The Garden at Winterhaven Devas, Nature Spirits, Fairies Oh My
What's a Deva you ask? A Deva is an energy being who is associated with a particular piece of land or species of plant or animal. By sitting on a piece of land and meditating someone who is sensitive can make contact with the Deva of the land and find out what best could be done to bring balance and health to the ecosystem there.

If you want to grow broccoli and would like to know something more than what the seed packet has to say, you can meditate on the idea of broccoli and make contact with the Broccoli Deva who will tell you what you need to do for the broccoli given where you're planning to grow it.

Nature spirits on the other hand a little energy beings who in my experience are about knee high and not as wise or sophisticated as the devas. They live on the land itself and are the beings who channel energy into every living thing on the land. The Talmud says that "Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, 'Grow, grow." I think of this as being the nature sprits job. While I've never seen one, I imagine them to be a bit like elves or fairies.

They're kind of hyper and very demanding. They want you to get up in the middle of the night when the moon is full to plant your beet seeds. They whine. They stamp their feet and will bully you and try to run your gardening life unless you draw the line somewhere. They're very important and very valuable but like 3-years olds need a bit of structure and someone to say "I understand you'd like that, and no."

I've found they love to help me plant seeds and will dance all around the garden when I sing for them. They especially like the song "Java Jive" when I plant peas and beans and will bring huge amounts of energy into the garden if I sing Kate Wolf's "Give Yourself to Love".

We were first introduced to the idea of devas and nature spirits back in the late 1970's when we read about the Findhorn Community. Dorothy Maclean made contact with the devas and nature spirits associated with the land at Findhorn. I was enchanted by the idea of talking with these beings when I first heard about them.

I learned a bit more about them when we lived at Sirius in the early 1980's and even had a long talk with the Rose Deva about the beetles that were eating the roses.

But I learned the most from the books of Machaelle Small Wright the founder of Perelandra and author of Behaving as if the God in all things matter. In her workbook Perelandra Garden Workbook I she gave me a step by step process to make contact with the Deva of our land and the nature spirits who live here. Since then she has written a ton of stuff and has DVD's available too.

Once I got started, my own attunement gifts widened enough so that I was able to hear the Devas and Nature Spirits directly which is much more efficient (and fun) than asking yes-no questions and using muscle testing to get the answers as Machaelle suggested. Of course over time, my experiences have over-ridden what I learned from her and I have my own story now of what devas and nature spirits are about.

The Deva of the land itself gave me instructions on how the main garden should be designed and where each plant should go in the design. If I wanted to add a new plant, I'd sit down and ask the Deva where it would fit and sometimes I'd be told that I'd have to wait a year or two until the land was more balanced before I could add it.

The instructions included the shapes of the beds, the amount of each kind of fertilizer, the location of each plant and it's the planting dates. It also included instruction on placing particular crystals and stones in each bed. After losing a few of the darker stones in the soil, I took to placing them on small pieces of shale so that I could find them.

Crystal on slate

The whole point of this process was to bring balance and health to this piece of property and eventually the land around us too. After about 10 years the Deva of the garden told me that things were balanced enough that I could plant whatever I wanted without consultation except for trees. By then the ecosystem was really healthy. We had frogs, salamanders, snakes, and tons of birds. We attracted all sorts of wildlife and the pest situation was minimal.

Whenever we need to cut a tree down I spend time talking with the Deva of the garden and asking her help to transfer the energy that is in that tree into the garden where it's most needed. When you do that, the most amazing thing happens: after you've removed the tree you don't have that feeling of something missing that comes when you normally remove something large from the scene. Instead, everything looks normal and perfect.

I still sing to the nature spirits when I plant things and we laugh together as I weed. They still nudge me about moving that pile of rocks over there to some other place and mostly I listen and do as they ask. They seem to have resigned themselves to having a gardener who doesn't work much in the rain and isn't interested in trooping around in the dark to plant things.

I highly recommend working with the energy beings associated with your land. It's rewarding. It's fun. And in time, you'll have not only a healthy ecosystem but a balanced energy system too.

The only down-side I've ever seen to it is that every cat and dog and other critter in the neighborhood is attracted to the energy here too and sometimes that can be a bit challenging.