June 9, 2014 | Posted in Concepts, Concepts in Anthroposophic Medicine, News, Nutrition

Nature Spirits: Yes, they exist


When we walk into certain areas in nature, we instantly feel aliveness and peace that we don’t feel every place we go. When the Nature Spirits are busy and content working in the right way with all the aspects of Nature, the trees, grass, water, insects, and wildlife lift us with their harmony and richness of life.

Rudolf Steiner described four kinds of Nature Spirits:
Root Spirits (Gnomes) help plants grow through everything which they take into the roots; they relate to the element Earth, to all that is solid.
Water Spirits (Undines) work in water and in moist air through the development of leaves and the whole form of the plant, including its archetypal structure.
Air Spirits (Sylphs) take in light from the sun. Their work is crucial for making possible blossoms in the plant.
Fire-Spirits absorb and work with warmth from the sun – important for aspects of forming seeds and the ripening of the plant.
Everything the Nature Spirits do is essential for healthy vegetation. In the cycle of the year, the Nature Spirits reside in the earth during winter, become active in the springtime, and lift into the cosmos in summer. There, exposed to cosmic forces, with the help of the Christ being, they work with higher spiritual beings to prepare these cosmic forces for use on earth in the following year. Cosmic forces require mediation to be used by the soil, plants, insects and other living things in Nature. For example, Gnomes love what comes from the cosmos via rotted plant material, and humble cow manure. Mediated (transformed or metamorphosed) cosmic forces are present in these natural substances which have been worked on by animals, insects, time, and water. Gnomes are comfortable with these substances, and eager to work with these substances to support the life cycle in nature.

By contrast, there are places we walk through that feel lifeless, as though the trees are “things,”not living trees. Damage to Nature Spirits is as serious as damage that contributes to the eradicating of the bees. The Nature Spirits are becoming alienated and are withdrawing, so that the mood of land and atmosphere has changed dramatically over the last 40 years, more so in the last 10 years. Now the air can seem empty of beings, and what lives on the land can seem like “things.”

Yet many things from people can be a help to the Nature Spirits.

  • Deeply felt appreciation for Nature is like food and drink for the Nature Spirits. Because they have a soul-nature, they sense our awareness or lack of awareness that they exist and do crucial work in the growth of vegetation.
  • Restoration of bird, bee, and butterfly populations, which flutter in the air where the Sylphs and Fire Spirits are active. Without their bird and insect companions, Nature Spirits can feel confused and not connected with the place. They cannot give it the feeling of life which they impart when they are at home in a place.
  • Healing the environmental habitat: limiting electrical fields, and toxics in the earth; gardening and maintaining property organically, all with love!
  • Learning biodynamic treatments of soil and property, because biodynamics provides a refuge for Nature Spirits. See BD – Biodynamic farming.
  • Saying grace, and/or giving thanks, every time we eat. It helps Nature Spirits to sense that we have a spiritual quality in connection with what they helped to create See Nutrition.
  • Living in a conscientious, moral, compassionate way in relation to other people and to all kinds of work and activity. (They will notice it.)

Human love and respect for order in Nature is of great importance.

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The Spiritual Hierarchies, Chapter 2, Steiner, Rudolf, April 12, 1909, Steiner Books, 1996.    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA110/English/APC1928/19090412p01.html

The Significance of Biodynamic Methods,  Wieting, Beth, 2013, www.bethwieting.org.

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