Nature Spirits

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Specter of the Broken is a rare atmospheric phenomenon that produces a halo around the shadow of an object and is often mistaken for an apparition. This image was taken at Saddle Mountain, Oregon at sunset. Dan Sherwood/Photographer’s Choice/Getty Images.

Nature Spirits

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

According to Carl Jung, nature spirits were an early stage of human evolution. They have been termed deva, fairies, angels, undines (water spirits), sylvans (woodland spirits), pixies, and gnomes (earth spirits). Many gardeners believe that on occasion they see nature spirits among the flowers and vegetables. In the 1960s, Peter Caddy founded a community known as Findhorn on the barren, windswept coast of Inverness, Scotland, and watched it blossom into a rich, fertile paradise worked by nature spirits. When Peter Caddy and his wife Eileen started to work the area it was a truly inhospitable place, with sandy soil and sparse, desertlike life. But in a few short years the Caddys and some few others who joined them were producing huge vegetables (42-pound cabbages and 60-pound broccoli plants), beautiful flowers, 21 types of fruit, 42 herbs, and a total of 65 different vegetables. They said the focus of their work was love, and it was always acknowledged that everything was done with the help of the spirits of the land.

There is plenty of evidence for such spirits. Penny Kelly had a similar experience to Caddy’s at Lily Hill Farm, though she makes a point of not saying where the farm is located. She claims that the spirits, or elves as she calls them, brought about an annual harvest of one hundred tons of grapes from just thirteen acres of vineyards.


Bletzer, June G.: The Encyclopedia Psychic Dictionary. Lithia Springs: New Leaf, 1998
Briggs, Katharine: Abbey Lubbers, Banshess & Boggarts: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fairies. New York: Pantheon Books, 1979
Kelly, Penny: The Elves of Lily Hill Farm. St. Paul: Llewellyn, 1997
McCoy, Edain: A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk. St. Paul, Llewellyn, 2000
Spence, Lewis: The Fairy Tradition in Britain. London: Rider, 1948