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inspirational living arts
Remembering Charlotte: Message from an Orbweaver
|Posted on November 1, 2014 at 2:55 PM||comments (10)|
As time goes on I realize that so much of what we've been taught or have a tendency to fear is actually associated with balance and light. This story is about a marbled orbweaver spider that I found this summer in one of my gardens. I named her Charlotte after the spider in the book "Charlotte's Web" by American author E.B. White. I had always enjoyed the book and later also the movie because it held a special message regarding seeing the world differently and how sometimes the seemingly impossible can be achieved (photo of an orbweaver spider by Nicholas Ta).
I observed Charlotte on a regular basis this past summer over several months weaving a new web every night. As I came to know this tiny creature better, I realized there were many things she had to teach me. Perhaps most would find it unusual that I would spend time writing about a garden spider, but I felt very strongly about sharing Charlotte's story particularly at Halloween time here in the US. Perhaps also some reading this would learn to appreciate and respect this highly persecuted and misunderstood insect which I believe is one of the most creative of God's tiny creatures alongside the honeybee, albeit in a very different way
One day I woke up to find a myriad of beautiful dew covered webs all throughout my gardens. The effect was purely magical and I marveled at how many of these spiders were actually in my gardens. Someone who is afraid of spiders would definitely have been overwhelmed, but for me it was the opposite. I realized how far my gardens had come and how revitalized this little plot of land now was, something I had written about previously in a blog. The land had once mostly been just lawn and now this backyard was teaming with biodiversity with all sorts of beneficial insects, birds, flowers and wildlife. My new hive of honeybees were doing well and I had so many varieties of orbweaver spiders to keep a healthy balance in my ecosystem. This balance would in turn draw new forms of wildlife. Each day I would observe Charlotte and acknowledge her in some way as I took my walk through the gardens.
The time came when I saw that Charlotte could no longer weave her beautiful web and only a few strands at best. Her body was about the size of a dime, full and round and looking like it could burst. I knew it was nearing the time when she would lay her eggs and then die as in the book. It saddened me to think that this little garden friend I had come to know was leaving. She stayed a few more days until she weaved no longer and then one morning she was gone, having descended to the ground to go back into the earth from whence she came. I knew I would miss her.
As I thought about Charlotte and the progression of her life, I knew I had gained a new found respect for this particular type of spider called the marbled orbweaver. Unlike some other species of spiders, she only came out at night and each time she would weave a completely new web. Inevitably it would become damaged throughout the day and sometimes completely destroyed either from the weather or from animals and insects.
It amazed me that Charlotte would tirelessly weave her beautiful and complex creation anew each and every night one strand at a time. I thought about how hard it would be for humans to create a work of art or a garden from scratch only to have it eventually destroyed repeatedly. I had certainly felt that anguish and frustration with my own gardens after I had left certain homes in the past. Here was this tiny spider weaving a work of art every night. What a monumental task for a creature so small and with so short a lifespan. So much could be gained by humans if we had nearly as much resilience and wherewithal in striving toward our goals or completing creations despite whatever came our way.
One day a really tiny spider also taught me something after Charlotte left. It was another dew covered morning when I spotted a new web in one of my fir trees. This spider had built a spectacular web between some branches one night. The spider was nowhere to be seen, so I assumed it was another marbled orbweaver because they tend to hide during the day, but I was wrong. To my astonishment the following day I found a very tiny spider had built this huge new web. I thought perhaps she was a baby orbweaver. I called her Maya for illusion, but she quickly disappeared. Maya had created a web to rival that of any orbweaver much larger than her own size simply by using the same principals of weaving. Her small size and seeming limitations had not hindered her in the least.
It appears the last of the orbweavers have laid their eggs and died due to the colder temperatures but they have all left me with admiration and a new awareness and thoughts about the mysteries of the universe. What task lies before you that seems to be overwhelming? Do you ever think that your own actions cannot effect change because you are only one person? What are you weaving in your web of influence? What seems out of reach at this time? We are only limited by our beliefs. Perhaps we can take inspiration from the tiniest of beings that surround us and weave something new and more spectacular in this world.
Blessings of Creativity!
2014 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
Gardening with Faith
|Posted on August 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM||comments (0)|
Bee Feng Shui: the Energy of Space
|Posted on September 7, 2013 at 11:01 AM||comments (4)|
Bee Swarming: a Message of Rebirth
|Posted on August 6, 2013 at 1:10 PM||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 (0)|
Dandelions: a Source of Inspiration
|Posted on May 8, 2013 at 4:05 PM||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 (157)|
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:
Dr. Mercola, Should You Protect Yourself From Earth Radiation?
Copyright 2013 Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
Honoring the Girls: a Day in the Life (and Death) of Honeybees
|Posted on October 18, 2012 at 11:22 AM||comments (3)|
This is my first year beekeeping and although I'm so happy to have my own hive and see and feel the vibrancy that these bees bring to my landscape, it has also been a learning experience which at times is saddening and frustrating.
A few weeks ago I went out to check my girls (only the females work, as the male drones are just there to inseminate the queen and eventually die or are pushed out of the hive) and much to my dismay found many of them grounded or clinging to the side of the hive loaded with pollen. I knew something was wrong because ordinarily they would be depositing their pollen treasures into the hive, but these girls wouldn't enter and many were wandering around in a daze.
Pesticides were the culprit most likely. Honeybees will not bring toxins into their hives. Despite having travelled many miles and visited up to 100 flowers, these girls could only collapse in front of their home, symbolically honoring their queen with these hard won bounties. It is a sad sight to see for a caring beekeeper. How these workers managed to navigate their pollen laden bodies with the contamination of pesticides from the flowers they had visited is an unimaginable feat for one so tiny. These girls have to beat their little wings up to 12,000 times per second in order to carry a load of pollen back home. Visiting up to 2,000 flowers in one day, honey bees are exhausted in a few weeks when their short lives end and their tattered wings show all they've endured.
Most people don't realize how important the honey bee is to our food system as estimates have been put at 1/3 of our entire food supply being pollinated by honey bees. They are highly intelligent beings and display a complex communication network that has been researched and documented. Their hive is comprised of an equally complex system that includes one queen, workers that feed and care for the queen as well as the nursery, plus workers that forage for pollen, guards that stand vigillant at the entrance for intruders and also undertakers that take out the deceased bees and/or intruders. All that being said, I think it's time these girls deserve a bit more respect.
Recently at my son's soccer game I sat next to a woman and her granddaughter who kept referring to yellow jacket wasps as "bees" as they were systematically drowning them in a juice bottle. At one point I clarified that these were not in fact bees, but wasps and yet this woman continued to refer to them in front of this little girl as bees.
This is not the first time I've seen this type of aggression toward wasps by humans and this identification of them as "bees". While yellow jacket wasps may be annoying and can certainly cause injury, they are also pollinators and serve a vital role in a balanced ecosystem. People just don't realize that their attitude towards insects is affecting everything we do on this planet to eradicate them. This improper identification with anything that stings only perpetuates this negative attitude. Truthfully, we could not live without stinging pollinators because there is so much work that they do, that most will never realize or appreciate until it may be too late.
Honey bees are not aggessive. My 10 y.o. son occasionally helps me work with our hive and we have both observed the girls in action. Honey bees will generally only sting to defend their hive or themselves if they are suddenly startled or fear aggression due to someone's negative state of mind or carelessness.
Last weekend I spent a few hours helping a friend harvest honey from his hives. I have yet to harvest the honey from our hive and may wait until spring to do so to allow the bees enough honey to survive the winter. But we are already looking forward to sampling our very own honey for the first time and gathering wax to eventually make our own candles. I know my son is excited about both of these activities. I also know that next year our gardens will be much more vibrant due to all the work the honey bees did during the summer to pollinate the flowers. I look forward to the forthcoming years as the land heals continuously due in large part to all the work that the honey bees will have done. I hope that eventually more people will learn about beekeeping and decide to help these little creatures survive this imbalance that man has brought upon them. I know that I am profoundly grateful to my girls for teaching me the ways of this Earth and learning to check my own energy field on a constant basis.
If you live in WNY and are interestedin learning more about beekeeping, you can contact the
WNY Honey Producers Association which holds regular meetings and occasional workshops on issues related to beekeeping including how to get started with your own hive. Most cities and towns will have a similar organization to help you meet beekeepers and learn more about this amazing art.
I highly recommend you do your research and connect with these people or a mentor before attempting to keep bees on your own. There was a time when people apprenticed and spent a great deal of time learning the art of beekeeping because there truly is alot to learn, but it's well worth the effort. The benefits of a revitalized landscape cannot be measured in monetary terms. It is something that you begin to see and feel in your heart and in so doing, you know that your own well being is being supported by these miraculous creatures.
Bountiful Harvest Blessings!
Copyright 2012 Awen Environments / Clarissa Harison.
The Summer of Orb Weavers
|Posted on September 9, 2012 at 11:12 AM||comments (178)|
This summer I had the opportunity to experience the benefits of a re-vitalized ecosystem with many songbirds, pollinators, butterflies and other beneficial insects returning to my own backyard. I had the awesome moment of witnessing the emergence of a beautiful swallowtail butterfly from its chrysalis just because I left a section of my yard unmowed.
I saw the return of numerous orb weaver spiders which I've found to be the only predators of the destructive Japanese beetle. Orb weavers are a sure sign of the revitalization of the landscape and their arrival is one I look forward to, not despise, because I know the land is healing and balance is being restored. I also got to listen to the Choir of the Crickets once again, something I usually just hear while camping or at the lake. They are no doubt, bringing a higher vibration to the land.
Though my yard may look unruly to the meticulously groomed, pesticide ridden yards of many neighboring properties in my suburban area, I know that restoring ecology to my own backyard is not only good for the environment, but also for my own health and that of my child, as well as our pets and the overall community. A great book I read many years ago on this topic is Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards. Although this book was written in the 90's, Sara Stein was well ahead of her time in recognizing that the gardening and landscaping methods we had grown accustomed to and come to accept as 'normal' in our society are actually destroying our environment and cannot be sustained indefinitely. That is, if we want to have a healthy future for our children and this planet to survive.
While I love the philosophy and information within this book, I will say however, that I do take exception to the author's use of the Monsanto herbicide Round-up and the burning of fields to eliminate unwanted plants. I don't agree with using any chemical in the garden including the 'seemingly harmless' glyphosates which have since been proven to be the contrary. Nor do I feel it is necessary to burn a landscape in order to place what you want in a meadow. I also don't believe it's necessary to only use native plants in your landscape. There are many, many medicinal/healing advantages to having exotic and naturalized plants in your landscape, so eliminating one for the sake of the other is not in my opinion, the answer. Finding a balance between both worlds is. If a plant is growing wild in your yard, there's a reason that usually only Nature knows and plants follow people when they are needed.
Being different is not always easy, however. One weekend I witnessed one of my neighbors discussing my property with a guest at his backyard party. I was mowing the lawn and wanted to go right over to him and tell him what I knew and how I felt. Not only had this more recent development of homes pushed all the water from the previously existing wetland onto my property, but also the subsequent common use of pesticides from these homeowners had contributed to making the soil into an unhealthy, unproductive hard pan which reaked of decay when I first moved there over 2 years ago.
I wanted to say all of these things, but I didn't because I knew it would only insight anger and increase tensions between us. Instead, I chose to continue with my mowing and I write about my experiences here on this blog, in hopes that eventually people will wake up and realize that what they are doing is so contrary to the well being of this planet and the very health of humanity and all life. I know I've said this before, but I will continue saying it until I see the last of the yellow signs in my neighborhood and community because it continues to amaze me how many people are still unaware. Last night as I took a run through this neighborhood, I could just smell all the pesticide residues from the yellow signed properties, definitely not a healthy place to take a walk or be running, let alone allow a child to play.
Of great concern is also the activities that recently took place in cities like Dallas, TX and New York City, as well as states like Massachusetts and Pennsylvania with aerial spraying of pesticides to combat the West Nile Virus. I believe many were unaware of these municipal sprayings as they were done during early morning hours and others expressed little or no concern to this activity which not only harms useful pollinators, but also animals and humans. Which town or city will be next? What is truly needed is for the restoration of healthy landscapes which support beneficial insect predators and other forms of wildlife which create balance. An excess of any type of insect is a sure sign of imbalance and spraying chemical pesticides will not resolve the problem, only create more imbalance and disease.
This excessive need to control our natural environment I believe stems from very deep rooted emotional issues and imbalances in our society and our ancestral DNA that need to be overcome and healed. Attempting to control something so powerful as Nature is a wasted effort and so not in alignment with the way life should be. Please give even just a little bit of space to Nature by allowing her to do what she does best. Choose to live gracefully and in awe and respect of Nature, and then she will bring you bountiful blessings beyond what you can imagine.
Blessings of Awareness!
2012 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
Initiation into the Realm of Bees: a Lesson on Chaos
|Posted on June 6, 2012 at 12:00 PM||comments (6)|
I'm convinced that chaos is the new norm, and that the challenge is all in how we deal with it. A few weekends ago, after much deliberation and some setbacks due to an unforeseen incident, my son and I picked up our new bee colony from a local beekeeper. Due to a severe accident that left this beekeeper temporarily in a wheelchair for many months, our bee colony was delayed and at one point, I resigned to the possibility that we might not be able to do beekeeping at all this year.
When this beekeeper's family stepped up and filled their customers' orders, we surprisingly were able to pick up our bees after a mini workshop on beekeeping at this apiary the same day. It was to be the only introduction to hands on beekeeping that my 10 year old son and I would have before being immersed in a series of incidences and synchronicities that formed the basis for what I now know was an initiation into the realm of bees and their loving wisdom.
I feel it necessary to discuss a bit of background as to my history with the stinging insect realm. Several years ago, while my son was still a toddler, I experienced anaphylaxis, which was an extreme reaction to the sting of a yellow jacket wasp. I had been gardening and unbeknownst to me, suddenly found myself allergic to these creatures. Nearly losing my life that day and also being stung several more times in subsequent years, I began to contemplate the message that kept repeating itself. Why were the insects reacting this way to me? The answer was my energy field of anger/irritability which I was putting out into the environment every time I gardened, something I wrote about in a previous blog Gardening with Nature: the Wisdom of Insects.
I had to learn to conquer my fears in order to continue gardening and recently I faced my fears once again by picking up my bees. Anything that could have gone wrong, did, and yet we were never stung by our colony because my son and I had learned a valuable lesson. If you stay grounded, if you send the bees love, and you do not show fear, you will be just fine. The bees showed us that. Despite all the stress they went through, they never became aggressive toward us nor did we ever get stung.
All the beekeeping books will tell you that if a bee(s) is injured, they will give off a pheremone that signals to the other bees to be on guard and become defensive. What happened that weekend, was enough to have given us a multitude of bee stings, but it never happened because we remained calm, focused our intentions and deep down I believe the bees sensed we were wanting to help them and have them become our allies.
Because our beekeeper had been experiencing a series of personal challenges after his accident, a sequence of steps occurred which led to our bee experience. The enclosure not quite secure, I noticed a bee had managed to escape. Surprisingly the person loading my car assured me not to worry and advised us to just wear our veils during our 1 hour return trip. I thought he was crazy, but agreed to go ahead and I didn't care about the stares from passersby. Nevertheless, we were still vulverable and the trip became increasingly stressful as more and more bees began escaping from a tiny hole and we watched them gather at the back of my SUV. My son was a real trooper though and we kept assuring each other to remain calm.
When we reached home and after smoking our bees to calm them, I realized that it was not even clear to me how to install the bee colony in my hive since we had never received proper instructions amidst the simultaneous goings on of the workshop. Luckily I managed to reach the beekeeper who informed me that the bottom sheet of wood to the box needed to be taken off, but unfortunately he ran out of screws and so there were also nails to be taken out. Well, screws you can slowly unwind, but prying nails out while a colony of bees have been stressed and are anxious to fly out is another story. Since I do not chose to harm any living beings, I was horrified to say that in the midst of all these activities and due to lack of complete instructions, I stood the hive box on end in the wrong way and inadvertently caused major casualties to the colony. I was devastated but had to keep moving all the while knowing that if the bees sensed my fear, we would be in trouble. My son stepped up, keeping calm and continuously smoking our bees as I took all the necessary actions to install the colony in their new home.
What a sense of accomplishment my son and I felt as we managed to get everything set up without a sting and we saw the bees slowly begin filtering out of their new home and drinking at our bird bath. Several hours later, a single, solitary bee came up to me and followed me around the garden. When I finally managed to let her land on my hand, she began grooming herself as if to say "we know you did your best and didn't mean to hurt us." It was a tremendously endearing moment for me which I will always remember. Later that night, I remembered the words of one of my Native American teachers who told me that sometimes animals we encounter do what's called a "give away" which means that the creature will sacrifice itself in order to assist us from the realm of spirit. Because the bees are communal in nature, it stands to reason that a multitude had to die to send this message to me. I knew that in that moment, the bees had become our allies and would be our lifelong teachers.
The lessons didn't end that day, however. The following afternoon while my son and I were hiking with two other people along Lake Erie, we happened upon a wild swarm of bees that were making a new home in an old oak tree in the woods. Having experienced enough stress for one weekend, my son was reluctant to stay on the trail and walk through the swarm, but I assured him this was no coincidence and that we came upon the bees for a reason. If we could manage to walk through the swarm without injury, we would have passed our initiation into the realm of bees. After some coaxing from our trail guides who walked through unharmed, my son and I both faced our fears once again and felt a tremendous sense of exhilaration from walking through this time a colony of bees that were probably not used to human contact and yet, once again we remained unharmed.
I am still in awe from our experience with the bees and I know there will be other challenges to face, but I know we will get through them. What matters is not what happens to us, but how we deal with and face the challenges we are presented with. This is increasingly becoming the message that I am receiving via Nature as the Earth and economies continue to shift, and we are faced with chaos that needs to be dealt with. There is so much that can be learned from the bees and all of Nature, if only we pay attention to the messages and confront our own innermost fears.
"Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved." excerpt from The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd
Blessings from the Bees!
2012 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
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