Caddy, Eileen (1917-) and Peter Caddy(1917-1994)

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Caddy, Eileen (1917-) and Peter Caddy(1917-1994)

Peter and Eileen Caddy, cofounders of the Findhorn Community in Scotland, one of the major disseminating points of the New Age Movement of the 1970s and 1980s, were both born and raised in England. As a young man, Peter was apprenticed to learn the hotel and catering business. When World War II (1939-45) began, he joined the Royal Air Force. His real spiritual quest began in India where he met a holy man, Ram Sareek Singh. Eileen, in the meantime, had married a RAF officer and met Peter in Iraq, where both he and her husband had been stationed. They became friends and upon their return to England began an affair. When the affair became known, it led to her divorce. As the divorce process was going forth, Eileen traveled to Glastonbury, where she had a mystical experience in which a voice spoke to her. The voice, which she believed to be that of God, told her that she and Peter had been brought together to do a specific work.

In 1956, Peter and Eileen moved to Scotland and began to live together in a common-law relationship. Peter worked as a hotel manager and Eileen emerged as a channel and daily supplied guidance. All was well until 1963 when Peter was fired. They found themselves broke and they moved into a small trailer home in a caravan park on Findhorn Bay. They were joined by Dorothy McLean, a former employee who shared their spiritual life.

Several years after settling at Findhorn, some of the texts of Eileen's guidance were gathered into a pamphlet entitled "God Spoke to Me" and sent out to various groups who shared their basic view of the cosmos. These groups were generally called "Light" groups in that they believed in a mission of channeling spiritual light to the world. That mission had been derived from the teaching of theosophist Alice A. Bailey. The pamphlet added the Caddys to the network of Light groups and also led people to Findhorn, where a community began to grow.

In their early years at Findhorn, the Caddys had grown their own food and in the process learned to communicate with what they believed were nature spirits. This relationship led to some spectacular agricultural success in the poor soil and limited growing season of northern Scotland. The abundance of the Findhorn garden became part of the legend of Findhorn.

Among the people who joined the community in the early 1970s was David Spangler. He would be among the first people to lead the Light groups to a vision of the New Age, the idea that not only was it the task of the groups to channel spiritual light to the world, but that the end of the twentieth century was a particularly good time to engage in such activity. Spangler came to believe that a new level of spiritual energy was becoming available, and if enough humans cooperated with it, a planetary transformation to a new age of peace and light would emerge. As this teaching was accepted by the other Light groups, what became known as the New Age Movement was born.

Findhorn prospered as the New Age Movement became an international phenomenon. The Caddys traveled the world to teach and lecture. Eileen's channeled material became the source of several books, beginning with an expanded edition of God Spoke to Me. As she had predicted, in 1975, Peter purchased the Cluny Hill Hotel, which he had previously managed, to provide space for an expanded program and housing for the growing number of visitors.

Unfortunately, by the end of the 1970s, Eileen and Peter had drifted apart and in 1982, they were divorced. Eileen remained at Findhorn as part of the expanded leadership and authored several books, including her autobiography, Flight to Freedom. Peter moved to the United States and became the leader of a new center, The Gathering of the Ways. He remarried and continued to travel and teach until his death on February 18, 1994.

Sources:

Caddy, Eileen. The Dawn of Change. Forres, Scotland: Find-horn Foundation, 1979.

. Flight to Freedom. Longmead, Dorset, UK: Element Books, 1988.

Elixer [pseudonym of Eileen Caddy]. God Spoke to Me. Forres, Scotland: The Author, 1967. Expanded edition, Forres, Scoland: Findhorn Foundation, 1971.

Hawken, Paul. The Spirit of Findhorn. New York: Harper, 1975.