Time between Fire and Rain

Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, when does one year end and the next begin?

I’ve been looking at the Wheel of the Year here in Southwest Florida for a number of years, and writing about it for about five.  I’m trying to “fix” the date when Fire Season “ends,” and Rainy Season “starts.”  For a few years, I felt the Seasons changed in mid-April.  The rain starts to start in mid-April, in most years.  By that I mean, we start to have rain storms in mid-April but they don’t hit their daily stride until mid-June.

This is really important to me because I feel that Rainy Season is the Start of the Year, here in Southwest Florida (as opposed to October 31-Samhain or January 1-New Years).  That’s because so many things end in mid-June:  people graduate or move.

We recently celebrated Beltane (Beltaine) here on May 1st.  That’s a fire celebration.  Makes sense that we are in Fire Season from THAT stand point.

I need to step up my phenology studies and really monitor things like what are the average temps, what 20160409_161218is in bloom, which animals are present, and, what’s going on in the night sky.


The Florida Wheel of the Year – Earthways Shamanic Path

Hello Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans.  One of the things we encourage in the Earthways Shamanic Path, is for you to learn about the Seasons where you live, based upon studying the flora and fauna where you live.

I’m in Southwest Florida and I’ve been working on this Path for a while.  Here is the Wheel of the Year – Florida Branch of the Earthways Shamanic Path edition.

The Wheel of the Year, Florida Branch of the Earthways Shamanic Path edition
The Wheel of the Year, Florida Branch of the Earthways Shamanic Path edition

Here you can see our Seasons:  Hurricane Season, Dry Season, Fire Season and Rainy Season.  We are in Hurricane Season now.  (Understand that it still rains in all the other Seasons.)

Each of these Seasons presents us with different experiences and challenges.  For example, during Hurricane Season, we plan  around the daily “afternoon” thundershowers and the truly intense humidity.  The trade off is, it isn’t as crowded here then.  During Dry Season, and Fire Season, we witness the annual influx of tourists and “snowbirds.”  Everything gets more busy and crowded.  All these dynamics present us with opportunities to grow and develop as spiritual beings.

As you observe the Seasons where you live, you can develop your own Wheel of the Year, tied in to the actual Seasons and the magic of the land around you!

Let’s Share Our Peace With Our Earth.

Please join in the discussion at the Earthways Shamanic Path Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1016713368359826/?fref=nf

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.

Changing Seasons, changing lives

Rainy Season: Afternoon thunder shower forming over the Mid-point Bridge from Cape Coral to Fort Myers, FL. June 9, 2015

I think it is FINALLY Rainy Season here in Southwest Florida.  I have traditionally marked it as starting June 15th, plus or minus a day or two, since the Earth does wobble a bit on her axis.

It seems to me that this time of year, is the start of the new year, in Southwest Florida.  Many Pagans I know, start their year at Samhain (October 31st) when it is said that the the veil between the worlds is thin.

But the way I look at it, this is the start of the new year.  This is the time of year when school is out for the summer, and people are graduating, getting married, and moving away.  Some people do all of that in a whirlwind week of change.  The rest of us, go see them off:  we go to graduation ceremonies, to weddings and we help people pack up and move.

In Southwest Florida, all of that is happening as we slog into Rainy Season.  When I place an emphasis on “Rainy Season,”  I am talking about the Wheel of the Year, in accordance with the weather here in Southwest Florida.  (This concordance is in contrast to the Pagan Wheel of the Year celebrated by a lot of pagans:  Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltaine, Summer Solstice, Lunnasagh, and Mabon/Autumnal Equinox.)

Here in Southwest Florida, we have Rainy Season,  Hurricane Season, Autumnal Equinox, Dry Season, and, Fire Season.  The Solstices and Equinoxes are interspersed in this annual cycle, but I’ll talk about that more, in another post.

After we do all those family rituals and ceremonies, then it is a smart time to do a ceremony to honor the shift of what “was,” and recognize that everything that follows, is new now.  In Southwest Florida, the Rain is very cleansing.,  It usually hasn’t rained a whole lot since about mid-October.  The Earth is dry and everything is kind of dusty.  The Rains literally wash the dirt away.

Once the daily afternoon thunder showers start happening, here in Southwest Florida, then the accompanying element of Humidity, rears its head.  (Humidity is another face of Water.)

In Southwest Florida, our whole way of approaching daily life, changes in Rainy Season.  It must, because Rainy Season is characterized by Rain — usually daily afternoon thundershowers, high Humidity, and Heat.   We also have a high UV index, because we are so far South, we are in the Tropics.

This time of year, I tend to get up earlier, because I want to get a lot of things done before it gets too humid.  I want to sit on the lanai in the morning and bird watch and read Facebook, until it gets too hot to sit out there.  I need to do yard work, before it gets too hot.  I should run to the grocery store, before it gets too hot.  Hmmm, maybe I’ll go to the Beach, before it gets too hot.  So, I have to prioritize and decide, before it gets too hot.

This time of year, by about 10:00 AM, it is usually over 80 degrees and Humid.  If you can manage it, you don’t run errands from noon until after it has rained.  For one thing, it is too hot to be out, if you don’t have to.  For another thing, once it starts raining, seems like everybody forgets how to drive on wet/slippery roads.  This is a particular problem, because the daily afternoon thunder storms occur during rush hour.

On the other hand, there’s less traffic on the road this time of year because the Snowbirds left just before Easter, and, the Tourists haven’t all arrived yet.  {That’s a distinction I’ll save for another post.}  So, for a few weeks, the restaurants are less crowded, and so is everything else.  It is just hot, and everyone is exclaiming that to each other.

When Rainy Season starts, in Southwest Florida, we do a Water Ceremony.  After setting up sacred space, and after acknowledging the Great Spirit and Father Sky, the Big Water, and Mother Earth, and the Four Directions, then we thank the Rains for coming, for without it, we’d all go hungry.  We honor the aspect of High Humidity, because that’s about all you CAN do about Humidity.  We drink water, to honor the Rains and because this time of year, that’s just smart to stay hydrated.

After the daily afternoon thunder shower, the plants and the Mother Earth usually drink up all the water very quickly, and what wasn’t absorbed gets steamed off…

After it Rains, June 2015.

The point of the Earthways Shamanic Path, is to learn what the natural rhythms are where you live, and then, honor those rhythms.  In doing so, you will Share Peace With Our Earth.

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.