On Elementals, Ecology and Dark Night of the Soul
Interview by Verena Deeken
Tanis Helliwell, Canadian author and spiritual teacher in her most well known book wrote about her personal experiences with elementals. In her new book “Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns” once again we encounter her Leprechaun friend who takes Tanis and 30 members of a sacred tour site of Ireland on a magical but unpredictable journey that leaves no one unchanged. An interview with Tanis Helliwell on elementals, ecology and spirituality and the dark night of the soul.
What is the intention of elementals, what is their role, what do they mean for us in these ecologically very sensitive times and how do you see the writings of Rudolf Steiner on elementals?
In my book Summer with Leprechauns: The Authorized Edition I describe a new caste of elementals. About 100 years ago Rudolph Steiner (founder of anthroposophy) met with my Leprechaun friend. He asked him and other elementals coming from all different castes: leprechauns, elves, goblins, gnomes, trolls and fairies to work in partnership with the humans to help create a healthier Earth and also to learn how to use free will and learn to be co-creators. My work assists him in the process. I travel around the world to speak to interest groups to work with elementals. Wherever I go be it the Maori of New Zealand, the Haida in Canada, the Mayan in Central America or people in Germany or Ireland the traditions of these people, all of them, believe in elementals. It is in their stories, in their legends and it is also in their present because so many people have encounters with elementals in their lives.
What is your new book Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns about?
Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns is about the experience of taking 30 people from all over the world, who had read Summer with the Leprechauns, to go to Ireland to visit sacred sites and have experiences with elementals. My Leprechaun friend took us on a magical journey, very unpredictable, not as it was planned to have been and it actually became in many ways a pilgrimage with elementals, and each person was partnered with an elemental. The people who came on the journey got quite a different journey from what they had expected – it was a journey into themselves, an inner journey; very experiential in which they often had to face their own attachments to have it their own way and they experienced what the Irish call the Craic. The Craic is the topsy-turvy reversals in life that move us either into pain and suffering or into deeper truth, and leprechauns, as any Irish person will tell you, are masters of the Craic. The elementals excel in the Craic and they are experts in taking us through the Craic which is kind of a magical place where tremendous gifts of learning and growth come forth. The purpose of elementals is to grow things, to grow trees, crystals, mountains, taking care of the Earth. Elementals can see if we, as human beings, need pruning and to prune us, if they see we need to be more aligned to spiritual laws. That is what they did for us on that journey. The Irish excel at black humour, which is to laugh when things don’t go smooth and that is a gift of elementals as well. The Irish can laugh at themselves, laugh at their own foibles, laugh at situations when your best laid plans don’t go the way you want. This Irish humour is the Craic.
In your book Decoding Destiny and also in your seminars you often say that in order to heal the Earth we need to heal ourselves. Looked at it this way ecology becomes something quite personal and something that lies within the capacity of each individual.
One of the strong messages out of our journey was the elementals real commitment to humanity to do whatever it takes to work with us humans to help heal the Earth.
Because elementals cannot do it themselves. Humans are the creators on this planet but for a long period we have used our free will inappropriately. So elementals working with natural laws can help us balance ourselves and the Earth. Because there are elementals of earth, water, fire and air, the elements of which we are composed, they can do this. I have been travelling to sacred sites of the Earth for over 20 years because sacred sites are on acupuncture points of the Earth, lay lines where you can work with bigger effect. That is why I do it and take committed people with me to transform themselves and the Earth.
How can we support this process?
Earth is actually going through a quantum leap to a higher frequency. Its frequency is increasing. It is moving energetically to a higher frequency and elementals live and work in a higher frequency and this is why they are more accessible for us. And it is important for us that we work on our own transformation. This means that we need to let go and transform our fears, old attachments and move to a more hopeful, proactive and optimistic way of being on Earth. Positive emotions have a higher frequency so one of the things we do in my seminar Transform Yourself is to actually work with the body elemental because it also is an elemental that can help us to transform our own frequency to a higher level. I understand that we can look at violence and ecological and economic problems and marriage breakdowns and we can loose all hope and become depressed. Or we can see that what is happening is an ending of an era and we are witnessing the death throws of the old way, as the old patterns and behaviors that don’t work smack up against the new vibration that is coming up in the world. It is the tendency of us individuals to be fearful when we have to change, when we cling to the old ways of being because they are known and familiar to us. So this new frequency makes it so uncomfortable and bad for us and totally exhausts us with fighting ourselves so that we finally surrender into not knowing. And in this surrender the light cracks us open so that the new vibration can come in. So we can choose how to see the turmoil in the world: is the glass half full or half empty? A friend of mine once said he didn’t change until the pain of not changing became greater than the pain of changing. This is the place where we currently are. So it is not about ignoring the pain but about acknowledging it without despairing. If we despair our energy goes down and we cannot participate in healing the Earth.
Spiegel online currently quoted a study whereby 70 to 80% of all people in the highly industrialized countries of Northern America and Europe but also emerging markets like Russia, Brazil, China etc. between the ages of 40 and 50 are highly unhappy or in the grip of a midlife crisis. You call it a spiritual crisis in which we experience the dark night of the soul, as talked about by St. John of the Cross. What can we do in times of this dark night?
The first thing we can do is to realize that there is nothing wrong with us. We are not doing anything wrong so that we are in pain. This is the nature of evolution we are experiencing. So we need to have compassion for others and for ourselves. We must keep the highest motivation and intention but have compassion and forgiveness if we miss our mark. The second thing we can do is to dedicate our energy to something that the Universe has presented us with, an opportunity to be of assistance in some way. This could be nurturing others through doing something for them, helping them or assisting them. It could be for example my community where virginal forests are being cut down and I am presented with the task of writing reports for our municipal government, giving presentations, helping in concrete ways trying to change legislation all the while my reason for being in a remote and quiet place like Powell River was to be on retreat, play and enjoy nature, I would rather walk in the forests and write books but that is not what has found me. Instead I am invited to participate and be actively involved in changing forestry practices Think global – act local. Often we complain about the far away things we see on the news, all the negative input we receive. And we use all our energy complaining. Instead we should choose something in our vicinity that needs to be done and then just dot it! The third thing we can do is to keep sweetness in our life, joy in our life. We should keep the balance so there is time to have dinner with friends, walk in the park. Because if we don’t keep sweetness in our lives even though we might be doing much to help others and our world, we will eventually become frustrated and anxious and loose our positive nature. And then – our energy will go down even though we are doing so much good. Yes, being joyful and optimistic and trusting that all will turn out well in the end.
* This interview appeared in the German magazine Forum 3
You can order Tanis’s new book Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns from her website:
Tanis Helliwell, the founder of the International Institute for Transformation, is the author of Summer with the Leprechauns: The Authorized Edition, Take Your Soul to Work and a book of poems Embraced by Love.