Title of a 1943 science fiction story by British Christian writer
C. S. Lewis, denoting Venus, planet of perfection. The book
deals with the play between the forces of good and evil, and the
need to resolve this conflict with harmonious balance.
The name Perelandra has also been given to a garden established
by Machaelle Small Wright and Clarence Wright covering
some twenty-two acres near Jeffersonton, Virginia. The garden
is the showpiece of the Wrights Center for Nature
Research, which seeks to harmonize the forces of nature in a
joint creative process between the Wrights, nature spirits (or
fairies) and devas (divine intelligences). Perelandra has been
compared to the experimental Findhorn Community, Scotland,
U.K., which has also claimed gardening success due to cooperation
between human beings and nature spirits. In fact,
books on Findhorn stimulated the Wrights to experiment with
Machaelle Wright believes that devas are the architects of
growth in nature if they are contacted through meditation,
they will facilitate harmonious growth, communicating instructions
for seed choice and planting, arrangement of intervening
space, and other data. Wright distinguishes between devas and
nature spirits. The latter are more dense in vibration and
closer to the earth, whereas the devas guide the overall development
of plant forms.
Perelandra is laid out in eighteen concentric circles, the innermost
circle being a herb ring with a large quartz crystal in
the center. The garden does not use chemical or organic repellents
of any description, but produces unusually attractive flowers
and vegetables without pest problems.
In the summer of 1986, writer P. M. H. Atwater visited Perelandra.
At that time, this area of Virginia had been officially declared
a drought disaster, but the vegetables and roses of Perelandra
flourished without added moisture. Various neighbors
who did not share the Wrights belief in nature spirits nevertheless
commented that the garden always looked great and produced
good food. One remarked, Its not normal.
Wright has refreshingly original concepts of a harmonious
balance between insects, weather, climate, and soil in nature.
She is quoted as saying
What I am finding that works best is a garden which constantly
changes, that is free to breathe and grow on its own
without set rules. An organic garden will selectively repel some
life but an energy garden repels nothing and includes everything.
It took me a long time to learn that . . . once animals and
insects realize they dont have to fight for their lives, that they
are free to live and grow, their aggression subsides and they
regulate themselves! I had a rabbit living in the herb ring for
several years. It never did any damage. Ive had turtles, skunks,
and all manner of animals living in the garden without difficulty.
My few Japanese beetles, for instance, stick to the same flower
and leave the others alone now that they are no longer
threatened with extinction. Wright leaves ten percent of all
produce for animal or insect consumption, and certain sections
of land are also left unmowed for their benefit.
Perelandra is open for day-long tours and occasionally
sponsors workshops. For information on activities and visiting,
write Perelandra, Box 136, Jeffersonton, VA 22724. (See also
Atwater, P. M. H. The Magic of Perelandra. East-West (August
Wright, Machaelle S. Behaving As If the God in All Life Mattered.
. The Perelandra Garden Workbook. N.p., 1987.