Watch the Weather, Watch the Patterns

Let’s talk about the weather, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans.

Over the coming months, watch the weather shows, whichever ones you like, but aim for the ones which show the big picture, and look at the patterns.  Most of you are familiar with the Jet Stream, and the normal “s- curves” of high and low pressure systems.  Let us see if a new pattern is emerging.  Because, I’ve never seen this before in December.

Weather Patherns - up from the Gulf of Mexico, December 27, 2015
Weather Patherns – up from the Gulf of Mexico, December 27, 2015
Weather system, December 27, 2015
Weather system, December 27, 2015

One of the key components of the Earthways Shamanic Path, is to learn what your normal weather patterns are, in your local area, to develop ceremonies and rituals that honor your Seasonal changes and other important earth-based events.   But is everything we know about our normal patterns is changing, how do we do that?

What are some local implications of changing weather patterns in your community?

“Share Your Peace With Our Earth.”

~Whale Maiden~

~~~ ♡ ~~~

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?

Join Whale Maiden in the discussion at the Earthways Shamanic Path – Facebook Group

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

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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!!

 

 

 

 

Awareness and Ice Storms

I woke up this morning and could hear the rain hitting the roof.  I knew it had rained all night.

My husband was watching the news and when a commercial came on he proceeded to change the channel.  I said, “oh, let’s watch the weather.”  He said, you know it’s raining, why bother?”  But he changed it any way.  The weather news was full of stories about the ice storm that hit Atlanta, and all the stranded motorists.

All the news casters are asking, “How did this happen?”  Everybody is pointing fingers, blaming everybody else.

 I say, if you don’t know where you are, this is bound to happen again and again.

Where are you? This is a question you should ask yourself, every waking moment.  It is particularly important in surviving storms and natural disasters of any kind.  But it is also about your level of awareness.

 Think of it this way:  you live in a box (a house or apartment) and maybe your car lives in a space in that box (the garage.) So you wake up, do your stuff, hop in your car and set out to work in another box (an office or a factory, or something).  At lunch time you might leave the work box, hop into your car, drive around some box to get food, and eat it somewhere and go back to your work box.  When it’s time to go home, you go from the work box to the car to your house box.  You move from one controlled climate to another one.

And if you are like most people, you drive the same route to work and lunch and work and back home every day.  You do this automatically, and you know it.  If you do this 5 days a week, you have minimum contact with the natural world.  But no matter how much you insulate yourself from the natural world, you still live in it.  To survive a storm, you have to be aware.  You have  to read the signs of the natural world.  You have to know what your alternatives are, all the time.  And, you need to be prepared.

To read the signs of a storm, you do need to monitor the weather on a daily basis.  Lots of people grumble about the accuracy of weather reports, but the reports are getting more and more accurate, all the time.  And, what you really want to pay attention to are the general big trends:  is it going to get significantly hotter, or significantly colder, over the next 12 hours?    Will this change be accompanied by rain/snow/ice?  Will it be accompanied by wind?  How much is expected for your area?  Supplement your daily monitoring of reports by getting outside of your “world of boxes” on a regular basis, look at the trees, and the leaves, and look at the clouds in the sky, and learn what the natural signals are.

The 12 hours is significant, because you probably spend that much time away from home each day, commuting and working and while you can probably gauge the morning commute by sticking your head outside for a minute, what you really need to PLAN for, is your commute home.  I’m sure you know that the temperature drops as the sun sets each day.  In my part of the world, it starts to get windier as the sun goes down, too.

Some of the folks who got stuck on their afternoon commute this week in Atlanta’s Ice Storm, we caught unaware of the change in the weather.  Once they got stuck, they waited for a few hours.  Then eventually, many of them left their cars and hiked to a local store to spend the night.  They went to drugstores, fast food places, and big box hardware stores.  They went where ever they could to find a store that was open, and they were glad for the shelter, even if they had to sleep on the floors in the aisles.  So, it is a good idea to pay attention to the stores that are open on your way home, and become aware of what your options might be, if you ever got stranded somewhere.  

 If you only know one route home from work, start finding more routes.  Do you know which roads in your town experience flash flooding?  Do you know where the high spots are?  DO you know how long it takes for the flash flood waters to recede?

 And, you need to have the right stuff with you, all the time:  Depending upon your climate and the time of year, this could mean having a snow scraper, an umbrella, non-perishable food, water, blankets, shoes and socks, sun block, bug spray and a hat, cash, “personal hygiene products” (toilet paper…) and kitty litter, in your car at all times.  The kitty litter has many uses, first of which is to sprinkle on the ice to get you some traction. 

 Taking care of yourself starts with your own awareness and your own planning and preparation.  It is your responsibility to be aware.

What will make it cooler: a Hurricane

Ok folks, we know it is HOT here in Southwest Florida and HOT there (I’m pointing to the middle of a little Map of the USA) and we know that this big blob of hot air is moving east (that a way –>)  across the USA. 

What’s it gonna take to cool it all off?  You won’t like this:  It will take a Hurricane. 

Hurricanes assist the planet in moving hot and cold around.  Hot air, hot water.  Cold air/ cold water. 

We are in Rainy Season which started on Solstice, and we are heading into an early Hurricane Season.  So, make sure your Hurricane Plans are up to date.

We are all waiting for rain, here

Today when I left my house at 7:15 AM, it was already 80 degrees.  All over Southwest Florida (today I went up to Port Charlotte and then back to Fort Myers for different things,) the land is parched and dusty.  We need rain.  It did rain about a week ago, but we are waiting for our daily rain storms to start-up.  When I got home at 5:30 PM, it was about 95 degrees out.

Then, while we were watching Jeopardy there was a thunderstorm warning posted for Collier County and Hendry County:  they’re probably getting hail right about now.  My Husband took the trash out and called me outside to look at the Sun, a bright hot red disc in the sky.  I noticed a cooling wind coming out of the east and I would say it had dropped to about 70 degrees.

Maybe we will get some rain from this.

Fire Season, in spite of all this rain.

My Daughter Agatha asked me the other day, “How can it be ‘Fire Season,’ if it is raining so much?”

We are having an unusually cold, wet ‘winter’ this year.  (Sometimes I still say, “winter,” because that is how most people refer to this time of year.)  The rain and cold, has no impact upon the progression of the Sun and the Moon, nor does it impact the Stars and Planets, which mark the progress of the Seasons, right?    They are interrelated systems, true.   I haven’t yet found out what drives the progression of Fire Season, Rainy Season, Hurricane Season and Dry Season.  I’m still working on identifying the markers of the Florida Earthway Seasons.

It’s a good question, and I’ll have to keep studying this.