thoughts on summoning the rain

The heat baked the ground, leaching the grass of its green. It’s uncharacteristic for the Great White North, a disordering of the pattern.

Looking at my paltry garden, I joked to my husband that I’d get a mop and a bucket of water, and summon rain on the porch via intense chanting-cum-screaming. After a giggle, he asked if I’d ever done weather magic. I paused and said, “No. I wouldn’t. Mother Nature knows better than I.”

And that’s largely been my philosophy of large-scale magical acts that monkey with the atmosphere. There are several different factors in my reluctance. For one, it seems awfully foolish. I’m one small monkey; who am I to boss around Danu with her vast reaches and mind-boggling complexity? The sky? The innumerable nature spirits, both incarnate and Otherworldly? To even think that I could is hubris, plain and simple.

Secondly, what if I were successful in drawing rain? Would it cause a drought somewhere else half a continent or even half the world over? If I try to save my garden with a well-timed thunderstorm, does that mean an elderly woman in Iowa has hers scorched beyond recognition? Is my prayer for rain more important than hers?

Granted, I think there are cases whee weather magic is acceptable — on a tribal level, so to speak. If mass numbers of people will starve due to crop failure, go for it. If the forest-fire is threatening your home and you’ve exhausted other options. In short: matters of intense deprivation, hunger, death. Hobby gardens and landscaping simply don’t apply.

And in such dire straits, the act — even if hubris on some level, or blatantly ridiculous and unworkable due to the smallness of the individual in comparison with the vast multi-verse — the act becomes art. It expresses the innermost need; it is a prayer sung from the heart’s blood, from the sweetness of life that seeks continuance. That doesn’t mean the prayer will be heeded. We are tiny parts of a complex whole, destined to die in one way or another. Our lives aren’t more important than the Pattern. Harsh truth, that. Consciousness resists it.

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About whitecatgrove

The musings of a Druid priestess, singer, poet and musician in Upstate New York.
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4 Responses to thoughts on summoning the rain

  1. Ali says:

    “And in such dire straits, the act — even if hubris on some level, or blatantly ridiculous and unworkable due to the smallness of the individual in comparison with the vast multi-verse — the act becomes art. It expresses the innermost need; it is a prayer sung from the heart’s blood, from the sweetness of life that seeks continuance. That doesn’t mean the prayer will be heeded. We are tiny parts of a complex whole, destined to die in one way or another.”

    Yes!

    Thank you for this, and for your writing in general. I wish there were more of such writing out here in the Pagan blogosphere.

  2. Thanks for the input! Your blog is wonderful, too.

  3. blogtastic10 says:

    I have held the same views on weather magic. I have seen where it backfires, and I have seen it have no effect at all. One Pagan group that hosts a large annual festival used to boast that they always had great festival weather because their weather workers were the best. It all seemed to be true until they had to move their festival date forward one week on the calendar. Then they had lots of heavy rain, strong to severe thunderstorms, and even hail and tornadoes. Did their weather workers fail?
    They had no impact on the weather at all. It was natural for that region to have a rainy period with severe storms on the week they had moved their festival to, and it was normal weather for them to have good days on the previous week.
    Chris

  4. Esmerelda says:

    I have found that weather-working only works when the request comes from the heart, to the benefit of a large group of people. Asking for rain just for your garden is selfish, and unlikely to be honored; if your entire region is under a drought, however, a prayer for the good of all (with specific examples, that can be vibrantly pictured) definitely works.

    I would like to turn your reluctance on its head, and offer up why I follow national and international trends and forecasts, and do weather-working for areas far beyond my own: one person, acting deliberately, can impact the weather, but so can many people who have a strong expectation. I have lived in many areas where there is some annual festival or parade, and the people say things like, “Of _course_ we are going to freeze our tails off at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, it is _always_ below freezing that weekend!” even if it is 50 degrees for the two weeks prior. And it _is_ frozen every year! Or, “Of _course_ it will rain this weekend; the Three River Festival has been rained out every year for the past 20 years!” whereas the weekend in question only sometimes brought rain prior to the festival being rained out 3 years in a row. Or, “We are in a drought, because we had one last year, so _of_course_ it is going to be dry again!” 3 years of any situation will create in the general local populace the assumption that this is the “new normal”. I find it my moral obligation to help reverse the most damaging of those “new normal” trends, by researching long-term trends, and making prayers to the cloud fairies as appropriate.

    For instance, to break a drought, there needs to be a whole lot of rain during the first 2 weeks of the usual rainy season. This way, people are not able to continue to hold onto the new-normal idea of it always being dry. To break a warming trend, there needs to be a whole lot of cold very early in the winter-weather season to shake people up.

    People worrying about global warming make it worse, but worrying isn’t as powerful as direct, positive thinking. One weather-worker can reverse the damage caused by a lot of part-time worriers.

    I like to encourage people to get out into nature, to enjoy the natural world. Most people only have the opportunity to do so during the weekend. So my daily mantra is “Thursday is a _great_ day for rain!” And since I truly believe that nature will benefit from more people enjoying it, we get rain on Thursdays _all_the_time_ wherever I live.

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