Once again it’s Tornado season and small towns in Indiana and Ohio have been leveled, with many dead and injured. As an observant and concerned neighbour in Canada, where tornadoes do occasionally strike but with much less fury and loss of life, I once again found myself troubled at the seemingly senseless loss of life and untold suffering that such natural disasters entail.
That nature, mother nature as we often call her, is destructive as well as creative, has long been understood and accepted. We pick up the pieces and carry on, somehow convinced that our purposes can only be deflected and not completely destroyed. Floods, droughts, famines, fires and all manner of storms have their way about the planet and always have. Our ingenious innovations in shelter, transportation, energy and medicine seem virtually helpless when faced with the seeming wrath of mother nature, who will just as soon rip a babe from a mother’s arms as gift us with a bounteous harvest.
As somewhat enlightened seekers freed from the bondage of superstition, theological dogma and scientism, how do we react to such turmoil? The suffering and deprivation of the victims is just as real as in more primitive times. Do we grieve, sympathize, give thanks for there but for the grace of god go I, or calmly observe or plainly refuse to be affected? After all, there are many natural disasters every season, some claiming hundreds and even thousands of lives.
The establishment and evolution of the Gaia principle in the last forty years, suggesting that the planet and its atmosphere is a self-regulating complex system which constantly, and perhaps magically, maintains optimal conditions for the development of life, has been extended by the more mystical among us as indicating a sentient, self-governing and self-aware entity with which we can sympathize and maybe communicate. Of those who have reached out to Gaia, the spirit ensouling the planet, and made public their dialogues, those of Vee Van Dam, contained in his book The Psychic Explorer, strike me as the most convincing. And yet, I do not think we would have to go back very far in history to find people who prayed to mother earth for guidance and uplift. The Paganism and Animism which underlie modern religions are never very far from the surface. As Leonard Cohen wrote, “god is alive and magic is afoot”.
As we align with Gaia, or at least convince ourselves that we are doing so, are we doing any more than conventional religionists are when they align with ‘God’s purpose’? As new-agers we would tell ourselves we are aspiring to co-creation with Gaia rather than submitting to God’s will; a subtle difference that could be endlessly debated. In earlier posts I have suggested that our suffering here ‘comes with the territory’ and is a valuable learning tool whose unavoidable existence is known and recognized before we take that incarnational plunge. What I am to include today will not radically alter that understanding, merely refine it.
Despite the proliferation of psychics and sensitives claiming attunement with the spirits of nature, there are very few reliable printed sources of detailed communications between them and nature spirits. Geoffrey Hodson and Dora Van Gelder are two of my favourites and it is only the latter who seems to have attempted an understanding of the participation of fairies and angels in a violent storm. This is contained in her 1977 book The Real World Of Fairies, which I would heartily recommend to any of you starting out on this subject.
It is important to understand that the forces of nature, the elementals of earth, air, wind, water, are all inhabited by sentient beings of the angelic/devic line of evolution. From the microscopic elementals of atoms and blades of grass to tiny sylphs, elves and fairies to large tree spirits and giant landscape devas, nature is everywhere populated with invisible operatives who willingly and often joyfully participate in all her systems and processes. That is the given of this understudied subject and while Gelder’s entire text is fascinating, the chapter I shall focus on is, perhaps not surprisingly called “The Hurricane,” and concerns a storm in the Miami, Florida area in the 1920’s.
Dora writes, “At that time I asked the angel of the sea to describe this event. He did so by giving me a great number of mental pictures combined with feeling. There is only one difficulty in communicating with an angel. What he considers to be one idea is to us about twenty, and thus it takes a long time to digest what he expresses. One gets mixed up very easily, because one is always behind him in grasping his ideas.”
To explain storms from an angel’s pov, she later writes, “In each territory ruled by angels – like the one inhabiting Biscayne Bay – there is a vortex which is the principle seat of the angel’s consciousness. This center is in a particular place and may be regarded as the heart of his area. There are similar vortices in the air, not so numerous, which serve air angels in a like manner. It is the discharge of energy and polarity between an air vortex and a sea vortex that results in various kinds of storms.” She then speaks of a hierarchy and network of angelic beings of which this one is just a part. She then writes,”The very highest ranks, because they are the immediate agents, have the power of planning the future far ahead and of knowing events of the minutest kind which we have always attributed to God. Indeed, they ‘mark even a sparrow’s fall'”.
She then describes the great angels who “keep nature’s energies in balance” and how they plot a starting point and path for the storm and appoint a certain storm angel to take charge. She writes that this angel, over twenty feet in height, has “a powerful face with shining grey eyes and fair hair, magnificent to look upon. Importantly, I think, she then writes “these storm angels are rare”, traveling about with the storms as it were, and that “they are highly evolved and have a perfect steadiness and clarity of vision that is mathematical in its precision.” She then describes the lesser angels picked out to assist him as colleagues. She writes “These I can only call the angels of life and death, for they went with the hurricane angel in order to supervise the human aspect of the storm, as it were – the effects of the hurricane upon humanity”.
Just before the onset of the storm, she describes how the hurricane angel first warns the angels of the air and sea who are located at the point of origin, and how he gives instructions for preparation “by drawing in their forces to be ready to discharge them when the time came”. He then gives “a definite time, fixed a few hours before”, and with this a “wave of notification to all angels along the line of progress” goes out, until the angel of Biscayne Bay receives “definite notice from headquarters”. Thus angel then calls a “mass meeting of his fairies” and explains what was about to happen to them, “as far as they could understand”. An important point here, – the little guys in the operation, as with human endeavour, don’t always get the big picture, however dutifully they function.
As the storm opens, she writes, “All the angels along that line became interlocked, merged in the consciousness of the hurricane angel”. She then mentions special storm angels of the air and how “hundreds of them sweep in from all quarters”. There follows much more detailed description and then she writes of the “land angel of the Miami shore”, who despite knowing what was coming, his “part remains passive”, as he could do nothing to prevent this fate. She writes, “He did not enjoy it especially, as land angels dislike the destruction of trees and plants; moreover, in this case human beings were also involved”.
Later she writes, “The angels of life and death who accompanied him took note of what had to be done ad did their share of the work as the storm took its toll in their department of human life. It seems incredible, unless one sees it from within, that in the midst of all this turmoil order reigns.” Later again she mentions the angel of the land trying to “save as much of his own charge as he could, trees and animals especially”. And also, “his fairies cooperated with him in this, by jumping on a stray animal here and a casual bird there by suddenly reinforcing its instinct so that it ran to safety with a display of intelligence unusual to it”.
Finally, and I think significantly, she writes, “Human beings will inevitably think that the water fairies, sea angels, and especially the angel of the hurricane himself are bad or evil, because to us they have been destroying life. But she argues, “they have destroyed forms, but they have not destroyed the life within the forms, for life cannot die. Moreover, these beings have performed their function in accordance with natural law. People destroy property, one another, and the whole face of nature in times of war for personal gain, and they read their own motives into nature. But nature has no personal feelings. All this destruction is accomplished impersonally, and even, strange to say, with a feeling of love, because the host of angels and fairies never want to kill anything and try to save as much as possible”.
Personally I find this argument unpersuasive. There are many honorable soldiers and generals who hold to the same high moral standard, feeling that although wars are an inevitable extension of the collapse of diplomacy, that with effort suffering can be minimized and destruction limited to what is necessary. And although, obviously, many combatants do not thus strive, I believe the best of humanity serves as selflessly as the angelic hosts.
Of course, despite my disagreement, I honour the contribution of Van Gelder and others to this largely ignored field, expanding our small understanding with their clairvoyance and dedication. Indeed I do.