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May 1, 2019

Healing Women Series • Maggie Harrsen

Healing Through The Energy Of Mother Nature

Maggie Harrsen is an Herbalist and Spiritual Healer who healed herself of chronic illness and childhood trauma with the natural elements. She shares how her physical breakdown led to her spiritual breakthrough and eventual healing. If you’re suffering with any illness, physical or spiritual, Maggie’s journey will inspire you to turn to the natural elements. She shares:

  • How she healed herself of healing chronic illness and childhood trauma
  • The importance of prayer, meditation and surrender in her journey
  • How to maintain vital force in times of grief
  • Some of her favorite herbs and how she uses them
  • Which natural element removes sadness
  • Advice for women who are struggling with their health
  • Her simple morning routine and so much more.

Maggie’s depth and vulnerability is incredibly inspiring and she shares wisdom beyond her years.

Her words are medicine.



You’ve healed yourself of chronic physical illness and trauma. What were some of the most important factors in your recovery?

What I always go back to is the moment I feel I had a breakdown, but that could also be a breakthrough. It was really a moment of spiritual awakening. In order for me to have really gotten to a place where I healed myself I needed to hit that point of complete surrender.  There was a part of me that was in total resistant to everything that was. The moment of having the breakdown really opened up the space for me to completely surrender and let go. This is something that I think about all the time now. Every woman, every man, every child that I’m working with, we’re always working with this theme of letting go. And of course we’re always calling in other qualities and things but for me there was something that I wasn’t able to let go of.  It wasn’t even clear for me in the moment what it was. It wasn’t even clear to me how much resistant I had towards life, towards the truth of who I am and why I’m here.

Part of that truth was trauma that I had blocked for many decades. In that moment of letting go it was prayer that was the first thing that started bringing me back to myself and to my body. I’m not just this body that’s suffering so much right now and can’t do anything, can’t wake up, can’t walk around, and  can’t go buy myself food. But it connected me to the part of me that is my spirit and my soul.

It was the letting go through prayer that was the initial thing. And it’s crazy because this is how I support people now, with letting go and prayer. It’s such a large part of my work and sessions. It’s praying for this person and you can call it whatever you want. For some people it’s prayer, for others it’s thought form. And the power of our mind on our subtle body. 

Prayer is a practice that helps us to surrender. Things still come up in my life, it’s an ongoing process. This is what always brings me peace if I’m suffering, if I’m in this story, or feeling confused or sick. I will always go to my altar and pray and leave an offering, whether it’s incense, water or a flower. That prayer reminds me that I don’t have control and I don’t want to have control. My mind can only think so many things and I know that there is a larger view that I can’t see. I always want to be connected to that universal source that’s in everything and within me.


Did you have a separate approach for healing your trauma and illness? How did one influence the other?

They’re so interconnected. The subtle body is the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual body. None of them can be separated and we wouldn’t want them to be. If somebody is physically ill, it’s not just something that is happening in the body. There’s other things going on in other areas of the subtle body and we need to look at those places to see if there’s something there that’s  influencing the physical body.  

I was sick in my physical body and this was the manifestation that woke me up. I was so focused on fixing my physical body. I thought in order to do that I needed to change my diet,  to eat certain things, take certain supplements, maybe chemicals, or other therapies. Some of these things did help but that wasn’t what I really feel healed me. Throughout that process of healing my body, I was starting to meditate.

It’s a funny story, I was at this party with a friend and during this time I wasn’t very social at all. I wasn’t going to parties. It was really funny that I even ended up at this party. They were offering free transcendental meditation programs. I ended up doing this TM course and started meditating. Once I started meditating, I started having all of these memories of something happening to me when I was really little. I had no conscious memory of trauma ever. I had a really beautiful childhood. I had two loving parents who were separated when I was really young but overall my memories were beautiful. I started feeling that something happened to me, that something was really wrong. Through the meditation I was really connecting to universal force, to god.  The information was really clear that something had happened to me. At that point, I had memories coming back that I had experienced sexual abuse when I was six.

I had this instinctual knowing that this is the root of why I was sick. I went through different modalities of healing and it led me to places. I started traveling all over, experiencing different therapies. One of them was a medicine ceremony. Before I knew it I ended up in Peru. That’s really where everything came together for me. I understood that it was totally energetic, that I’m not actually physically sick. I’m sick because of this energy that’s been in my body my whole life. The memory was suppressed and everything was in the subconscious. I started healing the trauma through energy and spiritual healing and understanding that I had a spiritual illness and not a physical one. I was diagnosed with so many chronic illnesses from lyme, to chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, and IBS. All the systems in my body, immune, nervous and endocrine systems were all destroyed. They all physically broke down.

When I began engaging in healing therapies that were rooted in the energetics I really started feeling different. I started feeling a strength within me that I had never felt before. I could feel myself. I could feel the energy moving through my body. I was more connected to every breath I took. I experienced this shock, this trauma. Throughout our lives, we experience different kinds of trauma whether it’s an accident of the loss of a loved one,  physical or sexual abuse. This often leads to a soul loss, when the soul fragments from the body.What we call in the west, dis-association. I had been living out of my body my entire life. I was never inside of my body because it was so painful, because of what I had experienced as a child. If someone is physically sick they’re going to focus on physical feelings, but that’s not necessarily the case. We may have a spiritual illness but have physical symptoms.

With the work that I’m doing I really wanna share that message with the world. It’s something that I didn’t know and it’s such a simple thing. Why did no one tell me this? That there’s nothing wrong with my physical body, that it’s something else. Of course, the trauma affects all the bodies. There was so much fear in my body, fear of everything, of life, of myself, of being and living in my body, fear of being a physical being in a body.



You’ve talked about how changing the energy in your environment impacted your recovery. What elements did you change?

At the time I didn’t even realize what I was doing. It was such an intuitive thing. The first thing that happened was that I moved out of the city. I was living in New York City for five to six years. I had to leave the city. I knew that I wasn’t going to get well unless I left. I came to an environment that was going to help me heal. I love New York city but it wasn’t going to be the place where I could heal myself. It had gone to such an extreme. I was aligning with the rhythms of living out here.  Even without doing anything, my body would start waking up with the sunrise and going to bed with the sunset. Some nights I’d be going to bed at 8 oclock. I was able to let my body do what it naturally knew what to do.

We all have this inherent self healing capacity. Our body will regenerate heal itself and I know that to be true. I’ve experienced that and I’ve seen it with all my clients. We see it everywhere around us. The earth is regenerating, we’re regenerating, everything has regenerative qualities. With my circadian circle I was coming into rhythm with the earth. Even more important than connecting with the earth, was the light. I always loved the sun and being outside in the light. I loved watching the sunrise and sunset. The science later on helped me understand the importance of infrared rays with the sunrise and how when these rays go into your eyes and your skin, it helps heal your body. On the other hand blue light is toxic.

The cottage I had moved into was a one room cottage with a little kitchenette, two twin beds and a desk. I also didn’t have a computer, wifi, or TV. There was absolutely no electronics. It was really intuitive. I didn’t plan it like that. That’s just how it was. I’d have to walk to the library to use my laptop and wifi. I still had my phone, so I was still connected but it was so different than being in a building in NYC surrounded by 50 wifi outlets.

Connecting to the energy of the land here was so healing.  I was really close to the ocean and used to go everyday just to be with the water. That also reminded me a lot of being a child. I always loved the beach. That’s where I always felt so connected and I had sort of forgotten that. There are so many beautiful farms out here growing food and I started eating what was growing locally. There are  two words that come to mind: purity and freedom. There was the purest energy around me and I was free to explore and experience it.  I had to unlearn some of the stuff that I had learned. And just being with myself.

Prayer and meditation are such a coupled system. Prayer is how were communicating to god and meditation is how god is communicating to us.  I think about how this system is operating and flowing.

The air. Being in an environment where I could breathe where I wasn’t smelling the trash. The first thing I noticed when I got here was that I could breathe. I could take up space and that I was a part of this living universe. It reminded of the vital force that is within me and that’s when I started being super conscious that I had an energetic and subtle body. I was asking myself ‘Who am I? Who are we all?” Also realizing that I’m so supported by everything that’s around me.

And letting go of certain things. I was in some toxic relationships back in the city. I was under a lot of stress at my job. My sister was back in the city and it was so hard to leave her and all my friends. It was so scary. I didn’t know anyone here and I was going to live alone which I had never done before. At that point I hadn’t remembered that I had all this trauma but I was scared. I was facing a lot of fears but I also just knew that it was the right thing. And it unfolded so easily. It wasn’t a hard process. It just happened. When we let go of the resistance and we trust, the universe supports us.  The universe loves us and wants us to be ok.


Prayer is how we’re communicating to god and meditation is how god is communicating to us.


How can we maintain vital force in times of grief, sadness or stress?

Anytime we hold something in there’s stagnation in our body.  The vital force stops flowing. The best thing we can do in these times is let out the grief, allow yourself to really feel the energy and let it go.  If we’re experiencing sorrow and grief you can give it back to the earth and it’s energy will be transmuted. We don’t need to hold anything inside of ourselves.

The reason that I was really sick is because I had experienced a trauma and I held that energy inside of me for twenty years. If I had let that energy go, let it out, if I had had support, but I was a child and I had no idea. For instance, if I was the mother of that child and I knew that something had happened, I would have told her to let out that emotion and grief. I believe that spiritual illnesses are caused by fear, sadness, anger, and envy. It can be as simple as letting this energy go. If you’re having a lot of grief and fear it can be really beautiful to be in water as it helps you to erase sadness. This is the medicine of the water. If you’re sad the water can take the sadness from you. Baths with different plants are so beautiful. For someone with a lot of sadness you can stand with your feet on the earth but the water will help them a lot more.  


This is the medicine of the water. If you’re sad the water can take the sadness from you.


Most importantly, allow yourself to feel and stay connected to your feelings. Stay connected to the people in your life and your relationships. We often go through things in our life and we separate ourselves from ourselves, the earth, our family, and the people that we love because we’re scared. Emotions are scary. When we go through something and the emotional body becomes activated it’s super scary. The emotional body is also really connected to a lot of the illnesses that people are going through.

If you’ve experienced trauma years ago, you’re going to need more support. I needed to be with healers that could help me get that out of my body and be with me so I could feel the intensity of the grief. I was so scared to feel the grief because it was so much grief. We all need support, I need support even now. I’m still going through things in my life that I need support with. By getting support, you can go deeper, especially with someone you feel really safe with. There’s nothing more beautiful than being of support to someone who’s wanting to free themselves of pain and grief. It’s incredible to witness when the transformation takes place. It’s a complete miracle every time I see and feel it. And I see it every day with clients and in interactions with people. There’s always an opportunity to support one another.



By getting support you can go deeper.


Why is the energy of our subtle body so important and how do we detect and cleanse it?

The subtle body is made up of different layers of our being. It’s  the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual body. Within us are these layers and the energy of the subtle body is subtle. It’s etheric energy that we can’t see but we can feel. The clients that I see know that something is wrong and it’s the same for me when I was sick. If I really look back and think about myself and just recall how I was, I probably could have told you that I knew something else was going on with me.  But I couldn’t see it. I could only see that I was sick. The subtle body takes us back to our intuition which is the voice of the soul, it’s our guiding system. Our intuition and this intuitive part of our being is so connected to the subtle body and the soul. It’s also what informs us when something feels wrong or right .

The detection of the subtle body comes through a spiritual practice or connecting through nature. For me, when I had a spiritual practice I became open. The energy was always there but the perception of myself changed through my spiritual practice. It showed me that I am energy. I’m a spiritual being. I’m an energetic being and there’s energy running through me. Sometimes the energy isn’t moving, or it’s moving too fast. Your spiritual practice could be anything. It’s could be sitting at the beach watching the ocean and playing in the waves.  The water will remind you to let go or breathe more deeply. In the most basic form we can use nature to regenerate and clear the subtle body. It’s really just about maintaining the flow of energy in a harmonious way and most of nature moves in a harmonious way. A simple practice like watching the sunrise can have a profound effect on the subtle body. We connect with nature through our etheric subtle body. This is the gift that we have. It’s a combination of essentially my work which is spiritual and earth based practices.




Exercise to increase intuition

Ask yourselves the following questions: Should I eat this apple or this orange? Should I hang out with this person or hangout with myself? Should I live in the mountains or near the ocean? These types of qualities are coming from an inside knowing.



What has your illness taught you?

When I hit my rock bottom there was this voice inside of me, this knowing, that my body was going to regenerate and heal itself. I always come back to that. Our body has an amazing capacity to regenerate and heal itself. It also taught me that I’m a spiritual and energetic being.  I always knew this as a child and I think we still do. For me, because of what I had experienced as a child, I became disconnected. It’s reminded me to stay connected to the earth and as much as I’m a spiritual being I’m also in a body and need to be inside of my body, and enjoy the gift of this  life which I feel so grateful for.

When I was sick every doctor I saw told me that I was always going to be sick. I would be on medication, I would always be suffering. There was a part of my that could never accept that. I would go till the day I die but I would never accept that. This is the will. I’ve always had a really strong will and I knew that there was no way that I was going to live my life like this. Always trust yourself. Listen to yourself. Don’t look outside of yourself for the answers. Don’t look to other people to tell you what is right for you. You know inside. For the people that are going to help you and guide you back to yourself for the answers. Those are the people that changed my life. Keep coming back to yourself however that looks for you. It’s so different for all of us. What are the things that bring you back to yourself.


Always trust yourself. Listen to yourself. Don’t look outside of yourself for the answers.


Do you have a morning routine?

My daily practice is so simple. I never thought I’d be living like this. I’ve tried all the diets and all the things and I hated it. I hate complicated things. I get so overwhelmed, it’s my nature. I wake up, have a glass of water, I meditate,  I watch the sun and I’m good. It comes back to purity for me. That pure connection.



What are three of your favourite plants to work with and why?

I love Rose. It’s an incredible plant. The vibration of this flower is incredible. In May here, all the beach flowers come into blossom near the ocean where I live and I harvest all of these roses. It’s the best moment of my life. This is what I use to make the flower waters that I use throughout the year.  I use a lot of rose water and rose oil. For women, this is a beautiful plant. It’s the most beautiful plant for grief, for people who have sicknesses and sadness.

I love working with the plants that grow on the land naturally. Wherever you live, what is growing near you? The reason that you’re living there is so you can connect to the land and to the plants there. I’m living on the east end of Long Island so there’s a lot of coast here. So the beach roses are amazing and just rose in general.

What grows wildly around here is mugwort, Artemisia. It’s an incredible plant for women. It’s connected to the moon. The underside of the moon leaf looks like the moon rays. There’s a silvery sheen on it and I like to use it a lot. I’ll harvest it fresh and use it for different types of healing plant treatments on the body. It’s very cleansing for the uterus and the whole reproductive system. I wouldn’t recommend pregnant women use it as it can be very stimulating.  

I also really love lemon balm, Melissa. It’s actually one of the few plants I take on a regular basis. I have so much love for this plant. I feel so supported having the spirit of this plant with me. Especially in my aura if I’m having a tincture or tea. My favorite thing in the whole world and I recommend this to everyone who is reading this, if you can grow one plant, make it lemon balm. You can harvest the fresh leaves to make a tea and it will be the best thing your lips have ever tasted, especially with a little bit of honey. Lemon balm is so soothing for the nervous system. It’s a very gentle plant.

All of the plants that are named after women, like Melissa, are really, really sacred plants. It’s a plant that’s in the mint family and similar to a weed. All plants in the mint family help heal, susto, which is shock. If anyone has experienced  any shock the first thing you would want to give them is some sort of tea with a mint plant. If you have a child who’s had a bad dream, first thing in the morning give them a mint or lemon balm tea and it’ll help dissolve the shock. The mint and lemon balm plant can grow like crazy and it has an ability to go deeply into the body. People of all ages, small children and pregnant and breastfeeding  women can have lemon balm and mint. I have such a deep love for lemon balm. You can use it dried or fresh and there are lemon balm teas.


All of the plants that are named after women, like Melissa, are really, really sacred plants.


Who inspires you?

The plants, nature and my teacher twins Doña Ysabel and Olinda in Peru. They really helped me come back to myself. For them I’ll always be grateful. They helped me remember certain things that I didn’t remember, like why I came into my body in this lifetime. They helped me remember where I came from. A lot of the practices that I’m doing I really struggled with for a long time. Why am I doing this work? How am I connected to this?  Especially since I was so drawn to Peru. My ancestors are from Scandinavia and Iberia and my great grandmother was born in Barcelona. The women in my family had been practicing this type of medicine before me. I’m just continuing where they left off. Doña Ysabel told me one day, “ You remind me so much of my grandmother, she had blue eyes and she was born in Spain.” And here we are together doing this work.

The presence of animals also has such an influence on me. Having people in my life that love me and really believe in me inspires me so much.


What advice would you give to women who might be struggling with their health?

Come back to yourself. What is that voice inside of you saying? What is that part of yourself that maybe you’ve quieted saying? Invite all parts of yourself back. I think a lot of women that are suffering their energy goes in so many directions: they’re mother, daughters, wives, aunts, sisters and they have jobs and careers. It goes back to “Who am I?”, “How am I feeling?”. When we can come back to ourselves and really feel what’s inside, you will set yourself free. The process isn’t always easy but we have to believe in ourselves. We can do anything. You can do anything you want, you can heal yourself and you can create anything. You can also create a life of disease and suffering or if you want to free yourself you can. People that are suffering are also off their path. There’s something that’s off and needs an adjustment. Maybe it’s 5 degrees or 1 degree. It’s trying to be known.


How do you celebrate and nurture yourself?

I celebrate myself by doing things I love and that bring me joy. I really love dancing. My practice is being in my body because for most of my life I wasn’t inside my body. I love any practices that bring me into my body, here on earth. Dancing is just so beautiful and I also absolutely love music. I love playing music, dancing to music and listening to music.

I have a puppy and a cat now and love being with them.  I also love being with my friends and people I love. I also love sweet things, honey, chocolate and fruit. In Peru we learned that mother earth loves sweetness. And here we are as women, extensions of the earth, it’s so important for us to have sweetness in our lives.



Favorite piece of advice/wisdom you’ve (ever) received?

I go back to what my teachers, the twins told me. “Maggie, we can teach you a lot of things. We can teach you everything we know but you need to go learn for yourself. You need to connect with spirit yourself to learn. We’re only teaching you what we know through connecting with spirit. You can connect, learn things and then teach us.” When they said this I cried. It’s so empowering. Here are these two women that I admired so much and they were telling me that I would learn things that they would want to know.  

I also receive so much information from my plants during my plant medicine ceremonies. It’s hard to be here in the physical body. It’s not an easy process. From a spirit or a soul into a body is really hard, yet here I am in this body.

Go be of service. It all comes back to being of service. We’re all here for a reason  Find the reason why you really came here.


If you could leave the reader with one thing, what would it be?

Don’t sleep with your cell phone next to your head. Don’t ever have your cell phone on your body and don’t have in your bra. Of all the things I could say this is an actionable step that everyone can do. I never knew this. No one ever told me that when I was really sick.

Be mindful of the the energy around you. The energy that’s coming from our phones and wifi. If you have a wifi router, unplug it at night before you go to bed. This is so important, this is when your body is regenerating itself.  


Maggie’s Offerings

Sessions with Maggie

Work with Maggie in person or remotely.


Digital Workshop •  PUA Series

A 7-day online workshop exploring the energetic and therapeutic use of plants and flowers in shamanic practices.


Connect with Maggie

PUAKAI Healing





Maggie Harrsen • Healing Through The Energy Of Mother Nature

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