The Real World of Fairies – Dora Van Gelder Kunz


Dora van Gelder Kunz

Dora van Gelder was born at a Dutch camp called Tjeweng located about five kilometers south of Djombang city situated in the Dutch East Indies, which at that time was a Dutch colony and today is known as Java. There she was raised at her father’s estate, a sugar cane plantation. Since she was a child she interacted with ethereal beings without knowing that clairvoyant ability was unusual. At eleven years old she moved to Mosman, a suburb of Sydney (Australia), to study with someone quite knowledgeable about her Imageabilities, the then-Anglican clergyman and psychic C. W. Leadbeater, who instructed her in the refinement of her psychic skills.

Through Leadbeater she met Fritz Kunz who used to accompany Leadbeater on his travels. In 1927 at the age of twenty-two Gelder and Dora married and moved to the United States where her American husband became the principal of a scholastic foundation and she became president of a corporation related to pedagogic supplies. Soon after coming to the USA the couple founded the first theosophical camp at Orcas Island in the state of Washington.

For many years Dora dealt with new methods of healing, particularly Therapeutic Touch, which she co-developed in 1972 with Dr. Dolores Krieger, a nursing professor at New York University.  TT promotes healing, relaxation and lessens pain. Therapeutic Touch, stated Dora, had its origin in ancient Yogic texts written in Sanskrit, which describe it as a pranic healing method. As a result of that enterprise, the technique is taught in approximately eighty colleges and universities in the U.S. and in more than seventy countries.

Dora philanthropically directed her clairvoyance towards helping physicians in complicated medical cases, in particular aiding in diagnoses through her  capability of seeing the effects of diseases in the aura of the patients.  More specifically, she reported the existence of centers of energy in the human body, also known as chakras, changing their colors according to diseases that affect matching endocrine glands. She is said to have been able to predict some illness as many as eighteen months before symptoms manifest themselves.

In 1975 Dora became President of the Theosophical Society in America.  In 1977 she published this book about her fairy experiences in her youth, in which she states that throughout her life she always kept in communication with nature spirits.  According to Dora in 1979 she did see fairies in Central Park in New York, but due to the increasing pollution it was getting more difficult.  Dora said that devas are intimately connected with a vital energy transmitting force to preserve and heal the earth. She said as more people get involved with and care for our environment, the better the chances of communication between humans and devas.  In 1987 after completing twelve years as President of the Theosophical Society in America, she retired and devoted herself to lecturing, writing, and enriching our lives with her magical essence, making this world a better place to be.  Dora was one of our best.  I remain forever grateful to her for her gifts and legacy of pure joy and love.

Dora’s Books

Christmas of the Angels, 1962.

The Real World of Fairies, 1977.

Fields and their clinical implications; co-author Erik Peper, 1985.

Spiritual aspects of the healing arts, 1985.

Devic Consciousness, 1989.

The Chakras and the Human Energy Fields; co-author Shafica Karagulla, 1989.

The Personal Aura, 1991.

Spiritual Healing, 1995.

Aura en persoonlijkheid: aura’s zien en begrijpen (Aura and personality: see auras and understand); co-author George Hulskramer, 1998.

Dora’s Interviews and Lectures

Reminiscences of Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater; with Fritz Kunz, 1967.

Healing and the Dynamic Structure of Man, 1974.

Masters and the Future of the Theosophical Society, 1978.

The Alchemical Power of Consciousness Healing; with Janet Macrae, 1979. 

The Path and the Spiritual Life; with Renee Weber, 1980.

Application of Theosophy; with William J. Ross, 1981.

Use of Healing Energy in Therapeutic Touch, 1981.

Karma and Human Relations, 1981.

Masters of the Wisdom, 1982.

Inner Structure of Man & Its Effects On Life, 1983.

Interview with Father Bede Griffiths, 1983.

Depression From the Energetic Perspective; with Erik Peper, 1984.

Masters and the Future, 1984.

Man’s Experience at Different Levels of Consciousness, 1985.

Theosophical Perspectives on Dealing with Pain; with Erik Peper, 1985.

The Objectives of the Theosophical Society; with Radha Burnier, 1986.

The Role of Karma in Life, 1986.

Letting Go: Perspectives on Death and Dying; with Erik Peper, 1987.

Chakras and the Human Energy Fields, 1989.

Deeper View of Healing and Its Many Aspects; with Dolores Krieger, 1989.

Conscious Use of the Healing Mind; with Dolores Krieger, 1990.

Healing and Changes in the Invisible Emotional Patterns, 1991.

Conversation with Dora Kunz, 1992.

Personal Aura and its Relation to Daily Life, 1992.

Karma: White Lotus Day Commemoration, 1994.

Spiritual Aspects of Healing and Therapeutic Touch, 1994.

Meditation as a Part of Life, 1996.

As compiled by Pierre F. Walter.


The Real World of Fairies

Dora and her The Real World of Fairies is one of the few really mind-blowing books I have found. When I say mind-blowing, I don’t just mean a brilliant, excellent, or outstanding intellectual achievement; I mean that my entire being was suddenly widened and brought to a higher level of consciousness, reminding me of Dr. David Hawkins description of movie-goers after viewing  Jacque Mayol’s The Big Blue, which Hawkins calibrated to be in the 700’s.real world of fairies book cover

This happened to me in the past only a few times; when I read for the first time Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda and then again when I was re-reading it and Yogananda and Krishna appeared to me out of the ethers.  I can’t say I’ve read cover to cover HPB’s  Secret Doctrine , but it’s my bible and “go to” book when I have questions I can’t seem to find the answers to.  Dr. David Hawkins’ Power vs. Force, Eckhart Tolle’s  A New Earth, Be Here Now by Ram Dass and the writings of Krishnamurti round out the list.

There aren’t many scientific studies about the fairy world, scientists by nature poo poo and disregard it. There are of course many novels and short stories about fairies but they don’t hold a candle to Dora.  Even Evans-Wentz’s famous study The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries wasn’t in Dora’s league . Why? Evans-Wentz’s book presents hearsay evidence — it contains a lot of interviews with all kinds of people from Brittany, Ireland, Scotland and England who say they have heard of fairies, seen fairies or fairy circles, or know about the existence of fairies, but the author himself writes from a distant cool intellectual viewpoint, reporting all this about a world he himself was never a part of.

Modern science gives credit to such a writer, who knows nothing about the subject he researches about, compared to a clairvoyant like Dora who actually saw the fairy world and actively communicated, over the whole course of her life, from little girl to elder woman, with them.  I firmly believe Dora is part of – and from – this realm.  This physical 3-D world can’t possibly begin to show us proof of this magical, infinite and all encompassing realm; one enters through knowing.  

As one of the Grand Dames of Theosophy, Dora implores the fact that our science tradition has never even looked at the very root and foundation of life – cosmic energy.   In The Real World of Fairies she writes:

We live in a world of form without understanding

 the life force beneath the forms.

Then she explains what clairvoyance is, and how it comes about:

The fact is that there is a real physical basis for clairvoyance and the faculty is not especially mysterious. The power centers in that tiny organ in the brain called the pituitary gland. The kind of vibrations involved are so subtle that no physical opening in the skin is needed to convey them to the pituitary body, but there is a special spot of sensitiveness just between the eyes above the root of the nose which acts as the external opening for the gland within.

This book really takes off with the second chapter entitled A Typical Fairy, in which Dora describes a standard fairy as a variety of varieties, so as to give us a taste of the high vibrational and etheric nature of them.  She writes:

The material of his body is a loosely knit as the vapor from the spout of a boiling teakettle and is somewhat of the nature of a cloud of colored gas. In fact it is exactly that, only the gas is finer than the lightest we know and is less readily detected even than helium or hydrogen. But this does not prevent it from being held together in / a form, for it is not a chemical but a living substance which life saturates and holds together. In truth, his power of this matter as a living creature is shown by the fact that his body is composed of two distinct densities of material. The body proper is a true emerald green and fairly dense, considering the stuff of which it is made; around this on all sides, both front and back, is a much thinner cloud of the same matter in which he is not so vividly alive. This thinner portion, which extends from all sides of this body proper, is a lighter green.  —   Pages 32-33


 Dora explains that fairies are essentially beings made of energy, and that the material they are built of is feelings, vital matter, emotions, streaks of energy which are modulated under their emotions, their movements, and their desires. The matter they are made of is pure emotions, not veins, muscles or nerves, and when they feel an emotion, their body directly responds and transforms itself according to the emotion. She says they have a heart which is a glowing, pulsating center that emanates golden light, and that the secret of fairy life is rhythm. While we have sensations, she explains, fairies are sensation, all sensation, and they don’t perceive like we do through special organs, but with their whole highly electric organisms.

There’s a kind of consensus among holistic and clairvoyant researchers that all beings possess a unique vibrational identity code which is related to their emotions, something like an emotional ID tag and that which Dr. Hawkins describes as Level of Consciousness.

On fairies Dora writes:

The secret of the fairy life is rhythm.  Each kind of fairy (whether water, land, air, or fire) comes into the world with a limited and definite range of rhythmic power, according to his species and his own personal nature. Within this range, he controls the rhythm of vitality by his desires and feelings.    — Pages 34-35

As I said, they have a heart center like other fairies, but in addition, the surface of their bodies is covered with scores of luminous points that are sub-centers connected with the heart. When the fairies move, a sort of suction is set up in these spots of light; thus vitality is drawn into their bodies. There are at least two kinds of energy involved, one from the sunlight and the other from the water. The fairy’s heart center is in the nature of a mixing place for these two sorts of vital energy. Now, in the sea itself, at more or less fixed positions relative to one another, there are centers like vortices, probably magnetic, which are, of course, super-physical. At times when the fairy has absorbed far more of this mixed energy than he needs, he pours it out of his / surface centers, and it is swept into the nearest of these vortices. There it is swirled around and distributed from one vortex to another by way of equalizing the charge. The fairies do this unconsciously all day long, and in this way the sea is charged with magnetism, thus helping all the creatures that live in it.  Pages 130-131

Another highly interesting point is the way fairies establish relationships with other fairies, with plants and animals, and with humans. There is a special way they do this – by adapting their vibration to the vibration of the being they want to relate to.  Dora says:

When he wants to respond to a plant, he makes his heart beat at the same pulse rate as the plant. This synchrony makes him unified. — Page 34

Apart from the form fairies present themselves in (which greatly varies and which they can deliberately alter) Dora’s observations do contain unique scientific content. Dora’s book contains so much more though, and many of her descriptions of fairy behavior, their way of living, their work and their “reason for being” within the whole of creation is magical and poetic.  On the energy that fairies dispose of and handle she writes:

In this exchange of energies, those from the earth and those from the sun, the fairy plays a definite part. He has power over both these currents, especially the vitality from the sun. He can retard them here and accelerate them there and he can add some extra vitality from himself at such points as he desires. — Page 41

Natives around the world don’t only see, like Dora, the fairy world but they also behave like her, in corresponding playful joy.  At times this has been judged by the western world as primitive and silly behavior. While it is wistful, our western mindset is for the most part of the material world.  That’s one of the reasons the mainstream has discarded the natives, aboriginals and fairy world.  It’s a death culture, and what right does it have to judge things it simply does not understand?

  Dora writes:

The fairy has an immense power of mimicry and a sense of drama. He is an emotional artist of rare ability, and a group of them will put on a show for mutual entertainment. I must explain again that a fairy has the power not only to change his form but also to clothe himself in marvelous garments, a process that is carried out by drawing the denser part of the material about him by means of his will power or desire into a thought garment. This requires effort and concentration and takes a few minutes to achieve, especially if he desires to change his form. The thought garment will last as long as he sustains the effort at transformation. Most fairies are deficient in concentration, and thus they do not keep up the show for any length of time. — Page 44

Between the human point of view and that of a fairy, or any member of the angelic kingdom, one of the main differences is that we live in a world of form, and they live in a world of life. Our thoughts are primarily concerned with the form things have, and we seldom go further than that. But fairies are mainly concerned with the energy and life flowing around and within the form – life that is everywhere.

For example, if we look at a tree we respond to its size, its shape, its color, its leaves, and fruit. These things combine to create its beauty for us. But when one comes to think of it, this is rather a limited way of seeing the world in which we live. In contrast, the fairy first beholds the spirit of the tree and responds to its vital energy. To a fairy, the tree is a living, breathing personality which is expressing itself in the form we see. There is then an exchange of feeling, a mutual response, between the fairy and the tree.  — Page 47

Dora explains in a similar spirit:

Humans have a system of morality, which embodies a very serious attitude toward life – a moral code based upon rules and involving fear of penal ties. Of course the fairies have not the vaguest conception of what all that means. They are the truest illustration of those lovely words of Jesus: Consider the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin. Yet Solomon in all his glory / was not arrayed as one of these. [Matthew 6:28-29] — Pages 52-53

Our vision becomes thus limited, because our direct experience is bound to be small; and thus we age prematurely, and life grows monotonous. — Page 79

Again, the energy nature is emphasized in Dora’s description of fairies and how they feed upon the sun, and as they do not eat, this is their unique form of nourishment.

The fairies think of the sun as a tremendous life-giving globe of light, which is the source of all life as they derive their nourishment principally from the sun’s rays. They seem to draw the rays of the sun through their bodies. This is the nearest they come to eating. Apart from deriving energy for the maintenance of their own bodies, they help to guide the energy from the sun for the plants’ growth. — Page 87

 Dora’s classification of fairies is highly insightful as she aligns them with the angelic realm; as a sub-realm actually.  Her observations are in alignment with theosophical teaching and in this respect she wrote the definitive book.  Dora says fairies are under the direct order and observation of angels, and the way she describes these angels is very intriguing and scientific.


Over all, an angel is brooding – over the fairies, the trees, the hills, and streams which are part of his life and are his trust. He is a powerful personality, and the valley is just as much part of his body as the trunk of a tree is the body of a tree spirit, except that in this case, the angel has intelligence and emotions as powerful as our own, and he is as much a being as we are, if not more so. When he takes form he looks like a beautiful human being, a clean-shaven youth with fine dark hair and a powerful aquiline face, his body enveloped in a lovely apple green. His presence permeates the life of the forest and valley. — Page 106

To me, the definitive chapter in the book is the last – How hurricanes are created by angels and what purpose they serve.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy I had profound interactions with tree fairies in particular which resonated strongly with Dora’s writings.  Many trees were down in Bucks County, their massive roots uplifted and tossed yards away.  In Bryn Gweled my favorite tree, a beautiful Weeping Willow that reminded me of the Tree of Life was split right down the middle.  As I approached the devastation I braced myself, expecting to feel sad and upset.  But the Tree Spirits quickly greeted me with “We’re not sad. ‘Tis noble to go down dancing with the wind.”


We’re not sad. ‘Tis noble to go down dancing with the wind.

Dora summarizes her similar observations with an ethical consideration:

Human beings will inevitably think that the water fairies, sea angels, and especially the angel of the hurricane himself are bad or evil, because for us they have been destroying life. But this is not so. They have destroyed forms, but they have not destroyed the life within the forms, for life cannot die. Moreover, these beings have performed their function in accordance with natural law.  — Page 167


Dora’s Fairies


AIR FAIRIES are of three general types. First are those sylphlike beings who inhabit the clouds and work with them. These are the sculptors of the fairy world. Next are the air fairies who are associated with the wind and storms. These air fairies are generally some four or five feet high, very shapely and beautiful. And last are the immense air spirits who live at very high altitudes, who resemble great dragons with huge heads, long bodies, and long tails. They are centers of energy and power of some sort.  All three of these types are described in Chapter 11.

ANGELS OR DEVAS are radiant beings with great intelligence who help to guide nature by their understanding of the Divine Plan. They direct the energies of nature and oversee the lesser fairies under their care, such as tree spirits and those who might be in charge of wind or clouds.

EARTH FAIRIES consists of four main types, two of which live on the surface of the earth and two underground. On the surface, these fairies / range from the physically embodied tree spirits to the small common garden or woods fairies. Rock fairies, or gnomes, are one of the underground types. More specific information is given in Chapter 5.

ELEMENTALS are, as their name indicates, spirits of the elements. These creatures are evolved in the four kingdoms of elements – air, earth, fire and water – according to Kabbalists. They are called gnomes (of the earth), sylphs (of the air), salamanders (of fire), and undines (of the water). H.P. Blavatsky in The Theosophical Glossary explains that all the lower invisible beings generated on the fifth, sixth, and seventh planes of our terrestrial atmosphere are called elementals and include fairies, peris, devas, djins, sylvans, satyrs, fauns, elves, leprechauns, dwarfs, trolls, kobolds, brownies, nixies and pixies, goblins, moss people, manikins, and others who belong to this classification.

FAIRIES are of four major divisions – air, earth, fire, and water. Fairies range in size from the tiny butterfly-size, to twelve-inch and two-foot ones, up to the great sylphs and tree spirits.

 FAIRIES are also called salamanders.

GARDEN FAIRIES are a common kind of earth fairy.

GNOMES are another kind of earth fairy who inhabit rocks.

NATURE SPIRITS are those creatures of the devic kingdom who care for the different categories in nature such as the air and wind, the growing plants, the landscape features, the water, and fire.

ROCK FAIRIES are sometimes called gnomes. Such fairies are to be found both above and below ground. The great rock fairies of the Grand Canyon are mentioned in Chapter 10 and elsewhere in the book.

SALAMANDERS are also known as fire fairies. Chapter 10 has information on one class of these who inhabit the underground volcanic regions as well as those involved in lightning and fires above ground.

SYLPHS are a form of air fairy. They are large in size, though not as evolved as those other great beings, devas. Cloud sylphs are described in Chapter 11 and also mentioned in the chapter on the hurricane, Chapter 12.

TREE SPIRITS, treated in Chapter 7, are larger than wood fairies and have a more physical body.

UNDINES (a classical or Kabalistic name) are also called water spirits or water fairies.

WATER BABIES are small, happy creatures who are found near the seashore and in the surf. They are a type of water fairy, but different from both those who live farther out in the deep ocean and those who dwell near streams, lakes, or ponds.  — Pages 178-180



Connecting with Devas, Tree Spirits, Fairies and Angels of Nature


  • Always politely and respectfully ask before interacting.
  • Take a few moments and breathe into your heart space; then send that love out, announcing your presence and oneness with All.
  • Never, ever interfere with a fairy circle.
  • When not feeling well, ask first, then place your hand on a tree’s trunk and let it run its energy through you and cleanse any lower vibrational densities.
  • Leave the forest and nature areas in a better state then when you arrived – clean up liter, leave some seeds or bread crumbs, and thank the nature spirits with gratitude for all that they do on our behalf.
  • Drink natural liquid chlorophyll and add it to distilled water.  It’s a pure energy source that aids in our transition from carbon to crystalline-based beings.   Chlorophyll is made from the sun by plants – what could be better than that?
  • View a wonderful video on Earth’s Inter-dimensional Life-forms and Nature Spirits presented by Atala Dorothy Toy to the Theosophical Society in New York here: 

2 thoughts on “The Real World of Fairies – Dora Van Gelder Kunz

  1. Thank you so much for your excellent blog posting about one of my favorite authors Dora van Gelder. She has been a true inspiration to me over the past forty years of communing with nature and I appreciate the obvious love you have for her gentle and extraordinary life.


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