Thursday, October 29, 2015

MAKERS + MOVERS: PUAKAI / MAGGIE HARSEN

photo courtesy of Dan McMahon

It is with the highest of pleasures that I introduce you to Maggie Harrsen of Puakai today. Maggie is one of the wisest healers I know—aware of the pools of energy housed in her hands + her heart woven into all those whom she touches. Here she is graciously sharing her journey into energy medicine, the Andean tradition of the guiding Star, and holistic staples . . .

M A G G I E   H A R R S E N  |  P U A K A I   H E A L I N G 

Q: Tell us a little bit about you and what led you to create Puakai. What led you to the service of healing?
Puakai Healing is rooted in my personal path to healing myself and connecting to my soul. It was created through my exploration of various healing modalities including Shamanism, Andean Mysticism, Usui Reiki, Sound Healing and Energy Medicine. When I look back over time, my vision shows me that many years of suffering were simply a result of not having access to tools that could help me move through various life experiences to ultimately align my being with my soul's path. I created Puakai Healing to support and empower individuals to heal themselves, to educate and inspire a path of wellbeing and right relationship with Mother Earth and all living beings.

Q: What inspired the name?
My first class on Shamanism was a workshop with Llyn Roberts at Omega Institute in upstate New York called Shamanic Reiki Healing. I had previously received various Reiki attunements so my curiosity about this work felt natural. Essentially this was the moment I followed my intuition and took action after many personal experiences healing through Shamanism. I received clarity at this workshop when we learned how to journey and I was shown that my soul manifested on Earth to work with Spirit and the mystical. During our closing shamanic journey, I visited my ancestors. The vision I carry with me of this experience is crystal clear to this day.

There was a wild fire by the sea with a circle of elders, their faces illuminated by the glow of the flames and the moon. I was far away in the mountains and the flickering fire light merged with the starlight and guided me to the sea. As I approached the circle, I could hear the vibrations of rattles, drums and chanting. I entered slowly and everyone became silent. There was a single space on the Earth to sit and I went there. At that moment an elder woman came to me, moving like the Puma with piercing eyes of golden amber and she whispered, "Puakai". One by one each elder shared their visions of my life and work on Earth. They called me Puakai, my spirit name meaning "ocean flower" in Hawaiian.


Q: When you are not working on Puakai Healing, what else do you like to do?
I love preparing nourishing meals for my loved ones and animals. Being in nature: sleeping with Mother Earth, swimming in the sea and creating flower mandala's brings me joy. I am beginning to explore flower essences more intimately and as I connect to this kingdom, I am deeply inspired to weave their subtle energy into my shamanic healing sessions.

Q: What keeps you going? Do you have a daily routine, ritual, or a mantra?
My star. In the Andean tradition they believe we each have a guiding star. A celestial point connecting us to our cosmic ancestry. Our guiding star is where we come from before birth and it is where we will return after death. It is believed that when we connect to our star, we connect to our soul. I have many rituals and ceremonies that flow with the changing season's and the moon but when I connect to my star, I become starlight. I merge with my higher self and my day reflects this vibration.

Q: What are some of your favourite snacks or foods that fuel your creative process?
I enjoy the ritual of pressing fresh fruit and vegetable juices and steeping herbs and flowers for tea. I recently started using a dehydrator for the first time and I'm having so much fun activating and dehydrating nuts and seeds. My loved ones and I went apple picking in the orchard last week and I dehydrated trays of these little ones on the Harvest Moon and Lunar Eclipse. They are charged and feel so alive, a true gift to merge with their energy. I love the ritual of cooking with the season's and infusing my food with healing energy. For a sweet taste, our friends Zenbunni on the West Coast make amazing biodynamic cacao bars.

Q: What are your three staples for glowing health?
Water, water, water. The alchemy of water is something that always moves me. I drink spring water to hydrate and nourish all of the organs and cells in my physical body, I swim in the sea or bathe in salt water to stimulate and care for my energetic body and I take drops of various vibrational medicines based in water, such as homeopathic remedies and flower essences for my wellbeing. 


Q: What would be an ideal day for you?
I live a very simple life, flowing with the rhythms of my environment. My love comes from the natural world and caring for her and the loved ones around me: the human beings, animals, plants and minerals. These days I live in "Ayni " with Mother Earth, a Quechua word meaning "right relationship". These words by Thich Nhat Hanh express my way of life, "I know the Earth is my Mother, a great living being. I vow to protect the Earth, and the Earth protects me." My ideal day is waking with Father Sun, harvesting fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables from the land I live, spending time with Mother Ocean or the Apus (the mountains), cooking, chanting and playing my drum, a fire ceremony with beloveds and falling asleep with Grandmother Moon.

Q: What are your go-to products in your holistic medicine cabinet?
Bach Rescue Remedy, Calendula ointment, Palo Santo smoke, St. John's Wort Oil, Sandalwood essential oil, Rose Otto facial mist. 


Q: What moves you through fear + brings you into bliss?
Being vulnerable and understanding that my vulnerability is my strength. If I am in moments of deep shadow or in situations where there is a lot of heavy energy present, I connect to my power animal. I shapeshift into her and with her presence, I feel the fear. I become the fear and I let it take me over and then it passes. I am reminded that every time I choose to feel the fear or the suffering I am choosing to live in truth. I step out of the illusion. When speaking of fear and shadow, I am always drawn to the words of Carl Jung, "There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."

Q: What’s on your reading list currently?
I love books. I honor the ancient ways, this knowledge and wisdom. Following my soul's path has led me to many incredible places in North America and around the world, such as Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Switzerland. Every place I visit I collect a book and it has blossomed into a beautiful library with books on nature, healing and spirituality. This month I'm beginning a course on Biodynamic Farming & Gardening and my textbooks are Theospohy and the Agriculture lectures by Rudolf Steiner. I am passionate about Biodynamic agriculture as it flows within similar beliefs of Shamanism, "it works consciously with the life forces and other subtle energies active in nature, Biodynamics understands the 'alchemy' of nature as a materialization of spirit and a spiritualization of matter."

Q: What makes you feel nourished + connected to Mama Earth?
Standing barefoot on her belly, enlivening her soil with my hands and preparing healing meals with her bounty.