy flowing through our bodies.  Rudolph Steiner has discussed the significance of formic acid in his numerous essays on Nature.  Formic acid is the building block of life which connects us to the cosmos, revitalizes the soil and it is something that the insects bring to this planet and maintain.  Ants, wasps and honeybees are among those insects that revitalize an area by creating formic acid, without which we apparently would not be able to exist and it also has a spiritual essence to it according to Steiner. 
 
So, by their very nature, these insects are injecting a form of acupuncture or feng shui treatment of the land to enliven it.  They are opening up channels of dead or stagnant energies and allowing the energy to flow on this planet, revitalizing the area with high vibrational frequencies.  Subsequently, this energy will also then flow into the adjacent land and your home.  Those who have been bothered by bees, wasps or ants building colonies inside the structures of their homes, have no doubt experienced other problems related to energy stagnation within their lives, though it's easy to find fault with the insects.  Unfortunately, though their efforts might be noble and instinctive, the insects usually suffer the fate of their own demise when pesticide contractors are brought in who only exacerbate the underlying issue of imbalance of the land and energetic frequency of the home structure.  The owners of these homes never really understand what's going on at a core, energetic level.
 
Feng shui (wind and water) is about the flow of energy through our homes and through the land.  If this energy becomes stagnant or blocked, disease and disharmony results.  You cannot have a chaotic, stagnant or disease ridden property and not be affected mentally, emotionally and physically.  The two go hand in hand.  Obviously, those people who are drawn to living in cities with high energy frequencies and loads of activity and people, are more subject to a wide variety of influences some of which can be quite chaotic or destructive and yet if the inherent energies of the cities are positive and life enhancing, it can also generate a very positive influence to those who dwell there.  Too high of a vibration is not good and too low of a vibration is not good.  Just being in the country does not necessarily imply a better energy, if the inherent energies of the surrounding land are unbalanced or toxic with negative histories.  In truth, all of the Earth is sacred and even those seemingly negative environments have the potential to be transformed by human thought and behavior with the help of Nature.
 
The honeybees in particular, because of their work as a community, show us how everything is related.  Their work and very being corresponds to the sacred geometric pattern of the hexagon, a six-sided figure where there is no wasted space.  All is equal.  And so it is on this planet.  In truth, no life form or existence (including rocks, inanimate object or human creation) is insignificant, as it all came from the same source and works as a collective on this planet.  The links cannot be broken because they all work together and even something that seemingly does not have consciousness, originates from some form of energetic force at it's very basic level.  That is why the energy of space is so important because all things affect us at an energetic level-- human interaction, the natural world and the spaces we inhabit. 
 
The honeybees teach us how to work toward a common goal and to take something of one form and to transform it into something more beautiful and life enhancing.  The honeybee brings more beauty and nourishment into the world and creates a healing nectar for all life forms, while transforming toxic patterns and behaviors into something positive through their very vibration and activities.  When you work to transform your personal space, you do the same affecting the environment around you.  It's time to restore the sacred to everyday life because truly our own spaces and spheres of influence are the only ones we can control or be responsible for.  The rest is subject to the choices and influences of others, the outcome of which has yet to be determined.
 
Bee the Blessings You Seek!
 
2013 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bee Swarming: a Message of Rebirth

Posted on August 6, 2013 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (10)
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.
 
 
 
 

A Look Back: Taking Inventory of Your Landscape

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 6:36 PM Comments comments (0)
Sometimes it's hard to see the progress we've made when we're constantly putting out fires or simply trying to get through our daily routine of responsibilities.  As humans, we seem to always focus on what still needs to be accomplished, rather than what is.  I think it's vital, however, to reflect periodically on what you've accomplished and take the time to truly see the progress that's been made from several years back, a year ago or even a few months ago.
 
I know I have to do this on occasion to remind myself of how the energy of my landscape has shifted and how much I've changed in my awareness. Despite the heavy rains we've been experiencing in our area this year and the accompanying flooding and frustration it can create, I'm constantly reminded of how when we first moved to our home just over  three years ago, there was barely a flower in sight, 
 
Now we have gardens everywhere and many new trees and plants are starting to anchor a new life force on this land.  They are also transmuting the toxins that existed in the soil that once smelled rancid.  All the white pine and fir trees that had existed when we arrived, were either dead or dying due to excessively wet land and an imbalance of energies.  Now when I walk through our backyard, I feel like I'm in a wildlife sanctuary or tiny park.  As a gardener, I'm constantly thinking about what still needs to be done or re-arranged, although so much has healed.  I'm also proud of what I've accomplished in so little time.  We've also just installed our second bee hive, after catching a swarm the other day.  The vibrancy that these little beings bring to the landscape is visually apparent in the difference from last year to now.  I also love seeing them busy in our gardens, knowing how they are enlivening the land and our lives.
 
My gardens have been such a metaphor for my life in so many ways. They have grown with me, struggled with me and portions have died at times, just as I have died to my former self and sought new ways of being, discarding what was no longer useful or part of my awareness.  I have also had to make choices as to what I chose to keep in my garden and where my boundaries are.  Weeding has become a way of eliminating all that which I no longer need in my environment.  While I don't believe in the noun weed as they are only plants that are unfamiliar or unwanted to most people (a very individual concept), I do believe in the verb of weeding and I realize how it becomes symbolic for caring for yourself and what you've created.  This year has been all about maintenance and creating balance, whereas in previous years, I was totally focused on creation.
 
The first half of this year has already been filled with challenges which, while I was going through them, exhausted me sometimes to the point of overwhelm. Nevertheless, as time passed I came to see the value of those experiences and how they taught me to express my boundaries, see things in a new way or persevere despite the physical and emotional exhaustion I was feeling. These moments can be priceless sources of inspiration and transmutation, if you allow them to be.  My gardens have been my source of solace when I felt filled with anger, despair or sheer overwhelm.  Just the sounds of the birds and seeing the grasses swaying in the breeze, has often brought me back to a point of stillness and knowing that all is well and exactly the way it should be in this moment. 
 
And just as sometimes you have to allow a garden to do it's own thing and trust that Nature knows the direction she's taking, you also have to believe that the direction you're being lead in and the challenges you face are preparing you for better things.  Moments spent appreciating your landscape also build a solid foundation for the energy of your land, as it is a co-creative process requiring our individual efforts and the collaboration of Nature.  We cannot always see the results of our actions, but it is our intention that matters.  Our mistakes will be overlooked or reflected back to us so that we can learn what we need to in order to make different choices next time.  Gardening is such a great way to see and experience what works and what doesn't-- what feels right and what is uncomfortable and no longer in resonance.  This is a continual process of shedding layers like peeling an onion and it is part of the changes this planet is going through.
 
Despite what at times may seem like an endless battle in this changing world, it's so important to spend time viewing your accomplishments from a point of reverence. The world is moving so fast now that it's easy to overlook what stands before you, but take the time to truly feel and know how your environment has changed.  Feel the vibrancy of that which has healed and that which is in transition.  Know that despite the fact there may still be challenges for the future and things to overcome, so much has transitioned and healed throughout this planet and continues to do so. 
 
Our efforts do not go unseen and despite their seeming futility at times, it is the intention and the process that matters in the overall scheme of things. To me, nothing is more gratifying than to see a landscape transform, whether an indoor or outdoor environment or that which is our own sense of being. Cherish your accomplishments and your efforts for they do matter.
 
Blessings of Inspiration!
 
2013 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.

Dandelions: a Source of Inspiration

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)
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.

Restoring the Sacred to Western New York: a Story of Spiritual/Material Conflict (Part 3)

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 12:01 PM Comments comments (5)
 
This story is part of a series. It is recommended that you refer to Part 1 and Part 2 of this trilogy before reading the following (photo of Chautauqua Lake, NY by Matt Roginski Photography above).
 
Consciousness and human intention are things that are greatly influenced by the geography of an area, but an area is also simultaneously influenced by the intentions of its inhabitants.  We only know that which we are taught, unless we choose to move outside that realm into the unknown and learn to trust our intuition and inner guidance.  Human intention is a powerful thing and it is the guiding force behind many a success and failure, whether at an individual or community level. 
 
As mentioned in prior posts, the knowledge of geomancy and sacred Earth energies was known by many ancient scholars who at some level passed on their knowledge and traditions to the Europeans, particularly the Freemasons who came to this country.   There is increasing evidence now that the Freemasons built and also influenced many sacred structures around the US, leaving behind various signs of their beliefs and knowledge of the cosmic influence on architecture called archaeoastronomy, which has been practiced for thousands of years throughout various cultures and civilizations.  Scott Wolter, a forensic geologist from the History Channel's documentary program "America Unearthed"  has been presenting much of this information on the influence of the Freemasons in the US, providing evidence to support the idea that much of history is not as we've been told.
 
I think that evidence of an underlying knowledge about Earth energies and ley lines is evident throughout much of WNY.  The Chautauqua Institute located on the lands surrounding Chautauqua Lake in WNY, was created in 1874 by Lewis Miller, an Akron, Ohio inventor who was father-in-law to Thomas Edison.   Miller sought to create a utopian community "devoted to the highest ideals of the spirit and the intellect."  Some would think his choice of land for such a utopian society a mere coincidence, however, I do not.  Throughout history there has always been this connection that people have made between architecture and a link to the cosmos, or spiritual energies from the heavens connecting to the Earth and an understanding of the need to locate structures and communities in certain areas (photo of Chautauqua Institute above)
 
The Chautauqua Institute has still maintained its original intention which was that of a pursuit of higher learning and spiritual awakening and the radiance of the healing land energies there is still evident when walking through this community with its carefully created structures and well cared for gardens.  Though it does seem to be more of an elitist community of homes as it was originally intended, it is also open to the public and still draws people from all over the world even today with its cultural and educational programs.  A wide range of scholars and progressive thinkers have visited these grounds and there is even a miniature replica of the city of Jerusalem created on the property.  I'm confident this is not a random placement, but symbolic of sacred Earth energies existing in the area.
 
A second location in the Chautaqua area that is significant is Lilly Dale, one of the first spiritual communities that was created in the WNY region of Cassadaga Lake.  This community was originally created by two women in the late 1800's and is today still devoted to metaphysical topics, spiritual studies,  as well as developing psychic abilities.  This community was created during a time of tremendous spiritual activity within the WNY region, with various religous and spiritual groups seeking a place to practice their individual beliefs throughout the area.
 
Although many may criticize a gathering of psychics and question their validity, a tremendous amount of progressive and inspirational teachers from around the globe have gathered and taught at Lilly Dale throughout the years and continue to do so every year.  The underlying concept there is the connection to the realm of spirit and a belief in something greater than the material world.  The old growth forest which is part of this community is inherently sacred and powerful, and I believe the message of spirituality from this location once again is not an accident.  There is undoubtedly a history of strong spiritual patterns existing within WNY.
 
Chautauqua Lake, unfortunately, has succumbed to tremendous problems with contamination from pesticide, fertilizer and sewage runoff, resulting in excessive algae. The surrounding region is also relatively poor relying mostly on the tourism industry which has been affected by these contamination problems.
 
What do most of the areas within WNY mentioned in this story (see previous posts) have in common?   They are all areas of powerful and sacred Earth energies, however, some through heavy development and their misuse, desecration and/or subsequent blockage of natural harmonious Earth energies, have become areas of economic decline, crime, poverty, disease and/or various forms of hardship.  Others, because of their spiritual intentions continue to carry on today with their work and bring light and awareness to this region.
 
I believe that the more powerful an area in terms of it’s natural existing Earth energies, the darker and more negative the experience of living there can be if the integrity and right use of these energies is not upheld by it's inhabitants and those in control of the natural resources.  The land becomes increasingly more negative when toxic chemical and nuclear waste has been buried in these areas, or water has been built upon and/or redirected, as the Earth struggles to breathe and restore balance.  Also, some areas should never have been developed with mundane activities, but rather imbued with a continuous spiritual reverence because they are too powerful for daily life and are easily contaminated by human thought and actions.
 
If you happen to live in one of the areas whose natural Earth energies have been distorted by human intervention and lack of awareness, despite your best efforts, your life will most likely be impacted negatively by the underlying energy of your community and city depending on the toxicity and imbalance of the land.  Each person's experience will vary depending on what your soul resonates with and your particular need to resolve patterns within your ancestral DNA.   Sometimes the more you try to improve your situation, the more you may struggle and seemingly lose the battle, but in truth it is all a path toward self awareness and your body's need to restore balance.  I've seen incredible challenges that clients have had to overcome while living on various properties around WNY, some which were once part of large estates which represented a history of misuse of power within WNY.
 
In terms of exposure to geopathic stress (toxic Earth energies), the more your body is compromised vibrationally on a continual basis, the more you will seek out unhealthy patterns and locations that will continue your negative experiences, so it becomes a negative spiral of events unless you recognize these patterns and learn to overcome them.  A healthy, vibrationally balanced individual will generally not be attracted to unhealthy situations or geopathically stressed areas unless they are conscious of what needs to be done and willing to work to restore the area to balance as part of their path in life.  Dr. Ernst Hartmann, who spent 30 years studying the affects that land energies have on the immune system, has been quoted as saying "individuals placed above an area of geopathic disturbance soon lost the ability to defend themselves against harmful bacteria that previously they were able to withstand."

If you put the pieces of the puzzle together, after a while you stop believing in coincidences and start recognizing that dire economic, disease and societal patterns existing within a city or region have a root cause.   In the case of WNY, I believe it is a history of land desecration in it's many forms, both unethical business practices and also physical destruction of the environment, that contributes to the problems that many people experience while living in WNY.  Though we may consciously have had nothing to do with decisions that were made throughout the history of a city, we are still affected by their consequences at an energetic level.  I believe it is our destiny, as well as our karma, to work through and resolve these societal patterns within our area, by recognizing them within our own lives (photo of Darwin Martin House, Buffalo, NY by Matt Roginski Photography above). 
 
I've heard countless numbers of stories from clients, friends, acquaintances, and even random people I've met who experienced tremendous challenges and often even tragedies while living in this region.  Some had left and later returned to the Buffalo area in their later years.  Often times their misfortune directly coincided with their return to this region, many encountering all forms of challenges, as though this cloud of darkness hovered over the region of Buffalo and the feeling was palpable as soon as your plane descended upon the airport or your car approached the region. 
 
I've also known of several geomancy teachers who came from other parts of the world and immediately became overwhelmed and exhausted from the energy of the Buffalo-Niagara region, due to their heightened sensibilitiess and often times they even experienced their own challenges during their stay.  Some locals, who have been born and raised here and never left, have experienced nothing but hardship and illness.  Eventually you believe it's the norm and that life is meant to be a struggle because that's what you've grown up with and all you've ever known.  Once you're in the negative spiral, it takes a tremendous amount of effort and awareness to break it.  That is often where faith comes in and a recognition of the meaning behind life lessons.  Recognizing that life is meant to be so much more is part of the road back from being a victim to creator of your own destiny and thriving in a changing, challenging world.  These challenges are increasing on a daily basis around the globe as the Earth works to restore balance.
 
I can write about this all now because I have recognized the patterns, as I reflect on my own life since moving back to WNY and especially my experiences while living in one particular town several years ago.  For me, my most profound heartwarming, creative and spiritual experiences have occurred right here in WNY.  It's very possible that my creative abilities and level of environmental and spiritual awareness would never have developed to the same degree, had I remained in a fast paced, high energy city like Washington, DC for the remainder of my life and continued in a career that did not fulfill me.   I will never know for certain, but I believe in my heart I know the answer. 
 
Although my life became challenging shortly upon my return to WNY,  I also started moving in the direction of who I always was and not the person I thought I should be, as I began pursuing my passions.  Though it often happened in profound and unusual ways, it wasn't until I moved to the town of Alden that I was met with all forms of challenge and frustration that included health, career, personal and financial issues that kept me constantly on my feet and often overwhelmed me to the point of exhaustion.  I even had a close call with death in the first home when I went into anaphylactic shock while gardening and was rushed to the emergency room.  Given what I knew about how our environment affects our wellbeing, I worked hard to transform the energies of both homes during those years and restore balance to my life. 
 
In the first home, I felt the energy was a time bomb waiting to explode because the land had so much debris that had been buried there and the historical patterns had not been positive.  One of the previous owners had prematurely died suddenly, another had suffered from cancer, and another had lain collapsed in the house for days before someone had found him.  One bad thing after another happened while we were living in that house, and yet I felt a strong heartfelt connection to the land and a desire to heal it.  I learned a great deal while living there, but it was a tremendous challenge. 
 
In the second house in Alden, I knew more about how to work with Earth energies, but still I moved to a new level of understanding because the situation was very different.  Despite what I knew, my worked seemed all to no avail, as anything that could have gone wrong did, as soon as we moved in to this house.  I continued to work intimately with the land and gradually things improved, but it would seem that there was always something that would crop up to challenge my faith and resolve (photo of Aldinger Farm Sunflowers, Alden, NY below).
 
After several years, I eventually made the decision to move when we discovered our neighbor had been killing our pets and other animals in the area out of rage and lack of respect for animals.   I realized I had to speak up about what was going on when others were afraid to or chose to look the other way.  I later learned that I was not alone in my struggles in Alden, as I would eventually come to find out by talking to other people who were living or had lived there.   This eventually led me to conclude that there was something inherent in the energies of the land that attracted such misfortune and ill will from neighbors (see Earth Energies: What is Your Home Telling You?).   There was something that appeared beyond the scope of my immediate control over my home environment and the principals of feng shui or geomancy as I had come to know them.
 
Interestingly, Alden is also home to the Wende Correctional Facility which is a maximum security prison housing over 1,000 inmates.   It was also very close to the neighborhood where I was living at the time.  The land where this facility was built was originally donated by the Otto Wende family to Erie County to be designated as a public park.   While the land initially became a farm to feed correctional inmates in the Buffalo area, it eventually was decided to build a housing facilty for prison inmates in the 1920s.   Although the facility does have a productive horticulture program which contributes to beautifying public spaces, there is no doubt that the energy and consciousness of such a facility has affected the overall energy of the area of Alden.  People who think they are not consciously affected by working in such a facility are mistaken. There is also the fact that the original intention of the Wende family for the donation of this land was eventually completely disregarded and contrary to the original desires of the owners.
 
Nevertheless, I have never seen more passionate people, as during the town of Alden's attempt and eventual success in preventing a Walmart from being built on natural wetlands adjacent to my neighborhood during those years.   It was a definite step in the right direction toward maintaining the integrity of the land of Alden and preventing further contamination of it's natural existing water source, by preserving the integrity of one of five aquifers in WNY that lies beneath the town of Alden. I became seriously involved with preventing this development when a neighbor who initiated the campaign, approached me in 2006 to help him with his efforts. Sadly this man died suddenly of a heart attack shortly after the developer pulled out of the project and our mission had been accomplished.
 
I'm confident that much of the hardship, disease and malaise that exists within the WNY region is related to the contamination and redirection of natural water sources. When you understand what Dr. Emoto's experiments have shown about the energy matrix of water, it's not hard to conclude that chemical and nuclear contamination of the surrounding land, and not allowing the water to purify itself through natural land elements and methods, has had a profound effect on this landscape and the consciousness of its inhabitants.
 
Even the flow of water coming from the Niagara River into the Falls has been artificially manipulated for many years now, changing a natural flow of energy to the area, thereby decreasing its life enhancing power.  Christopher Bird, author of  The Divining Hand discusses the Chinese belief that the Earth is like a human being and water's significance is expressed in his statement "Passing to and fro out of sight, the hidden veins of water served, like the bloodstream of animals, to remove impurities from the body of the Earth...and to deposit curative minerals within it.  The Earth's circulatory system was matched by an ever-undulating network of currents in the atmosphere."  This understanding is integral to the true foundations of feng shui.  The aim is to seek healthy sheng chi (energy) and avoid unhealthy sha chi. If you are surrounded by ill will and mal intentions by neighboring properties, your own life will be tremendously affected because of the constant flow of water energy through the land and into your home.  These black streams of sha chi can course through a property and can wreak havoc in your life. 
 
The Russians and Austrians have also done a great deal of research on this concept of water carrying information and holding negative vibrations, and I believe it's relevant and was substantiated by the experiences I had.  I could just not dismiss them as coincidental, after what I'd gone through and what I knew.  Water can have tremendously healing qualities if it is vibrationally clear, but it can also have the opposite effect if it comes into contact with negative intentions and toxins.  It is also a life giving force which cannot be denied and can no longer be taken for granted (see movie on global water crisis.

Though at the time it was extremely challenging living in both houses, I am now grateful for all that I experienced and overcame there.   These experiences enabled me to view life from a much different perspective and I learned to fight for what I believed in and develop an inner strength, faith and resiliency that deepened my spirituality and connection to Nature.   I also gained an understanding of the nature of Earth energies  and water to such a greater degree, as I began to recognize the profound physical and energetic contamination that is rampant throughout WNY.   Since we are surrounded by water in its many forms, this is highly significant in terms of the vibrations held in the land energies here.  There are patterns here in WNY and within all of our lives.  It is up to each of us to discover and understand their meanings.
 
Cities carry their own unique energy and depending on where you’re living and what you’re experiencing, I'm confident that if you're being challenged, this is what you have chosen at a soul level to move past your trauma in this lifetime and any ancestral issues (see Patterns: Overcoming Ancestral Trauma) held within your DNA.   Your home can either provide you with a safe and life enhancing source of security and inspiration or it can seemingly be your worst enemy draining the very life force out of you by creating all forms of mental, emotional and physical stresses on your well being.   This is becoming increasingly more prevalent as the Earth goes through changes.  Understanding the energies of the land you have chosen to live upon, is the beginning of changing your circumstances and living a harmonious, healthy, joyful life.  Knowing the history of the town or city you live in, is an important part of changing the future both individually and collectively (photo of Guaranty Building, Buffalo, NY by Matt Roginski Photography above).
 
We are all linked to a huge web of energy that covers this planet. Learning how to recognize the history and the patterns such as those present in WNY is the first step toward healing this planet and your own life.  A home and its occupants can only be as well as the land that exists beneath their dwelling.  Restoring and enhancing the energies in your own environment is key to creating balance in your life.  Buffalo is not alone in it's challenges, as there are many similar former manufacturing cities around the world which are currently suffering from a similar predicament and those in areas such as Chernobyl or Fukishima that have been facing a far more severe challenge.  I think the answers lie at an individual level for all of us.  Though the circumstances appear daunting at times, focus on one's individual self and environment can ultimately have far reaching effects for all of us.
 
It is my sincerest hope that other countries follow the initiative of Ecuador who has now given constitutional Rights to Nature (Pachamama) to prevent further environmental degradation of their country.  Ecuador's courageous movement led by it's own indigenous President and people serves as a symbol for other countries to follow in the forthcoming years.  The Rainforests of this world are desperately needed to anchor healing energies for this planet on a global scale.  Without them, this planet will surely die and humankind with it.  For those living in areas where the land has already been desecrated, it's important to know that all can be healed.  The plants, technology, and awareness required to restore balance, heal the soil and water, as well as ourselves exists, but it requires a combination of spiritual and physical work on everyone's part-- right relationship with the land and an understanding that this planet is a living being and we need her.
 
How do we integrate our need to create economic development and prosperity while maintaining respect for cultural and architectural achievements, and the right use of natural resources?   I believe the answer lies in working alongside Nature by understanding it's inherent characteristics and perfection, as well as developing technologies that harness these natural existing energies while utilizing sustainable, ecological methods.   No one benefits in the long term when land is desecrated, least of all our children or descendants.
 
Healing and restoring the sacredness of all life to the area that we live in through our actions and intentions is paramount in these changing and tumultuous times on Earth.   We simply cannot continue the same patterns and expect different results.   You also cannot simply run away from what challenges you because these patterns will follow you wherever you go.   Unknowingly you will be drawn at a soul level to similar patterns of dis-ease in your next choice of home regardless of it's geographic location, unless you resolve these energetic patterns right where you are and then you can move on.  Recognition and understanding are the keys to opening the door and initiating healing.  Holding a higher intention for restoring the sacred energies of WNY or wherever you may live, is the key to transforming the well being of this planet. 
 
The answer lies within each and every one of us to restore the sacredness to the land that we occupy, and in so doing, create joy and wellness within our lives and communities, as well as for our descendants.   Piece by piece these parcels of land will connect both physically and energetically, eventually restoring health and well being to this planet we call HOME.   We cannot wait for institutions and organizations to take the initiative to clean up the mess made by industrializaton and development, we need to clean up the mess within our own domain.  Take care of yourself and your space, however large, small or insignificant your home may seem and wherever it may be, and imbue it with your intentions and love, and make it  SACRED ONCE AGAIN.
 
 

Blessings of Earth Wisdom!

 
 
For a different prospective of the Earth view the movie "Overview."
 
 
References and Further Information:
 
 
 
 
 
 




Copyright 2013 Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.

Restoring the Sacred to Western New York: a Story of Spiritual/Material Conflict (Part 1)

Posted on February 10, 2013 at 3:43 PM Comments comments (3)
Although we may think we have complete control over our lives, our well being is greatly influenced by our environment— both immediate in terms of our home and workplace, as well as the community, town or city and region where we live.  These locations all hold their own special Earth energies and energetic history due to the actions and intentions of their inhabitants  (photo of Blessed Trinity Church, Buffalo, NY).  
 
Geographic locations exert an energetic influence over our daily lives, whether positive or negative, depending on how long we live in a particular area, and eventually attracting health and good fortune or misfortune and disease to our lives.  Among some of the locations within Western New York with powerful energetic and historical significance are the city of Buffalo, the area of Niagara Falls, the town of Alden, the Chautauqua Lake area, and the town of Lackawanna.
 
Each of these locations have in some way significantly contributed to either economic, cultural, educational and/or healing and spiritual development in this region.  I believe they also hold inherently powerful Earth energies, though much of these energies have long since been covered by layers of wrong intention and misuse.  There are other towns which I feel significant and relevant to this story and I will be mentioning them in later posts.  Some locations within WNY, though significant, I will not mention largely because I don't have much personal experience with them and including them here would make this story much longer than it already is.
 
Sacred geometry is based on mathematical proportions found throughout Nature which create balance, particularly when applied to architecture via human intention.  Architecture itself, when created as a balanced, harmonic structure according to certain geometric principles, can greatly influence the well being of its inhabitants and that of a population.  The energies that these structures emanate both through human intention, as well as the harnessing of Earth energies beneath the land where they are built, can greatly influence the mindset of an area.  By harnessing these Earth energies via architecture, their powers are directed and intensified (photo of Lake Erie, NY below)
 
Ancient and native cultures have traditionally known about this influence of harmonious Earth energies and sacred structures for thousands of years, carefully selecting their places of worship and/or living sites and creating their structures using ancient principles of sacred geometry.  Europeans once utililized this knowledge and applied it's techniques, and often brought these principles with them as they began building cities in the New World.   Areas such as Indonesia and Asia still use these principals of feng shui and sacred geometry even today.
 
Only if we understand the history of the location we live in, its inherent natural energies, as well what has been done to the land, can we change our future, as we heal the past through what we have learned.  You cannot simply demolish a structure or bury a toxic substance and expect, harmonious, life enhancing energies to follow.  The energy must be dealt with from the ground up and at a sacred level giving respect to Nature, as the ancient cultures once did.  Unfortunately, as a largely materialistic society, this has rarely been done in the US, after the desecration of land by industries that sought only profit and did not think about future generations, as they ravaged the natural life enhancing energies of the land where they built their manufacturing facilities.  
 
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to experience living in a variety of different cities and countries, many of which had very powerful Earth energies which had examples of architecture which were created intending to harness the Earth energies existing there.  Most challenging within my own life, has been my experience returning to the region of WNY where I grew up.  This area is comprised of twelve counties and home to one of the natural wonders of the world— Niagara Falls.  It is also home to many forms of architecture which I believe were constructed using information passed on by the master builders of Europe who employed sacred geometry and were aware of the importance of chosing certain locations to enhance the energy and integrity of their structures (photo of McKinley Monument, Niagara Square, Buffalo, NY).   
 
Four lion sculptures surrounding an obelisk at Niagara Square face the cross quarter directions (southeast and west, northeast and west) which symbolize guardianship of Earth energies and power within the city of Buffalo.  Interestingly these directions also represent wealth, partnerships, benefactors and wisdom in terms of the compass directions of the ancient art of feng shui.  I don't think this is to be overlooked because Buffalo's power was once based on economic wealth, but it is also the city of helpful people and community, where people always come together to help their neighbors in need.  I believe it is also a place where people use their experiences of hardship to gain wisdom and offer greater compassion to their communities and to the world.
 
Niagara Falls is a tremendous powerhouse of energy consisting of three separate waterfalls, which are the highest in the world and it has been a popular tourist destination in this region for many years.  The Falls border both USA and Canada.  There are also many different creeks in WNY which conjoin with the Niagara River which eventually empties water from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario.  Both fresh water lakes are part of the five Great Lakes of North America which comprise the largest body of fresh water on Earth.  These natural water sources contributed to the rising power and reputation of the city of Buffalo, NY and the eventual affluence of the surrounding region in the 1800s.  They are also an extremely important source of fresh water for the region. 
 
Water has long been held sacred by ancient cultures because of it's life giving force and also it's means to generate wealth to those who control it.  Six (originally five) tribes of the Iroquois Conferacy lived in the WNY region prior to the arrival of the Europeans.   The Seneca, one of these original tribes, are known as "The Keepers of the Western Door," which is symbolic in many ways, not least of which I believe is the association with the divine feminine energies of water in this area.  The Door can be seen as the entrance into the womb of Gaia (the spirit of the Earth) and the sacredness of the surrounding landscape given it's powerful water energies and life giving force (photo of the Rose Garden in Delaware Park, Buffalo)
 
The Senecas and other Iroquois tribes knew that whoever controlled this area would yield power, but I believe they also knew it was something to be held sacred and not abused. A door is also a threshold or opening to be respected, and in this case, it was the door to the new frontier and the rest of Northern America, a place for new ideals and freedom from oppressive systems. I don't think the responsibility of this Western Door should have been taken lightly, and least of all desecrated by industry. It is even possible that perhaps, some areas should never have been built upon because they were too sacred, but we will never know for sure. We can only learn from the mistakes that have been made.
 
In some Native American traditions, the West symbolizes our ancestors and the past, perseverance when challenged, as well as  self knowledge and our understanding of life's meaning.  The Seneca, a nation whose very principles were based on peace and the Iroquois Constitution known as the Sacred Tree of Peace, were warned by one of their prophets, a wise man named Handsome Lake, to maintain their ways of ceremony and spirituality after the arrival of the Europeans to this area, in order to ensure the survival of the Iroquois people.  It is unfortunate that the Senecas were eventually pushed further and further off their lands within WNY by the Holland Land Company who eventually sold most of the former Seneca lands to wealthy businessmen and developers.  Nevertheless, I believe that the spirit of the Wisdomkeepers or Guardians of this region continue to hold a sacred space within WNY and that this natural healing power will one day rise again to restore it's rightful place in the new paradigm of sustainability for this Earth.
 
Buffalo was once a wealthy, prosperous city built up by it’s proximity to the Erie Canal, Niagara Falls and the Great Lakes.  It was originally called “The City of Light” because it was the first urban area in the US to experience electricity due to the work of Nikola Tesla and the natural hydro power of the Falls.  My understanding is that this name was also given to Buffalo because it was considered a mecca of spiritual awareness during the 19th century, drawing people from all over the world including famous avante garde and revivalist architects and craftsmen, as well as many esoteric thinkers (photo of Gates Circle, Buffalo). 
 
The plan for the city of Buffalo, NY was designed in a radial pattern symbolizing the sun, said to be built in accordance with sacred geometry by the land surveyor  Joseph Ellicott,  who assimilated many of the ideas of his brother Andrew Ellicott who planned the city of Washington, DC.   Downtown Buffalo contains a phenomenal park system designed by famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted who also designed Central Park in New York City.  Interestingly the four lions of Niagara Square also symbolize the energy of Leo ruled by the Sun in astrological terms, representing the life giving forces of  the sun and fire combining with the surrounding water inherent within the Buffalo landscape.  Fire energy is also reflected in fault lines which represent fire or dragon lines within the Earth in terms of geomancy.  Though conflicting energies, they can work harmoniously together when properly utilized and integrated.
 
Buffalo was also the site for the Pan American Exposition in 1901 and is home to some of the most incredible displays of architecture including the Blessed Trinity Church, St. Paul's Cathedral and Darwin Martin House built by Frank Lloyd Wright, among a long list of other beautiful buildings.  The Blessed Trinity Church is an example of Romanesque architecture at its finest created by skilled and passionate craftsmen and it is imbued with rich symbolism including the Ten Commandments and signs of the Zodiac inside its walls, a wonderful representation of the Divine influence not only of the Creator, but also of the Cosmos in man's life.  A work of art such as this cathedral would be difficult, if not impossible to recreate today due to the specialized abilities and intentions of its builders, expertise which possibly no longer exists in this day and age.  St. Paul's Cathedral built in 1851, another amazing feat of architecture reflecting the interest in Gothic Revival at that time, can still can be experienced today as it sits on its triangular lot in downtown Buffalo (photo of St. Paul's Cathedral below). 
 
Later with the advent of the steel, auto and other industries, this magnificent city with its beautiful architecture, began to decline as the land was desecrated and any attempts at infrastructure failed miserably.  A once powerful and sacred area to the Native Americans, Buffalo and its surrounding region became an area of failed industry, urban sprawl, poverty, disease and crime.  
 
Niagara Falls which is fueled by the rich energy of the mighty Niagara River became one of those areas desecrated by the chemical industries and dumping of nuclear waste after WWII giving way to pollution, economic failure, poverty and tragic stories such as  Love Canal.  Tremendous amounts of toxic waste were buried in the land during the height of manufacturing eventually seeping into the water and air causing disease and birth defects for its residents during the 1970s and still continuing today.*  Toxic wastes don't just miraculously disappear even if people stop focusing their attention on them.  People just seemingly learn to cope with their results.
 
Western New York has extremely high rates of unemployment, with minimal opportunities so many eventually chose to leave this area in search of work and a better life.  As people loose their livelihood and/or succumb to disease and struggle, either they turn to God and their faith and often channel this into creative expression or compassion for others, or ancestral patterns begin to emerge and people turn to substance abuse and other forms of self-abuse when they no longer respect themselves. Often times this anger and despair gets channelled in a variety of negative ways.  If you do not respect yourself, how can you possibly respect the Earth, which is part of yourself, as well as all life within your environment? So it becomes a vicious circle of patterns held within the Earth and within a city.
 
The county of Erie within WNY has some of the highest rates of cancer  in New York State (with the exception of NYC), as well as high incidences of depression, thyroid disease, and muscular dystrophy in this area. Cancer and thyroid imbalances are often linked to geopathic stress, which is land that is generally stressed by improper use by humans, though it can exist naturally due to fault lines which may generate noxious energies from beneath the Earth's crust that are harmful to human and animal health.   I don't think it's a coincidence that we have a leading cancer treatment and research center such as Roswell Park in this region (photo of the Buffalo Psych Center). 
 
As mentioned, Buffalo does lie on a fault line and has experienced minor earthquakes in the past. Fault lines are fire energy and not only can they generate noxious energies, but also their negative aspects are symbolic of a division or rift in Earth energies and also in ideology of the people inhabiting the area, often contributing to differences of opinion and argumental energies.  I'm sure this has contributed to the conflicting views on infrastructure in this area and it's lack of cohesive development.  I also see this as a sign of the spiritual/material conflict which I believes lies at the heart of the rise and fall of Buffalo, as well as this surrounding region.  Without respect for Nature and its lands, a society is doomed to fail economically at some point and I believe this is what eventually happened here and continues to impede the restoration of vibrancy to this area.
 
I also believe that when patterns of land abuse exist, Mother Nature cries out and these patterns manifest themselves in many different forms including domestic violence, animal and child abuse, all which are highly prevalent in this area.  The key energetic pattern being abuse. Erie County alone has the 2nd highest rate of child abuse in New York State. Domestic violence is also often linked to animal abuse which is also very common here.  A recent report by a local news station highlighted the increasing rise of domestic violence seen in the Western New York area(photo of Green Woman Statue at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo).  
 
Are all these things a coincidence?  I think not when you have an understanding of Nature and geomancy (the study of Earth energies) as I do.  All  humans and the cities they inhabit have a shadow self, and in order to heal that side, you must look at it.  That is why I have included some not so pretty statistics and topics in this article, things which many people would rather not talk about, but they need to be recognized in order to be understood and healed. Sometimes life, including understanding and wisdom, is like a giant jigsaw puzzle.  You have to put all the pieces together before you can see the whole picture accurately and then it starts to make sense. 
 
Patterns can be changed by human intention and action, by working co-creatively with Nature to restore what once was.  The purpose of this three part story is to reflect on the magnificence of what this area once was and inherently still is.  By recognizing both WNY's strengths and what contributed to what I believe was this region's downfall and subsequent disruption of life enhancing energies of this region, I hope to provide a reference for other cities around the world, in terms of helping to understand the energies of their locations, as well as to prevent similar outcomes for those in developing nations where indigenous peoples are currently fighting to prevent the desecration of their lands.
 
Read Part 2.
 
 
With Blessings of Nature's Wisdom!
 
 
All photos are compliments of Matt Roginski Photography and are reprinted here with permission.
 
*A Special Note:  On the date of this posting, an article entitled "Has Love Canal's Demon Returned?" was printed on the front page of  The Buffalo News.  The majority of this article originally published under a different name can be viewed here.
 
2013 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
 
 
References and Further Reading:
 
 
Bopp, J, Bopp, M, Brown, L, & Lane Jr, P. The Sacred Tree: Reflections on Native American Spirituality,  Twin Lakes, WI, Lotus Light Publications, 1989.
 
 
 
 
New York State, Department of Health
 
New York State, Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence