How do we work with Elemental Beings?
On Thanksgiving Day, millions of Americans will sit at their tables together, fold their hands in prayer, and give thanks to their Creator for the gifts of food and shelter.
Their prayers will in turn be nourishment for the Beings who invisibly live and weave around us, in the web of being that is our material world. Our gratitude is food for them, and helps them to bless our world in turn.
Last week, my husband and I attended the 5-day national Bio-Dynamic conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a state that is rightly called the “Land of Enchantment.” The workshop we offered there, called “Working with the Elemental Beings,” was so well attended that there was standing room only for attendees.
I spoke of how in Eurythmy we can experience that we live in no merely mechanical, lifeless world. We move through a living web of dynamic beings, including the spirits of nature, also known as the elemental beings. Every single movement that we make, as well as every thought we think and every word we speak affects them.
I have often experienced how through eurythmy we exert a very healing effect on the space we work in. I am certain that our eurythmy practice, as a conscious etheric practice, offers to them a kind of nourishment and a conversation (even as certain dances, rituals and prayers handed down to humanity for millennia did so). I have even felt that elemental spirits are strongly desirous of eurythmy, and gather around me to see what I am doing.
Harald, a master bio-dynamic farmer whose very being radiates kindness and love for the natural world, spoke of how he experiences these elementals. Although he does not directly see them with physical eyes, he knows that the farm that he has created and lovingly cultivated for the past 30 years has only been possible because of the work and service of these elemental beings.
These beings are offshoots of even greater creative beings, who have allowed part of their spiritual essence to be carried into this dimension that we live in, thereby creating a world that we humans can perceive with our physical senses.
Four major groups of beings live in the earth, water, air and fire elements. Different cultures around the world have given them different names, but their characteristics are relatively consistent.
Earth beings (gnomes) live in rocks and mineral veins, and are helpful to miners. Being bound to the realm of greatest density, they long to escape back to spirit. In the realm of plants, they help the seed to push against the forces of gravity and grow upwards into the watery realm.
Water beings (undines, nymphs) live in water, and especially there where it interfaces with the air, as in river rapids and waterfalls. They, too, feel the heaviness of gravity, and long to become light-filled. In the plants, they unfold their activities in the leaves.
Air beings (sylphs) are free from gravity, and dart about freely in the air. Their activity can be sensed in the murmuration of a flock of birds, or in the dance of dragonflies and butterflies. In the plants, they weave around the color-filled blossoms, or the fragrances of the etheric oils.
Fire beings (salamanders) live at the lively interface between matter and spirit. In the natural world, they can be found there where human beings interact with their animals—the shepherd and the sheep, the rider and the horse, the beekeepers and the hives.
In the lecture we gave together, Harald borrowed a term from the modern lexicon and called these beings his “Business Partners.”
Of course, he said, no business partner likes to work without a reciprocal relationship, but one needs to know what kind of exchange is appropriate. In the gardening world, one of the most deadly currencies is money. Whenever a farmer is compelled to work only to create financial profit by forcing the earth to bring forth ever greater yields, the elemental being turn their backs. The food they bring forth thereby loses vitality ad health.
What these elemental beings ask of us is that we work with them. We cannot merely take from them: we need above all to appreciate them and understand how to nourish them. That will help them to “stick around” and make a robust, healthy farm organism.
No one can simply want to see the elemental beings, as creatures of little bodies and forms. We are in fact “seeing” them all the time in their manifestations. Every leaf, every flower is their creation, even as every dance in the river or every flickering flame is their moving body. We may not see them through using our normal visual sense, but we can open other channels of perception. We can possibly hear them, smell them, feel them.
What is essential, however, is that we must be open to the possibility that they exist. For only through our openness can we appreciate them. With open hearts and open gaze we can re-learn that we exist in a dynamic, living world.
There are, of course, countless levels of Beings that surround us. From the Great Spirit-Creator God through all the levels of existence, Beings are creating every level of the manifest world. These beings, great and small, go largely unnoticed by modern human beings, for in our current level of consciousness, most people function at a level in which they can only perceive the reality of the sense-perceptible world. For the materialist, only that which can be measured, weighed or counted has reality: everything else is subjective, and therefore unreliable.
Archeological and mythological records, however, clearly show that people lived in a different level of consciousness. Through stories, dances and rituals, they cultivated a daily conversation with the Creator-Spirit-God.
In our present age, modern humans have relinquished that sacred connection, taking from nature without asking, without giving thanks. We have forgotten that we are indebted to our Creator for everything: our bodies, our minds, our breath, our food—Everything.
Harald makes a practice of always walking through the garden every week with his apprentices, and observing the changes and growth in every crop. In doing so, he is watching the dynamic, changing world that is being woven by the nature beings.
He watches carefully to know when a new bed of crops is ready to be harvested. However, before he allows anyone to initiate the harvesting of a new bed, he stands with them in reverence and gratitude and thanksgiving before the bed.
On Thanksgiving morning, before we sit at our table with our apprentices and dear friends, we will gather in the garden he has tended for 30 years and give thanks for the gifts of the spiritual world, of the earth and the rain and the sun, of the elemental beings in their continual dance between spirit and matter, and of the living being of Raphael Garden who has come to be the guardian angel of this garden. We will give thanks to the Spirit of Love, he whom we call the Cosmic Christ, Lord of the Elements on Earth, praying that the gift of the spirits will help us find the way to evolve towards our rightful future as godly-human beings.
I have heard people call this age the time of the Great Turning. We will once again come to know the beings that live enchanted in the world of manifest world we dwell in. The wheel of evolution tells us: it is time for our consciousness to make the next shift. Out of freedom, we will learn to love.