Throughout more than half of a century now (I could also say throughout my whole life), I have heard people complain about the weather. It’s too hot, not hot enough, too cold, not cold enough, too much rain, too much sun, what have you.
I was not much different when younger. After a long summer, I longed for the colour burst of fall foliage and for the mists creeping through the stark branches of leafless trees. And when I had enough of that, I couldn’t wait for snow and the opening of the ski slopes. When the chill reached the bones in February, I would long for spring to warm me up, and then for the heat of summer driving me to jump into the lake. Always desperately awaiting the next season. I didn’t have a favorite season per se, which I have learned many people have. I loved them all, but even more so the next.
I still love all seasons. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is that I now enjoy exactly the season that is upon us. This may be because age has slowed me down, but I would hope it is even more because, as I follow the path of Druidry, I have learned to tune in. Tuning in not only as being aware and even enjoying the seasons, but also as in connecting with the spirit, or deity, of weather. For me, personally, that would be Taranis, the old Celtic Sky God. Like the Greek Zeus and Odin of the Norse pantheon, he is often associated with the lightning bolt, thought of the God of Thunder. Yes, thunderstorms are the epitome of weather; with their torrential rains and blinding flashes of lightning cracking with thunderous explosions, sometimes setting things on fire, sometimes causing the fly agaric (toad stool) to grow where the bolt penetrates the fertile soil – or so one story goes. Who but a mighty God can boil up such fury? Yet Taranis, any of the weather Gods and Spirits, also send us soothing drizzles when their companion, the Sun God, threatens to burn soil, throat, and skin. Or He waters the crops His consort, the Earth Mother, grows for us all. He sends wind to cleanse the air and fog to keep us at home for a moment of rest and contemplation.
And if there is a divine spirit, a God, we can connect to Him or Her; in devotion, meditation, or otherworldly journey, however one typically chooses to connect with deity. And if we can, we definitely should! Regularly!
I believe that us (in the grand scheme of things, with exceptions) being disconnected from Taranis and consorts may have contributed, on a spiritual level, to what we came to call “climate change”. We, as a species, have caused a lot of damage to our planet, our very livelihood on the physical plane; no question about it. But this is a Druid’s blog, and the spiritual side of things is the focus here, and thus I am talking about climate change in terms of the ire of forgotten Gods, the wrath of ignored Spirits.
So, what to do? Many of us have already started to think, and live, much more aware of Nature, and that has certainly helped. But why not make 2018 the year where we focus on the Gods and Spirits of the sky, the ones who bring us weather, comfortable and harsh? Let’s devote some of our prayers to them, arrange our altars in their honour, request audience in otherworldly journeys! And, when we go out there into a blizzard like I did today, let’s simply connect with the powers of wind and snow, take a deep breath and fill our lunges with the storm’s wrath, hold it and understand, and exhale it with the a scream that lets the world know: “We are one with weather, we are connected with it’s spirit!”.
The writer is also the author of the book “Mountain Magic – Celtic Shamanism in the Austrian Alps” on how to weave Alpine lore and customs into your own spiritual practice.