My first conversation with a tree was back in 2007 on the island of Oahu; it was a palm tree. It wasn’t a very nice conversation either. In fact, I can’t really call it a conversation as it was completely one-sided—the tree told me to get off its island. How rude. My wife and I did leave a few weeks later, but certainly not at the direction of that particular tree. While I suppose it might not have been the first time I had talked to a tree, it was the first time one talked to me, or at least it was the first time I was listening.
Another time, a year or so later, I was taking a lunch break at work, and sat in the middle of a small grassy field to eat. In the spirit I observed a small green guy moving around on the grass. He was about twelve to eighteen inches tall, and it seemed to me that he was the spirit over the grass I was sitting on—not just that little patch beneath me, but that entire field. We didn’t converse, and I was content to simply observe him. Not only that, but he threw a piece of grass at me. I’m not kidding. While I was there watching him, a small piece of grass landed on my chest out of nowhere. As I was the only visible being around, it kind of left him as the only available culprit. I don’t think he was being mean though, just expressing himself, I guess, or maybe playing? I don’t know for sure, but I’m sure if he was aiming to afflict me in some way, it would have involved more than a harmless piece of grass.
Since that time, I have discovered a bit more through my experiences of dealing with plant spirits, and history has a bit to say about them as well. Many cultures recognize the existence of these spirits, including the Greeks and Romans, various Native American tribes, and the druidic people of Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales. The Japanese call these spirits ‘Kodama’. Ancient beliefs in things such as forest spirits and nymphs are largely rooted in this truth: Certain spirits exist that are connected to particular aspects of the physical world, including certain plots or areas of land, rivers or sections of waterways, and plants. It is the job of these spirits to be caretaker or shepherds of the thing they are connected to. Initially I used to observe them in relation to trees and other plants, but I have since begun to see spirits that are connected to rocks, ground, rivers, and even the wind, storms, and stars as well. Some of these spirits are benevolent, but certainly not all of them. As best as I can tell, only some individual plants have spirits that watch over them, although most plants have some sort of caretaker, even if in a group and not individually.
To make this a little more confusing, I’ve not quite figured out the difference between the spirit of a plant itself, and the caretaking spirit of a plant. What I mean is that I have had conversations with both plants themselves and plant spirits. What differentiates the two is that the first is the actual physical plant. The second is an ethereal spirit being that is in some way associated with the plant or plants in question. Some have called these spirits “devas”, spirits that are more like angels in that they deal with the essence of the form of the plant, addressing the ethereal energies that make up the fiber of its very being. I have also seen what I might term “nature spirits”, spirits such as elves or fairies that actually deal with the plant itself on a level somewhere in-between the physical and the ethereal/energetic realm.
What makes all this so difficult is a few things. I have talked to plants, devas, and plant spirits, but being that it is spirit-to-spirit communication and I am human, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them. When I think I am talking to a plant, it is theoretically possible that I’m actually conversing with a plant spirit that I simply was not aware of. I have also found that it’s awfully difficult to observe nature spirits without their awareness of it. And when they’re aware you’re watching, at least the ones I have seen, they are unlikely to continue doing whatever it is that they do normally, and are more likely to respond to your presence. After all, most humans neither see nor interact with them so I suppose it must be exciting to them, or at least a vaguely curious thing when one of us does.
What I find even more interesting is some of what legend and myth tells us about the subject of nature spirits, devas, and the like. Dryads, a common term for tree-nymphs, are supposedly caretakers of trees. Technically, dryads are specifically spirits of oak trees, but the term is often broadly used to generalize all trees. Hamadryads, however, are a slightly different breed. Like dryads, they too are caretakers. However as legend has it, they are so closely tied to the tree they inhabit, if the tree dies, so do they. Dryads do not have this level of mortal connection with the plants. If a tree dies, they might hurt or be upset, but they don’t die. While myths can actually be a good source of information, with truths hidden among the fiction, in this particular instance looking to myth only serves to muddy the waters further. At what point does a plant live separate from a plant spirit, and at what point can a plant spirit live without the plant? If the spirit dies, does the plant die too? I have no clue, and I suspect that it varies.
What I have figured out is this: Plants and plant spirits generally enjoy communication with us. I have met some particularly mean or ill-tempered plants, but most are generally happy. Personally, I’ve noticed that evergreens tend to be grumpier than most. It may just be me, but I have met fewer happy evergreens than other plants. However, the evergreens in Oregon seem to be a bit cheerier than those on the East Coast U.S.A. Although since evergreens do get targeted yearly around Christmastime, I suppose they’ve got something to be grumpy about. I mean, who ever heard of a “Christmas Sugar Maple” or “Christmas Willow”?
Plant spirits live all over the place. You can’t really get away from them, nor should you try. They live most places where plants are, and in reality, if there are no plant spirits around then you probably need to bring some greenery into your life. While it might not be clear to us as of yet what benefit we get from having these beings around, we do derive benefit from plants, and as such should be appreciative of what they do. Which begs the question: What exactly do plant spirits do?
Answer: As I stated earlier, they are hard to observe. So instead, I decided to just ask Holy Spirit, since He knows everything. This is what he told me:
Plant spirits’ job is to care take plants. They try to keep them free of diseases, and work to ensure sure they get sufficient sunlight, water, etc. While this is not always possible, they do manage things in the overall sphere of the plant. Like humans have angels, these are helpers that work on behalf of the plants themselves. They enjoy what they do. In a sense, they are like farmers. They are obviously agrarian in nature, and so some people have made a connection between these spirits and gods and goddesses of farming and harvest. That connection both is there and it isn’t. It is there in the sense that people’s awareness of plant spirits does influence positively their harvesting and crops. All spirits appreciate attention, and when you give them attention, they are more likely to want to do a good job with your crops. It is not there in the sense that they are not gods, or at least not how humans typically conceptualize them. There certainly are strong and powerful nature spirits, and this is where some of the agrarian myth has come in. Ultimately, all the earth is God’s, and should be treated as such. While these spirits *do* help out, they are not to be worshiped.”
Like humans, every plant has an energy field. Plant spirits help care take that field, and manage the corporate energy field of groupings of plants. For example, individual grasses in a field are so close to each other that their fields are constantly merged, and oftentimes many have shared roots, all part of the same plant. Plant spirits work with the subtle energy of the plants to create the best for all the grasses there. This also happens in forests, but in the case of larger forested areas, both more and more powerful spirits are needed. Like Elemental spirits, they manage the overall state of that within their domain.
Since asking Holy Spirit about this many years back, I had the fortune to be reminded by a good friend of Findhorn, a community in Northern Scotland he had told me about a few years prior. I proceeded to order the book The Magic of Findhorn’ and dove in. As it turns out, that was a wise idea, as the book greatly increased my own understanding of the realms which I was already seeing and communicating with. If you are curious about this subject, I highly recommend picking up a copy.
The book proceeded to elaborate on the lives of Peter and Eileen Caddy and the community that was built around their efforts to be led by God in all things. While not overtly Christian, they had a clear understanding that God was at the center of all things and attempted to live their lives out of that, receiving daily instructions from him. In this process of living from “daily manna,” over time and through circumstances they found themselves jobless in a caravan in a caravan park at the edge of the town of Findhorn. Having no job, little money (on the “dole”, aka welfare), and needing something to supplement their meager resources, Peter started a garden.
The process of growing this garden included advice and direction from God through Eileen, including how to engage the ethereal energies of the universe to bring the best health and life to the plants. At some point however, their friend Dorothy, who had thrown her lot in with them, began to connect with what she called ‘devas’, the spirits who, as I explained earlier, were sort of the ‘Archetype’ spirit of that plant. The first she spoke to was a pea deva, and proceeded to meet many other spirits since, welcoming and communicating with each every time they brought a new plant into their garden. Interestingly, she was told by one of the devas that she would only be able to communicate with the devas of those plants that were in the garden. As you can imagine, over time this garden grew not only to be monstrous in size, but with the help of the devas, the plants were imbued with energies far greater than those found in any normal farmer’s field. But it didn’t stop there.
Robert Ogilvie Crombie, known as Roc, met up with the Caddys and Findhorn as the community was beginning to attract other people. While Dorothy was connecting with the Devic realm, he brought his own unique flavor to the mix—the Nature spirits. His first experience was with a satyr in a park near his house in London, and he had since met with the god Pan on multiple occasions. Pan is, as myth suggested, a satyr of massive size, complete with the horns and all. Mind you, while the book termed Pan a ‘god’, I personally believe that had to do with Roc’s understanding of Pan’s purpose and position and the fact that historically he was considered one of the ‘gods’, not because Roc in any way worshiped him. And for lack of a better term to describe him, a non-capitalized “god” works just fine, and I will continue that here. After all, the scripture states that we too are “all gods”. What impressed me about Pan was that at one point he too, like the angels in scripture, entreated Roc at one point to worship God and God only.
During this process of encounters with Pan, Roc also met a king of the elves, and he began to form a relationship with the Nature Spirits. It seemed that there was a sort of reconciliation that was happening between Man and Nature Spirits through this process, and Roc was the intermediary that had been chosen for the task. As a fringe part of the Findhorn community he brought with him this fascinating knowledge and experience that only increased the supernatural nature of what was taking place there. It became apparent over time that the Nature Spirits could either help or harm the activity of the plants, and that while the devas were somewhat less attached to the outcome of individual plants, the Nature spirits got quite upset when plants were killed, pruned, or torn down, especially when this happened while in full bloom.
The book goes into much more about all of this, and I recommend that anyone who has further interest get their hands on a copy of this fascinating book. There is far more than I could possibly expect to share here. While I recognize that many might question the nature of these spiritual experiences these people were having, let me remind you of two things. First, all spirits have to be tested, and I only share this here because I have done that to my own satisfaction and sincerely believe that they are part of God’s Kingdom. Second, keep in mind that I read this book ONLY after I had already seen elves, fairies, and many other nature spirits, had talked to ‘devas’ and communicated with plants. For me, this book has been a divine blessing, confirming and clarifying things I already had a glimmer of understanding about, but those of you who read it can and will decide for yourselves as well.
I do caution you, however, against deciding this book is not of God without actually reading it. The reason I say this is that there is so much in life and our understanding of God and this world that comes by revelation alone. I am not so ignorant as to reject all revelation that doesn’t line up with my current understanding, and do actively seek wisdom in these matters. For me, The Magic of Findhorn was a God-sent book that I read at the right time, when my own understanding and revelation could take me no further. Even now I consider this book to be a primer for anyone who wants to interact with the Nature Realms as a whole.
I am currently at a place where I am trying to put knowledge and experience into practice. While the book and my own experiences offer the beginning-point of a grid for these things, I understand that I will not truly know any of this deeply unless I am willing to step out and do and see for myself. While I cannot say I have seen dramatic results on our property, I have no doubt that as we continue to co-labor with these spirits on the earth that we will uncover new depths of God’s provision for mankind, animals, and even all creation. And if for some reason all else fails, we will still have a great garden.