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?