Sacred Sites

A Stag Appears

Source: unknown

Source: unknown

Animals have always appeared to me at turning points in my life, particularly deer. More than 20 years ago, my first story was published about an injured doe that had crossed my path. I was on my way driving to a creative writing class. The anguish I felt that day when the deer had to be shot by law enforcement was poured into my first class project. The support I received in class prompted me to submit my story to the city newspaper and I became elated when I received the call that it was to be published. For the first time I saw myself as the writer I had always been. I had many more experiences with deer over the years, some inspired me to write and others just remain etched in my heart.

Last week another deer appeared to me and I knew something was about to change in my life. I was driving to the post office shortly before 9 am passing by St. Mary's on the Hill in the town where I live. It was a cloudy day. Despite living in Lancaster for over 7 years, I had only recently found out about this church and visited its surrounding landscape. There was something sacred about this landscape which I felt from the moment I saw it. Records indicate it had once been all forested land. The feeling was something ancient and primordial which went well beyond what man had created in the last few hundred years. The hilly landscape was also unusual for an otherwise flat town.

As I drove alongside the perimeters of the church that morning, a young stag appeared with his beautiful crown of horns. I stopped my car. He looked directly at me sensing whether or not he was safe, and then made his way across the road searching for a more safe haven. In that moment as his eyes met mine, I felt this deep sense of heartfelt connection and I knew something was about to happen in my life. On my return drive, I had to once again pass the boundaries of St. Mary's and the hillside landscape. The sky was dark that morning, but suddenly the sun appeared in all its glory through an opening where the clouds had briefly parted. The glow of the sun cast its light directly upon St. Mary's church and in that moment I felt an immense feeling of grace that I cannot really put into words. Then the sun disappeared, as I continued on my way.

Source: unknown

Source: unknown

I knew that magic had just happened. It was enough to have me inspired the rest of the day as I thought about what it all meant. I knew that something was about to occur in my life-- something life altering. It was just a matter of time. The animal signposts had been there throughout my life. Later I came to find out that the Assumption of Mary, after which this church is named, is the time when Mary ascended to the heavens from her earthly realm and it is celebrated on August 15th, the same day as my birth. It was another synchronicity, but what did it all mean?

Three days later I received news that stunned me, eliminating something from my life that I had only recently begun to rely upon. It was clear I was not meant to follow in this direction. It was a betrayal among people I didn't really know, an end of a path that was not meant to be. There had been no explanation, no reasoning offered, though I felt certain that maintaining my boundaries and speaking my truth had contributed to the end. There had been constant insights in conversations, symbols from my helping spirits that were meaningful to me, but I had not heeded the warnings. I chose to see the best in others and not necessarily the reality of a very dysfunctional system that was doomed to implode upon itself. I had offered my services for a short while. My work was done.

The stag has long been a symbol of Christ with its antlers reaching up and bringing light down from the heavens. It is also known to be an enemy of snakes, stamping out darkness. I cannot think of a more appropriate symbol to receive three days prior to the truth being revealed to me. Each year the stag sheds its horns symbolizing a cycle complete and a shedding of the past. Sometimes people don't like when your light shines too bright and you speak the truth because it causes them to look at their own lies and inadequacies. In time I know that the next part of my journey will be revealed to me. I have faith in the Stag's appearance. My Spirit has once again been renewed.



Copyright 2017 Clarissa Harison/Awen Environments. 

All photos: Source unknown.



The Awakening of the Dragon

Dragon Cloud

Recently I took my dogs to Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora shortly before sunset. As I was about to leave, I had this otherworldly sensation of something powerful in the sky and around me. It wasn't anything I could put into words, it was truly a visceral feeling that I sometimes get when I'm out in Nature. It was exactly 16 days after intense rainfall flooded our region. It wasn't until yesterday that I reviewed the photos I had taken that evening and saw the image of a dragon clearly displayed. I always receive messages in symbols and it's up to me to interpret their significance.

The city of Buffalo and the surrounding region of Western New York is a power spot on the Earth due to Niagara Falls, a natural wonder of the world. It is the place where Nikola Tesla harnessed the power of the Falls to create electricity and it is a region that once was a mecca of spiritual learning. Tribal Nations call Buffalo the Western Door to North America. It is a region influenced by water, one of the most powerful elements of the Earth. The many creeks and rivers that travel through this area all lead into the mighty Niagara River. We witnessed the power of these creeks and rivers on July 13th.

That day our region flooded, including Cayuga Creek, which runs through the town of Lancaster where I live. As my son and I watched the Cayuga flooding our local park while nearby townhouses that had been built on wetland stood under water, I could feel something powerful was occurring. Something seemed to have shifted energetically. I could feel destruction as the trees were cracking and the park trails and everything else was swept underwater, as well as this palpable power of transformation that was in the air, as people gathered from all around the area just to view the immensity of the creek flooding. Our town was not alone. The city of Buffalo also experienced major flooding in its downtown streets, as well as many other creeks overflowing into neighboring towns that day.

As nightfall came upon us while we stood in nearby Como Lake Park, the fireflies were everywhere above the flooding waters of Cayuga Creek and I remember thinking there was something magical to all the destruction that was going on. I felt that despite the sadness of the destruction, the waters were releasing energies and demanding that we honor their inherent power. Nature had been redirected for far too long. The Spirit of Water was commanding our respect and also asking us to work with her now and see beyond the immediate. I felt a sense of release of powerful Earth energies, something awakening that had long stood dormant, sleeping in Western New York. The next day I was shocked how the landscape had changed in certain areas of our park.

It wasn't until today that I realized the significance of my Dragon Cloud photos in a park that was once linked to the former glory of Buffalo, a time when this area was flourishing and drawing visitors from many continents, as powerful families influenced the economic development of this region. The Dragon cloud was a message from Spirit that something has shifted in Western New York. The dragon lines, as they were called by the Chinese in feng shui or ley lines as they are also called in geomancy, have been awakening. The city of Buffalo is revitalizing and the region is starting to heal of the toxins that have been buried here for decades since the Cold War and the end of the manufacturing era.

Headlines have also emerged of a foul-smelling black sludge that was released into Niagara Falls on the same day that I was at Knox Park. A coincidence? I don't think so. This accident has now prompted an investigation into the manner in which the water flowing into a natural world wonder is being managed. Things may get worse before they get better.  I trust that all is well and the truth shall eventually be revealed so this Earth can heal and new systems can emerge. 

The shear power and transformation that water brings not only to Western New York, but also the world, is not to be taken lightly. The inherent cleansing, healing and life giving property of water and its ability to transform landscapes needs to be recognized, as well as its sensitive energetic nature which can be transformed by our thoughts, actions and deeds. Water can heal or it can destroy. Which do we choose? The Dragon has been awakened...