At the time of her earliest contact with the angels of nature, Dorothy Maclean lived in a caravan park with Peter and Eileen Caddy and their sons. The group was attempting to grow vegetables in extremely poor soil on a wind-battered Scottish peninsula when, during a meditation one day in 1963, Dorothy was guided to attune to the essence of nature. Trusting this inner voice, Dorothy opened herself to communication with the essence of the garden pea, and eventually with countless higher nature spirits, which she called "devas" (Sanskrit for "shining ones" or angels).
Dorothy and the Caddy family_and, over time, a diverse group of gardeners_received and acted on this devic guidance, and an extraordinary, co-creative endeavor had begun. The nascent garden blossomed with a lushness and vigor that confounded traditional garden experts and metamorphosed into the renowned Findhorn garden and community that thrives today.
After 11 years, Dorothy left Findhorn to lecture, write, explore the role of national and other angels, and lead workshops worldwide. When she is not traveling, Canadian-born Dorothy lives in the Seattle area. Her work with nature has been described in the collectively written Findhorn Garden and in her autobiographical To Hear the Angels Sing. Dorothy is currently at work on a book called Love and Consequences, which includes an exploration of the notions of darkness and light. In her workshops, Dorothy considers these topics as well as offering guidance and practice in attuning to the angels. According to Dorothy, almost all of us have experienced the angelic or inner realm, whether or not we recognize it as such, much as a child bouncing a ball experiences and plays with gravity without any conscious awareness of it.
Jane: Would you tell me about the workshops you lead?
Dorothy: First I tell the story of how I came to make contact with my inner divinity and then to the angelic world, which helps people see I'm a very ordinary person having these experiences; if I can do it, anyone can. Then we all sit down and make that contact. To me, the most important thing is to help people find their own inner divinity. That's the point of it all, because it's from there that every one of us moves and grows away from our problems into finding our answers.
Jane: What do you suggest that people do in order to attune to their inner divinity?
Dorothy: I would certainly suggest a time of focusing on the inner worlds, a time of meditation every day, instead of only listening and focusing on the outer world. I think it's essential to listen within, to give our soul a chance to surface. Otherwise we just don't let it; we're so busy.
Jane: The first time that you attuned to nature_to the Pea Deva_did it take you by surprise? What was that first experience like?
Dorothy: For me, that connection was a continuation of ten years of experience of tuning in to the god within. The garden pea isn't as important as the god within. I wasn't overcome by it at all. It was the god within that told me I had a job to attune to nature. So I said, "All right, I'll do it." At first I resisted because I was told that vegetables had intelligence, and I thought, "Well, that's ridiculous!" Eventually, though, I did it.
Jane: When you say "God," what do you mean?
Dorothy: I mean the life force in everything.
Jane: You have said that many of the higher nature spirits have emphasized the "oneness" of all life, the interconnectedness of everything. Would you talk more about that?
Dorothy: What springs to mind is a theosophical chart that I saw once. I thought it was very good. [On a sheet of paper, Dorothy drew a series of concentric circles, like a simple target with the word "God" in the bull's eye.] There is a center, which is God, then there are all the layers of manifestation; you know, the angelic realm, the emotional realm, the mental realm, and the physical realm as points beyond these other circles. We are here on the physical realm, thinking we're separate, but we come into these other realms. We don't share the physical realm with the angels, but we do share all these other realms, especially when we come here, back to the center.
Jane: Do you remember which angels may have talked to you about the oneness?
Dorothy: They all do, because they live in it. Medieval texts say the angels are always praising God. Well, I found that so. They're always aware of God, and that comes out in what they communicate. When we attune to the angels, that awareness passes through to us.
Jane: And are you able to be aware of the oneness all the time? To keep that in mind?
Dorothy: Of course not. That's my aim, but I am like everyone else_not perfect.
Jane: What do you see as the role of humans on earth? And what do the angels see as our role?
Dorothy: To me, the human being's destiny or aim is to walk the earth with love, with the same qualities of the angels, but we have a much harder task because we're doing it here, in the nitty-gritty. The angels told me, at one point, that we will be their teachers when we do that. Because we can do it here in this world.
Jane: That certainly is something to aspire to. You said that the nature spirits are always joyful and loving, and they don't seem to be getting disgusted with us...
Dorothy: This is the angels. I make a difference between the nature spirits or "elementals" and the angels of nature. We made the strict division at Findhorn, because I was told I was to tune into the higher level of nature. Then ROC [R. Ogilvie Crombie, an early member of the Findhorn community] joined us, and he got into connection with the nature spirits. You know, first the little fawn, then the fairies and all this sort of thing, which are, I was told, under the jurisdiction of the angels. These nature spirits are closer to humans and they have an emotional nature, whereas the angels are above polarity. So emotional nature spirits can get upset.
Jane: And do they?
Dorothy: They do. They used to tell ROC, "We're going to leave that garden, the humans aren't doing the right thing there." He would phone up from Edinburgh and say, "What is it you're doing now?"
Jane: Did they ever actually leave?
Dorothy: No, no, they threatened, but we usually caught our error before they left. At one time people came back from Findhorn and reported to me that there was no nature help around; I don't agree, though.
Jane: So that can happen? The nature spirits can leave an area?
Dorothy: According to ROC, the lower nature spirits can. The angels wouldn't because, in a sense, they're doing God's will all the time, and God wouldn't withdraw support from the plants, the creatures, and us. But the emotional little nature spirits can get angry and stomp off somewhere. In one sense, they can, but actually we're the ones who stop them, for if we make a desert_which we're doing_how can they function?
Jane: Given what we are doing, given the pollution in the air and the waters and the way we treat the earth, the angels of nature can still maintain their joy and appreciation for us?
Dorothy: Yes, they can, because that's their nature. They see us as learning how to function. I don't think they'll ever give up because they're a part of the whole. But we're the ones who can give up, and we do. I know a great friend of mine who did_not about nature, but about the country: "Such a mess! Let's leave it alone. I don't care what happens." That's us humans. The angels wouldn't do that.
Jane: How is it for you_who have one leg here with us and the other in the angelic realm? How do you feel?
Dorothy: Well, I agree with them. I'm hopeful. I think we can do it, I think we have the ability as humans to change. The only example I have is myself: I've changed. I think I'm nicer than I used to be.
Jane: How else do you think your interaction with these higher levels of nature changed you?
Dorothy: Oh, in all sorts of ways. I had a greater desire to be of help, to be loving, to like people. I just think I was a nicer person. I had lots of tests and I'm still learning, as we all do. It made me appreciate more and more the infinite patience God has with me, and the wonder of that.
Jane: After years of communicating with angels of the natural world, you began to connect with other entities, like the angels of color, machines, cities, and countries. How did that start?
Dorothy: The god within always encouraged me to explore more of the angelic world. Also, life brought me instances. For example, I had always disliked cities, as I wished to live close to nature in harmony with all life, like the North American Indians. I used city amenities but got out of the "concrete jungles" as soon as I could, giving no appreciation or thanks to the city. When I realized that the Indians were usually warring tribes not living in harmony with all life, I lost my romantic notions, attuned to cities, and discovered wonderful city angels. The angels were having a hard time trying to look after the difficult situations in our crowded, rebellious cities, and even asked for love. My attitude to cities changed completely, and since then I have had no problem living in cities.
Jane: What is it like for you to return to Findhorn?
Dorothy: I always enjoy returning to Findhorn, for it was such a big part of my life. Of course it is different each time, and it is not easy to catch up on what has been and is happening in the community now. Sometimes I feel critical; sometimes I am just amazed and delighted.
Jane: Are they still gardening in cooperation with the higher nature spirits?
Dorothy: Oh, they have gardens there. None of them have the same contact that I had, but no one else ever has, for we're all different. They're not really specializing in the garden now, they're going into other areas, like building ecological houses and having waste converters and that sort of thing. Personally, I would like more awareness of communion with nature, rather than just doing things for nature, which, of course, have to be done too. But Findhorn, to me, was given that particular aspect of it.
Jane: So they're doing their work less co-creatively?
Dorothy: Yes. They're seeing it purely from the human point of view, and there's nothing wrong with that, but why not bring in nature? Not many people think they can, that's why. And I, of course, am here to say that anybody can.
Dorothy Maclean will be leading a workshop on attuning to the angelic realm on August 10-11, at the Blue Star Center in Lynnwood, Washington, (206) 672-8847. For information about the workshop, call (206) 547-3042.For information about the Findhorn Foundation, now a center for spiritual and holistic education, write to: The Accommodation Secretary, Cluny Hill College, Find-horn Foundation, Forres IV36 ORD, Scotland.