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     Awen Environments

                                                inspirational living arts

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Message to a Raccoon: a Story of Regret

Posted on November 11, 2012 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (2)
You never had a chance little one.  I'm so sorry that I failed you.  You looked at me with those soulful eyes as if to say, "I know I'm safe.  I know you won't hurt me." and then you curled back up and went to sleep in your empty dumpster.  They took all your trees away years ago to build this business complex.  Maybe your home once stood in this very same spot.  And now they call  you  the intruder.  You were just being creative-- making the best out of a situation, but they don't get it.
 
I tried to tell you that they would come and kill you, but you didn't seem to be concerned.  I went for help and was given false hope.  They told me you'd be fine and no one would harm you.  This had been going on for a while.  Everything was being taken care of and I shouldn't concern myself.  I trusted them as you trusted me, but I was so wrong.
 
I went back to work, but I thought about your little masked face throughout the day.   I checked on you later when I got the mail, but you were gone.  Then I saw the signs-- the blood stained carpet where you had once curled your plump body and more blood in the corner where you most likely met our Creator.  I'm sure your friends and family met a similar fate all summer long, but this time I was there to bear witness.
 
I'm so sorry little one that they don't value your life as I do.  They don't understand, do they?  When I confronted your killer, he told me you were a nuisance and couldn't be relocated.  He had a license to trap and by law that gave him the power over your seemingly insignificant life.  I raged at him, but that would not bring you back nor would it ease the pain I felt at having trusted someone's words rather than my own intuition.
 
When I contacted the authorities they gave me the same response.  Your life was of little value and they would have done the same.  It didn't matter that you never had a chance or that you never showed aggression toward me.  I know they say all of you are nasty, but I know different.  Of course you will defend yourself when in danger as most wild animals will do, but you are also extremely bright, playful and curious-- the very attributes that often contribute to your untimely death.
 
I can't forget your eyes and the calm way you looked at me that last time. Forgive me little one, for not taking the right action.  Forgive me for trusting the wrong person.  Forgive me for not being a greater voice in your defense.  May your playful spirit be free, little one.  And may something good come from all of this.  May the humans come to understand the error of their ways and your significance.  May they one day realize the need to respect the wild ones whose homes they take for their own selfish needs.  How foolish they are to think they are greater than you....
 
Heartfelt Blessings to the Wild Animal World.
 
 
 
2012 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
 
For Mimi who taught me so many years ago about the incredible personalities and intelligence of raccoons, as well as how to face my fears head on.  And for my unfortunate little friend who reminded me recently how far we have yet to come as humans with regard to respect for all life on this planet.

Honoring the Girls: a Day in the Life (and Death) of Honeybees

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 11:22 AM Comments 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 interested
in 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!
 
 
Reference:
 
 
Copyright 2012 Awen Environments / Clarissa Harison.

The Summer of Orb Weavers

Posted on September 9, 2012 at 11:12 AM Comments comments (12)
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.
 
 
 

Removing Obstacles and Restoring Flow: a Lesson on Perseverance

Posted on August 10, 2012 at 8:02 PM Comments comments (2)
Some times we know that something is bothering us and we refuse to acknowledge or do something about it.  I've lived in my present home for over two years now, never really paying attention to a clothesline pole that stood in my backyard.  That is, not until recently.  The pole was mounted with concrete and stuck adjacent to a mandala garden that I created to inspire and anchor healing energies when I moved in.  The rusted pole had probably been there since the 1950's, once useful, but now an eyesore. 
 
This summer I suddenly began focusing on how the pole took away from the beauty of the garden and also became a possible hazard as I took my nightly walks around the property with our two dogs.  The obstruction became more and more annoying as the days passed.   Nevertheless, I felt helpless to do much about it since it was anchored in the ground quite firmly, weighed alot and would probably require a huge amount of effort and possibly equipment which I didn't have, to remove it.
 
Eventually something inspired me to begin digging in the hope that the concrete might not run too deep and I could remove it myself.  I spent considerable time digging only to be able to get the pole to move ever so slightly.  I finally gave up, tired and frustrated and the pile of soil and sod lay strewn on the ground for weeks until one day a friend who helps me with my beehive came over.  He felt the pole and said "it's almost there."  I was so surprised at his words because I had felt the situation hopeless and had just recently resigned to replacing the soil and covering everything up again.  His comment was just the impetus I needed.
 
Having found renewed inspiration in just a few words from a friend and feeling the need to release some frustration from a personal situation that was creating a great deal of irritation and angst within me, I decided to continue my efforts.  I began digging furiously, moving more soil and actually hitting the pole with the back side of an axe.  It was a great way to release the negative emotions that had been accumulating in me for quite some time.  I'm sure I must have appeared obsessed by any neighbors who might have seen me that day, but I didn't care. 
 
Although I felt the pole start to wobble more, it still seemed lodged deeply in the ground. Suddenly it occured to me that it was more important than I realized that I remove this ugly, heavy energy from my garden space and so I gathered my dowsing rods to test the influence and direction of energy that it was creating on the land.  I was not surprised to find that the sphere of influence of its energy was quite large and the radiation of the energy was quite negative, anchoring downward flowing energies into the Earth and disallowing cosmic energies to create balance. 
 
Since the Earth has a grid of meridians and energetic points all over the planet, I knew intuitively this iron pole and its anchoring cement was creating a hugh blockage to the health and balance of the entire property.  The same can happen in our own body when a chakra becomes blocked, eventually leading to disease.  I also remembered that cement was composed of less than desireable materials which drain Earth energies and can actually contribute to cancer as the cement deteriorates into the soil and surrounding subterranean waters.  Many farmers know that if you put a battery on concrete, it will drain it and so you should always put a piece of wood between the two.  I knew that having this pole thrust into the land combined with the concrete was creating a disturbance and blocking the natural occuring energies that were beneficial on the land.
 
I then summoned all my guides from the realm of spirt to help me muster my greatest strength to dislodge this blockage and restore balance to my home and to my life.  What happened next surprised me and yet, similar things had happened in the past.  I made one more effort, digging again furiously and suddenly I felt the entire pole become unstable and dislodge.  It was as if I needed to recognize the significance of this blockage and call upon help to reinforce my strength, which suddenly became greater than what I thought to be possible.  The job was not quite finished though, as I struggled to figure out how to get a 2 ft. block of cement with attached pole out of the large hole I had created.  I began digging again and managed to move the piece further to the point I could used the weight of my body to create a fulcrum for balance and move the piece out of the hole. 
 
What happened during those moments totally took me by surprise.  I felt a sudden surge of energy rush through my body, accompanied by such a tremendous release of frustration and suppressed emotions that I let out a huge gasp as the piece was removed.  This blockage in the land had coincided with the blockages in my own body.  Ever since moving into the house, it seemed that despite my best efforts, I had often been exhausted and filled with negative emotions due to constant problems that seemed to occur.  I sensed that so much of this was gone and the source of my irritation had been released with a tremendous sense of exhilaration that I hadn't experienced in a long time.  I had accomplished something I originally thought unimportant and later overwhelming and impossible, and yet extremely significant for my own well being and that of the land.
 
Later that day as I walked the property surveying and admiring all the work I had accomplished creating gardens, re-establishing wildlife habitat and creating my own sacred space, I felt such a tremendous sense of gratitude for my perserverance and fortitude in continuing my work and research despite my own doubts and continuous challenges that were presented in my life.  Seeing the space where the rusted pole had once stood, provided such a sense of satisfaction that I wondered how I had tolerated it's being there these past two years and why I hadn't done something about it sooner.
 
Sometimes the little things mean alot.  In fact, most times they affect us more than we realize.  And sometimes all we need is some words of encouragement from a friend to help us accomplish something seemingly impossible that can change our life and our perspective of reality.
 
Blessings of Inspiration!
 
2012 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
 
 
 
 
 

Earth Energies: What is Your Home Telling You?

Posted on July 3, 2012 at 12:21 PM Comments comments (6)
Does your home speak to you?  Are the channels of energy running freely on your property?  Do you pay attention?  Land has chakras (energy centers) just like people do.  I pay attention to every subtle little nuance that takes place in my home and on the land.  Sometimes the messages are blatant, like when something breaks down or becomes clogged, but other times they are more subtle, requiring insightfulness and awareness. 
 
When you work with the energy of your home as I do, you begin to see the unfolding of new life on the land such as new flowers or wildlife, improvements in your health and well being or relationships with neighbors change.  Sometimes there is also an ugly phase where things surface, relationships become explosive and accidents or illnesses occur.  It's all part of the process of releasing the past, old memories, energy patterns or toxins held within the land and in your home.  Knowing why you chose your particular home is half the battle and the first step toward improving your life and the well being of all that surrounds you.
 
I happen to live on a property that is incredibly sensitive energetically and physically because it is affected by underground streams of water and Hartmann lines, energetic grids of energy that emanate from the Earth.  Hartmann lines occur when natural existing energies emanating from the Earth combine with electrical interferences.  These energy fields have been scientifically proven and measured.  They are also typical in urban and suburban areas.  It is said that animals and people will sense an earthquake 16 hours prior to its occurence, if their home has Hartmann lines running through it. 
 
It took me a while to recognize this pattern, but then it dawned on me one day that the reoccurences I was seeing in the behavior of my animals, the flowers in my gardens, and in me were being determined by this energy that ran through the land.  I would see flowers like Tradescantia (spiderwort) and Queen Anne's Lace (wild carrot) collapse suddenly for no apparent reason, my cats would become incorrigible, and I would be edgy and irritable or anxious.  Because I'm so sensitive, I knew I was feeling the shifting of energetic grids in the Earth when an earthquake occurred and eventually I was able to verify it after doing some further geomancy research.  For more information on geopathic stress, Earth energies and specifically Hartmann lines visit Richard Creightmore's research on this topic.  I found his extensive work to be supportive of many of my own conclusions, as well as supported by a wide variety of resources.
 
There is also the issue of the vitality of your land.  The natural geomagnetic field that exists on this planet is 7.83 hz which is necessary for all life to exist as we know it here on Earth.  When this vibration falls too low where there is little life force or too high where there is a great deal of electrical interference whether man made or naturally occuring underneath the Earth's surface, there will be signs of disturbance.  Plants, animals and people are all affected by this imbalance of energies.   They will display it in various ways whether it is through illness, weakness and irritablity, or exhaustion and depression. 
 
A common sign of low vitality on your land is areas where nothing will grow or trees become diseased and deformed eventually dying, contorting away from underground streams or other forms of interference.  Plants, fruits and vegetable growth will also be stunted such as berries that never reach mature size because there's not enough cosmic life force drawing them upward.
 
It doesn't matter where you live, the same laws prevail all around this planet.  Plants, animals and human beings will thrive where the energies are balanced and supporting of their natural systems of equilibrium.  Where it is not, you will see signs of decay, difficulty, and even disease and death because the energetic patterns are such that they support the destructive activities initiated by parasites and other micro-organisms which create the continuous process of breaking down material in order to recycle into new life.  In truth, we could not live without these microorganisms because they provide a vital service to this planet.  Would you want to live in an area that is going through a process of decomposition?  Absolutely not.  It will pull down your energy and make you susceptible to a myriad of problems.  In order to remain healthy, we all need to be in areas that are supportive of life.
 
The Earth needs to maintain this delicate balance between Earth energies and cosmic energies (influences from the sun, moon and planets) in order to maintain equilibrium.  Unfortunately, where man has intervened, this is often not the case.  Visionaries such as Viktor Schauberger and Rudolf Steiner discussed this delicate balance in many of their writings.  Although both passed away some time ago, we are at a crucial stage of this planet's evolution that was foretold by both of these men because Nature will always know the right way and will act accordingly to restore balance to her ecosystems and this planet.  This is evident in the increasing amount of natural disasters and Earth quakes being experienced around the globe. 
 
Ants and yellow jacket wasps in and around your home, for instance, are a common source of irritation for many and are an indication of geopathic stress and low earth energy.  They are vital however, because they are releasing formic acid which is necessary to all life, as well as to restore and revitalize dead soil on a landscape. Yellow dock and bull thistle plants are typically an indication of toxins in the soil.  Yellow dock is a liver cleanser if taken internally and it binds itself to harmful toxins and metals in the soil such as arsenic.  Queen Anne's Lace cleanses and aerates hard, lifeless soil and pulls nutrients from the subsoil with its long taproots.  Killing or pulling them out or using weed killers or pesticides is actually doing yourself a disservice, because you're not allowing these plants and insects to do their job.  These life forms know what they're supposed to do and that's why they're there to restore balance.
 
So what can one individual do to restore balance to a planet that seems more and more chaotic? You can work on your own home and/or plot of land to bring energy and vitality to your life, thereby affecting your community and the world at large. By revitalizing your land and restoring balanced systems that enhance and allow for the natural order of things to exist, you will essentially restore health and well being to your own life. Working with native and naturalized plant life and decreasing or eliminating chemical usage are a great way to start. Whatever's growing wild on your property is usually a great indication of what's lacking in soil vitality and Earth energies.
 
If you need help and don't know where to begin to address the myriad of problems facing you and your property, I can help identify energetic imbalances that can be corrected to help your gardens and landscape to flourish and your health and well being to improve.  Having a second set of eyes to evaluate and redirect imbalances that may be existing in your home and on your land may be all that you need to set you in the right direction.  Change begins with you and your landscape.  Why not make an investment in yourself and your long term well being?  You'll be glad you did.
 
Earth Blessings!
 
Reference:
 
Steiner, Rudolf, Bees, Steiner Books, 1998.
 
Copyright 2012 Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Initiation into the Realm of Bees: a Lesson on Chaos

Posted on June 6, 2012 at 12:00 PM Comments 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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Natural Remedies for Pet Wellness

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 11:11 AM Comments comments (6)
Every spring I see the common yellow signs posted on people's lawns for the beginning of the attack on insects that our society wages.  Unknowingly, well meaning people are perpetuating cycles in so many ways that only continue to harm this planet, as well as themselves and their pets. 
 
There are so many alternatives to chemicals that are commonly used on lawns and on pets.  While there's no doubt that fleas and other parasites are annoying and harmful, there are many insects which are vital and beneficial to a balanced landscape.  You cannot harm one without affecting the other so you must address the underlying issues.  The only way you can do that is by understanding why your pets or your landscape are susceptible to parasites and disease.
 
Our battle with fleas is a perpetual cycle of using chemicals which create long term problems for our pets and long term dependency on products that never really resolve the problem, in addition to being costly in terms of pet care.  I had been going through this with my rescued cats for many years until I learned about a wonderful product called CedarCide  made from cedar trees which actually eliminates flea problems in your home and on your pets and is harmless to your animals, your furnishings and you.  Rather than using spot treatments which are absorbed into the skin and create a build up of toxins in your pets' internal organs, cedar spray is a natural treatment which does not have any known residual effects.  The healing, purification and protective qualities of the cedar tree have long been known to Siberian and other ancient cultures around the world.   
 
Another product which I have used with success is human grade diatomaceous earth which is a powder made from once living tiny sea creatures.  This powder contains silica which is beneficial for creating healthy skin and fur, and it helps rid the intestines of unwanted parasites.  It can also be used by humans for a variety of health problems and to support the well being of the skin and other organs.  While this powder can be sprinkled on pets and carpets, I prefer to give it internally and use the cedar spray for topical treatments. Interestingly I've noticed alot of horsetail plants growing in my gardens which are a natural source of silica and are apparently needed by my landscape to restore balance. 
 
Addressing problems such as fleas and parasites with your pets is not just about fighting pests, but also about focusing on the wellness of your land and your use of chemicals and other toxins.  Parasites are drawn to unwell areas of imbalance.  Animals that become stressed due to poor unnatural diets and exposure to land that is sick will be more prone to parasites whether they are fleas or internal worms which eventually lead to degenerative diseases. 
 
Planting garlic, chives, tansy, mints and other medicinal plants in your gardens and in various places around your property is a great way of cleansing and protecting your land from parasites.  A word of caution when planting mints, however, because they can easily take over.  Distributing ashes from burnt herbs is another method of protecting your landscape.  Juliette Bairacli de Levy discusses this in her book  Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable.  It has long been known that animals succumb to disease when the land they inhabit is unwell.  In ancient times, indigenous cultures would allow their animals to graze on a piece of land observing their health, before dermining whether to build their homes in a particular place.  They knew that if their animals became sick, they too would eventually succumb to disease themselves.
 
Homeopathy can also be used to combat internal parasites and typically the symptoms your pet is displaying, aside from the parasites, are an indicator as to the type of remedy which can be used.  Some of these remedies include Sabadilla (a Mexican plant), Cina (a plant called wormseed or Artemesia which grows locally in WNY), Pulsatilla (wind flower) and Cuprum Oxydatum Nigrum to address a variety of different worms such as tapeworms, hookworms and roundworms.  While these remedies may take a bit longer to eradicate the parasites, they are not invasive to your pet and also address underlying issues that caused your animals susceptibility and compromised your pet's immune system in the first place.
 
Having become more familiar with the network of people around this country who are currently rescueing and attempting to relocate the tremendous overpopulation of dogs and cats in shelters, it would be great if these caring individuals and organizations would become more familiar with alternative forms of pet care.  These products are not harmful to animals and are less expensive overall, as opposed to various traditional veterinary methods, and they allow the rescuer or pet owner to develop their own healing abilities for the long term benefits of these animals and the overall well being of everyone including this planet.
 
Blessings from the World of Nature!
 
Copyright 2012 Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.
 
 
 

Fall in Love With Your Home

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 10:41 AM Comments comments (2)
Yes, I think you should love the house, apartment or castle that you live in, but that's not what I'm writing about.  I'm talking about falling in love with your  home-- your body, because it's part of the Earth.  I spent years tending lovingly to my gardens and neglecting myself, but it wasn't until recent years that I really began thinking about how important it is to love and care for your own physical body and not push it constantly to physical  and emotional extremes. 
 
Actually I think much of the lack of connection that exists with regard to this planet, all stems from a lack of respect for ourselves.  Once you realize that the Earth is part of you and that we are part of the Earth, you begin really focusing more on how you treat your body, the foods that you eat and the energies and/or people that you allow yourself to have relationships with.  You begin honoring yourself for the amazing collaboration of cells and organs that work in unision that support and house your soul. 
 
Although I'd spent years exercising to extremes and experiencing weight fluctuations, for me the path back was via gardening and working physically with the Earth.  All of Nature helped me to look at my patterns as well as to transmute the experiences and  emotions of my past into something more positive.  I think there's something really powerful in that connection to your landscape and those quiet moments of seeing new life that you have created.  Someone once told me, "tend to your own garden, Clarissa" when I discussed my constant stress, lack of energy and inability to focus.  It took me years to really understood what this person had meant. 
 
It's been a long, gradual process but  I have really learned to recognize who and what depletes my energy.  Sometimes it becomes such a habit to be around negativity that you don't even realize how it drains your own personal reserves.  Now whenever I feel angry, irritated or anxiety ridden, I  take a walk in the park, do some form of movement such as dance, and/or do some form of meditation, prayer or rebalancing work.   Whether it's shamanic journeying, listening to sound harmonics or doing gardening, it all works.  Spending time with my animals is also a great source of rebalancing.  It's so easy to become overwhelmed with what's going on today when you read the latest headlines or you've come in contact with someone who's chaotic and draining so it's especially important to stay grounded and draw upon your inner reserves to move through these times of transition.
 
A great source to help with your journey to healing your body is Denise Linn's book  Unlock the Secret Messages of Your Body.  Her book, which is also available as a workshop, is based on a 28-day program that focuses on the four elements of earth, air, fire and water.  Each week you focus on a different element while you journal your thoughts, clear clutter (from your home and your mind) and learn about how your patterns have influenced your choices.  You can choose your level of commitment and whether you do a little or alot, it all has an effect and makes a difference.
 
Much of our attitudes toward our bodies and our health have been influenced by the generational patterns of our families which Denise discusses in her book. I have also touched on this subject in my previous post Patterns: Overcoming Ancestral Trauma.   I had the opportunity to study with Denise in 2001 when I began developing my energy work with homes.  Denise's latest book is a natural culmination of her lifetime exploration into the practices of ancient cultures and the importance of creating sacred space, as well as our need to focus not only on our homes that we inhabit, but also our physical bodies which are our most sacred space.  It's all tied together and only when you've addressed your attitudes toward all three:  this planet we inhabit, the home you live in and the body that holds your spirit, will you achieve balance within your life. 
 
Living with intention is becoming increasingly important as this planet changes, technology progresses and the need to re-align ourselves with what truly matters in our lives.  When we understand our patterns and our behaviors and how they affect our choices, we can learn to make new ones.  These positive changes will affect not only our individual lives, but also this planet for generations to come as we once again adopt a reverance for Nature and all of creation, including ourselves.
 
Spring Blessings!
 
Copyright 2012 Awen Environmnents/Clarissa Harison.
 

The Crystal Heart: a Mirror to the Soul

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 11:13 AM Comments comments (4)
The other day I was holding a large crystal heart in my hand and suddenly, quite unexpectedly it dropped onto my granite table.  Although a short moment, I cringed at the thought of the damage that might have occurred.  Surprisingly and to my relief, nothing happened. 
 
Later I reflected on the symbolism of this moment.  I thought about how crystals when they fracture actually allow more light to come through and rainbows of color will often emanate from within them. The same holds true of our own hearts. 
 
Sometimes we endure a pain that can be so profound as to open us up to more compassion in our life.  More light emanates from our soul as we have learned to have more faith and hope while understanding the pain others might be going through, because we have experienced something similar ourselves at some point in our life. 
 
These turbulent times are filled with challenges, experiences that we would never have imagined and sometimes painful moments that will eventually open our hearts to a greater reality, if we allow them to.  It is said that God only gives you what you can handle and what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.  There's no doubt great truth in these words as every painful or challenging moment becomes an opportunity for healing and growth, a chance for more light to emanate within each individual in this world of seeming darkness and chaos.
 
We are living in times that connect us to our true heart center whether it is through joy, hardship, health challenges or loss of a loved one.  Each of these experiences are designed to open our hearts to what is important in our lives and what is our truth, so that we become clearer about what we truly need. 
 
When we have compassion for others because we ourselves have been challenged, we can move forth and offer hope and understanding to others.  This is the path of the wounded healer.   Shutting off our emotions or being robotic in our methods and attitudes toward the world around us serves no one, not even ourselves.  Doing something with heartfelt intentions does.  Next time you think about just going through the motions, think again and feel....
 
With Heartfelt Blessings!
 
Copyright 2012 Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.

Patterns: Overcoming Ancestral Trauma

Posted on January 23, 2012 at 10:53 AM Comments comments (10)
Recently I began recognizing some patterns in my son that made me reflect on where they may have originated from.  Although my son is still very young and like most kids attracted to material things, I really began to ponder where this need to constantly shop, buy things and fill his room with stuff came from.  He also has an obsession with all things pertaining to war and combat.  These are not patterns that I admire nor wish him to continue.  A typical boy perhaps, but perhaps not
 
I grew up with parents who valued quality things and waited until they could afford them.  Once they had something, they took care of it and kept their belongings for a long time.  The throw away society that we live in today was not part of my upbringing.  While I greatly dislike clutter, I also have very little tolerance for waste and excessive consumerism.  As I think back to my family history, I believe there's more to my son's behavior and it may go back to his ancestors, something deeply ingrained within his genetic patterns.
 
Both my mother and father's parents lost everything during the war.  My grandparents on my mother's side suffered the loss of their twin sons during a bombing raid, not to mention their home and all belongings due to fire while living in Germany during WWII.  My grandparents on my father's side also lost everything; my grandmother her freedom and my grandfather his own life due to the policies of the Stalinist regime in the former Soviet Union. 
 
It's hard to forget that kind of loss and what it does to subsequent generations.  This world is filled with descendants of those who survived wars, famine, political atrocities and the Depression, something which I believe contributes to the excessive consumer and other negative patterns inherent in many cultures at this time.  More and more information is surfacing now about how previous memories of ancestors do in fact affect those descendants who have never experienced the trauma itself.  It may manifest itself in a variety of ways from health to emotional issues to the need to surround one's self with things.
 
Lately I've been focusing a great deal on familial patterns and discussed this subject in Planet Whispers: Wisdom from Soul Travelers from Around the World.  Not coincidentally, I recently finished reading some powerful information in Olga Kharitidi's book "The Master of Lucid Dreams"  which supported some of my conclusions.  In her latest book, this Russian psychiatrist discusses her shamanic experiences in the ancient city of Samarkand, the capital of Uzbekistan.  Dr. Kharitidi's shamanic teacher tells her that in order to properly heal her patients, she must begin to resolve her own pain.  He discusses the trauma that gets passed on to successive generations if it is not resolved and goes on to say "this force lives inside you and generates painful circumstances again and again."  These "spirits of trauma" are caused by "memory spaces" and created by personal experiences in childhood, as well as ancestral memories which interfere with our happiness and ability to live healthy, balanced lives. 
 
There was a time in my life when I had an insatiable need to buy things-- clothes, furnishings and other objects, and just fill my time with shopping whether it was at the mall or at garage sales.  It made me feel better for a while, but it never really filled the emptiness I was feeling within my life. 
 
It wasn't until my son was born and I was gardening intensively and had spent years working with clients to release patterns from their land, that this need went away and I began to feel more complete.  I eventually came to learn that the more patterns that I released from the homes that I lived in and worked with, the more patterns I released from my own body and DNA, essentially the memories of my soul.  I was subconsciously chosing the clients and homes that I had for a reason.
 
I'll never forget the time I went into a client's home to do an energetic space clearing and the entire home was filled with things up to the ceiling with very little space to walk.  It was an image similar to those episodes of the television series Hoarders.  I remember wondering what could have possibly happened to this woman to make her buy so many things and be afraid to throw anything out?  Obviously there was some major trauma this woman had experienced to reach this point, which no amount of energetic clearing could address. Years later when I revisited her home with my geomancy teacher, I came to learn that the energies inherent in the land were a large part of the problem. 
 
I also worked with a man whose basement was filled with loads of furnishings and objects he would never use.  When I asked why he needed to keep all these things, he admitted that he had once been extremely poor and these objects represented a kind of security blanket for him.  Both cases represent examples of memories held within the Earth which form the foundation for the properties which the homes were built upon.  The memories held within our body and more specifically within our DNA, go hand in hand with that of the land.  You cannot resolve only one situation because the two are intertwined and people will continue to seek out properties, usually subconsciously, that will manifest the patterns of trauma which are familiar to them, unless the patterns are resolved.  If the home has experienced patterns of marital problems and divorce or financial hardship, more than likely you will also experience the same while living there unless the patterns have been cleared.
 
Interestingly, I had read Dr. Kharitidi's  first book "Entering the Circle" almost 15 years ago in which she discussed her initiation into the realms of Siberian shamanic wisdom.  The book had a profound effect on me, although I didn't understand anything about shamanism at that time of my life nor the path I would eventually follow. The word shaman originates from the Tungusic tribe of Siberia and means "one who knows" or someone who is an intermediary between the human and spirit world.
 
Over the years I've worked with a variety of clients, as well as my own homes where I've witnessed reoccurring patterns both held in the landscape, as well as in peoples' lives.  I had to smile when I came across these words in Dr. Kharitidi's second book in reference to the city of Samarkand, but also having a much farther reaching message:
 
"This land wants to tell these stories for the people in other lands so they can obtain knowledge from them.  The psyches of ancient people need to come back to life to activate memory changes in the people living now....The traumas of people from the past continue to live in their modern-day descendants even though most of them don't have an awareness of it.  Telling their stories will help heal these ancient traumas and change something critically important in the lives of many modern people."  Excerpts from "The Master of Lucid Dreams" by Olga Kharitidi, M.D.
 
Memory imprints can have a powerful impact on our well-being.  If we aren't aware of and don't try to resolve these patterns, we will continue to repeat them in our lives drawing those people, those homes and those circumstances that will repeatedly remind us and reactivate those patterns of trauma within ourselves. One method of releasing these patterns is explained during Dr. Kharitidi's training, as she journeys into some of the memories of her own traumas and changes their outcome.  By doing so, she releases the guilt associated with these patterns.  The brain apparently does not know the difference between the past and more positive thoughts created in the now. In order to heal these past traumas, she works with the perception of these memories.
 
Being aware of and recognizing these patterns is the first step in resolving them.  There are a variety of activities such as shamanic journeying, acupuncture, visualizations and meditation which can help resolve these traumas and change our patterns.  Avoiding or ignoring these ancestral memories will only result in further frustration as the energies of the Earth continue to shift within the coming years.  The Earth is healing herself and by doing so she will also heal us, whether we're aware of it or not.  Look at your patterns, learn to understand them and find a method to release them because if you don't, they will follow you wherever you go.
 
"There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart."  --Author Unknown.
 
Blessings of Awareness!
 
---------------
References:  Kharitidi MD, Olga, The Master of Lucid Dreams, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc. 2001.
 
Cloud, John, Why Your DNA Isn't Your Destiny, Time Magazine, January 6, 2010.
 
2012 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.

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