Christiana Aro-Harle – an introduction

Chrstiana Aro-Harle, photo: Päivi Mattila

Some say Chrisse or Chrissy is a wise woman. She has been working shamanically and following a shamanic path since 1991. Perhaps even before that if you count fishing, hiking, wandering, camping in Northern California and elsewhere since birth. “Much more at home in the woods than in the city” says her mother.

Life’s dance in Finland (since 1987) has led her to be a mother and stepmother, to work in visual anthropology, teach English, creative arts teacher for day care, edit newsletters, run for Parliament, sit on boards and local government positions, raise money for projects, participate in various networking projects from women entrepreneurs to village revival to arranging international conferences and festivals from Nordic Anthropological Film Association and VisCult to animistic gatherings to village festivals, cooking and waitressing – and even as an official hired worker at Khoomei Festival in Tuva. She is a bee-keeper (just for fun she completed the diploma, too) and cider-wine maker (diploma). Chrisse has over thirty-five years of experience leading groups. All the while bringing the World of Spirits – of Nature – into the her work places through ceremony and shamanism as a path and animistic worldview. For full CV, please contact her directly.

When she was almost nine yrs. she was sent home to die. Mother prayed. Was it to live or die? She lived and began dreaming. Some of her work is through conscious dreaming – sometimes information just arrives at the door. Mama said the dreaming was “a gift from God” and “use it well”.

She has always been interested in anything about other people, ways of life, beliefs, the Cold War, Siberia. Since immigrating to Finland her interest is for Finnish – Karelian history, anthropology, rune-songs, Estonian-Baltic culture and anything that smells of Tuva. Upon leaving her birth country she finally turned to look over her shoulder at the First Nations and delve into her past and that history of genocide.

Blessings on Jonathan Horwitz, Heimo Lappalainen (d. 1994) and Annette Høst for human guidance and friendship on this path. The central teacher(s) is the helping spirits, the ancestors.

Chrisse has lived and worked intensively for several periods with traditional shamans in the Republic of Tuva, Siberia. Christiana’s initiation took place in Tuva. She carries one of the first Düngür Shaman red membership cards. She is the assistant editor of the book ‘Shamanic Songs and Myths of Tuva’ by Mongush Kenin-Lopsan and made a film on Tuvan life: ‘In the Arms of Buddha and the Drum’ (director Jouko Aaltonen: The female and male shamans she worked with in ’94 and ’95 carried different lineages: Sky-, Albys-, Earth roots. She keeps her ties with Tuva.

Chrstiana Aro-Harle, photo: Päivi Mattila

Chrisse is a shamanic counsellor, with over thirty years leading workshops and groups on the shamanic path; offering individual and group shamanic healing and drum birthing in Finland and Estonia or wherever she is called. Christiana leads ceremony and rituals with a desire to enliven and weave them into local life and Life transitions. Much of her entire life has been spent working with sacred song, singing aloud the healing and journey. Returning the sacred sauna as healing ceremony and initiation is also part of her life’s task.

Christiana awakens Women’s empowerment through group and individual work with and for women so that women can mix their own breath, the deliciousness of their womb-energy with Spirit (in whatever form) so that women can re-member. There are threads which tie all these together – and then it matters not if one is a woman-, male- or trans or cis!

Christiana is a registered Finnish music therapist having completed her education and training in California. While in Finland she completed an intensive two-year programme to become a Breathwork Therapist (Inspiraktiva, Sweden/Estonia: Bo Wahlström, Rani Spets ja Sofia Sjöblom). She gathered more psychophysical experience with Breathing for Self-regulation and self-reflection (Hengitys itsesäätelyn ja vuorovaikutuksen: Minna Martin & Rauni Nissinen).

Women’s consciousness & equality education (26 units) led to research into the sacredness of sisterhood, of bees, of the sacred, and of body. This brought light to some of the challenges where jealousy, envy and bitterness roll and crash around and often permeate many communities and workplaces where women are present. Golden shadows of possibility in need of acknowledgment, tending and active transformation.

Between 2008-2019 she was teaching three – five times yearly at Holistika Institute in Tallinn, Estonia. Christiana’s quest is to get a group of normal, everyday folk to become aware of their throat energy-centre (chakra), re-explore their communication and ways they express. Of course, much singing/sounding is involved as well as dance, breath and games. Chrisse continues to offer workshops and see folk in Estonia on a regular basis.

Chrisse plays fiddle (played violin while growing up) and sang in a village band, Kombinatt 37 for a few years. Having sung in school and church choirs, musical theatre, even in a few operas during childhood and adulthood has only convinced her thoroughly that anyone can sing. We are singing creatures and use most of our brain whilst singing, she says. Observation and research are one of her passions: when one observes and questions what messages we have received about keeping our voices quiet we begin to awaken our voice and abilities to communicate which means to create.

Ahh, Death! Another passion of hers is to guide people to finish the unfinished business as best as possible before going. Also assisting those who are bringing life into this world. Life is a web where all is reflected in the glistening stars which shimmer on the strands. Each blessed glimmering is a lesson, an experience. The goal is not to collect the glistening stars nor sink into them – but to Live the Web of Life with joy, humour, friends – Love and kindness – as best as we can. So she feels.

Ceremonial Rites-of-Passage are a part of her offerings. Please see Earthsong Ceremonial Rights of Passage for young women and Wilderness Quests. Chrisse has a passion for taking folk out onto the land as well as bringing into being ceremonies to mark the transitions which humans need to make in their life: from birth to becoming an adult or fruition; grandmothers/fathers (has to do with age mostly, not reproductivity); commitments to others / hand-fasting; honouring those who have died, for example. There are many types of ceremonies, she says.

Chrisse currently works out of her house in Ruotsinpyhtää, and occasionally in Espoo at her bio-dynamic, cranial-sacral osteopath husband’s treatment room. They also make treatments together. Christiana makes house/business calls as needed. She has a keen sense- gut intuition- some say, of what needs to be done and how to weave it all together with groups and individuals.