Nature’s Secret Empires

Tim Wyatt – England

Medley TW b

The author

Unseen and unrecognised by the vast majority of people, there is a hidden commonwealth of invisible non-human entities creating, protecting and renewing life-forms in all nature’s kingdoms. These unseen empires are widely referred to throughout esoteric literature but are rarely discussed.

These kingdoms involve vast hierarchies of nature-spirits – or elementals –  operating in the four elements of air, earth, fire and water, principally on the etheric and astral planes. At a higher level there are even more powerful creative figures – the devas (translated from Sanskrit as shining ones) otherwise known as the angelic kingdoms which operate on the mental and astral planes.

The precise relationship between these two separate evolutionary strands is complex. The devas are on an entirely separate evolutionary scheme to that of humans and are said to be more advanced than us – although some devas have passed through the human stage.

The relationship between devas and nature-spirits is sometimes defined by describing the devas as the architects and the nature-spirits or elementals as the builders. This is true but may be rather over simplistic.

The Theosophical and esoteric literature has a lot to say about both classes of entities and the operations they conduct to continue their creative work. So do many sacred and religious texts. So, it is interesting that it doesn’t come up as a subject for discussion very often. However, discussing elves, pixies and gnomes to a non-specialist audience is always going to be extremely challenging.

There are numerous descriptions of these nature-spirits depending on the epoch and culture. In my own country, the United Kingdom two centuries ago when these spirits were still seen by some country people they were often described as wearing clothes in a fashion from two or three centuries prior to that. Intriguingly some are portrayed as wearing skin-tight one-piece suits just like those worn by the often-depicted grey aliens or other extra-terrestrials or inter-dimensional entities. Indeed, some apparent sightings of beings supposedly from other worlds could in some cases be devas or nature-spirits appearing in the physical spectrum.

Why are these classes of mainly invisible entities so vital to us and our world? Because without these hidden hosts there would be no life as we know it. These entities keep us alive, heal disease and are central to our reproduction. They operate on animals, plants and in the mineral realms. They even play a pivotal role in the weather as well as in natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. They are literally everywhere – operating in and immediately beyond our own bodies. They work on rocks, minerals, metals and crystals. Every living thing in the plant and vegetable kingdom is intimately connected with individual or collective elementals. Every flower-bud, tree and vegetable relies on them as its essential construction workers to build their forms. Animals, too, have their invisible helpers with nature spirits maintaining their bodies. These hidden legions create and perpetuate all life on the planet and the planet itself, which is of course a living, breathing organism of which we are constituent parts.

Both angels and nature-spirits feature prominently in the myths, legends, religions and folklore of virtually all cultures and all epochs. In fact, it’s hard to find any exceptions to this at any time in history or any part of the world – until now. But now they are largely forgotten. They’ve been banished by supposed rationality, by the hard logic of modernism and by the deep cynicism which results from this.

In recent centuries these hierarchies have been squeezed further from view and made even more invisible by the domination of materialism and relentless industrialisation. Mass migrations from the countryside to cities in virtually all countries has disconnected people from nature. Today these entities are widely seen as the crude superstitions of our allegedly primitive ancestors and are now completely ignored by the vast majority of people even though they operate in urban areas.

They are humanity’s most vital ally. Without them we would be unable to live. But with our supreme hubris and arrogance we’ve decided they don’t even exist. In the coming decades and centuries this will have to change. We are destined to rediscover and co-operate much more widely with the inhabitants of these covert worlds.  And yet how this will happen is far from clear.


Nature-spirits are often described as being linked to the four elements: the gnomes of the earth, the sylphs of the air, the undines of water and the salamanders of fire. But this is mainly the Western classification and there are numerous other ways of regarding them depending on where you are in the world.

Throughout world history nature-spirits have been recognised by every single culture and there are literally thousands of different names for them: fairies, elves, goblins, the trolls of Scandinavia, the leprachauns of Ireland, little people, the good folk, the djinns of the North African desert. In the Hindu pantheon alone there are said to be 330 million separate types of spirits. The Australian aborigines call them Wanjina while native American tribes such as the Zuni and Cree describe them as star people. The Pueblo people call them Anasazi.

Although a prominent feature in all cultures, in our modern world both nature-spirits and devas are denied as nothing more than the imaginary inventions of our forebears – merely fanciful creations. If you start telling people that there are indeed fairies at the bottom of your garden or theirs you may well be regarded as being insane and in need of psychiatric treatment. This kind of knowledge doesn’t sit very neatly alongside our world of brutal logic and largely mechanistic explanations of the universe.

When we were more closely in touch with nature many more people could perceive nature-spirits and devas even though they’re not easy to detect with our very limited five physical human senses. This is because they exist not in physical form but etherically, astrally and mentally.

The progressive industrialisation of the world over the past two or three centuries have made the human mind even more materialistic. Now there is artificial lighting virtually everywhere but this has only happened over the past century or so. Few people now experience the existence of these spirits in a dark forest with only the moon for illumination. The majority of people live in bustling and busy towns and cities with no close connection to the natural world. We also live in an age of ultra-cynicism where the existence of magic or non-physical realms is denied and derided and where we only accept what we can see, hear, smell, taste or touch.

So few people today even believe in their existence that only that small minority with clairvoyant or clairaudient abilities can detect them at all especially visually.

However, people do commune unconsciously with devas in woods, gardens, beaches, mountaintops, forests and places of beauty – as well as in sacred places. A few people intuitively appreciate that this is a spiritual experience.

Why are so many millions of people (myself included) instinctively drawn to beaches? The outward reason is that we like swimming in the sea or getting a suntan but there are much deeper esoteric reasons for this attraction. The beach has entities from each of the four elements. There are the earth spirits of the beach. There are the undines and devas of the sea. We have the sylphs of the air often manifesting as shifting clouds. And we have the salamanders of fire operating in places where there is most sunlight.

There is another important factor which banished these spirits from popular consciousness. From the Middle Ages onwards the Catholic Church and its successors went to war against them. It cynically transformed the elemental kingdoms into demon realms controlled by Satan, Lucifer or the devil. They came to represent evil. The church declared these denizens members of a wicked and forbidden kingdom. It condemned those who perceived or communed with these entities as witches, sorcerers, necromancers and devil-worshippers and dealt with them accordingly in torture-chambers or being burnt at the stake. The church, of course, still believed in angelic presences but insisted that these supposedly lower orders were not doing God’s work.


All mythology, legend, folklore, myth and children’s stories are replete with accounts of elemental beings of all kinds – Hindu, Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, Celtic, African, native American and others. They have numerous different names not just from country to country but area to area.

They have two forms: a permanent astral body and a temporary materialised etheric body. They can change their size and shape at will. They are affected by human thought and emotion.

Some nature-spirits may be hostile to humans because we’ve systematically waged war on nature. The sylphs of the air may have been severely disrupted by pollution, electro-magnetic radiation or the thermo-nuclear explosions we’ve caried out as well as general warfare. The gnomes of the Earth may resent mining and mineral extraction. (Miners have often reported seeing these entities.) The undines and other spirits of the rivers, lakes and oceans have also faced pollution and the de-naturisation of water. The salamanders of fire are evident in volcanoes, wild-fires and heat-waves.

In many cultures they steal children or abduct country folk at night. Victims are taken into an underground world for up to a year but it seems like only a night. They are often portrayed as mischievous tricksters somewhat hostile to humans.

Artificially-created elementals for magical ceremonies can be especially potent and long-lasting. Some of these created for powerful rituals during Atlantean times are said to be still lingering on the astral plane.

Another key factor about nature-spirits is that of obsession. In his 1920 Blavatsky lecture to the Theosophical Society called Nature-Spirits and the Spirits of Elements, the speaker, D. N. Dunlop, observed that nature-spirits don’t only obsess human beings and animals but such things as trees, pools, lakes, stones and mountains. But interestingly he asserted that they could also obsess machines!

Given the ubiquity of technology in the modern world as well as various forms of electro-magnetic energy swirling everywhere, might there also exist hosts of machine entities? Perhaps we’ve created them and the silicon chip and circuit-board is their home. Elementals may occupy our Smart-phones, computers, musical instruments and even cars. Given that these entities respond strongly to emotion, might it explain why our cars won’t start and our laptops go wrong when we get angry or agitated?

Along with the internet and all the rest of the digital infrastructure from satellites to sockets we may well have artificially created an entire new class of machine-spirits.


The devas are a much more advanced evolutionary stream and loosely correspond to the nine different classes of angels outlined in Christian theology – seraphim (the fiery ones), cherubim (those closest to God), thrones (keepers of the celestial records), dominions (acting as God’s chariot and dispenser of justice), virtues (the middle management of the angelic kingdom), powers (in charge of maintaining the natural world), principalities (the border guards between heaven and earth), archangels and angels.

The Hebrews used the word Elohim both in the singular and plural to denote both a monotheistic God and polytheistic gods. This word appears more than 2,500 times in the Hebrew Bible.

Angels have their equivalents in other religions such as Hinduism. They operate everywhere from the very local to the inter-planetary and even in inter-stellar realms. A mountain for example will have an overall presiding deva bigger than the mountain itself with numerous lesser devas controlling different aspects of it. Towns and cities have their own devas and so do countries, planets and solar systems. Their work continues ceaselessly and almost invisibly. Devas have an effect not just on the minds of individuals but also humanity’s collective consciousness.

So, instinctively and unconsciously many people suspect and are naturally drawn to these places where devas exist. They commune with flower devas in their gardens, water devas by rivers or lakes, or tree devas when they walk in a wood. They are in unconscious contact with the spirits of the mountains when they go hill-walking. They do it, they enjoy it but they don’t know why.


Devas don’t have solid physical bodies. They are about knowing and being. Our perception of them when it occurs is intuitive rather than pictorial. They are non-human although some are said to incarnate in human form to be near those they love. They are often pictured with what appear to be wings but these are ‘streaming emanations’. They don’t die. But they evolve from small tasks to larger ones.

Devas are said to be direct agents of the Law of Karma (via the Lipika, the celestial scribes which record all human activity sometimes called the Lords of Karma). They intervene when humans cause change incompatible with a particular cycle of existence.

They could be linked to the Earth’s energy networks linking sacred sites of power via grids such as ley lines and other networks. Devas have an effect on humanity’s collective mind as well as on individuals.

Film footage exists of mysterious forces interfering with nuclear weapons tests, disabling missiles and being seen in places where nuclear weapons are stored or where nuclear energy is produced. Have they prevented nuclear annihilation? Some claim these are extra-terrestrial interventions. But could they be angels?


There are numerous classes of deva depending on their function and location. We find them in gardens, woodland, hills and mountains as well as in streams, rivers, waterfalls, lakes and oceans. They are found in clouds and weather patterns.

They are attached to particular plant species and can be found in places of devotion or meditation such as churches and temples.

There are devas of the city and the town which ensure the inflow of prana energy from the sun at dawn, provide protective auras for other devas, oversee the spiritual aspirants of the city and form links to other towns and cities.

Every household has its angel known as a spirit of the hearth. They are found overshadowing places of government, administration and law courts.

An archangel presides over the solar system and others – spiritual regents – preside over each planet. There is a world angel as well as national angels. The angel of the Sun links it to Sirius.

They assist in the ‘synchronicity of research’ by overshadowing and impressing scientists and artists.

Guardian Angels can look after individuals or a group. They form a special school to help people with spiritual growth and assist with the flow of energy in rituals.

A large group is involved in healing by overshadowing hospitals and clinics.


More than a century ago the second generation theosophist Charles W. Leadbeater suggested that one of the priorities in the new Aquarian Age would be closer recognition, communication and co-operation with the devas. He didn’t say too much about the precise mechanics of this or present any kind of time-scale. He also said that this would correspond to an increasing externalisation of the hidden hierarchy of advanced individuals sometimes referred to as the Masters of Wisdom who guide this planet.

Obviously closer co-operation and communication with the devic kingdom is very difficult when the majority of people on the planet don’t believe in these entities in the first place.

Perhaps some or all of these entities are angry at the way we’ve exploited, abused and polluted our host planet in every way imaginable – not just in the obvious physical ways but also astrally and mentally. These are just as polluting as carbon emissions or oceans choked with plastic waste.

However, maybe only a closer association with the devas and nature spirits can help heal this troubled and challenged world and save us from the many potential catastrophes we face. The devas and nature-spirits could be our most crucial allies but they’re an invisible army few accept exist at all.

It might be useful to point out here that many classes of elementals and nature-spirits are unfriendly towards human beings because of our behaviour and our vibrations. Folklore abounds with tales of elementals playing tricks on humans, stealing children, abducting hapless humans into underground realms and causing numerous other problems. This folklore also speaks of their good deeds and the way they can apparently bestow good fortune or help ensure adequate crops, healthy children and prosperous lives.

Any meaningful co-operation with this secret commonwealth is going to be difficult and by necessity will probably only involve relatively small numbers of human beings who are sympathetic towards and knowledgeable about their existence and powers. Given that the devas operate mainly on the mental plane, initially at least it’s going to require individuals with exceptionally well-evolved minds to engage in dialogue.


A number of Theosophists have apparently had the clairvoyant faculty to observe both nature-spirits and angels or devas at work. Dora van Gelder’s book The Real World of Fairies offers fascinating descriptions of nature-spirits. She grew up in Java in Indonesia where as a child she communed with these spirits. She continued this contact after moving to the United States. Her book offers detailed descriptions of different classes of fairies as well as their behaviour and how they influence the natural world through vibrations.

The twentieth century British theosophists Edward L. Gardner and Geoffrey Hodson also wrote extensively about this. Hodson, like van Gelder, offers highly detailed descriptions of nature-spirits and devas.

Hodson also conducted extensive clairvoyant investigations into nature-spirits and devas. He provided very detailed descriptions in the many books he wrote about this subject. Some of his impressions were visually realised by various artists but these probably only give a vague impression. Hodson also clairvoyantly investigated how devas and nature-spirits work on the embryo and foetus in a mother’s womb building physical, etheric, astral and mental bodies. This gives us a fascinating insight into the process of re-birth.

In his book The Miracle of Birth (written in 1929), Hodson offers a unique view of some of the deep esoteric processes involved in the formation and growth of a baby. Using his extensive clairvoyant abilities, he examined and explored how the physical, emotional (astral) and mental bodies of an individual were formed during the various stages of pregnancy.

He asserts that this is far from an automatic mechanical process and involves entities from both the elemental kingdoms and the higher angelic devas. Hodson explains that the use of the sexual function has a highly spiritual significance. And he cautions that its misuse as a purely physical/emotional act without a mental or spiritual dimension can impair the health of those engaged in sex and their offspring. ‘Union which is a mere gratification of animal passion serves but to degrade both body and mind.’ To many, ideas like this sound very old-fashioned, even prudish today. But they may well be true.

Hodson observed that at the moment of conception a flash of light descended from the Ego’s highest spiritual level and this provided the creative impulse, energy and power for the processes which followed. The combination of positive and negative forces from the sperm and ovum attracted a flow of force from the astral plane.

At the fourth month of pregnancy, he described the mental body as an ovoid bubble with delicate shades of yellow, green, rose, blue and violent in rapid motion. He detected a shadowy human form within the bubble. There was continuous interaction between this mental body and that of the mother.

Hodson also detected various angels or devas seen nearby with one overseeing the construction of all three bodies – mental, emotional and physical. Intriguingly, in the angel’s aura he saw some of the past personalities of the incarnating Ego and grouped around them were other men and women with whom karmic bonds had been formed in other lives.

He observed that the angel in charge at the emotional level was trying to create the best possible astral vehicle for the child as far as karmic and environmental circumstances would allow. This was part of the mother’s astral body. A stream of energy could be seen entering the top of the astral body and remaining in the head.

The actual building work was conducted by nature-spirits which he described as flashes of opalescent light or glowing points of colour. There were hundreds of these spirits absorbing matter from outside, assimilating and then discharging it into the foetus. He detected a musical note like the hum of bees emitted from the permanent atom. The child’s etheric double and the nature-spirits vibrated at the same rate producing the sound.

At the fifth month Hodson observed many streams of force converging on the physical body with intense activity by the nature-spirits at the physical, etheric and astral levels. The foetus appeared to act as a magnet.

As the seventh month approached, he detected a considerable increase in activity as all the processes previously seen speeded up with the Ego emitting more energy. The focus of consciousness had moved through the mental body into the astral and then the etheric. He described the connection between the Ego and embryo as a shaft of light.

The mental body had now enlarged to four feet high and was brighter and denser than a month earlier. He described it as like snow refracting bright sunlight and the human form within was more well-defined. By this time the astral body occupied a space from the mother’s shoulder to her knee. The ‘astral’ child was in a dream-state stirring occasionally with impulses from the Ego. The baby’s physical body seemed to act as an anchor for the Ego with a stabilising effect on the other bodies being formed.

By the eighth month activity had further increased in all three bodies. It appeared that the Ego was directing more energy into the personality than a month earlier. The shaft of light had grown to around a foot wide. The mental and astral bodies were now fully completed and closely resembled one another. Both had an iridescent pearly whiteness.

At this time the astral angel was closely associated with the baby’s body and half of it was enclosed within the angel’s aura. The angel appeared to be taking the greatest care of the baby, watching closely over it and protecting it from external influences. Before birth Hodson said the various angels departed to be replaced by that of an even more lofty and potent entity whom he called Our Lady – the personification of the feminine principle recognised elsewhere as Venus, Mary, Isis or Ishtar.


There are hundreds or thousands of different types but we’ll explore three.


The Japanese Shinto tradition is based on the worship of eight million spirit-gods known as kami. The word itself means ‘that which is hidden’. There are three key classes: first, the ancestors of the clans; second, the kami of creatures and objects as well as the forces of nature; and third, the souls of outstanding dead humans.

Venerated from the earliest times they represent the sacred or mystical element of all things but they have the capacity for both good and evil. Sometimes they are associated with illness or sudden death.

Kami possess a life-giving and harmonising power called musubi as well as a will for truth and sincerity known as makoto.

They are said to communicate with human beings and can influence human events and natural forces.

Kami are not divine, perfect or omnipotent. They are not inherently different to humans but are a higher manifestation of life-energy.

There are 81,000 shrines all over Japan devoted to them. The Japanese regard them as other worldly and therefore extra-terrestrial.


The author and researcher Zaracariah Sitchin wrote extensively about the Anunaki gods of Mesopotamia led by Enki and Enlil. They produced the Nephilim who were descendants of god-human interactions. They were winged gods sometimes with bird heads and wearing watch-like devices. They were from the planet Nibiru which is said to be on a 3,400 year elliptical orbit of the Earth and is next due near earth in 2,900. Sitchin spoke of these beings stimulating human evolution whenever they visited.

Tuatha Dé Danann 

These constitute a supernatural pantheon from Irish mythology and appear throughout the Celtic world. They’re said to be sky or star people and the parents of the Celts. Although they dwell in The Otherworld, they closely interact with humans. Each member of the Tuatha Dé Danann has particular associations with life or nature.

When Irish mythology was recorded by early Christian monks, they modified the narrative and transformed immortal gods into kings, queens and heroes of the remote past. They were sometimes depicted as fallen angels.


One particularly interesting ‘angelic’ vision occurred on the Russian space station Salyut 7 in 1984 – not once but twice by separate crews. On 12th July three Soviet cosmonauts witnessed a bright, almost blinding orange light engulfing the entire station. When their eyes adjusted, they witnessed seven huge angels with misty wings, halos and human faces with peaceful expressions. They reported that these ‘celestial entities’ measured 25 metres high and 60 metres wide.

The cosmonauts said they had a rapport with these beings who remained for ten minutes before disappearing.

Five days later three more cosmonauts boarded the space station. On 25th July during a space-walk the seven angels re-appeared and again spent several minutes smiling at the cosmonauts who reported it to Mission Control.

On a different mission a Soviet cosmonaut received telepathic messages about his past and his family while in Earth orbit. He called it a ‘space whisper’.

NASA released a picture of a massive deva-like winged bird thousands of miles long between the Earth and the Sun. It offered no explanation.


My own interest in these invisible entities goes back to childhood. I grew up in a village in Yorkshire in England called Cottingley. Some of you may be aware that Cottingley is famous for one of the most celebrated fairy sightings of the twentieth century.

In 1917 two young cousins Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths who lived in the village borrowed a camera and initially took two pictures of what they claimed were fairy folk near a small stream running close by their house. These caused a minor sensation after the writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle came across them and published them in The Strand magazine. The Theosophical Society also got involved and sent two of its clairvoyant members Edward Gardner and Geoffrey Hodson to investigate. Three years later in 1920 the girls took three further photographs.

The images were tested by experts and deemed to be authentic. They weren’t universally accepted and many people were entirely sceptical. When Hodson visited Cottingley he said he, too, perceived these fairy figures just as the girls had described and photographed them. As a young boy I looked at these photographs in a book in my local library and was even then very sceptical about their authenticity.

Then the story went quiet for decades. Finally in 1983 when Elsie and Frances were old women they admitted that four of the five photographs they’d taken were fakes and that they’d used cut-outs from a popular girl’s book  Princess Mary's Gift Book published in 1914. But they insisted that a fifth was genuine. Interestingly, they said they had only staged the pictures to illustrate exactly what they had actually seen in and around their home.


Although various clairvoyants have been able to see both-nature spirits and devas this is impossible for most people without these developed psychic faculties. And in the modern world, what we don’t see we don’t believe.

But this isn’t to say that we can’t perceive them at all. In fact, as I’ve already suggested I believe a great many people perceive them without even knowing it. Perhaps others detect an intuitive connection with these hidden worlds. Probably anyone who is intuitively drawn to the natural world may have some deep unconscious inkling that these entities exist.

A few people can sometimes hear the sounds of nature-spirits in places like dense woodland in summer or in the tinkling of a stream or waves crashing on a beach. Or in the wind high on a hill. But most would deny that they were listening to the musical sounds of living beings at work.

Perhaps these entities might become apparent as the sweet scent of a flower or the touch of something unknown as you walk through a dark forest or garden in bloom.

Others like myself who are reasonably sensitive but not clairvoyant can somehow generally sense the presence of these entities without being able to see, hear, taste, touch or smell them. You don’t have to be out in the wilds. Sitting in my small garden on those few days a year when you can call it summer in England, I can feel that these spirits of the natural world are all around me in the trees and flowers. I can sense their activity. And perhaps more importantly, I can detect a purpose in what they’re doing.

Like many domesticated animals, my cat Electra is far more sensitive to these spirits than I am. I often observe her staring at something invisible in the garden or inside the house. She can see what I can’t.

Another important thing to stress again is that for much of the time nature-spirits aren’t going to appear on any part of the physical spectrum we can see with our eyes. To repeat – nature-spirits operate mainly on the etheric and astral levels. Few people have astral vision but increasing numbers of people seem to be able to see parts of the etheric spectrum – those four unknown planes of the physical spectrum not yet acknowledged by mainstream science.

I have a crude and not very well-developed form of etheric vision. It works best on warm, sunny and cloudless days. Sometimes I can see wisps and vortices of black and grey like a kind of stylised cigarette smoke. Although they’re in a state of constant flux, they do sometimes form into coherent shapes but nearly always dissipate quickly.

We ignore these hidden realms, invisible entities and occult forces at our peril. Simply because they’re neither recognised nor widely understood doesn’t mean that they can be ignored or marginalised into fantasy. Science and some religions have conspired to banish these invisible legions but ultimately the truth of these matters will be known.

Re-discovering these realities probably won’t happen in the Christian churches or in the scientists’ laboratories or atom-smashers however sophisticated they are. This knowledge is held disguised and imprisoned within us already. As always, the search must not start in the external world but by looking much more deeply inside ourselves for the truths concealed there. The truth always lies within.

Once we release the mighty power of our imaginations and learn to use this potent tool of discovery, we shall make great progress. And yet to achieve this we need to free ourselves from the shackles of the rational mind which has kept us in spiritual imprisonment if not solitary confinement for so long.

Tim Wyatt’s books are available from:

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