by Shirley Johnson, MA
I was initially reluctant to share these findings, despite the fact that past life regression therapists are, of necessity, practised in suspending disbelief. A life as an elemental seemed perhaps a step too far. I had thought that fairies were delightful creations of the imagination and although I wished as I child that they might be real, it never seemed to me, as an adult, that this might actually be so. But the boundaries are constantly being pushed outwards and now I have found that, not only is belief widespread, but that sightings are numerous and quite well attested. The three lives as elementals I have encountered (one of them my own) is a small number, but I intend to pursue the possibility that our continued existence might spread far deeper and wider than we can yet imagine. In the course of the working life of any past-life regression therapist, unusual experiences will surface. It is our job to accept unconditionally the experience the client is describing, regardless of the way our eyebrows may be rising up into our hair.
I have regressed my share of Atlantans, extraterrestrials and animals, but recently, without warning, two of my clients described past lives as what I can only surmise are Elementals.
In Dublin, in 2015, I attended a workshop at a regression therapists’ conference, on the subject of the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. At one stage we were divided into pairs, to work together. I was paired with an English girl, a stranger to me, whom I shall call Elizabeth. Both of us were amazed and delighted when, during a short regression, she experienced herself as a tiny human-like creature, scurrying through an underground tunnel in the company of small creatures such as hedgehogs and weasels.
All were moving swiftly towards a subterranean chamber among the roots of a giant tree. Here it was communicated—apparently telepathically—that the earth was in danger and all would have to do what they could to help. She was being asked to be born as a human being and she did not want to do this, but she also understood that it was necessary. We moved on to her next lifetime and Elizabeth was very pleased to find that her first human life was the one she is now living. Today, in her everyday life, she is deeply concerned with environmental issues and animal welfare. Incidentally, Elizabeth even looks rather like an elf (or as we think they look) as she is small and slim, with a little pointed face and bright eyes.
Not long after this experience, I regressed a friend, a past-life therapist, who wanted to further investigate her difficult relationship. We had already, in previous sessions, discovered various links between these two in past lives, but seemed little nearer to a solution for their issues. In this particular session, I asked my subject (I’ll call her Naomi) to go back to the beginning of their association.
As we all know, this is always a breathless moment. Where would she go? The answer was both unexpected and fascinating.
Naomi described herself as having a humanlike shape and being perhaps twelve inches in height. She had the appearance of legs and feet, although she had no need to walk, but rather floated just above the earth. She said her body was of a very high vibration and therefore transparent, with a gauzy appearance shot through with rainbow colours, somewhat like the wing of a dragonfly. She said it was possible she could be seen by human beings, although this particular life occurred in a time before there were people on earth. This little creature had no wings, but since she hovered above the ground, it might have looked as though she were flying, had there been humans to see.
She was able to move instantly, powered by thought. “You think, I’ll go there and then you’re there. That’s how it works. So there must be some kind of a brain. I think it’s more a connection to Source.” However, she could not go far in any direction, as she belonged to a specific area of marshland.
And the beloved? Why, he was a pile of mud and rock, about three feet high. “He wasn’t moving. I was the one moving.”
In this lifetime, aeons ago, the two were literally inseparable. This light and gauzy being of Air could not stray far from this lumpen creature of Earth. “I feel very flexible and like a chameleon. I can adjust. I am able to sit on the rock there and he would caress me, embrace me. So there are elements of him that can move, because I can literally go into him, to sleep or to rest, or whatever—I don’t really sleep. And then I go off again.”
Initially, during this regression, Naomi kept exclaiming that this was all impossible, but she gradually became absorbed in observing the details and her disbelief turned to wonder. She explained that she and this pile of mud and rock were one and the same, that she had in some way been born out of him and that both had been created out of the DNA of the Earth, although; “…others come straight from the stars, or from the star dust, or whatever, incarnating straight from there, or maybe even from other galaxies.… But we come out of the DNA of the Earth. I can’t explain it differently. As a human soul, you incarnate, you choose to incarnate. As an Elemental you are born out of the earth. It’s just different.
The strongest feeling is that I was coming out of the earth’s DNA, but that DNA is somehow imprinted from the outside into the earth. It was a collision with a meteor or—but that’s going far, far, far back.”
But Elementals feel like they are closest to nature of course, because they come directly out of nature, out of the earth. It is not fair to say evolutionary humans are better, or more, it’s a different evolution. It’s a different stage. Elementals are very, very important, hanging around at that lower—it’s not a lower vibration, exactly—but near the earth. Because it felt like we Elementals couldn’t go far, we couldn’t even go up to that ceiling, we stay very, very near and close, in touch with where we are. So it may be a rose, or a bush, or an oak tree, or whatever it is. Very near. Because you can’t go further away. You’re just in that energy. It’s like the energy around a plant is mixing with the energy of the Elemental. It’s all one.
After this experience, I began to wonder if I had ever had a life as an Elemental, something I had never previously considered. I therefore, had a regression with that question in mind. Almost instantly, part way through the relaxation process, I found myself high on a mountain top, among the tussock, the tough golden mountain grass of New Zealand, my homeland. I was not hugely surprised by this, as I love grasses and especially tussock, just as Naomi loves marshland today and lives in a low-lying area. She was my regression facilitator on this occasion, as we both wished to discover more about Elementals and she was able to ask all the questions to which we required answers.
I am a little wispy creature, among the grass. I am hovering in and among the grass, not quite touching the ground. I have little thin legs with long feet, like bent grass stalks and I am the same colour as the grass. I feel very light and free, dancing in the wind. It is wonderful!
There is a deep valley below me, with a river. I don’t know if I am invisible, or just indistinguishable from the grasses.
There are others like me and we can communicate telepathically, but there is no need. Each has their own place. We are a kind of group soul, but somehow not really separate from other group souls. I feel I belong to a tiny spot on the Earth’s surface, rather than to a plant, but those grasses had to be there, on that spot. I belong to them, I am of them, I am them. I do not need food or drink. I am ageless.
Naomi asks how I began. I see volcanoes, earthquakes and the upheaval of the earth. At that time, I was a tiny spark. I danced and flew, as a spark, full of joy. The earth cooled, I cooled; somehow I became the Elemental. I changed. Naomi asked what would happen to me when the grass died.
More grass springs up. I belong to that spot on the Earth’s surface. I am that place. I belong to it. And if the place itself disappears, then I fade, I become gradually invisible, then I drift away from my place and join the air, the ether, the Earth’s energy. I may manifest again as an Elemental, but not the same one. We do not evolve, or at least, not for aeons.
What happens if a plant is uprooted and thrown away? asked Naomi. “I became frightened and agitated, even terror-stricken, at the thought. The Elemental would stay with it, then fade as the plant fades. But only if the entire plant is taken.”
Naomi had also reported these feelings, during her regression. I had asked her what would happen if she belonged to a tree and that tree was cut down, or otherwise destroyed.
“There’s a huge loss … I don’t think you can go to another tree. I came out of that rock, that piece of mud or rock (I can’t explain) so if it had been destroyed that would have been horrific. Because that’s my comfort place, that’s where I came out from, that’s where I belong. I would have nowhere to rest. I could still hang around—I would have to hang around—because I have no choice, because you can’t die. So that’s a lost Elemental. I don’t know what happens with that, but that’s an awful feeling. The thought of it makes me totally sick. That is just a nightmare. … any suggestion of the earth being threatened or destroyed makes me very agitated, terrified!”
What about in a garden, I asked, where trees are trimmed and grass is mown?
“That is okay. It is being tended and cared for. We like that. We can cope with that. It is caring.”
I corroborated this in my own regression, when Naomi asked if Elementals could co-operate with humans. “Yes, we do,” I replied. “If a human comes into our territory and treats it with respect, we welcome him. If he is sensitive, he will feel it. If he is destructive, we will want him to leave. However we cannot operate from a distance. We are tied to our own places. We can create an influence only if the human comes to where we are. We can create an atmosphere, but it is not really deliberate, it is just our reaction to either nurture or destruction.”
So what exactly are Elementals? Definitions vary. This is the answer, according to Wiktionary, the online dictionary: Noun – elemental (plural elementals) (fantasy) A creature (usually a spirit) that is attuned with, or composed of, one of the classical elements: air, earth, fire and water. They sometimes have unique proper names and sometimes are referred to as Air, Earth, Fire, or Water.
Note that, to Wikionary, they are pure fantasy. And in Chamber’s Dictionary, among other definitions: “Elemental spirits (medieval hist.) beings believed to preside over the four elements, living in and ruling them.”
Over the past eighteen months, I have done considerable research on the subject, with some difficulty, as studies were hard to discover. At first, it was all very confusing. What were Elementals? Spirits? Living beings? Invisible beings? Is there a difference between a Brownie, as in Elizabeth’s memory, and the Elementals recalled by Naomi and myself? If Brownies exist, do Fairies exist? If so, are they the Little People of myths and fairy tales?
Paracelsus, (1493-1541) the Swiss/German physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer and occultist, was one of the first to mention Elementals (though he didn’t call them that) in an academic exposition, under the catchy title of Liber de Nymphis, sylphis, pygmaeis et salamandris et de caeteris spiritibus. Like many learned men of his time, he thought of the natural world as being neatly divided into four elements—fire, earth, air and water. Elementals were semispirit beings, each belonging to one of these elements. Earth elementals were gnomes, water Elementals were undines, Air Elementals were sylphs and fire Elementals were salamanders (Paracelsus, 1960).
Other writers have also defined Elementals. For example, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, (1486-1535) the German theologian, astrologer, magician, alchemist and writer on the occult, although he too did not use the term Elemental (Agrippa, 1993).
We should also note that, in the Chinese Five Elements Theory, the elements are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The Ancient Greeks also included a fifth element—ether. Hinduism agrees with this and equates the five elements with the five senses. The Ancient Tibetan pre-Buddhist Bon Religion added a fifth element of space, while Japanese tradition identifies this fifth element as void, or sky/heaven.
But are Elementals so easily categorised into four (or five) groups? If they exist at all, they appear to be enormously varied and numerous. Human beings, it seems, have been aware of them since the very earliest days, when we had—and needed—far more developed senses, to enable us to survive. The so-called sixth sense would have been present in everyone, to warn of enemies and danger, to help us find food and track animals and at the same time, would have enabled us to see and hear much more in the natural world than we perceive today.
Before Paracelsus and Agrippa came the belief systems of many indigenous peoples around the world, such as the native Americans, the Inuit, the Australian Aboriginals, the ancient Chinese, adherents to the Shinto Religion in Japan, the ancient Greeks and Romans, the New Zealand Maori and many more, all of which had a tradition of nature spirits, or Elementals.
Why would people the world over invent such beings? Is it not possible they could actually see them and took them for granted? If most of us no longer see them, is it not possible that this is because we no longer live so close to nature and we have let our sensitivities decay?
While differing in detail, these traditional philosophies may be considered to come broadly under the heading of Animism, the belief that the material and spiritual worlds are not separate, but instead are an integral part of each other.
Animism states that, while human beings have a spiritual dimension in the form of the soul or spirit, so also do animals, plants, rocks, the ocean, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, valleys, weather phenomena such as rain, clouds, thunder, wind, the sun and moon, and even a tribe, or a country.
Animism was and is dismissed by scientists and anthropologists as an extremely primitive belief, predating man’s realisation that he was smarter than a rock and that therefore, if he had a soul, other natural phenomena, whether animal, vegetable or mineral, most definitely had not. In fact, Animism is not outdated or primitive at all, but is alive and well today and probably growing in its number of adherents. This belief system is currently officially embraced by many groups, such as Wiccans, Jainists, Theosophists and also the Society of Rosicrucians, who were at one time required to be able to see Elementals as a prerequisite of membership. Animism is also accepted by an indeterminate number of spiritually aware individuals worldwide, who may not even give their philosophy a name.
Today, there seems to be a widespread acceptance that the world is all one entity, perhaps even with its own vast soul. Not surprisingly, environmentalists often embrace this theory. The Gaia Hypothesis (Lovelock, 1979), formulated by chemist James Lovelock and microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s, has helped bring many to this idea.
As above, so below? If we can accept that the world and also a human being has—or is—a soul, then why would we deny some form of this to other physical beings and phenomena?
In my work as a past-life regression therapist, spanning twenty-five years, I have encountered many people who have had past lives as animals. I have met horses, eagles, wolves, monkeys, dolphins, gorillas, bullocks and more. I have followed some of these through the death as an animal and on into the subsequent first life as a human being.
I also, early in my practice, regressed a young man who remembered having been a tree (or the spirit of a tree?) long before there were human beings on Earth. He had no difficulty in embracing this idea. And I have certainly heard of a case in which a client recalled being (or inhabiting) a rock. Further investigation seems to indicate that we have this kind of life for aeons and then move on through animal lives and into lives as human beings.
However, Theosophist and clairvoyant, Charles Webster Leadbeater, (1854 –1934) says not. In his book, The Hidden Side of Things, Leadbeater states that nature spirits are following their own line of evolution, which will never cross over into our own. He claims that Elementals (whose bodies are etheric rather than material) first develop as gnomes, inhabiting the earth and solid rock and moving through it as easily as we move through air. The second stage is that of fairies, who live upon the surface of the Earth (Leadbeater, 1999, chap. 6).
These seem to include the undines and salamanders, as well as the various sub-groups of manikins (chubby faced and cheerful), possibly the model for Tolkien’s Hobbits (Tolkien, (1937), assorted nature spirits and more. Fairies then evolve into sylphs and after that into the lower angels, gradually developing thereafter into the higher angelic forms.
It should be noted that Leadbeater distinguishes between Elementals and Nature Spirits (Leadbeater, 1999, chap 6, para. 9). He says that Elementals are the thought forms of higher beings who are in charge of the evolution of the vegetable kingdom and that these Elementals simply dissolve when their usefulness is past. Nature Spirits, on the other hand, are more independent life forms. However, I have chosen to use the general term Elementals for all of these groups.
These are Elementals having to do with the Earth itself, with plants of all kinds, stones, rocks, bogs, mountains and various places in nature. An example would be the pile of rock and mud remembered by Naomi in her regression. Although the traditional name for such Elementals is gnomes, there seems to be a wide variety within this category. These include brownies, tree spirits and elves, although the whole subject is so fraught with conjecture and disbelief that those clairvoyants who can actually see such creatures may be forced to give them names of their own. Having said that, there is a surprising amount of agreement among those who have been able to see Elementals, regarding appearance and activity.
The details of Elizabeth’s memory of her life as a brownie are borne out by American writer and clairvoyant Ted Andrews (1952-2009) who says in his book, Enchantment of the Faerie Realm: Communicate With Nature Spirits and Elementals (1993), that every tree is home to a wide variety of elves and fairies, which may live in groups. He says that many of these are connected to the tree for life and one of their roles is to protect it. (Hence the need to ask for permission before cutting down a tree, which was practised in many cultures.) Andrews notes that what he calls tree elves frequently live beneath the surface of the tree, but may also be seen running along its branches.
English writer Geoffrey Hodson (1886-1983) corroborates this. He was an occultist, writer, lecturer, Catholic priest, World War I tank commander and a leading light in the Theosophical Society. He was able to see fairies and nature spirits and made detailed notes on all that he saw. In his book Fairies at Work and at Play (Hodson, 1987), Hodson says that what he calls Brownies vary in size from four inches to a foot in height and usually look like little old men, with moustaches and beards. They are friendly and communicative, live in tribes and may be found on, or just under, the earth and amongst the roots of trees and plants.
He mentions that gnomes are more solitary and grumpy than brownies. He describes a rock gnome, not very intelligent, ten to fifteen feet high (smaller than the rock itself) with ugly head and face in shadowy outline and the rest of the body even less evolved, all deep within the rock and with rudimentary feet buried deep in the earth. He says that the presence of this creature gives the rock itself a noticeable magnetic vibration.
Leadbeater says that Rock gnomes are sometimes glimpsed in caves or mines (1999). Hodson even observed a brownie within his home, who seemed to have adopted them and took a great interest in everything they did. Some Elementals imitate our clothing, our activities (without understanding what we are doing) and even our houses. He gives a delightful example of a brownie who examined Hodson’s boots with great interest and then manifested a copy of them upon his own feet. They can dissolve—clothing and all—instantly and at will and sometimes create a shimmering mist (which I have found described several times by various people) when they do not wish to be seen.
He saw gnomes stepping in and out of the particular trees to which they belonged and said that they lost their gnome-like form once within the tree. All can shape-shift on the instant and find our physical world no obstruction to their movements, easily moving through trees, doors, rocks and the earth itself (Hodson, 1987, pp. 25-26).
In Ireland today, many people totally accept the presence of the fairy folk—although claiming it is inadvisable to call them this, in case you invite their attention. You must refer to them as the Good People, or the Gentle Folk. It is said they live in dolmens or raths and if you visit Uisneach, the ancient sacred centre of Ireland, you will be shown the huge capstone and be told that traditionally, it is a portal to a land beneath the earth, where the fairies live.
This rather suggests that Elementals have been seen disappearing into the earth beneath this rock, in times past. Hawthorn trees are well-known in Ireland as fairy trees and you will generally find one beside a sacred site or a holy well. As recently as 1999, a threat to a fairy hawthorn held up the building of a motorway, until the National Roads Authority agreed to save it from harm and built a fence around it. Apparently the fairy folk, (the Sidhe in the Irish language) want to rest beneath it when journeying.
Hodson and Leadbeater both include certain fairies with the earth Elementals, despite the fact that some can fly. Hodson describes them just as we have been taught to imagine them, from myths and fairy tales. He says they are very beautiful and mostly feminine in appearance, with long hair and filmy garments. Many have oval shaped wings. Some are just a few inches in height, others as tall as four feet. One he saw even had a star on her forehead, another a wand (Hodson, 1987, pp. 25-26).
All had most beautiful auras, which would expand or contract according to the work being done (Hodson, 1987, pp. 25-26). It is interesting that Tinkerbell, the fairy in J. M. Barrie’s, Peter Pan (2014), flies about in a bright aura, which she retained even after she was taken over by Walt Disney. Tinkerbell is unable to speak, a phenomenon noted by Hodson, who says all Elementals communicate telepathically (as noted by both Naomi and myself). At times he has seen one open and close its mouth as though speaking to him, but has heard no sound. Sometimes there is faint music, or the sound of tiny bells (again, like Tinkerbell).
Like most of the Elementals, the fairies seemed to Hodson to be enhancing and activating particular aspects of nature and they exuded a wonderful air of exultation and delight as they did so. He tried moving into the consciousness of one particularly friendly nature Fairy and it was such a profound and joyful experience that he found some difficulty in disengaging (Hodson, 1987).
One wonders if such contact might have given rise to the stories of humans who have “gone away with the fairies” and been caught in their glamour, unable to leave. Some tales say those humans fell asleep and could not be wakened, but it is also possible they were unconscious, or in something akin to a deep hypnotic trance, judging by Hodson’s experience.
Some Fairies, says Leadbeater, have a line of evolution through physical bodies, beginning as fungoid growths, then bacteria, insects, reptiles, through many lives as birds, until finally evolving into fairies (Leadbeater, 1999, chap.6, Lines of Evolution).
If this is the case and Elementals can move from physical to etheric bodies at particular stages in their development, there seems to be no compelling reason why they might not move from etheric to physical and take part in the human chain of reincarnation. Veteran past-life regression therapist, Dolores Cannon (1931-2014), certainly agreed. In her book, The Convoluted Universe, Book IV, she claims that we first experience life as a very simple form, such as air, gas, water, dirt, rocks, or even a single cell. Then we must experience existence in the plant and animal kingdoms. She goes on to say:
There are also the Nature Spirits: fairies, gnomes, leprechauns, dryads, etc. These have the job (or assignment) of taking care of nature. These beings are all very real, and we have all had lifetimes in these forms of existence.
(Cannon, 2012, p. 20, para. 4)
Later, says Cannon, we move on into our human lives. Leadbeater claims there is a line of evolution among the Earth Spirits which comes up through the grasses and cereals—as in my past-life memory. Hodson mentions tiny green elf-like forms, one or two inches high. They have wings, but cannot rise very high and their toes point downward as they fly, which sounds like my recollection of my feet as a Grass Sprite. They make a chattering sound, he says, and the grass vibrates as they move to and fro.
From Grass Elementals, says Leadbeater, this particular evolutionary ladder moves into the animal kingdom in the form of ants or bees, later transforming into the tiny spirits, like microscopic points of light, which hover around plants and flowers, assisting them in their growth and diversification. From there, he says, they will develop into more complex Fairies, dwelling on the Earth’s surface. Later they will become Salamanders, then Sylphs, then begin to evolve through the Kingdom of the Angels (Leadbeater, 1999, chap. 6, Lines of Evolution).
Leadbeater also notes that fairies come in many colours, with different varieties inhabiting different areas, or even a particular country. For example, he says there are emerald green Fairies in England, also in Brittany, in the forests of France and Belgium, in Massachusetts, and on the banks of the Niagara River.
A black and white variety inhabits the Dakotas and there is a white and gold species in California. Fairies with the appearance of burnished bronze appear in volcanic regions, including Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius, Hawaii and Yellowstone Park. He details many more (Leadbeater, 1999).
Fairies are not born, but spring to life fully formed. They don’t need food or rest and they don’t reproduce. They may live long or short lives, but when their energy is spent they simply fade away (much as I described during my regression) until they rejoin their group soul. Later, each moves into the next stage of their reincarnation cycle, whatever that may be (Leadbeater, 1999, chap. 6, Fairy Life and Death).
Doreen Virtue, Ph.D., writer, clairvoyant and metaphysical psychologist, in her small book, Earth Angels: A Pocket Guide for Incarnated Angels, Elementals, Starpeople, Walk-Ins, and Wizards, has no difficulty in claiming that many of us have had past lives in the Elemental Kingdom, although she names Elementals as a part of the whole group she calls Earth Angels. She has seen this clairvoyantly while talking to clients and says that these people have agreed to be born as human beings in order to help and heal the earth (Virtue, 2002, p. 59) as stated by my fellow regression therapist, Elizabeth.
The traditional name for fire Elementals is Salamanders. In the natural world, Salamanders are lizard-like amphibians and in their etheric form, they seem to look much the same. Years ago, I spoke with a well-known Wiccan and writer I shall call Joan, who told me that, as a child in England, she liked to observe these little creatures in the blaze in the fireplace and watch them crawling up the poker. However, not all fire Elementals look like lizards.
During my regression, I said, “There are Salamanders, but there are also fire beings, that flicker and dance.” Ted Andrews says, in Enchantment of the Faerie Realm, they appear wherever there is fire, or flames, or even warmth (Andrews, 1993). Who has not thought he saw a face within the flames of a fire? Geoffrey Hodson does not mention Fire Elementals, although there may be information I haven’t yet encountered, in another of his fifty or so books.
To Leadbeater, Salamanders appear to occupy a position in the evolution of Elementals between gnomes and sylphs (Leadbeater, 1999, chap. 6, Their Pleasures). He describes fire spirits who are drawn to any fire and love to leap upwards in the flames, over and over again, in great delight, much as I recalled.
Water Elementals are traditionally called undines. Although they belong to the element of water, there are many forms of water and therefore many types of undine. There are lakes, streams, rivers, pools, wells and of course, the sea, which may vary from little wavelets to giant breakers, from shallows to the vast depths of the ocean and each has its accompanying spirits.
When, during my regression, Naomi asked me about them, I said: “In still water there are dark, mysterious beings that may seem frightening, but they’re peaceful.” They (Water Elementals) can move around more than any of the other Elementals. They are tied to the element, rather than to a place. They may dance on top of the water, or swim within it. In the sea, there are Elementals that like to play in the spray and the waves. Ted Andrews says that tiny water fairies may be seen in the spray of waterfalls, or water sprites riding the crest of ocean waves, or on the backs of sea creatures, or dancing on offshore waters. He adds that mermaids may sometimes be observed on the surface of the sea (Andrews, 1993).
When Naomi asked me whether the Sea Sprites were like mermaids, I replied: “Some of them. But they don’t have fish tails. They don’t have legs, either. Their bodies trail away, they might look like fish tails to a human. Their faces and arms look human. But they’re much smaller.”
Hodson (1987). says that undines are always female in form, always naked and very beautiful. Some have wings and all can fly high above the water, the larger ones sometimes briefly disappearing out of sight. They may be small (four to eight inches high) or up to human size. They play joyfully in waterfalls, shrieking as they do so, or retire to quiet pools. They move very fast, can change shape rapidly and are able to move through rocks as though they do not exist.
All are very playful, whether in tumbling streams, splashing waterfalls, or in waves crashing on the sea shore. Hodson says they seem to become charged with magnetic energy through their interaction with water and their auras grow to enormous size. This energy is then ecstatically discharged and the process begins all over again. He has also seen huge Elementals further out in the ocean and others, smaller, resembling birds or fish, but with human heads. He failed to contact them mentally (which he was able to do with the earth Elementals) finding them cold and remote, even although strongly emotional (Hodson, 1987).
Leadbeater says that another branch of the family leaves the mineral level (Rock Elementals and the like) to evolve through seaweeds, then corals, sponges, cephalopods (e.g., squid), on into fishes and only then develop into Water Spirits (Leadbeater, 1999, chap. 6, Lines of Evolution).
These are traditionally known as sylphs, and belong to the element of air in the sense of flying with the wind, or within storms, or in the clouds.
In Fairies At Work and at Play, Geoffrey Hodson describes some air Elementals he saw in England. They were below human size and asexual, although their faces seemed fiercely female. They had the semblance of large wings and flew wildly across the sky, shrieking, with a sound rather like the whistling of the wind. They were pastel-hued, with brighter colours pulsating around their heads and at times, bands of colour flashing from one to the other in a way that seemed like communication. He also describes dark storm spirits, almost birdlike, but with frightening human faces, uttering piercing cries and swooping and diving through the air, seeming to create and intensify the energy of the storm.
During an electrical storm he saw bat-like creatures, with demonic human faces and flame-like auras, but above them and keeping them in check, a vast calm, strong deva of humanlike appearance (Leadbeater, 1999, chap. 6, Lines of Evolution).
Incidentally, there exists a particular type of weather phenomenon in the group known as Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) that scientists have named the storm sprite. These are large electrical discharges, usually occurring high above a storm cloud and they are triggered by discharges of positive lightning between the thunder cloud and the ground, although Storm Sprites have also been seen in cloudless skies and in daylight.
Electrons collide with charged particles in the atmosphere, creating a pathway on which the electrons travel. Storm sprites are usually orange-red or bluegreen and generally occur in groups, about thirty to fifty miles above the surface of the earth. They shoot rapidly up into the air like a rocket and sprays of light may then spread out above and below, in varying patterns. One YouTube, the commentator is heard to say, “Just like its name, this sprite evokes a fairy, with wings.” And later, “… and what about this sprite, shaped like angels wings!” (To be fair, other storm sprites are compared to mangroves and jellyfish!) (YouTube, 2014, at 09:05 & 13:05)
Geoffrey Hodson also describes Cloud Fairies moulding the clouds into different shapes, sometimes under the direction of a larger, higher Elemental form (Hodson, 1987). Leadbeater says that sylphs are the highest form of nature spirits and after they have reached this stage, they move on in their own line of development to become Angels (Leadbeater, 1999, chap. 6, Lines of Evolution, para. 11). Could this be true? It is certainly true that belief in angels has grown enormously over the past twenty years, having first been driven out by the development of scientific thought and now quietly edging back into universal acceptance. This is mainly due to the fact that many people say they have seen angels and they are now less afraid to acknowledge this. Angel workshops, books and readings abound. Among those people who say they can see and hear angels all the time is Irish clairvoyant, Lorna Byrne, as detailed in her book, Angels In My Hair (Byrne, 2008).
A quick trawl through the Internet also produced R & B musician Marcus Stanley, who saw a transparent seven foot angel standing between himself and the men who shot him. Stanley survived this attempt on his life, against all odds (Aaron, 2015).
On the website near-death.com (Powell, 2016), Sarah Powell relates how, on November 16th, 1993, when she was a child, burglars tied her up and tried to kill her. During her near death experience, she met her guardian angel, (she called him George) a tall man in a white suit and white top hat, who remained with her for some years afterwards, until she had completely recovered. On the website theblaze.com Ex-FBI officer, Lillie Leonardi, is quoted as saying in her book, In the Shadow of a Badge: A Spiritual Memoir, that she saw a field of angels at the Flight 93 Crash Site on 9/11. She says she saw hundreds of angels standing in columns beside the crash site, with their wings arched up to the sky (Leonardi, 2013).
If angels are coming in from the cold, why not Elementals? And why not, also, fairies, pixies, elves, selkies, sirens, manikins, salamanders, kobolds, gnomes, bogles, brownies, leprechauns, trolls, water babies and all the other creatures which have peopled fairy tales and folklore for so long? Are they really more unlikely than angels? Again, the Internet quickly provided any number of people worldwide reporting that they have seen what appeared to be Elementals.
Denise LeFay, author and clairvoyant, talks in her blog (LeFay, 2010) about her childhood memories of having once lived under the water, in the very early days of Earth, in Lemuria. She longed to be able to do that in her present life, but eventually realised she had at that time been a non-physical being, who worked creating and building the waterways in Lemuria, which was still in etheric form.
From http://paranormal.about.com/ comes a number of tales:
Stephen Wagner, in Pennsylvania, sitting despondently at home in 2008, suddenly saw: A small feminine face looking at me with total empathy….Her face was not human, but very “otherworldly” and beautiful. She had soft, light brown, cocoa-colored skin and wide-set eyes that tilted up … her eyes were totally all dark chocolate brown with no irises … they were full of love. She had high brow bones, high cheekbones, a high forehead and delicate nose and lips. She looked very delicate and regal. And there was a sense of innocence and humility about her as well as royalty. They stared at each other, until she seemed to realise he could see her and disappeared.
On a hiking trip, American teenager Jacob Dedman, then aged sixteen, became separated from his group. Searching for them, he came to the edge of a cliff overlooking a small lagoon, but the edge beneath his feet gave way and Jacob began to fall, to certain death. But then: “… the form of a black-haired woman appeared from the shadow dressed in what appeared to be animal hides.” Her eyes were startling. “One a silvery blue, the other a glowing green.” She grabbed Jacob with her “small but strong arms” and their fall appeared to slow. They “landed softly, almost like a feather, next to the small lagoon.” Jacob asked her if she was an angel. “She smiled … and said no. All she told me was that this place belonged to her, then turned and walked into the shadows of the forest and disappeared.” When Jacob found his friends, they laughed at his story and added that no such lagoon existed. He later retraced his steps looking for his rescuer and found that this was true.
Marlene was outdoors in the moonlight, in June, 1999, when, just above the roof of her house, she saw two glowing lights, moving up and down. She held out her hand and the balls of light, “hovered down. Then I could see quite clearly that they were faeries. The female one landed right on my left hand, and I could see there was a male faerie hovering just back from her about eight inches away!” When Marlene’s daughter came running out of the house, the creatures disappeared.
“Krystal” says that while visiting San Antonio, Texas, she saw by a mail box “a few fairies”. At first she thought they were dragonflies, but then realised they were little people. She says, “I saw their narrow little bodies and their long legs.” She told nobody, fearing she would not be believed. She says, “I saw one of the little fairies look at me and then they all flew down into the grass.”
An anonymous contributor was walking with her mother in the woods in Massachusetts, when they saw, “…something with white wings, spanning about a foot across, fluttering up the path in front of us. Every time we got closer to it, its wings
would flutter and further up the path it would go, seemingly to keep a certain distance between us.” The two women discussed what it might be and tried to catch up with it, but it kept fluttering ahead. They ran faster and it turned, to run into the forest. Now, they saw : “…a creature about a feet [sic] tall, light gray in color, and running on two legs, just like a human. We saw it holding its two arms bent at the elbows as it ran (also human-like). Most astounding was its face, which was very human looking from the side, except for its ears, which were rather long and pointed.” Both saw it, but were not believed afterwards. They have searched for it again many times, without success.
K. T. says that, in Pennsylvania in 2003, she went for a walk in the woods at dusk. Light snow was falling. She says she was, … somewhat perplexed by how different everything looked. Hard to describe; again “shimmery” is the first word that comes to mind. As I rounded a bend in the path, I came face-to-face, about three or four feet away, with a little elf-looking man peering right at me from behind a tree. It was almost a stereotypical elf: long, pointy ears, long funnyshaped nose, very long fingers and pointy cap. It was wearing red clothes and hat, and its skin appeared to be a very light lavender color.
I let out a startled “Ooh!” and it jerked back and just disappeared into thin air.
Other people on the same website also reported seeing Elementals with lavender skin. Many sightings of Elementals mention them wearing the colour red.
Apart from such random experiences, it appears that certain people, such as Andrews, Hodson and Leadbeater, can see Elementals, just as there are mediums who can see and hear people who have died and left their physical bodies. In an earlier time, before science became the answer to everything, people simply believed what they saw. Indigenous peoples in close touch with nature might have been able to see nature spirits and in the present day, people living simple lives close to nature, or children who have not yet been told that fairies do not exist, might happily observe them.
In the 2014 DVD, Voices from the Forest: Gary Cook’s Close Encounters with the Faery Folk of New Zealand, an elderly Maori describes how, as a young boy, he would slip out of his house every night and go into the forest, to play with the Turehu, the fairies. In Maori folklore, the Turehu, or Patupaiarehe, were small beings, about three or four feet tall. They had pale skin, fair or red hair, and green or blue eyes, whereas the Maori have brown skin, black hair and brown eyes.
The Cottingley Fairies
Perhaps mention should be made of the so-called Cottingley fairies, which caused a sensation in the early 1920s. Two cousins, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths. who frequently went down to a nearby brook to watch the fairies (although nobody believed them) borrowed a camera and took what appeared to be actual photographs of fairies. Many influential people were intrigued, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes novels, who wrote extensively on the case (Doyle, (2006). The photographs were carefully examined and pronounced to be genuine. One of the girls, towards the end of her life, recanted and said the fairies were cutouts (a hypothesis already considered and rejected by photographic experts) but the other insisted this was not true and until the day she died, maintained that the fairies and the photographs were real. The same Geoffrey Hodson, already mentioned, was dispatched at the height of the controversy to check the story. He spent the day with the girls, asking them what they could see and comparing it with his own clairvoyant observations.
Although his sensitivity was somewhat stronger and he could see more, he returned from the outing announcing that their ability to see fairies could not be questioned. Whether the photos were genuine or not remains open.
In the Introduction by E. L. Gardner, (1869-1969) writer and theosophist, to Hodson’s book, Fairies At Work and At Play, he says that none of the Elementals have any sort of physical body as we would understand it, but can manifest in any shape and are happy to inhabit a thought form which we may provide. The natural “body” is a pulsing globe of light, which may change shape at any moment (Hodson, 1987, pp. 20-21).
Many of us can see these and they frequently appear in photographs. We usually call them orbs, often thought to be our spirit guides, or the soul of a deceased person and this may be true, but they may also be Elementals. It seems, also, that we may deliberately provide a thought form for an Elemental to inhabit, according to Leadbeater. I have heard of this through people who had first hand experience.
Joan, the Wiccan mentioned earlier, in company with her husband Stephen, also a Wiccan, told me years ago that they had created, through earth magic, a guardian for a threatened seal colony, off the coast of Ireland. They called into being a thought form in the guise of a water spirit, a woman in a long shining robe who would watch over the seals. Some time later, they were delighted to be told by someone who had no idea what they had done, that she had seen, to her amazement, a woman out on the rocks beside the seals, in stormy weather, where it was impossible for someone to be standing. This observer said the woman was wearing what seemed to be a long shiny raincoat.
Hodson has also encountered several less pleasant Elemental thought forms, deliberately created. For instance, in Whitendale, England, he saw a huge black demonic form, complete with tail and cloven hoofs, which he said had been created by a group of priest magicians, thousands of years ago, through various bloody rites. This entity is currently buried in the earth up to its shoulders, he says, is completely helpless and is gradually disintegrating (Hodson, 1987).
I am quite ready to accept the possible existence of Elementals. Regression therapists already know that there is a much wider world beyond our limited five senses. There are certainly sounds we cannot hear, so why not colours we cannot see, and beings of finer vibrations than we can pick up? Our minds need to remain wide open to phenomena not currently provable by science. At one time, we did not know of the existence of microbes, or quarks, or the more than sixty-two moons of Saturn, or the coelacanth, which was thought to be extinct for 65 million years.
Clearly, we don’t know everything. Elementals, my dear Watson? Perhaps!
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