Living with Things that Sting

In the spring, a few years back, I noticed a small hornets’ nest in my outdoor kitchen. I was dismayed. Why would the hornets want to make their nest there? How was I going to get rid of it without being stung a hundred times? Would I have to pay someone to kill them? Well that didn’t feel right. They were just doing what hornets do …. whatever that is. Surely they didn’t deserve to die for living their life. What else was I to do?

Then I had the pleasure of visiting with Dorothy MacLean who started Findhorn in Scotland. I was reminded of a time that they relocated a colony of moles by asking them to move. The next day they saw a parade of moles moving to their new home in the adjacent land.

I decided I would ask the hornets to move. I tuned to their vibration, to the queen hornet specifically. Her energy seemed to steadily and gently invite my alignment. Not quite believing I was doing this, I found myself silently asking her what to do. I was asking from the heart, without words if you know what I mean. I felt her response in a sweet, calm energy reflected in their thrumming, flying vibrations. There was a steadiness and a strong willingness to work with a human. I felt honoured … then surprised that I felt honoured by a hornet. I mean really, it was pretty weird!

Over the summer the hornets’ nest grew and so did the hornets. The spring hornets were tiny and by midsummer they were about an inch long. They were highly focussed flyers and amazing paper nest builders. Each day I observed them with awe and wonder – as well as with a quiet but steady terror reminding me I was still afraid.

I learned that the queen creates a tiny nest in which she builds a hexagonal structure for each egg. After laying an egg, she protects each hexagon with a silken dome, anchored to the larger nest. Apparently, the ancient Chinese used this as a model for their papermaking.


All summer long, the hornets’ nest drew a great many human visitors. More than a dozen power trainers witnessed its growth and probably have their own stories. At one point, I needed a phone jack inches from the hornets’ nest. Three beefy alpha males showed up to do the install. They were the most entertaining human visitors – jumping around, swearing oaths. One wanted to throw rocks at it. I calmly told them I had an agreement with the hornets and all they had to do was get out of the flight path. Once I pointed it out, these guys got out of the hornets’ way and the swearing stopped.

And then, an interesting thing happened. One by one, each guy came to me – out of earshot of his mates. One started to talk about energy lines. Another made ‘meaningful’ eye contact as he left asking what really was going on. I told him I was overcoming a lifelong fear. The third told me that, because he had been hurt as a child when he tried to share his gifts, he’d been hiding them away, not able to talk about them. That is, until now.

Well, by October, the hornets were gone. I was unexpectedly sad. One hornet returned a few days after the rest left and slowly walked around the outside of the magnificent art form that is their nest. She was dying. It was her time. I stood below looking up, feeling such loving gratitude for these creatures, so maligned by our culture.

I learned so much in such a short time from these creatures. They taught me about:

  • birthing inside a hexagon under a silken dome. 
  • making and honouring a contract with another life form – the wavelength we call ‘hornet’. 
  • shifting my consciousness and using perspective. 
  • how shifting my own consciousness causes the consciousness of others to shift. 
  • humility in surrendering to the flow of life force.

My life was enriched that summer, living with things that sting.

~ Leslie Robinson, Level II Teacher

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