Speaking with Nature: Awakening to the Deep Wisdom of the Earth - Sandra Ingerman, Llyn Roberts 2015
The Hidden Folk and the Spirit of the Land - Sandra
The Hidden Folk and the Spirit of the Land and Star Beings and Starry Princess
In the 1990s I became devoted to creating a healthier garden. This sparked my interest in working with the Hidden Folk. I performed a series of shamanic journeys with the intention of meeting the Hidden Folk, hoping they would help me with my gardening efforts.
In my first journey I saw a vision of an elf—a very small being. He was dressed in blue work clothes, construction boots, and a hard hat, and he was smoking a cigar. He was short with a very solid, stocky build, and seemed to be the foreman of a group of elves. The first thing he did was kick me in the shin. I was not physically hurt by his kick, but I certainly was surprised by his behavior
He said to me, “You don’t want me to help you with your garden. You want me to do all the work for you!”
Well, I had to laugh for I was caught. He was absolutely correct. I wanted some mystical being to magically create the most beautiful garden filled with flowers and strong, healthy vegetables.
Over time I learned how to work in partnership with “the foreman” and the group of elves he managed. They continued to test me to make sure I was committed to the work before they offered any assistance.
As I moved to different homes in Santa Fe, my team of elves moved with me and helped me to caretake the gardens where I lived. They now have been with me for many years.
The times we live in call for finding new ways of perceiving reality. In the collective we are caught up in the realities of scarcity, violence, and severe climate change. But this is only one perspective of our world.
We can lift the veils, see beyond the dense collective energies, and experience another level of life—its mystical and magical aspects. Yes, of course we must pay attention to what is happening in the visible world. But the subtler energies can assist in our efforts to cultivate a rich inner landscape. New ways of perceiving life and nature will lead to a more harmonious life filled with inner peace, health, and joy.
Indigenous cultures recognize that nature spirits appear in many forms. In modern-day cultures they are often visible to children, but most of us cut off our spiritual connections to nature beings as we move toward adulthood.
We call these nature spirits faeries, devas, elves, forest guardians, or forest angels. Some people refer to them as the “little people.” The Hidden Folk, however, are much taller than humans. Stories told by most indigenous traditions reveal that the Hidden Folk are recognized by people all over the world.
Just as we are, they are caretakers of this great Earth. By calling in and working in partnership with these beings, our chances of healing the planet can improve exponentially. As I travel I hear about many communities where people work in partnership with the Hidden Folk to grow beautiful gardens filled with healthy vegetables and other plants of great beauty.
I first heard about working in partnership with plant spirits when I learned about the community at Findhorn, Scotland, founded in 1962. A small group of people living on barren, sandy land worked in partnership with helpers they referred to as plant “Devas” to grow astonishing vegetables in adverse conditions.
I’ve also read books by Machaelle Small Wright at Perelandra. Small Wright works with the Hidden Folk to grow healthy fruits and vegetables and control pestilence. She suggests that if we work with “nature intelligences” to give the spirits of insects and rodents the food they desire, they will leave the main garden to thrive.
As children we knew the Hidden Folk and they brought magic and joy into our lives. As we grew older we closed the veils between the invisible and visible worlds and lost our connection with our invisible friends. When we reopen the veils, a twinkle returns to our eyes.
The key is to work in partnership with the nature spirits. The Hidden Folk remain elusive until they feel they can trust humans and their commitment to caring for the Earth. They will not do the work for us, but they will work with us.
For the past twenty years, I have gotten to know and love the juniper, piñon pine, ponderosa pine, cottonwood, desert oak, and aspen trees that grow and inhabit the land where I live. You might say my husband and I are “tree people.”
Many years ago, when Santa Fe was experiencing terrible drought, we became worried about the trees, because we could water our small garden but there was no way we could water all the trees on our land. Due to drought many of the piñon pines became infested with bark beetle, and millions of trees in New Mexico died.
As I shared in Cottonwood Tree, I started to engage in a variety of spiritual practices. I lifted the veil of reality so that I could see the trees thriving instead of perceiving them suffering in the drought. I used to walk around the land seeing the trees in their divine perfection radiating spiritual light.
To add to this practice, I called in forest guardians and angels to assist the trees. These forest guardians and angels, taller than the trees themselves, opened their arms and embraced them with love and light. Their loving presence helped to keep the trees thriving during the drought. We lost only a few piñon pines to the bark beetle. These nature spirits provide ongoing support as it continues to be dry in the high desert.
I have learned over my years of spiritual work that as climatic events keep creating changes in the landscape of our planet, there is spiritual work we can do to caretake the land. We can radiate love and light and perceive nature in its divine perfection. In this way nature reflects back to us a state of radiance and health. We can call in an abundance of helping and compassionate spirits to partner with us in our work on behalf of the planet and all in the web of life.
We came here to be caretakers of this great planet Earth, which is a garden. The Hidden Folk are also caretakers and live in urban areas as well as rural, so we can all connect to them. But we must be willing to show commitment to our love of the Earth before the Hidden Folk will show themselves to us.
They have observed the ways we have dishonored nature and the environment and so have a basic mistrust and are suspicious of humans. But when we show that we live each day with honor and respect for nature, all of life, and the Earth, they are eager to join us in an our efforts to be caretakers.
While I was writing a previous book, Medicine for the Earth, I read an article in The New York Times stating that the Icelandic people still believed so staunchly in the Hidden Folk that they had a representative in government fighting to protect their homes from encroaching road development. It was also known that if roads did threaten to displace the Hidden Folk, equipment would break down or some on construction crews would suffer from work accidents.
My curiosity was piqued by this, and my husband and I flew to Iceland to learn more. We stayed in a bed and breakfast in Reykjavik owned by a man who had been born and raised in Iceland. When I quizzed him about the Hidden Folk, he denied that everyone in Iceland still fully believes in them. But he did say statistics show the majority of people in Iceland will not say that the Hidden Folk do not exist. They might not wholeheartedly embrace the Hidden Folk, but they don’t deny their existence out of fear that the Hidden Folk might create blocks and obstacles if they are not honored.
While in Iceland we had the opportunity to attend Elf School, where we learned about the Hidden Folk and took tours of some of the places they are said to live. We also learned about a race of humans called the Spirit People, who are believed to live within the Earth. The instructor of the course shared research on a race of beings who wear pioneer clothes, live a simple life, and occasionally come up through rocks to rescue people who have suffered a hiking accident in the wilderness. They are said to have very advanced healing methods and can quickly mend broken bones. The research our instructor collected came from stories shared throughout the Northern Hemisphere—across Africa, Europe, and the United States.
In the West we have closed the veils between the worlds and have forgotten races of beings that coexist with us and offer their assistance. As we learn to sharpen our perception and enliven our senses, we can perceive the Hidden Folk all around us. When you look deeply into many of the beautiful flowers growing on the earth, you can see a face of the Hidden Folk.
When I moved to Santa Fe in the early 1980s, the locals and people who came to visit talked about “the magic of Santa Fe,” but I was unable to lift the veil of reality to experience this magic.
Life was hard for me here. No matter how much I worked, I could not financially support myself. I did not feel at home in the high desert. At first I did not appreciate the look of the adobe structures or the way they blend in with the land. And the adobe walls around the houses felt like the walls around the people, as I had a difficult time creating deep and meaningful friendships.
I never really felt that I had moved to Santa Fe by choice, but rather that some spiritual force or destiny had drawn me here to learn certain lessons. I was in true resistance to any gifts and teachings that were being presented to me. Life for me in Santa Fe was simply hard and devoid of joy.
Since I use shamanic journeying as a way to connect with helping spirits, I decided to journey to the Spirit of Santa Fe. The helping spirits are spiritual energy and formless, but they tend to take on a form that can engage with us on a personal level. The form might change with each person who journeys to a helping spirit. The Spirit of Santa Fe presented herself to me as a striking and radiant goddess.
Once I met the goddess energy of Santa Fe in a journey, she became my teacher for many years. She shared with me why I had been spiritually called to Santa Fe to live and what she had to teach me. I learned many valuable lessons from her that helped me to grow and evolve into who I am today.
I asked the Spirit of Santa Fe why I was having such a difficult time here and how I could turn my life around. She shared a wealth of information and gave me instructions for five actions to take to improve my life.
I followed her instructions, and after taking action on all five pieces of advice, my life completely turned around. Then one afternoon I was drinking coffee with some friends at an outdoor café. I looked up at the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and I experienced a veil lift open, and I felt Cupid’s arrow strike my heart. I instantly felt the excitement and magic of Santa Fe and could feel my heart and energy align with that of the land. Colors seemed brighter, and I could hear a gentle hum in the land. I felt excitement surging through my body, and I could feel the light return to my eyes. The plants, trees, and land sparkled with vitality and radiance.
My life here changed dramatically, and for the past thirty years, Santa Fe has been my spiritual, emotional, and physical home. I love living here and cannot imagine leaving.
As I started to travel and teach around the world, I found myself journeying before each trip to meet the spirit of the land or city that I would be visiting. I asked if I had permission to come, and I told the spirit of the land/city that a group would be joining me to explore how to live a life of honor and respect toward the Earth and the web of life. I shared that those traveling to attend my workshops were openhearted people who wished to embrace spiritual practices that would improve the quality of their lives. I asked for support for the group and that the group be welcomed and held in love by the spirit of the land.
I continually found that my journeys to the spirit of the land and the city I was visiting helped to shape my experience into a beautiful adventure. My travels went smoothly, my workshops took place with grace and ease, and I experienced many levels of support with my groups. That did not mean we never experienced challenges, but we could feel the spiritual support around us, guiding us through all our experiences.
When I started to teach my Medicine for the Earth trainings, I incorporated journeys to meet the Hidden Folk and the spirit of the land and or city. I would ask participants to journey over the course of the workshop to these nature spirits and spirits of the land to ask for guidance on how they could help caretake the land or city where they lived. The other intention was to ask how to improve the quality of their lives by living in harmony with the energy.
The results reported back to me have consistently been extremely positive. After performing these journeys participants leave the workshops with a feeling of excitement about going home. When they arrive home they report feeling a deeper and sacred connection to the land and cities where they reside. They feel welcomed in a way they had not experienced before by the spirit of the land and also by the Hidden Folk, whether they live in urban areas or outside of cities.
With continued journeys over time, people have shared with me that the quality of their lives has improved dramatically, and their mood has improved as they’ve begun to experience living on sacred ground. They felt an aliveness to the land or city they had not experienced in the past. The wildlife, plants, and trees seemed to communicate messages of love and support. For those who planted, their gardens flourished. A greater state of harmony was achieved. Most importantly, people report that they feel at home on the land and in the cities where they live.
As I end my writing of Speaking with Nature, I reflect on the hills I gaze upon as I leave the arroyo to return to my home. The hills are curved in such a way that I feel deeply loved and embraced by the feminine energy of the spirit of the land. There are different aspects of the feminine that Llyn and I have written about throughout this book, but ultimately all aspects of the feminine weave together a beautiful tapestry of love. Earth is our home and she loves us.
Love is the greatest healer. Do we really understand love? I think we all have a basic understanding of love, but our destiny is to learn about the power of true unconditional love. This is love that goes beyond the personal to mirror the love that went into our creation. Universal love is not a concept that can be understood or rationalized. Universal love is a formless energy that has no bounds. The universe and the helping spirits in the transcendent realms only see us in our beauty and light, and they love us unconditionally.
If we experienced true unconditional love of Source, the feminine, and the Earth, would we be facing the illnesses and planetary challenges we face today? And if love heals, how do we move our rational minds out of the way and surrender to this pure power? This love is in our cellular memory, as we were created from unconditional love. Universal and unconditional love transcends and is beyond our egoic understanding.
What will happen if we ask the Source, the goddess, the Divine to help us? If we say, “Thank you for helping me open to your love,” what would change? What is possible if we stop trying to understand how to experience a luminous state of being and just open and give thanks for the experience of love?
It is time for all of us to open and surrender to the creative force of life and experience the power of true unconditional love. As we do this we become a channel for that love to flow through us healing all of life.
We all know how love feeds both new growth and mature flowers, plants, blossoms, and garden vegetables. We all have witnessed the difference of a garden tended with love. The same is true for tending our inner gardens.
We do not try to give love to a baby, a family member, or loved one. True love effortlessly flows through us. Each day give thanks to Source, the Divine, and the feminine to help you to open to the unconditional love that created you. When you love yourself you can share love with others.
As we reconnect to ourselves and to the Earth, we remember how to honor and respect all in the web of life with each breath and each step we take. It is our responsibility to love ourselves, others, all the nature beings, and the Earth through our behavior. As we open together as a global community, love can once again flow through each and every one of us and create healing and transformation for all in the web of life.
Are you ready to meet the Hidden Folk? Turn on some expansive music or a drumming track and hold the intention that you would like to introduce yourself to the Hidden Folk who live in your city. Remember, the Hidden Folk live in both urban and rural areas.
You can also go outside and sit quietly and close your eyes with your intention to meet the Hidden Folk.
Tell them that you love the Earth and the land. Let them know you wish to work in partnership with them to caretake the Earth.
Be persistent; it might take some time for them to communicate with you while they test your commitment.
Once you start communicating with the Hidden Folk, ask for their guidance on how you can be a caretaker of the land. Be aware they might give you tasks that are time consuming. Be sure you are ready to do some work once you initiate a relationship with them.
You might invite some friends or others in your community to clean up trash in an area of the city or land where you live. This is an activity that the Hidden Folk will take as a sign of your commitment to be a caretaker of the land.
If you are a gardener, call in the Hidden Folk to help advise you about caring for your garden. Once they see how much work you are willing to put in, they will join you in your efforts. You will feel yourself working with them in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration.
Leave offerings for them. You can leave some food or a drink in gratitude for their help and partnership, but not just remnants. One time I left an offering of some cake that had gone stale. As I left the stale cake on the earth, I heard a message, “You always leave us things you don’t want to eat or drink. Leave us the good stuff!”
In the same way you performed a meditation to meet the Hidden Folk, you can also meet the spirit of the city or land where you live.
Start by introducing yourself to the spirit of the land, and when you feel you have a good connection, ask for advice on how you can live in spiritual harmony with the land. You can also ask for advice on how to improve the quality of your life and move through challenges you might be experiencing.
Look at yourself in the mirror in the morning and reflect on the shine in your eyes and the brightness you radiate. Even if you do not perceive yourself as bright, acknowledge that you are. Your perception creates your reality. When you feed your light, it shines through you.
When you carry on conversations with others during the day, comment on how their eyes are shining or how bright and beautiful they look. Breathe through your heart and be a vessel of universal love. Watch what happens as you do this. I can guarantee you that you will start a chain reaction of bright smiles wherever you are willing to bring through love and acknowledge the light in all you meet.
Go outside and feel your connection with the spirit of the land and the Earth. Feel the energy of love for life emerging through you. This love feeds you, all of life, and the Earth and the elements. Write the word love in the ground. Share your love with the Earth.
By shifting your perception you will find yourself stepping into a new dimension of nature that shimmers with a vitality and radiance you have not previously experienced.
By doing all these practices, you will notice that you feel more at home in your body and in the city where you live.
Together, as a global community, let us join our hearts in love as we work in partnership with the Hidden Folk and the helping and compassionate spirits to create a healthy planet. All the nature beings are alive and share this planet with us. Earth is our home. Together let us commit to its care. Together let us dream into being a world that embraces joy, love, light, harmony, abundance, peace, and equality for all in the web of life.