On Thunderstorms

It’s raining here in the boondocks, and I love it! Thunderstorms are beautifully frightening to behold, but once you’ve experienced one out in the middle of nowhere, watching those dark cloud roll in over the treetops and feeling that thunder deep in your bones, other locations won’t do it justice. When I was a child, the thunder scared me, but the more storms I endured, the more I came to a grudging respect. That respect became like and that in turn became appreciation.

I am in awe of the power a thunderstorm creates. I can feel the air changing, becoming electric even before I check the weather. I get restless and feel a need channel all that energy being stirred up. Thunderstorms, I’ve discovered, are my best time for spell work. As the storm rolls in, I prepare and meditate; as the deluge sets in and lightening shocks the world, I work my spell; and as it passes on, I release the energies and open the circle. Many Wiccans work according to the moon, and while I am going to actively work towards attuning more of my routine around the moon, working to the tune of a storm is almost second nature to me, and I didn’t have to force myself in that pattern.

For new practitioners who are having a hard time with summoning and wielding natural energy, I suggest practicing in pre-thunderstorm weather.  Sit outside in a safe place and watch the rain come at you in a sheet, meditate among the winds. Energy currents during a storm are more easily felt, more chaotic than normal, but once you grasp them, you can feel them on a calm day too.

Does anyone else feel the same stirring of energy that rides along with a thunderstorm? What about other weather phenomenons, like a snow storm or high winds? Do you utilize that energy?

Another thought, this one on rainbows. My little brother delights in finding those colorful roads in the sky, and occasionally he finds double rainbows. While I appreciate them as a natural phenomenon, at least one family member always manages to insert the Christian context around it. The rainbow is god’s promise to Noah not to flood the earth again, I’m told each time, almost pointedly. All I ever do is nod even though I want to challenge it. Rainbows have other religious contexts—to Wiccans they represent peace, and there’s always the tale of a leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end. And so to others who deal with similar contexts, I ask, how to you respond?

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About Ayslyn'sCorner

I am an eclectic Pagan bordering on atheist who has made her way through a number of different spiritual spaces. You might wonder what a person self-identifying as an atheist has to discuss in a religion/spiritual context – and, well, so do I. That’s one of the things I aim to explore on Ayslyn's Corner. Check out Ayslyn's Corner at http://www.ayslynscorner.wordpress.com Check out Invisible Ink Blog at http://www.whitneycarter.wordpress.com Check out wombs in rebellion at http://wombsinrebellion.wordpress.com/
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13 Responses to On Thunderstorms

  1. LC Aisling says:

    Folklor here tends to tell that if you see rainbow in the evening, it promises good weather for the next day, if morning – rainy weather. That it appears after rain to drink away the excessive water so we wouldn’t have flood. I guess it relates with bible, considering back those days it wasn’t normal to keep away from church, but I love how the old folks have twisted it and it shows through old belief, too. I don’t think church would have thought on it with such practicality.

    It was often believed that one shouldn’t point at rainbows in fear of the finger rotting off. You never touched the rainbow either (though knowing now how rainbow works, I hardly see it ever happening) or you were sucked up in heaven and turned you into evil spirit under the rule of thunder god Perun.

    Mostly it is a gateway between this world and the next and used by gods and spirits. That’s why you never pointed at it, as you would never point at god. Bifröst was the name of the bridge in Northern mythology, if I remember it right.

    And thunder – oh heaven! Love it! The energy that rises from it is amazing.

    • Thank you for sharing the lore regarding rainbows from your corner of the world! I’d never contemplated the time during which a rainbow appears, so next time we have one, I will definitely pay attention to the time and remember your words.

      It also makes a lot of sense that a rainbow would be considered a god… An illusive, powerful god… Hmm, I feel a story coming on!

      • LC Aisling says:

        Bridge for gods, not god I’m afraid :). But as human can’t always see the gods, the fear that a god could notice you pointing at them, think that it was meant for them, was risk itself.
        But in god form… search up Rainbow-serpent from Australian mythology, I like their mythological background for rainbows.

  2. Carlette says:

    Both Thor and Poseidon are my patrons so I am particularly “in tune” during a thunderstorm. I love the power and charge in the air and I am never afraid. Ever.

    • That’s an interesting perspective, identifying thunderstorms with your patron gods. Thank you for sharing. 🙂 I will have to do a post on patron gods at some point in the future as I haven’t chosen one yet, but I know I want to.

      • Carlette says:

        Good luck. I know that both of them chose “me”. There are so many to choose from, I meditated on the forces of nature that give me the most comfort and peace – they came to me. Do you have an animal totem?

        • I’m saying the wolf is my totem animal for now, though that’s a front I really haven’t explored very much. What about you?

          • Carlette says:

            The Raven is definitely mine. I found this on a facebook page just yesterday. Maybe it will help.

            Animal totems play huge roles in our lives. They aid in self-discovery and capture our imagination, giving us incredible avenues of self-expression and awareness.
            Additionally, they assist in understanding our past, and if we are attentive, our animal totems can reveal glimpses of our future.

            Webster’s Dictionary defines a totem as: “A natural object, usually an animal that serves as a distinctive, often venerated emblem or symbol ? usually a means of personal or spiritual identity.”
            Native American animal totems most commonly come to mind when discussing this topic. However, animal signs are found throughout all cultures spanning the globe.

            Since time immemorial, animals have served as harbingers of personality traits we, as humans, all aspire to achieve. This makes animals some of the most powerful symbols in our spiritual toolbox.
            Animals afford us visions of how our lives could be if we lived more simply and lived with purity of thought and emotion. Therefore, incorporating animal totems into our lives affirms our spiritual goals.

            By focusing on the attributes of our totems, we internalize these traits and thus begin to externalize the very character we absorb from our totems.

            To discover more about the fascinating realm of animal totems, simply click on the links below.

            http://www.whats-your-sign.com/animal-totems.html

            • Thank you for the information Carlette! I would agree that animals are some of the most powerful symbols we have, after all, who wouldn’t be envious of the big cat’s sleek leap or the power of a crocodile’s jaws?

  3. harleyquinn21 says:

    I LOVE thunderstorms! They always ignite my ki and set my spirit soaring! ^_^
    there was one time when I was REAL angry when I walked out of the house and the thunder rumbled and the wind kicked up and blew with me as I walked down the street. Each trash can and lawn chair tipped over at my passing. I felt so powerful in that moment.
    Since then I’ve learned that I need to SERIOUSLY work on controlling my powers with my will and not letting my emotions control them. ^_^ ❤

    • Wow, I bet that was an awesome experience, but I agree it’s important to know your abilities and how to control them. Thank you for reading and sharing your love of thunderstorms!

  4. wildspiritwolf says:

    This is a wonderful post, you capture the thunderstorm’s essence and energies perfectly within your writing. To respond to your last question,rainbows aren’t Just relevant in Christian context, many religions, beliefs and civilizations saw them as very important symbols. The one that comes to my mind strongest at the moment is the Mayan symbolism. Rainbows would have been very powerful Mayan symbols because they are associated with rain, which is a life-giver. Rainbows were guideposts to the Mayans, and were considered to be oracles of renewal, life and an appeased status among divine moods. They were symbolic of the Goddess Ixchel. There were members in the Mayan community with specialized ability to interpret deeper meaning from rainbows (you can get in a zone, cross your eyes in funny ways and see patterns in the pixilated colors of rainbows. From the patterns, profound understanding can be derived). Ixchel would have been called upon to aid in interpreting a rainbow’s portent. This lends creed to Ixchel’s role as a consulted goddess of divination. Or, better said, Ixchel would have been a gateway into divine knowing. She would have been responsible for sending rainbows to the Mayan people as a symbol of life and renewal. Lastly, as a Mayan symbol of life, the rainbow is a common-sense feature associated with Ixchel in her role as divine midwife.
    While on the subject of rainbows, these natural phenomenon are indicators of bright health. They are symbolic of the chakras, and another message of maintaining balance within the body. In the Tarot, the rainbow featured in the ten of cups is a testimony to this concept of balance. Only a precise mix of elements causes the rainbow to unfold before our eyes. Keeping that balance of wisdom and insight will inevitably land you that “pot of gold” you seek in your relationships. I’ll have to do a more detailed post on rainbow symbolism as that would fit in well with my focus on messages in nature. Until then I hope you can find something here useful or interesting!

    • Wolf, those were well thought out and much appreciated comments. I love learning about the different ways other perceive the same things–rainbows, in this case–and the way you explained the Mayan interpretation was almost poetic. You put me in a trance for a bit there! Thank you for taking the time to compile all of that information. 🙂

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