Enchantment

The Magic of Findhorn book cover

An enchanting look at an early New Age community in Scotland.

A Magical Book about a Magical Place
The Magic of Findhorn is a magical book. I first read it when it came out in paperback more years ago than I care to remember. For more than a decade, I reread it now and then to savour Hawken’s sweet distillation of the spirit of the time. Those were the heady days of pot-smoking hippies and smiling flower children and idealistic communes. Findhorn added fairies and giant cabbages and bushes that got out of the way when you wanted to make a path through them. It was wonderful to imagine that I might run off and join the small band of romantics building a new kind of community on what was once a garbage dump. I never did, of course. Sometimes I think I missed a great chance. Findhorn still exists, although it is now a foundation and calls itself a “New Age” community. Naturally, there is a website.

Hawken visited Findhorn in its early days and stayed in one of the small caravans reserved for visitors. (Caravans housed most of the community at that time.) His perceptive portraits of those who lived there, and a few more who were regular visitors, are a real treat. He shared in the daily round of activities and lived the free life that had brought such an odd assortment of individuals together. He talked about the strange beliefs in “power points” – there is one very near the community, atop a grassy hill – and fairies and Pan and vegetables that miraculously grew to immense size and many other things more related to The Lord of the Rings or children’s fairy books than reality. Anything and everything was accepted. Everything was spiritual. It was the dawn of inclusivity.

If you love the natural world, long for a sense of enchantment, or feel the need to belong to a special kind of community, The Magic of Findhorn will satisfy on all counts. The book is currently out of print, but abundantly available on second-hand websites where copies of the paperback can be had for as little as a dollar. If you are at all interested in the mystical aspects of life on planet Earth, do not miss the chance to read this book. It really is something special.

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