April 22nd, 2008

Gardening with Nature Spirits

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

"We have not only to cooperate with the nature kingdoms, but we have to allow them to become one with us. Through this marriage, we are more truly human." - David, of Findhorn.

I have been re-reading The Findhorn Garden as part of my preparation for creating a garden this spring using the physical techniques of biointensive gardening, but I hope to work in partnership with the various land and plant devas as revealed at Findhorn. I especially found the section by Roc very enlightening in regards to the paraphysical ecosystem of the land and its beings. At Findhorn, certainly they described an ecosystem
of spiritual beings, whether one calls them spirits, elves, sprites, djinn, angels, kachina, devas, etc. I will here use the terms described at Findhorn, but YMMV. As described by the founders of Findhorn, the realms of spiritual ecology in their world include God, the devic realm, the nature spirits, and man. "The garden clearly had become the focal point for an experiment in the cooperation of three kingdoms: the devic, the elemental and the human. Each of us at Findhorn was playing a distinct and necessary role in the experiment. I was the representative of man, the active practical creator of the garden. Eileen received direct guidance from the [inner] voice of God within. Dorothy was in communication with the devas. Roc had the ability to see and speak with nature spirits."

In explaining the realms/efforts of Devas and Nature Spirits:

The Devic Realm: "We knew the devas to be that part of the angelic hierarchy that holds the archetypal pattern for each plant species and directs energy toward bringing a plant into form on the physical plane. " The Landscape Angel functioned as the genius loci, the Spirit of the Location which coordinated all the efforts within the landscape of a particular place. Each plant species also had its own deva: Pea Deva, Cabbage Deva, etc. which was the spirit overseeing the growth and wellbeing of a particular plant species.

Elementals/Nature Spirits: The term "elementals" was used here, though it is not exactly the same as the hermetic usage of the term "elementals," but rather more generally as a nature spirit or fairy found all over the world, elves, gnomes, etc. (not the Tuatha, who are of a particular land and history). Pan is all of nature (as seen in his very name), of countryside and woodland; he is head or god of the nature spirits. Such nature spirits include elves, gnomes, spirits of storm, rain and water, etc. "Learning to work with the nature spirits kept us on our toes. While the devas are anxious to cooperate but are rather detached from the results of their work, the nature spirits are more susceptible to direct influence by man and thus can get upset when he interferes with their work. We soon had a nature spirit strike on our hands."

In other words, at Findhorn, the founders saw the devas as the etheric architects, and the nature spirits as the actual builders/craftsmen and caretakers; you need the competencies and work of both an architect and a builder to create a house; same goes for plants and other things in nature.

Sadly, according to later reports, much of this founder work at Findhorn was undone, as later folks who took over Findhorn did not work like the founders did with the nature spirits, but focused instead on the alternative technologies rather than the partnership of God, man, devas, and nature spirits.

As a tangent, the term "alfreka" (see the works of Pennick) means alf (elf/nature spirit) + barren/driven away. In the Norse/Anglian systems, the destruction of a neighbor's fields and lands was accomplished by sorceries creating the condition of alfreka, to make the land barren, to drive away the nature spirits and thus kill the life of that land. The same thing happened when the Christian clerics came and "exorciso te" the various rocks and holy places, and drove the various deities and spirits from their ancient homes.

In Britain, where there is a tradition of fine gardens, almost invariably an area in each garden is left wild and tangled with "weeds". There is also a folk custom among farmers of leaving a bit of land amongst their fields, where humans are forbidden to go, as the domain of the fairies and elves.

In Scotland, this area of wild land is called "Clootie's Croft," "Black Faulie," "Devil's Croft,"
and "the Goodman's Field." These were generally parts of the BEST land, up to four acres, and often had old ruins or sites on it. Even in the face of threats by the clergy, these places were left uncultivated.

Pan told the founders of Findhorn that "in any garden, no matter the size, where the full cooperation of the nature spirits is desired a part should be left where, as far as possible, man does not enter. The nature spirits use this place as a focal point for their activity, a center from which to work." Humans were not to enter it, not even for ritual; it was dedicated for the spirits' own use.

In some small gardens, even a little tangled place of wild things should be left alone. Some cultures, such as in Bali, do the same thing, and they build little "spirit houses" for the spirits there.

I do not have a house or yard myself, so I am putting a small teensy garden in my parents' backyard, in an area formerly strewn with junk-- the rest of their yard is lawn they don't want dug up. My garden is very hard clay, hardpan stuff. Probably not much will succeed this year, the soil is so bad, so I am focusing on building the soil. This first main patch I will double-dig is only 16 x 10 feet or so (I am also putting in a couple of "pocket patches" here and there, but at the edge I am going to dedicate my wild corner. I have a little toy-sized adobe church I will use for the spirits in my "wild corner," along with a two-palm-sized stone I found onsite I will use for offerings of food and milk for the unseen workers there. This tangle is also the location of one of our dog's graves in the backyard decades ago.

Some more information from the founders of Findhorn:

"Angels, the shining ones, Divine Agents Governing The World,
God's messengers, guardians for men.

***

Devas, part of the Angelic Kingdom and are in direct service to
the world of nature expressing themselves as one of the 4 elements:
fire, earth, air and water. Devas are anxious to cooperate [with man]
but are rather detached from the results of their work.

***

Nature Spirits are for the most part composed of etheric matter. Their job is to build the plants. They channel the etheric forces they receive into physically constructing the particular plant patterns they are receiving from the devas. They are the physical workers who carry out the architectural blueprints. They express great joy and delight in their work. They vary in size from a fraction of an inch to elves who are three to four feet tall. Nature spirits are more susceptible to direct influence by man and thus can get upset when he interferes with their work.

***

Elementals: Within each of the four elements are nature spirits that are the spiritual essence of that element. They are made up of etheric substance that is unique and specific to their particular element. They are living entities oftentimes resembling humans in shape but inhabiting a world of their own.

The beings in the Elemental Kingdom work primarily on the mental plane and are known as "builders of form." Their specialty is translating thought-forms into physical forms by transforming mental patterns into etheric and then physical patterns. Each of them is a specialist in creating some specific form whether it be an electron or interstellar space. They take their orders from the devas.

Elementals range in size from smaller than an electron to vaster than galactic space. Like the angels, elemental beings begin their evolution small in size and increase their size as they evolve. The elementals serving on planet Earth materialize whatever they pick up from the thoughts and feelings of mankind. This relationship was intended to facilitate the remanifestation of "heaven on Earth."

They have the power to change their size and appearance almost at will. They cannot, however, change elements. They do not remain individualized as humans are. These beings are animated by the thought power of the lower angels and so are thought forms of sorts.

They may be etheric thoughts forms, yet they have etheric flesh, blood, and bones. They live, propagate off spring, eat, talk, act, and sleep. They cannot be destroyed by grosser material elements such as fire, air, earth, and water because they are etheric in nature. they are not immortal. When their work is finished they are absorbed back into the ocean of spirit. They do live a very long time... 300 to 1,000 years."

(Quote from http://www.seekeronline.org/journals/y2006/mar06part3.html)