Elisa’s Thriving Planet: Burgundy, France

By Elisa Novick

I hope you will take a little while to see my photos on Facebook of the places I’ve been traveling in Europe. I am not a photographer and my camera doesn’t have much of a zoom or an optimal viewfinder, but I do like to record my experiences and the photos illustrate some of what I will say here.

Before I left for Europe, I asked several people for suggestions as to their favorite places for me to visit and some of those places I have been to and others I did not have time for. Sometimes, I would find that I was in one of the recommended places, brought by my loving guides, but hadn’t been aware I was there (like Viviane’s suggestion of the 7th Arrondissement in Paris, or the Jordaan in Amsterdam), which was fun.

Elisa Novick; photo by Eric.

Though there was so much I hadn’t seen yet, it was a relief to leave Paris. I thought it was because I had such a rough landing there, but when I came back through after being in Burgundy, to change train stations, I once again felt an energy that felt hard to me and hard on me.

The high-speed train to Chalon-sur-Saone showed me a countryside so well-ordered, with large mono-cropped fields and a few perfectly spaced uniform trees here and there that serve no function I could discern, that I laughed when I saw a row of cows standing in a field in a perfect line. They were all cream-colored like the buildings. But driving with Barbara from Le Creusot to Chalon, I saw something very different, beautiful old farms and villages (Buxy was stunning) on rolling hills with proper hedgerows and a diversity of plants and farm animals.

In California wine country, I had felt the pain of grapevines crucified along wires, not allowed to tumble as is their nature, yet for some reason, I felt no pain in these vineyards. As it happened, we had an organic vintner, Kristine, in our workshop, who explained that the grapes are grown differently here and don’t suffer. I didn’t understand her explanation, but my experience bore out her words.

Le Pinacle is an old manor house owned by a Swiss German couple who bought it sight unseen, led by Spirit. Annette and Willy keep it not just physically, but energetically beautiful. After an initial protective, worried response by Annette, they so appreciated that we could feel and honor their work. It was sparkling clean and the food was delicious.

Kristine was able to describe some of the local specialties we were tasting, which made it even more special. We worked in the salon where they hold concerts — warm and luxurious. After the frozen day on which we’d held our first workshop the week before in the miserable Forest of Fontainebleau, the warmth and ease of a home and land lovingly cared for was a soothing balm for me and for Dani who had also been at Fontainebleau.

Usually I suggest that people not use any mind-altering substances before and during my workshops, like sugar, coffee, chocolate and alcohol, but as we entered the dining room we were presented with an elegant ritual of champagne toast and a table of sweets and coffee. I gave up my scruples on the spot, and decided I would just work with people as they showed up. I knew immediately I was beaten and could only laugh.

Pollarded tree; photo by Elisa Novick.

With a multinational group, none of whom were French, we had the most wonderful workshop. It rained all weekend but for two hours in which we visited the magnificent trees in the park, including a giant Sequoia! It was deeply gratifying to have others who, despite their first time attuning in this way, were able to bring in a lot of information about each tree, and partner with them in service.

In one spot we all went off-planet. And in a little shaded grove, with strong devic presence, we were welcomed (not always the case) by the unseen ones there. We also entered into the process of becoming a loving planet-healing team. Having a full weekend was fantastic for me to hone the skills needed for this high-level work, but as usual, when we departed, I felt we were just getting started and had so much more we could do together.

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had in Europe, knowing that trees can be sentient, is seeing so many of them chopped, some just the ends of all the branches, some with all of the limbs gone, and some down to just a few feet of trunk. This goes way beyond any pruning or topiary I’ve ever seen. Then there are the trees cut into cubes, lollipops, and other geometric shapes, or cut in perfect flat lines across the tops.

I’ve asked why they do this and heard many answers, from limiting root growth, to an aesthetic, wanting more light on their houses, to the neighbors not wanting bird droppings and leaves in their yards. I looked up coppicing and pollarding in Wikipedia and found out many reasons this has been done over the centuries, some of which sound practical, even sustainable.

Yet whenever I see what look like atrocities to me, my guidance has always been not to go into negativity, for my own inner state and for the work of the Light coming through me. I was told, when I asked inwardly, that the trees cut in an extreme fashion go unconscious, not just because they are traumatized or lose their sensors, but because they are being treated as objects.

Here is one conversation I had with my inner guidance on this subject:

I am having such difficulty accepting the way that the trees are cut and chopped and amputated here.

You haven’t been exposed to this before in this fashion. It can be shocking; these trees are used to it. But it cannot be good for them you say, and that’s true. In this world here in Europe, all must be controlled, but there is great freedom on certain levels, too. The social justice is beyond what you’ve become used to, the social caring, the fields emplaced to catch people so they don’t fall.

You are a Lightworker, so you call in the Light and prayer for the health of the planet. Nothing else exists or is needed.

Are they suffering?

Yes, there is great suffering in this world — people, animals, trees — as love exists, too. It is unnecessary, this manipulation is extreme, but the people also care. So be not dismayed, dear one, and allow them their rights to be in their process.

I guess I must not despair.

That would defeat the purpose of your being placed here.


You are welcomed to participate in the Thriving Planet World Tour. To listen to and read past conversations with Elisa Novick on Planet Waves, plus her articles, please use this link. You’re invited to visit her website and Facebook page.

Elisa Novick, MSS does profound work as a healer, teacher, counselor, coach, minister, and facilitator of workshops and trainings in personal, professional, and spiritual development. She can assist you to clear personal, karmic and genetic patterns that have limited you and teach you exquisite attunement skills so you can become the magnificent master of life and Light that all of us are destined to be. Elisa has been assisting people in their growth since 1982 through her counseling practice and in facilitating over 1,000 workshops in holistic health, human development, family constellation, systemic constellation, organizational dynamics, planetary healing and spiritual awareness. You may email her directly at elisanovick [at] thrivingplanet [dot] org.

2 thoughts on “Elisa’s Thriving Planet: Burgundy, France”

  1. Yes, and a lovely message about letting go of judgement, something I’m really working on right now. I enjoy your travel pieces so much Elisa, you write so beautifully. Thank you for sharing your experiences here (I’m not on Facebook, get a bit overwhelmed by too much Internet, though know it’s an amazing tool, which I’ll prob end up using!).

  2. This was really helpful in knowing how to process cultural differences–these exist among plants as well–but rather than assuming there’s something wrong, you ask and listen. Thanks!

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