And Now it Begins: Hurricane Season in the Florida Branch of the Earthways Shamanic Path

Yesterday marked the 11th  anniversary of Hurricane Charley hitting Southwest Florida.  This weekend is the start of Hurricane Season, as celebrated by the Florida Branch of the Earthways Shamanic Path.  [The Good Folks at NOAA define the Hurricane Season as starting June 1, and going until November.  But that’s for the entire Atlantic Ocean.  In this Blog, and throughout the Earthways Shamanic Path documentation, we are talking about what is experienced in focused locations.]  Our Shamanic Path Hurricane Season runs from mid-August to mid-October.  It is mercifully short.

During June and July, the air temperature heated up, the water temperatures heated up and everything is warm-to-hot.  This heat stimulates storm activity.  Over the years, I have noticed that the intensity and frequency of Hurricanes
“increases” after the middle of August.  And here we are.

When we presented the Wheel of the Year for the Florida Branch of the Earthways Shamanic Path at our recent Monthly meeting, someone asked, “why would we celebrate Hurricane Season?”  Like her, several people attending our meeting had lived through the Hurricane Season of 2004, and still have vivid memories of that time.

Hurricane Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne hit Florida in 2004.
Hurricane Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne hit Florida in 2004.   Photo from NOAA.

So, I asked her, what is the Spiritual Meaning of Hurricane Season?

The themes of Hurricane  Season, are about planning and flexibility.  Here in Southwest Florida, in early June, the Hurricane Planners and Media folks do a great job to remind people that Hurricane Season is coming, and to make sure people know what to stockpile at home, what to keep in their car, and what to do when a Hurricane is approaching.  Due to the hard work of a lot of really good people, Florida has good roads in place, to help people evacuate.  There are wayfinding signs to help people evacuate.   It has hurricane shelters available.  The media print awesome Hurricane Guides.

Our job is to heed that advice.  We should make sure we have fresh batteries, stockpiles of water, and get our important documents in order.

And then we wait and wait and see what happens.  Most people do not like Hurricanes, because they do bring damage to man-made property.  However, some people really like the approaching storms, and get kind of excited about it.  The interesting thing about Hurricanes, is that they are a vital part of the Earth’s weather system.  It is how the Mother moves heat around and moves water around.

So the spiritual aspect has to do with planning ahead, and being ready to take correct action, but not letting that constant state of readiness exhaust you, or make you anxious.  During the 2004 Hurricane Season, there were Four major Named Storms in six weeks, and there were also  several tropical storms that we thought would come through, so we were in a state of constant readiness for weeks.

So as Hurricane Season approaches, in our Celebration, we will ask that we not be complacent.   We will ask that we learn to read the weather signs.  We will ask that our preparations will ensure us safe passage through the storm(s) that may come.  We will ask for Strength.

Another aspect of Hurricane Season, is learning how and when to ask for help.  After a hurricane blows through your house and your town, you will need help.  Recovery doesn’t happen all by itself.   Yes, we are strong and independent people.  We are grown ups, we are adults.  But after a Hurricane, it is ok to ask for help.  And it is certainly ok, to provide help to other people.

Although the Earthways Shamanic Path is based in Florida, it can be celebrated anywhere.  You just need to explore the magic of your land.  What is it saying to you?   What are the seasons, where you live?  What do they mean to you?  How are they celebrated? 

And Honorable Shamans, as we observe our holidays, “Let’s Share Peace With Our Earth.”

(c) 2015, Whale Maiden.  All Rights Reserved.

A rainy Fire Season

This time of year we celebrate Fire Season in Southwest Florida, which starts in mid-February and usually runs to mid-May.  In the Florida Earthways Shamanic Path, Fire Season is characterized by an influx of seasonal residents, and an influx of tourists.  Fire Season is also the time when it doesn’t rain much here, so there are numerous festivals each weekend.  You have to save your money all year to be able to attend all the Festivals and Faires that happen during Fire Season.  And, you have to decide what matters to you because there are so many choices.

Do you like food?  Music?  Art?  Dancing?  Car Races?  Swamp Cabbage?  Hot Air Balloons?  Charity Auctions and Balls?  There are festivals devoted to all these kinds of things, and more, all over Southwest Florida, this time of year.  But you can’t do it all!

Normally, the temperature is “seasonable,” which means that the end of January is still kind of cold, and then in February, the air temps start warming up and we have cool mornings and dry and comfortable afternoons.  We typically see the afternoon heat reach 80 degrees.  And there is usually little humidity.  And, we usually get very little rain during Fire Season, hence the name.

This year, we have had higher temps, more humidity and, rain.  Lots of rain.

Strange!!

Springtime…is a state of mind

Spring is an undeniable astronomical event.  But where we live guides our perception of it!

When I was growing up in the North East, My Mother used to sing, “When it’s Springtime in the Rockies, you’ll be coming home to me…”

And, she used to plant crocus and daffodil, and forsythia, in her garden.  As you probably know,  crocus and daffodil are bulbs and so we all had a great time each year, waiting for the flowers to sprout each Spring, bulb hunting.  (I think that’s the origins of the Easter Egg hunt, if you ask me.)

This was of course after we had spent a long cold winter, ice skating or playing in the snow, and feeding birds at our bird feeder, and collecting bird feathers.  We longed for Spring, for the flowers to come, and the soft rains and the mud.  I actually enjoyed mud for a day or two until it would freeze or dry (or both) and then it was very hard to walk over those gnarly frozen muddy tracks.

But Spring would come each year and we would enjoy the influx of the flowers and birds and flowering shrubs and budding trees.

Budding Trees, (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved
Budding Trees, (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved

THIS is a totally different reality from the way we experience Spring in Southwest Florida.  We have flowering shrubs, already flowering:  This is Tri-colored Bougainvillea-(c) 2013-2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved

(c) 2013-2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved

and of course, we have the Gulf.  It is beautiful.  (A little chilly for me to go swimming in.)Gulf of Mexico at Dusk, March 2014.  (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved.

Gulf of Mexico at Dusk, March 2014. (c) 2014 WhaleMaiden, All Rights Reserved.

This is why I encourage you to synchronize your pagan observances with where you live.

Happy Spring!

 

 

 

Worlds Away In One Day

It takes two airplanes to get from where I live, to where my Father lives.  We are both in the continental United States, I’m located in Southwest Florida, and he’s north of me in a place I call, “Up North.”

A few weeks ago, the day before I got on the airplanes, it was 85 degrees and humid, here in Southwest Florida.  That was the high for the afternoon; I think it started about 65 or so.  I love late March-early April here in Florida.  It is the best time of the year.  It is seconded only by mid-October to late-November, when things finally cool off a bit, after our adventures with rampant Heat and Humidity in the Summer months.

So on a Thursday the week before Spring, I got on the first of 2 airplanes to go north, and the air is immediately drier on airplanes, and that’s an adjustment.   When we arrived at our location, it was something like 20 degrees outside, and there was a stiff wind blowing.  And that was the HIGH temperature that day.  I bravely put on my winter coat and hat and gloves and scarf in the airport baggage area and made whimpering noises as I picked up my rental car.  I figured out how to make the heat work, but never did master the high beams.

I was thankful that my Father has great shelter and heat, so I was warm and toasty during my visit, unless I went outside.  Oddly enough, this trip I went outside a whole lot more than I normally do when I go visit this time of year.  And it was bone-chilling, let me tell you!

On Monday, the day I was supposed to fly back to Southwest Florida, I woke up at 4:00 AM.  I was thirsty.  I got a cup of water and looked out the window.  I saw a light dusting of snow!  “Oh no!”  I thought, I don’t want to drive in snow!”  I went back to my warm bed and fell asleep in spite of considering how my driving would be impacted by snow.

I woke up to the 7AM alarm clock and looked out the window.  The snow was gone!  I was so happy!!  (I believe the Snow Fairies came and took the snow away for me!)

I drove to the Airport, turned in my rental car, put my coat in my baggage and checked it.  Boarded the first airplane.  We flew through clouds and turbulence and landed at Charlotte, North Carolina where it was raining.  (But not snowing.)

This is what it looks like, just before Spring, up north

Rain at CharlotteContinuing on south from Charlotte to RSW, the airport for Southwest Florida.

Got off the plane, and noticed it was about 65 degrees, windy, but humid.  I can take that weather.  I love humidity.  I have never been so happy to return to Southwest Florida!!

 

 

 

 

Approaching Dry Season

We are approaching Dry Season here in Southwest Florida.  This started about September 23rd, which is a little early.  Normally this comes on about mid-October.  This has been an unusual year to use to identify the change of the seasons in the Florida Earthways Path.  Gradually the daily afternoon thundershowers have subsided and the humidity is down.  We’ve been fortunate that no major hurricanes have hit Southwest Florida.  (I’ve a friend who says that is because there are so many Light Workers here, we all keep redirecting the Hurricane Energy out to sea.)

As we prepare to leave Hurricane Season, let us pause and consider what we accomplished.  Let’s continue to reflect on the symbolism where each season represents an aspect of goal setting and progress towards the implementation of a goal.

Remember that symbolically, Dry Season represents the East, Fire Season represents the South, Rainy Season represents the West, Hurricane Season represents the North.  The Center is Spirit.   Fire Season follows Dry Season.  In Dry Season, (Air=Intellect) it is time for new ideas to spring forth as more and more of what was grounded, previously, now symbolically dries up into the Air.  So, the Idea is developed in the Dry Season. 

In the Rainy Season, the Idea which was formed in the Dry Season, (from the Intellect) and which is developed in the Fire Season (due to Passion and Courage), begins to take hold because we invest our Emotions in the Idea.  When you are setting about to make meaningful change in your life, if you do not care about the thing you are changing, you won’t take action. 

Water is symbolic of our emotions.  What do you care about?  What replenishes you?  What nourishes you?  When you think about your idea, how does it make you feel?    That is the work of Rainy Season.

In this methodology Hurricane Season = North, which is the point of ACTION.  What did you set out to achieve this year?  Have you taken any action on the goals you thought about earlier this year?  Before the year ends, is there anything specific you could do to achieve the goals you set for yourself earlier this year?

In my opinion, the point of following a Path is to bring about positive, meaningful change in your life.  This is similar to goal setting, creative visualization, and manifesting desired changes.  Keeping in mind that the Seasons follow one after the other, then work we do now, was developed in a previous season.  And, whatever we do “now,” lays the groundwork for something we will do “later.” 

What are the Spiritual Aspects of Rainy Season?

What are the Spiritual Aspects of Rainy Season?

After the Earth has become so parched as a result of Fire Season, when the Rains come, everything comes alive again and flourishes.  Animals attract mates and procreate.  Humans are glad to see more light each day and make plans.  They make plans to look good for the Summer and they make plans to do things in the Summer.

Remember that symbolically, Dry Season represents the East, Fire Season represents the South, Rainy Season represents the West, Hurricane Season represents the North.  The Center is Spirit.   Fire Season follows Dry Season.  In Dry Season, (Air=Intellect) it is time for new ideas to spring forth as more and more of what was grounded, previously, now symbolically dries up into the Air.  So, the Idea is developed in the Dry Season. 

In the Rainy Season, the Idea which was formed in the Dry Season, (from the Intellect) and which is developed in the Fire Season (due to Passion and Courage), begins to take hold because we invest our Emotions in the Idea.  When you are setting about to make meaningful change in your life, if you do not care about the thing you are changing, you won’t take action. 

Water is symbolic of our emotions.  WHat do you care about?  What replenishes you?  What nourishes you?  When you think about your idea, how does it make you feel?    That is the work of Rainy Season.

In my opinion, the point of following a Path is to bring about positive, meaningful change in your life.  This is similar to goal setting, creative visualization, and manifesting desired changes.  Keeping in mind that the Seasons follow one after the other, then work we do now, was developed in a previous season.  And, whatever we do “now,” lays the groundwork for something we will do “later.” 

Heat and Humidity–the end of Rainy Season

Well, I haven’t posted much in this Rainy Season because :

1.  how many pictures of rain drops do you want to see, really?

2. it has been an unusual Rainy Season (in my terminology)  because it isn’t quite following the normal pattern.

I am speaking of the pattern where the day gets hotter and hotter and more and more humid until at about 4:00PM it rains for about 5 minutes, and then the rain stops, the temperature has fallen a bit and, the rain goes somewhere else and rains there for 5 minutes, all along the coast for the rest of the afternoon.

I’m also working in an office with no windows so if it is raining each afternoon, I can’t tell. 

Meanwhile, the whole country seems to be experiencing an unusually hot “Summer” season.  Is this due to Global Warming or to a natural fluctuation in climate cycles?  Or, is Global Warming making our normal cycles, exaggerated?  Who really knows?

At any rate, here we are almost at the end of Rainy Season.

Hurricane Season Sneaks Up…start your engines…

Just when we are growing complacent about Hurricanes, the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Prediction Center,  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ has unveiled a tropical disturbance.  The good thing is that since I last checked it about 6:00 PM, it has diminished from a 30% probability of developing down to a 20% probability.

June 1st is the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Although we feel the effects of Atlantic Hurricanes here on the Gulf Coast, we tend to see Hurricanes forming in the Gulf later in the year, like about mid-August.  So, that is why I don’t start Hurricane Season until mid-August in this Wheel of the Year.

Happy Spring Equinox and Bees.

White Flower with buds, with purple stripes

Yesterday was the Spring Equinox.  I went out to a field and selected a spot and some of my friends joined me with Picnic foods, and afer we ate we focused our energies with burning sage on crystals and seashells and feathers.  It was a fairly simple meditation and we all felt very uplifted afterwards.  The sun was so bright as I was taking pictures of the flowers in the field.  I didn’t notice the buds, nor the purple stripes on the buds, until I got home.

I’ve been very concerned about the Bees since lots of the flowering trees and shrubs in Southwest Florida were frosted this January.  I am hopeful that the Bees and Birds and Butterflies will find enough nectar to keep them healthy.  We saw tons of Bees out in the field and many Birds and Butterflies.

The Spring Equinox fits right into Fire Season.  Fire Season in Southwest Florida, is all about this buildup of energy, bursting forth like the buds blooming everywhere.

Fire Season — Fires and Fog in February

Fire Season is obviously about Fires, but it has been such a wet Fire Season(*)  that there haven’t been too many Fires to talk about.  For Property Owners, that’s a good thing.  But for various participants in the Agricultural World, the lack of fire can be a problem.  Some trees and plants need Fire to open seed pods.  Farmers use Fire to clear land to grow things, and I am pretty sure they use Fire to “fix” nitrogen in the soil. (**) 

I went out to Belle Glade, Florida in mid-February and there were lots of fires that day.  Belle Glade’s slogan is, “Her Soil is her Future,” and I wish I had taken a picture of the rich, black earth when I was out there.  The Farmers there, set fire to the Sugar Cane crop at some stage in its growth and harvesting.  This was about a week before the annual Sugar Cane Festival. 

These photos are looking Northwest and the slip of blue, are the waters of Lake Okeechobee.  (No, not the guardrail.  Just over the guardrail.)

 (*) It is raining as I write this!

(**) You could look up ‘fixing nitrogen’…

(***) I want to thank the kind folk(s) who took care of my posting sequencing issue!!!