A First-Person Account, Wheaton: Quest Books (Theosophical Publishing House), 1999.
The Real World of Fairies by Dora van Gelder is one of a few really mind-opening books I found in my life. When I say mind-opening, I do not just mean brilliant, excellent, daringly novel or outstanding in terms of intellectual achievement. I mean nothing less daring than my entire worldview suddenly shifting, widening, leading me up to a higher level of conscious awareness.
There are not many studies to be found about the fairy world, that are documentary, not fiction, in nature. While novels and short stories, especially the romantic sort, indulge in the mystical theme, this would never have attracted my interest. Actually I did buy Irish fairy stories by William Butler Yeats, but that is something entirely different. We are talking about a poetic reality here, and about folklore. We also talk about good literature.
Why was it so? Because that study presents hearsay evidence, to use a legal expression, it substantially consists of interviews with all kinds of people from Brittany, Ireland, Scotland and England who say they have heard of fairies, seen fairies or fairy paths, or know about the existence of fairies, but the author himself resides in a distant intellectual chamber, as it were, to report all this from an alien world he himself was seemingly never in touch with.
Our science perversely attributes more credit to the ‘disentangled’ researcher, who strictly speaking knows nothing about the subject he researches about, compared to a clairvoyant who actually saw the fairy world and actively communicated with fairies over the whole course of her life. Modern science, while it knows that the observer is always entangled with the object of observation, argues that evidence is biased when a person reports events from her own life that are not peer-reviewed and replicated by other individuals. While quantum physics of course shows that there is no science at all without entanglement between observer and object of observation, many scientists still discard more of life than they actually embrace in their residue science paradigm.
Generally speaking, I would go as far as saying that if you are not entangled with the subject of your research, to a point to have sleepless nights about it, one the one hand, and experience moments of euphoria on its account, on the other, you will not be a brilliant researcher, and your publications will not really convince others. It’s is a parallel observation you may accept or not, but fact is that Dora van Gelder’s book about the existence of fairies is more scientific, and provides more tangible evidence for the existence of the fairy world than all of Evans-Wentz’s epic and sophisticated tales that make at best for a nice and elegant book cover in your home library.
To begin with, Dora van Gelder implores the fact that our science tends to overlook the underlying structures that are for the most part invisible to the senses, yet absolutely substantial for living systems, and which consist of vibrations, and vibrational patterns. It is the role of the clairvoyant to sensibilize her perception apparatus to these vibrations:
The fact is that there is a real physical basis for clairvoyance, and the faculty is not especially mysterious. The power centers in that tiny organ in the brain called the pituitary gland. The kind of vibrations involved are so subtle that no physical opening in the skin is needed to convey them to the pituitary body, but there is a special spot of sensitiveness just between the eyes above the root of the nose which acts as the external opening for the gland within./4
I found the book really starts with the second chapter entitled A Typical Fairy, in which van Gelder meticulously describes as it were a ‘standard’ fairy, an exemplary of a variety of varieties, so as to give the reader a taste of the high vibrational and etheric nature of these creatures. She writes:
The material of his body is a loosely knit as the vapor from the spout of a boiling teakettle and is somewhat of the nature of a cloud of colored gas. In fact it is exactly that, only the gas is finer than the lightest we know and is less readily detected even than helium or hydrogen. But this does not prevent it from being held together in / a form, for it is not a chemical but a living substance which life saturates and holds together. In truth, his power of this matter as a living creature is shown by the fact that his body is composed of two distinct densities of material. The body proper is a true emerald green and fairly dense, considering the stuff of which it is made; around this on all sides, both front and back, is a much thinner cloud of the same matter in which he is not so vividly alive. This thinner portion, which extends from all sides of this body proper, is a lighter green./32-33
Van Gelder explains that fairies are essentially beings made of energy. The material they are built of is feelings, vital matter, emotions, streaks of energy which are modulated by their emotions, their movements, and their desires.
The matter, then, they are made of is pure emotional streams, not veins, muscles or nerves; when they feel an emotion, their body directly responds and transforms itself according to the emotion. They have a heart which is a glowing and pulsating center and that emanates golden light and that the secret of fairy life is rhythm. While we have sensations, she explains, fairies are sensation, all sensation, and they do not perceive life like we do, through special organs, but with their whole highly electric organism.
There are some very interesting and important details here because some of what van Gelder says confirms my research on emotions and the vital energy.
The secret of the fairy life is rhythm. Each kind of fairy (whether water, land, air, or fire) comes into the world with a limited and definite range of rhythmic power, according to his / species and his own personal nature. Within this range, he controls the rhythm of vitality by his desires and feelings. /34-35
As I said, they have a heart center like other fairies, but in addition, the surface of their bodies is covered with scores of luminous points that are subcenters connected with the heart. When the fairies move, a sort of suction is set up in these spots of light; thus vitality is drawn into their bodies. There are at least two kinds of energy involved, one from the sunlight and the other from the water. The fairy’s heart center is in the nature of a mixing place for these two sorts of vital energy. Now, in the sea itself, at more or less fixed positions relative to one another, there are centers like vortices, probably magnetic, which are, of course, super-physical. At times when the fairy has absorbed far more of this mixed energy than he needs, he pours it out of his / surface centers, and it is swept into the nearest of these vortices. There it is swirled around and distributed from one vortex to another by way of equalizing the charge. The fairies do this unconsciously all day long, and in this way the sea is charged with magnetism, thus helping all the creatures that live in it. /130-131
Another highly interesting detail in this context is the way fairies establish relationships with other fairies, with plants and animals, and at times also with humans. There is a unique way they do this, namely by adapting their vibration to the vibration of the being they want to relate to. Van Gelder explains:
When he wants to respond to a plant, he makes his heart beat at the same pulse rate as the plant. This synchrony makes him unified./34
Apart from the form fairies present themselves in, which greatly varies, and which they can deliberately alter, here is more about how they handle and wistfully manipulate the energy they are made of:
In this exchange of energies, those from the earth and those from the sun, the fairy plays a definite part. He has power over both these currents, especially the vitality from the sun. He can retard them here and accelerate them there, and he can add some extra vitality from himself at such points as he desires./41
I am convinced that if humanity had not developed into patriarchy about five thousand years ago, thus developing into evolutionary retardation through moralism—which effectively prevents love—, we would not be so different after all from fairies. We would be on a higher level, the level two steps above fairies, as the step immediate above them is the level of the angels. But humans are made to be above angels. In this sense, we humans are fallen angels, and this is how we need to understand the story of Genesis in the Bible and the totally misunderstood idea of original sin.
It is not technology that provides us with the evolutionary advantage over native peoples around the world. It can only be, if ever, a true evolutionary advantage on the level of the total human.
Most native peoples around the world are able to see spirit beings as their extrasensorial perception is more developed than ours. They also, like van Gelder, see the fairy world. Last not least, they also behave similarly, in their carefree joy, while it is of course wistful behavior, and a functional attitude in the face of life’s constant changes and its unpredictability.
The fairy has an immense power of mimicry and a sense of drama. He is an emotional artist of rare ability, and a group of them will put on a show for mutual entertainment. I must explain again that a fairy has the power not only to change his form but also to clothe himself in marvelous garments, a process that is carried out by drawing the denser part of the material about him by means of his will power or desire into a thought garment. This requires effort and concentration and takes a few minutes to achieve, especially if he desires to change his form. The thought garment will last as long as he sustains the effort at transformation. Most fairies are deficient in concentration, and thus they do not keep up the show for any length of time./44
Between the human point of view and that of a fairy, or any member of the angelic kingdom, one of the main differences is that we live in a world of form, and they live in a world of life. Our thoughts are primarily concerned with the form things have, and we seldom go further than that. But fairies are mainly concerned with the energy and life flowing around and within the form—life that is everywhere. /47
For example, if we look at a tree we respond to its size, its shape, its color, its leaves, and fruit. These things combine to create its beauty for us. But when one comes to think of it, this is rather a limited way of seeing the world in which we live. In contrast, the fairy first beholds the spirit of the tree and responds to its vital energy. To a fairy, the tree is a living, breathing personality which is expressing itself in the form we see. There is then an exchange of feeling, a mutual response, between the fairy and the tree./47
And in fact, natives do not possess that strict code of morality that patriarchy has instituted with its monotheistic religions, and compulsory morality. To prevent being misunderstood here, I do not talk about genuine morality, but what I would call ‘fake morality’ which is the morality in our modern society, for it’s hypocrisy by and large. If we were having true morality, we wouldn’t have crime, wars, civil wars, and genocide around the world; we wouldn’t know the torture of humans and animals, and we would eat healthy food, not processed food which is after all no food at all, but corporate chemistry, and in order to watch television we would develop true vision, true foresight—which is clairvoyance.
Van Gelder explains, in a similar spirit:
Humans have a system of morality, which embodies a very serious attitude toward life—a moral code based upon rules and involving fear of penal ties. Of course the fairies have not the vaguest conception of what all that means. They are the truest illustration of those lovely words of Jesus: Consider the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin. Yet Solomon in all his glory / was not arrayed as one of these. [Matthew 6:28-29]/52-53
Our vision becomes thus limited, because our direct experience is bound to be small; and thus we age prematurely, and life grows monotonous./79
Again, the energy-nature is emphasized in the author’s description of fairies and how they feed upon the sun, and as they do not eat, this is their unique form of nourishment.
The fairies think of the sun as a tremendous life-giving globe of light which is the source of all life, as they derive their nourishment principally from the sun’s rays. They seem to draw the rays of the sun through their bodies. This is the nearest they come to eating. Apart from deriving energy for the maintenance of their own bodies, they help to guide the energy from the sun for the plants’ growth./87
Dora van Gelder’s classification of fairies is highly original as she aligns them with the angelic realm, as a sub-realm actually, and I think her observations are in alignment with theosophical teachings. She reports that fairies are under the direct order and observation of angels, and the way she describes these angels is intriguing, and scientific. I haven’t found it in any other book thus far:
Over all, an angel is brooding—over the fairies, the trees, the hills, and streams which are part of his life and are his trust. He is a powerful personality, and the valley is just as much part of his body as the trunk of a tree is the body of a tree spirit, except that in this case, the angel has intelligence and emotions as powerful as our own, and he is as much a being as we are, if not more so. When he takes form he looks like a beautiful human being, a clean-shaven youth with fine dark hair and a powerful aquiline face, his body enveloped in a lovely apple green. His presence permeates the life of the forest and valley./106
The most extraordinary chapter to be found in the book is the last: how hurricanes are created by angels and what purpose they serve. The author summarizes her very intriguing observations with an ethical consideration:
Human beings will inevitably think that the water fairies, sea angels, and especially the angel of the hurricane himself are bad or evil, because for us they have been destroying life. But this is not so. They have destroyed forms, but they have not destroyed the life within the forms, for life cannot die. Moreover, these beings have performed their function in accordance with natural law./167
I shall provide here the Roster of Fairies the author outlines at the end of her book, because it is something like an extended table of contents and refers to the various chapters of the book. It gives you a concise overview over the contents of the book, and is in itself very informative.
ROSTER OF FAIRIES
AIR FAIRIES are of three general types. First are those sylphlike beings who inhabit the clouds and work with them. These are the sculptors of the fairy world. Next are the air fairies who are associated with the wind and storms. These air fairies are generally some four or five feet high, very shapely and beautiful. And last are the immense air spirits who live at very high altitudes, who resemble great dragons with huge heads, long bodies, and long tails. They are centers of energy and power of some sort. All three of these types are described in Chapter 11.
ANGELS OR DEVAS are radiant beings with great intelligence who help to guide nature by their understanding of the Divine Plan. They direct the energies of nature and oversee the lesser fairies under their care, such as tree spirits and those who might be in charge of wind or clouds.
EARTH FAIRIES consists of four main types, two of which live on the surface of the earth and two underground. On the surface, these fairies / range from the physically embodied tree spirits to the small common garden or woods fairies. Rock fairies, or gnomes, are one of the underground types. More specific information is given in Chapter 5.
ELEMENTALS are, as their name indicates, spirits of the elements. These creatures are evolved in the four kingdoms of elements – air, earth, fire and water—according to Kabbalists. They are called gnomes (of the earth), sylphs (of the air), salamanders (of fire), and undines (of the water). H.P. Blavatsky, in The Theosophical Glossary, explains that all the lower invisible beings generated on the fifth, sixth, and seventh planes of our terrestrial atmosphere are called elementals and include fairies, peris, devas, djins, sylvans, satyrs, fauns, elves, leprechauns, dwarfs, trolls, kobolds, brownies, nixies and pixies, goblins, moss people, manikins, and others who belong to this classification.
FAIRIES are of four major divisions – air, earth, fire, and water. Fairies range in size from the tiny butterfly-size, to twelve-inch and two-foot ones, up to the great sylphs and tree spirits.
FAIRE FAIRIES are also called salamanders.
GARDEN FAIRIES are a common kind of earth fairy.
GNOMES are another kind of earth fairy who inhabit rocks.
NATURE SPIRITS are those creatures of the devic kingdom who care for the different categories in nature such as the air and wind, the growing plants, the landscape features, the water, and fire.
ROCK FAIRIES are sometimes called gnomes. Such fairies are to be found both above and below ground. The great rock fairies of the Grand Canyon are mentioned in Chapter 10 and elsewhere in the book.
SALAMANDERS are also known as fire fairies. Chapter 10 has information on one class of these who inhabit the underground volcanic regions as well as those involved in lightning and fires above ground.
SYLPHS are a form of air fairy. They are large in size, though not as evolved as those other great beings, devas. Cloud sylphs are described in Chapter 11 and also mentioned in the chapter on the hurricane, Chapter 12.
TREE SPIRITS, treated in Chapter 7, are larger than wood fairies and have a more physical body.
UNDINES (a classical or Kabbalistic name) are also called water spirits or water fairies. /
WATER BABIES are small, happy creatures who are found near the seashore and in the surf. They are a type of water fairy, but different from both those who live farther out in the deep ocean and those who dwell near streams, lakes, or ponds./178-180