Harriet was a child of ten when she first became interested in archaeology. In 1988 a bunch of students from some far off, exotic university knocked on the door of her family home in east Cumbria on the banks of the river Lyvennet, asking who owned the opposite field because it had a suspected Iron Age well in it. Fascinated, Harriet would go up and watch them dig into this enigmatic structure. This was the beginning of what was to become a deep connection to the ancestors of the North.
When she was a teenager, Harriet spent a time at the spiritual community of the Findhorn Foundation in north east Scotland. The summer she spent there was transformative, awakening her awareness to a deep spirituality. It began Harriet on a path of self-realisation where she delved deeply into ancient wisdoms from around the world, coming home to the indigenous yet mostly lost wisdom of her own native land.
Harriet then went on to study European Civilisation at Glasgow University, graduating in 2000. This romanic-sounding degree merged archaeology, Italian, social and economic history, philosophy and Classics, giving Harriet the foundations of what was to become a lifelong love of a deepening of polymath knowledge.
Harriet went on to become a field archaeologist in the Republic of Ireland for three years, working in the Boyne valley around Drogheda. This river is the Goddess river of Ireland, housing the neolithic treasures of the Newgrange complex. Harriet excavated neolithic settlements, ring ditches, kilns and picked up worked flint whenever she happened to walk across a ploughed field. This rich introduction into prehistoric archaeology, now looking back, was the deepening of those first teachings about our ancestors.
When in her twenties, Harriet began to be swayed by the ideas of another and of western society, she thought it best to get a job that was city based, would pay well and would offer something like a corporate life. However, she refused to work for a corporation, so was drawn into the world of social and correctional services, spending five years working for the Probation services of West Yorkshire and then New Zealand.
Harriet realised that her heart was still in archaeology and the North, so decided to leave New Zealand and return to Cumbria in the UK to joyously dig a Roman ditch out again, in the freezing February of 2008.
The thread that emitted from her solar plexus had led her in clear ways for all of her life, yet she didn’t know it, until Harriet severed that chord and things went slightly awry. Yet nothing is a wasted lesson; working with people in difficult circumstances was deeply valuable and educational. Harriet feels much gratitude for those lessons.
After less than a year back in Archaeology, Harriet was made redundant, right about the same time as having her first child. Harriet then went on to develop her teaching skills in adult education evening classes, teaching part time in Italian and then the Prehistoric Archaeology of Cumbria. She went on to have another child. During this time, Harriet began to listen deeply to the call of her intuition and began finally to see with her own eyes the thread which had been guiding her all of her life.
It was around 2010 that Harriet began her work in ecotherapy, environmental activism, Animism, Ecological writing and ancestral wisdom-keeping. In the following years she studied the spiritual practice of Druidry, as an ally discipline to the more cerebral path of archaeology. She enrolled with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, began to attend her local Quaker meeting, became a Buddhist and delved into ‘celtic’ shamanism. These years were the “quest” years for Harriet; motherhood had fundamentally challenged her ideas of ancestry, wisdom and passing on deepest knowledge that was to be nurturing for her daughters. Harriet knew that there was much work to do on herself before she was ready to be a real wisdom-keeper for her children.
In 2012 she became a single mum, finally meeting and then marrying her now husband in 2015 and have a son in 2016. Harriet went on to complete a Masters of Science degree in Green Economy from Bournemouth University in 2014. This knowledge rocked her foundations, making sharp and wounded her awareness of the critical and imminent threats to life on this planet.
After a year of hiding from the realities of the situation by cooking at the local primary school, Harriet re-engaged with the world, as a writer and tutor, Ritualist, Healer, Celebrant and latterly a trained yoga teacher. Harriet is an Earth Ambassador for the US charity Radical Joy for Hard Times. She knew that she was required to meet the challenges of these hard times. Collectively we would have to open our eyes to what is going on and to hold together in true community. Because this is happening to us all and our relative wealth is no guarantee of our security in what is to come.
Harriet has reconnected with the thread from her solar plexus, and has learned to listen to her intuition. Often family needs require her to step aside from a life that would perhaps be radically different, were she to be alone. But she is not. Having children means compromises are necessary, yet paradoxically it is the constant company of children that has spurred Harriet on, into direct action, reaching as many people as she can. For it is for their sakes, as embodiments of the human journey through time that she acts.
You can read more of Harriet’s writing here in Nwyfre as you explore. Also, to keep up to date with yoga classes, please visit http://www.wildusyoga.com