Findhorn


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Findhorn (Scotland)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Findhorn is a modern intentional community located north and east of Inverness, Scotland, on Moray Firth. Findhorn was one of the birth places of the New Age movement, and the channeled messages of some early residents, especially David Spangler, Eileen Caddy, and Dorothy McLean, helped structure the emerging movement. The center grew quite large as the New Age movement peaked in the late 1980s, and it remains an important center perpetuating the Esoteric themes that came to the fore in the late twentieth century.

The rather isolated Findhorn rose out of obscurity due in large part to the extraordinary occurrences that accompanied its founding. Somewhat down on their luck, Peter Caddy (1917–1994), his wife, Eileen, and a friend, Dorothy McLean, had settled in a trailer court at the village of Findhorn. A necessary part of their survival through the winter of 1963–1964 was the garden they planted. In part to while away their time, Eileen began to channel messages from what were believed to be devas, or nature spirits. As they followed the advice of the messages, the garden prospered.

In 1965 Peter Caddy attended a meeting of other pioneering New Age leaders in Great Britain, and that gathering catalyzed the formal organization of the Findhorn community. By this time the garden had become famous, with claims that it was producing fruit and vegetables out of season (which in northern Scotland was very short) and that some of the vegetables were of an extraordinarily large size. These phenomenal natural products gave credence to the messages that were channeled through Eileen Caddy and, increasingly, through McLean. These messages were informally published and circulated through England’s Esoteric community.

Early in the 1970s, an American named David Spangler came to Findhorn for a brief visit, then decided to join the community. While there, he began channeling and authored a book in which he advocated the idea that a New Age would be dawning in the next generation. That book, Revelation: Birth of the New Age, was published in 1976 and is credited with outlining the basic perspective around which the New Age Movement congealed. Spangler suggested that due to astrological realignments, new spiritual energies were now available to humanity and, if properly used, could bring a new era of people and light in the twenty-first century.

As the movement emerged, in 1975 Caddy purchased the nearby Clung Hotel, which became a center for conferences and workshops. By the early 1980s, some 250 persons had come to reside at the community, and a regular program for visitors developed and continues to provide its financial base. As the idea of a coming New Age faded in the 1990s, Findhorn adjusted to the changes of emphasis in the large Esoteric community that the movement had created, and the community has remained an important center as attention to Esotericism has grown.

Sources:

Caddy, Eileen. The Spirit of Findhorn. Forres, Scotland: Findhorn Press, 1997.
Pogacnik, Marko. Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings. Forres, Scotland: Findhorn Press, 1995.
Spangler, David. Revelation: The Birth of a New Age. San Francisco: The Rainbow Bridge, 1976.