By CHRISTINA RAI WHEELWRIGHT
Take a walk in your garden just as the dawn is chasing away the night or when the dusk begins to wrap its arms around the earth. These are magical times, full of secrets and promises. This is the time when the elemental devas come out to play.
What’s a deva?
Deva is a Sanskrit word meaning heavenly, divine, anything of excellence. It is also one of the terms for a deity in Hinduism. Deva is masculine; the related feminine equivalent is devi. Other spiritual traditions incorporate these life forms into their mythology, with various modifications of meaning and purpose. Some other terms are Shedim, in the Jewish traditions; Afries, in the Egyptian traditions; Yowahoos, in the many African traditions; and Devs by the Persians.
The key thought is that these elusive spirits are present among us and strongly connected to the organic world. Though they can, at times, be capricious and naughty, they are open to a cooperative relationship with humans. However, it is up to us, as the human part of the partnership, to establish trust and maintain respect at all times. Otherwise, these little spirits will leave us to our own devices and go places where they are better welcomed.
Arthur Conan Doyle and the fairies
One of the most famous stories in modern times about the human search for devas involved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, himself a Freemason and confirmed spiritualist. He wrote several books on the subject. His most famous, The Coming of the Fairies, reveals Conan Doyle’s conviction of the veracity of the five Cottingley Fairies photographs taken by two young girls in an English garden. He reproduced these photos in the book, along with his theories about spiritualism and the existence of fairies and spirits and their fundamental nature. Though there was much skepticism at the time about the truth of these photos (now proven to be false), Conan Doyle remained a firm believer in the presence of fairies among us.
There are any number of devas you can coax into your garden space, each one connected to one of the four elements: fire, earth, air and water. The fire devas include entities that masquerade as salamanders, fireflies and dragonflies, as well as the element of fire or light itself. Placing twinkling lights into your foliage, strategically positioning an iridescent gazing globe into a perennial bed, or creating a site where you can burn logs or brush will attract the fire devas.
The work of the fire devas includes transformation of that which has died into new fertile ground, inspiration for the gardener and infusing the growing flowers and plants with warmth, which is so necessary for survival. You know that the fire devas are present if you suddenly see, from the corner of your eye, rapidly moving twinkling lights that disappear as quickly as you can turn your head to look. The fire devas can be coy and shy, but will advance when you light a fire. So, sit quietly and wait for them. They love the dusk.
The earth devas are intrinsically connected to the earth itself. Gaia is their source. Gnomes and kobolds are two examples of these hardworking, industrious entities. Their realm of influence is all that is under the ground, including the roots of a plant, minerals and soils, and the burrowing insects that digest soil matter. To work with earth devas is to toil in the garden with shovel and hoe. The dark of the moon is one of their favourite times, as light – in any form, but especially the light of a full moon – can overwhelm them.
Perhaps the most delightful of devas are those of the air element: fairies, elves and sylphs. These tiny beings can move like lightning and come to sudden stops just as rapidly due to their mysterious changeability. If you feel a sudden unexpected rustling around you when in the garden, you can be sure that a fairy is close by. Sudden changes in light can also be a sign of their presence. When you see an abundance of butterflies, you can be sure some are fairies in disguise! Fairies and elves nurture flowers by day, just as the fire spirits keep them warm at night.
When you feel a storm coming on and the wind begins to whip the trees around as the clouds gather, you can be sure storm devas are dancing in the garden. These storms are an absolute necessity for the growing garden as they activate nutrients in the soil and provide much needed moisture. One way to lure fairies is to create a fairy garden where they can lounge when they get especially sleepy. Tuck your little village into a secluded spot so the little sprites do not feel exposed. If you are lucky, you might just see them frolicking there.
The water devas include nymphs, naiads, nixies and undines. The best way to attract these beings into your garden is to create a water feature. The water devas are dreamy and extremely shy, even withdrawn, but they love to bathe and swim with the fish. A pond is just the thing to lure them in. In fact, they often masquerade as fish, so sitting by your pond and playing with your koi is a good way to interact with them. They do the job of balancing the chemistry in the garden and ensuring the plants receive the nutrients they need in order to be healthy and strong.
The deva’s promise
It is a good thing to make a place in your garden for the devas. When any deva is present, magic can follow – magic that can make your garden even more abundant and fertile than you can imagine.
Christina Rai Wheelwright has studied with shamans, both locally and internationally. She is also an evolutionary astrologer, writer and energy worker trained in reflexology and craniosacral therapy. Visit Christina’s website at christinarai.com