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Tornados and Light Bulbs and Weather Dancers – Oh My!
by Nan Moss and David Corbin



Editor's Note from
Peter Clark: The dance of power - weather inside and out - is not trivial. But power that is immense holds great potential when approached with respect...

Examples abound in our world and Universe of how things and events can line up, synchronize, cluster together. Our home Milky Way galaxy is a grand cluster of stars where our own solar system (an orderly arrangement of planets and moons circling around our star, the Sun) is part of a starry alignment creating a graceful outer arm of the Milky Way’s spiral.

Down to Earth we can observe other examples of clusters and alignments.  In ocean waters multitudes of fish gather together in seemingly random clusters that demonstrate exquisitely fluid alignments of instantaneous motion and trajectory.  And likewise, above the surface of Earth, flocks of birds – sometimes thousands strong – also cluster together and spontaneously align, separate and realign in undulating strings of flying necklaces that swirl and float over farm fields and tree tops. 

Likewise alignments of winds, moisture, temperatures, and more form the weathers and their continual creations and transformations.  A hurricane can only come into being when thunderstorms agree to align in what a meteorologist in Florida called “a great circle dance.” Weather-workers – those who work with weather intentionally – must achieve an alignment of purpose and relationship with the weathers they wish to influence, with their helping spirits, and with the intelligence of the realms for which they work.

So what about “tornadoes, light bulbs, and weather dancers…”?  A seemingly random clustering of events occurred around last weekend, where hindsight begins to reveal a first rate alignment that holds inspiration as well as mystery:

We were invited to offer our Introduction to Weather Shamanism workshop in Louisville, Kentucky and arrived at the home of our sponsor and colleague, Barbara Bloecher, for the event on Thursday night.  Just two days before, three tornadoes had visited the Louisville area. Two touched down – there was damage, yet no deaths. This kind of weather used to be a rare event in January, though residents say that is changing.

Also over the course of our visit three of Barbara’s long-life light bulbs flashed out – the first on the evening of our arrival, and on the afternoon of our leaving, two electrical transformers blew in the neighborhood…

As for our workshop, a cluster of people – each unique human beings – gathered together in a dedicated circle that in a short amount of time created an alignment of genuine beauty and compassionate power.  On Sunday we concluded with a ceremony – another intentional alignment of heart, mind, body, and helping spirits – on the same day as new moon with its teachings of new beginnings, as well as the largest solar storm in 6 years to erupt from the Sun.  That night we were visited by two thunderstorms – one in the early evening and another in the wee hours of the morning.

Clustering and alignments of things and events probably happen all the time, though we rarely notice in the moment. Yet sometimes we get the opportunity to witness with a flash of clarity (like a lightning bolt or a light bulb!) that we are truly part of the grand picture – all dancing in it together.  Random, chaotic clustering of things and events at their essence embody an alignment that touches our souls – that nudges us back into our own state of alignment with the harmonious flow of Life.

Sometimes we get it right away and sometimes never to our satisfaction, but beyond how much or how little we think we understand, the experience always brings us closer to the great Mystery, all around us and within us.    

Oh my!

Here’s one workshop participant's account of the dance…

Weather Journey (Mary Keswani, Louisville, KY)

“Tuesday January 17, 2012 the wind was very strong and weather obviously had work to do.  The temperature was about 60°, unseasonably warm for this part of the Ohio Valley ahead of a cold front.  Around 11am the tornado warning sirens were blaring and my electricity went out.  I thought it might be a good time to journey to the spirit of this storm to see what was happening.

The storm appeared to me as a happy, slightly manic looking dark cloud with a wide face narrowing to a point streaming behind.  I simply asked “what is the purpose of the storm”? There was a need to hurry as it was moving very quickly.  I felt a great sense of fun and was told that harm was not intended but that human construction and electrical wires can’t withstand the strength of this storm.  The reason for the storm is to get energy moving – we are complacent, bored- and necessary changes are coming, ready or not.  If we don’t move to make changes, changes will be made for us.

I was advised to imagine a bubble of protection around my house and those places where my loved ones were at school, home or work.  In no uncertain terms, I was then told to stop journeying and get to the basement!  I wrote quickly and heeded the advice.

Note: After the storm passed, I didn’t realize any damage had occurred as my immediate neighborhood was safe with just a few tree limbs scattered around.  I soon learned that several tornadoes had touched down in the area, one just 2 blocks northwest of my home and another less than a half mile to the northeast.  Many huge trees were uprooted, roofs torn off houses and two semi-trucks turned over on a nearby interstate.  The power remained out for the next 9 hours due to downed lines.  No human lives were lost.  I remembered to journey back to the spirit of the storm to give thanks for the communication.” 

When we heard about the tornados on our way to Louisville, we asked our sponsor Barbara about it. Her response:

“Yep...weather was practicing for your arrival.  I am grateful to say that all is well here... we even have electricity.  From what everyone tells me it came right over us... and did not touch down in Fisherville.  There might be something to this honoring the weather spirits and praying stuff. We were blessed with nothing to report but nothing to report.”

Barbara's blog can be seen at: blog.shamansearth.com

Friendly winds at your back!


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About the Author

Nan Moss, CSC, and David Corbin, MS, CSC, are shamanic counselors and faculty members of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, an international organization founded by Michael Harner, Ph.D. They teach the core trainings for the Foundation throughout the Northeast USA, including the Foundation’s east coast Two-week and Three-year programs in Advanced Shamanism and Shamanic Healing.

Nan and David are deeply committed to their relationships and explorations of the spiritual nature of weather and the Middle World, and share their work through writings and workshops. They are the authors of ‘Weather Shamanism: Harmonizing Our Connection with the Elements’, published by Inner Traditions- Bear & Co., and ‘CloudDancing: Wisdom from the Sky’, a set of divination cards and guidebook. www.shamanscircle.com.




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