Today we sit down with FP Escapes guide Maggie Harrsen to learn more about modern shamanic healing and how we can more mindfully welcome the full moon.
Maggie Harrsen is an Energy Medicine Practitioner inspiring beings to uncover their true nature and supporting them in a lifestyle of harmony and in rhythm with Pachamama, Mother Earth. Maggie began studying the healing arts in 2008 and today her work integrates a range of nurturing practices including Andean Mysticism, Shamanism, Usui Reiki, Sound Healing, Nutrition, Anthroposophy, Medical Radiesthesia and Flower Healing. She currently lives and works on the East End of New York, offering ceremony and individual healing sessions for women, men and children. She will be leading our FP Escapes retreat to Spain this September, guiding guests through ceremony and rituals from around the world. Today, we learn how to illuminate the shadows and purify using the power of the full moon…
What does it mean to be a medicine woman in the modern day world?
I believe at heart, all medicine women are great seekers of Truth. Whether these individuals were born into a family of healers or they received an initiation through the way of their soul, I feel they have all developed their inner capacities and are able to truly see a human being as they are while holding a space of love for them to awaken the vital force that lives within. In our modern day world I support individuals in healing themselves and aligning with the natural world for wellbeing through shamanic healing, energy medicine and ceremony. These days I am brought back to my child-like beliefs in magic, in alchemy – looking at the world as a little one does and rooted in the wisdom of a powerful lineage of beings who once walked the Earth. I walk this path as an honor to my ancestors and to future generations, in service to the wellbeing and soul evolution of all living beings.
Can you tell our readers a bit about the lineage you’ve studied?
My path is rooted in the Andean Mystical tradition of the Q’ero lineage of the Peruvian Andes, the “children of the Inka”. A lineage of beings who have maintained a spiritual tradition drawing their wisdom from the Earth – the feminine energy of Pachamama, our Cosmic Mother. I was initiated into the Andean path by Juan Nuñez del Prado in the Inka tradition and I am a Mesa carrier of the Q’ero lineage. My formal training honors the lineage of three Andean Master’s Don Benito Qoriwaman, Don Melchor Desa and Don Andes Espinosa. The Karpays, energetic initiations/transmissions, I have received are the seeds from which an individual may develop new ways of being. My seeds have grown and inform me energetically as I am dedicated to nurturing them through my daily practices and way of life. My Mesa is a medicine bundle consisting of a handwoven cloth of natural threads which contains power objects from sacred sites around the world and medicine stones called Khuyas used for moving energy in service of healing. These stones have been instrumental in my personal healing and have been blessed by my teachers and the medicine men and women of the Q’ero Nation.
What is a typical healing session like?
During a healing session I source from a range of nurturing practices including: Andean Mysticism, Shamanism, Usui Reiki, Sound Healing, Anthroposophy, Medical Radiesthesia, and Flower Healing. A session is unique to the human being, meaning I’ve never had two healing sessions that unfolded in the same way. However my intent remains constant, to hold space for the individual as we allow the body’s own innate ability to heal itself. The session takes place either inside a space or outside in nature. The client will lay comfortably on the ground or Earth with blankets and pillows and I will sit by their side. I will begin preparing sacred space, using the smoke of the plant spirit Palo Santo and other various rituals. I will gently guide the client into a relaxed place of stillness and openness. They will remain laying down – resting and focusing on their breath for the duration of the ceremony. Individually we will set our intention and then together go into an altered state of consciousness through the vibration of sound. I use toning, chanting, rattling, drumming and various bells and chimes. As the healer, I journey outside of time and space, acting as a bridge between the individual and Spirit to understand what is causing their current state of dis-harmony. Based on the information that comes forward, we move through various techniques to bring the human being back into balance. As we close the session we each share any visions, sensations or experiences. At this time I may suggest various practices including rituals, meditations, nutritional suggestions, herbal baths and vibrational remedies which will continue to support their healing process. Shamanic healing works well as complementary medicine alongside other healing modalities – such as Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Naturopathy, to name a few.
You’ll be leading workshops on our retreat to Andalusia. Can you give our readers an idea of what attendees can expect from your workshops and teaching?
During The Art of Ritual, we will explore mysticism and native ways to align ourselves with the natural world. Together we will cultivate our inner human capacities that can lift the veil which separates us from spiritual knowledge. We will explore the Andean Cosmovision, the Earth-centered spiritual tradition of the Q’eros, and bring these ways of being to life on the ancient land of Andalusia. We will work with the elementals – Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Ether through ceremony. You will learn about your subtle anatomy and how to care for it through individual and group energetic practices. You will directly experience shamanic drum journeys where we connect with Spirit for insight and healing. My intent for our time together is that you will leave Spain knowing how to create ceremony for yourself, loved ones and your community, as well as be familiar with various rituals that can easily be incorporated into your daily life.
Lastly, what does free mean to you?
Living in harmony with all of life – knowing that everything which exists is alive and has a spirit.
When we look into the way of life of many indigenous cultures, including the Q’eros in the high Andes of Peru, we find that from birth these individuals establish a loving relationship with the beings of nature. Just as we have a birth Mother and Father in the physical world, we are also in close relationship with the many ethereal beings who surround us in the natural world. These beings are the clouds, rivers, stones, flowers, stars, trees and mountains, who are all part of a vast Cosmovision. More specifically, we know these beings as our Cosmic Mother and Father and the elementals – Earth, Sun, Sea, Wind and Moon. For the indigenous ones, living in “right relationship” with nature is necessary for wellbeing, just as much as eating and sleeping. They understand these forces are living beings so as we form an intimate bond with our birth Mother we must also extend this relationship to include our Cosmical Mother, Pachamama, You may be wondering, “How do I begin to form these relationships?” and one answer is, through ceremony. The first ceremony I learned taught me how to connect with the feminine energy of Mother Moon, either on the New Moon or Full Moon. A New Moon is the lunar phase when she is in conjunction with the Sun and nearly invisible from the Earth. It symbolizes alignment with our inner truth and presents a powerful time for manifestation. A Full Moon is the lunar phase that occurs when she is illuminated from the Earth and in opposition with the Sun. It symbolizes illumination of the shadow, a time for purification. During your ceremony you will learn to create a sacred space, to honor and connect with the world of Spirit and to expand your awareness through ritual. Keep in mind you may always modify steps and great importance lies in following your intuition. This is a beautiful ceremony to create on your own or in the company of loved ones.
-Palo santo, white sage, sweetgrass or cedar
-Personal sacred objects
-Cornmeal or dried flower petals
-Flowers of the season
-Three small strips of paper + a pencil
-Music or instrument, flute, rattle, drum or bells
-Large shell, or stoneware bowl
1. Collect your elements and any personal objects that are sacred for you – a native artifact from your travels, stones or crystals, a gift from a beloved, pieces that represent the Universal elements (Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Ether) and plants or flower blossoms of the season.
2. Choose a place in nature, or in your home where you can quiet yourself and enter into a state of stillness. Play soothing music and as you wish, arrange the elements you collected and gently light the candle.
3. Ignite the palo santo or plant of choice from the candle’s flame and use it to cleanse the energy field of your body and the space you have chosen. If you are with others, one person will hold the burning plant and purify the other beings with its smoke. You may enjoy using a feather from a winged one. At this time open sacred space, with instruments in hand you may sing a song or recite a prayer.
4. Sit or lay upon the Earth, or ground, to root yourself and connect with the nourishing vibration of Mother Earth. Slow your breathing and take a moment to tap into this connection. Feel your heart beating in union with all of life.
5. As you feel relaxed, write in words your three intentions on the strips of paper. Taking note that if it’s a New Moon you are working with the energy of manifestation and if it’s a Full Moon you are working with the energy of purification.
6. When you finish, choose the intention you would like to begin with. Holding it in both hands, repeat the intention three times and with the third repetition inhale and direct your breath out and into the paper. Carefully hold your paper into the flame and allow the fire element to burn it completely until turning into ash. Then gently place the ash into the shell or stoneware bowl. Be mindful of the element fire and its power.
7. Repeat the process for all three pieces of paper. If you are among a small group of individuals, form a circle and allow each person to individually go through this process. During this time the others will remain quiet while holding space for the one connecting. It is nice to drum or rattle during this time as these vibrations create a nest of support.
8. When everyone has completed, take a moment to express your gratitude to Mother Moon, Mother Fire and the nature spirits. Relight a piece of palo santo as a closing and place it in the middle of the circle on a stone. With both hands bring the healing smoke into your heart center, then bring your hands together over your heart.
9. At this time close sacred space by thanking the Spirit world and releasing the elementals. At last, individually place the ash onto Pachamama, our Cosmic Earth Mother, expressing your gratitude for her healing. Finish by leaving her an offering of cornmeal or dried flower petals.