When Everything Sprang to Life: Dorothy McLean & Contacting Nature Devas

Nature has soul, life, light and can help us touch the infinite.

Beneath the earth the first heralds of spring have already been quickened.  Perhaps you have already seen them peeking out from beneath the snow? 

Today as the pulse of new life rustles below us, I want to tell you the story of an important mentor of mine who proved to me that the sense of everything being alive which I had carried along with me since early childhood, was not just a child’s imagining, or wish. She showed me that we are all able to make contact with the divine intelligence in everything. This revelation through the influence of this extraordinary, resilient and loving lady has inspired my life, my work and my teaching for over 30 years since those 12 weeks with Dorothy in the early 1980s.

Dorothy Maclean is one of the three founders of the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland.   Following her first experience of inner contact with the Divine in 1954, Dorothy began a regular practice of meditation to connect with the God within.  She had eight years of making this inner contact before settling at Findhorn in 1962, with Peter and Eileen Caddy. They did not intend to start a community, but as they attempted to live according to their understanding of God’s love and put that love into practical, daily action in their lives, others joined them and a community grew and thrived.  

In 1963, soon after arriving in the Findhorn, Dorothy was asked from within to attune with the devic or angelic realms that over-light all aspects of existence. Her subsequent connection to this inner aspect of nature led to a cooperation and partnership that helped Findhorn’s legendary gardens to bloom out of the sand dunes of Northern Scotland.  In her collaboration with the devas, Dorothy came to understand that there is a vast intelligence of nature with which humans can co-operate and co-create for the benefit of the planet.  

Dorothy left Findhorn in 1973 and helped to start an educational initiative in the US called the Lorian Association.  Returning to her homeland in Canada, she established a base for herself and began traveling the world teaching and lecturing, helping others to contact their God Within and connect with the intelligence of nature. (GL: Read her wonderful autobiographical books, To Hear the Angels Sing, or Memoirs of an Ordinary Mystic, for more.)  


From the Findhorn website

It was in the early 80s that Dorothy came to the Heartland, to teach through the Lorian Association, which was located in Madison, Wisconsin at that time. I had the privilege of studying with her weekly for many months and also in subsequent workshops given in Wisconsin.

Dorothy retired from public life in 2010 and is still, at the age of 99, living again in Findhorn.


Contact with the Daffodil Deva in Dorothy’s class finally and indelibly convinced me of the reality of contacting the Overlighting spirits of Nature which Dorothy called the Devas.

I didn’t know what to expect…

I had read the book, The Findhorn Garden many years before. I was invited to this adventure by a new friend, Rue Hass, who had been part of the community at Findhorn and who had recently moved to Madison with the Lorian group. I felt privileged to have an opportunity to meet and work with one of the founders of that amazing experiment in Scotland.

Waiting for the first meeting to begin, I wondered what kind of eccentric I might be meeting. In walked a lovely, gracious, soft-spoken white-haired lady to welcome us and begin our introduction to the nature Devas.

First she shared her personal awakening to nature’s spiritual dimension, while living in community with a couple from the same meditation group. Finding themselves stranded, out of desperation and a need to survive, Dorothy and Eileen decided to put their spiritual practice to practical use. They sought guidance, nature responded and eventually, these urban refugees created a garden of fantastical proportions. (Read The Findhorn Garden.)

Next, we were guided into a simple meditation practice which concluded with a dialogue with a nature deva. We were asked to write the dialogue or our impressions down and the group then shared what they had received.

I appreciated the practice, but initially, I had my doubts. Participant shared impressions seemed like common associations we might have with a plant or flower. But then something strange happened. I began to notice that others in the group were reporting images, or impressions which I had gotten but had not written down, or had simply not shared with the group. Some people got primarily images, others primarily words, and some described feelings or sensations, all according to their intuitive disposition. But one evening when we were tuning in to the daffodil deva, I realized we were all in fact contacting the same energy, talking to the same overlighting intelligence. I also realized all the attributes of form, season, color and function of the flower/herb/tree,etc., were part of that flower’s message and mission here on the planet. The daffodil’s heads nodding furiously in the winds of early spring ring out like bells saying “Spring is here, rejoice, don’t lose heart … winter ends, ice melts, storms cease, clouds move on, the grey turns to blue skies, golden light, spirits lift and fresh vitality returns! “

As you walk this spring and come upon new life springing up – as flowers, as returning birds, as trees leafing and blossoming, take a moment to listen to their message to you. If you plant a garden, experiment with consulting with nature directly. I myself have to have a chat with the bunnies already gathering for frolics in my garden. Ask nature to share its healing benefits with you and let yourself receive them.

Some qualities attributed to daffodils:

  • Clarity
  • Resilience
  • Audacity
  • Vitality
  • Memory
  • Renewal
  • Creativity
  • Inspiration
  • Forgiveness
  • Inner-Reflection

One of my favorite messages of Dorothy Maclean’s is from the Apple Deva. It describes the emergence of an apple – from a seed idea to a manifest fruit:

As from the seed a tree grows, so from the seed idea a pattern of force issues forth from the Center, passed on by silent ranks of angels, silent and still because that idea is still too unformed and unfixed to endure any but the most exacting care. Down and out it comes, growing in strength and size, becoming brighter in pattern until eventually it scintillates and sounds, its forcefield steady and brilliant.

”That from a fragile, scarcely-colored and short-lived bloom a sturdy, rosy apple appears is but one of God’s miracles, enacted many times over for all to observe – and if you could see more of how this is brought about by the chain of life, wonder would lift you high.

Then the pattern is passed to the makers of form, the elements, who come up and give of themselves and clothe that pattern. Remember this is a process…evolving on through the ministrations of the elementals at the appropriate opportunity and eventually appearing in time and place in the beauty of the blossom and the succulence of the fruit.

This is the Word made flesh. This is all creation, held in balance by great layers of life of which you conscious mind is unaware.

A miracle? You need a greater word. You need to go beyond words.”

  ~Dorothy Maclean from To Hear the Angels Sing

Each of us can draw upon this organic life energy – no matter what the outer circumstances – tending new possibilities with our love, focus and resilience. We can choose to meet them with the same balance, beauty and joyful interconnectedness that is reflected by the Apple Tree Deva, always functioning in sound accord, in unison, with nature and the Source.

Tend your seeds, open to the force-field of creative energies with our helpers and friends, the Devas/Angels who are ready to support that which is in process already or that new endeavor which wants to be born through you. Embrace your own spring….. 


Do you hear the pulse? Let’s dance with it, Gabrielle

To learn more about Dorothy:  https://www.findhorn.org/blog/dorothy-maclean-woman-heard-angels-sing

Yellow daffodil flower in the field

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