The ice storm was almost over when our monthly Deepening Journey Circle met on Wednesday evening, January 13. In these circles we often use the shamanic journey to focus on topics of community interest and seek insights about the “bigger picture” of events. On that evening, our topic was “Weather Shamanism,” and we chose to seek insights on what the weather was trying to teach us.
This past summer was very hot and dry, with a near record number of 100+ temperatures and deep drought. Yet, in the past week, our city and much of the rest of the country experienced the lowest temperatures in decades. Our focus and intention was very simple: to find what the Weather was trying to tell us or teach us. What is it that we need to learn, to understand, or to do?
The results of our journeys were very consistent, which given our previous experience was not surprising. Most usually the group returns with different but similar insights, rather like pieces of a puzzle that when put together can offer the most amazing teachings. Here are some of the insights received:
The scientific, meteorological explanation is that there are natural cycles to the weather. It is only high and low pressure gradients, warm and cold fronts moving. Yet, from a shamanic perspective, it is more than that. Our connection to Life is real, and Life has something to tell us – individually and culturally – about being in or out of balance with everything else. We are out of balance.
We need to be woken up to feeling. The extremes of hot/dry and cold/wet are urging us to remember the vast dimensionality of life and experience. Even though our political and social worlds seem outrageously polarized, on the whole we have become narrower in perspective and entered a time of tunnel vision, especially in regard to relationships with others.
We are being shown our disconnection from the dimensionality of life, the interplay of the polarities is missing. Masculine and Feminine energies running along parallel tracks, rather than the spiral dance they naturally do. That disconnection is feeding the polarity rather than balancing it. That “being out of balance” forces us to swing, sometimes wildly, between the two.
There is a visceral connection with the Earth that we are missing, to which we are numbing out. Being uncomfortably hot or cold helps us to shake off the numbness and, if we are awake, to reconnect with the juiciness of being alive.
Our humancentric view of everything doesn’t work. We need to let go of our insatiable desire for control and understand that there are forces at work much stronger than our most powerful attempts to insulate ourselves from Nature. The climate-controlled boxes we have created to do so failed to protect us. There is an overarching balance of which we need to remember we are a relatively small part. We need to flow with it and let it help us to grow and expand in appreciation of the human experience.
I met again with the Thunder Beings. This time, Ice stepped forward. He reminded me that we humans have not been around all that long in Earth time. I saw the Earth as a whole, and in that vastness, humans are so small they cannot be seen. Major natural events – such as hurricanes, earthquakes, flood, and even forest fires – are natural occurrences that Mother Earth needs to keep herself in balance. They heal stuck energies and release “hot spots” by burning, washing, blowing away what is there and allowing a new beginning.
Unfortunately, humans often live on the edges and so are simply in harm’s way, though we do contribute our own energies to the stuckness and heat. It’s not personal.
He also showed me a link between the Weather and DNA, and how emerging from the Ice Age as humans did a mere 10,000 years ago fundamentally changed us. On a smaller scale, the Weather continues to do so. As we migrate to more temperate environments, for example, we are fundamentally altering our genetic responses to climate change. We are, sometimes in spite of our efforts to the contrary, adjusting our humanness.
As group journeys tend to do, this one showed us both personal and global levels of messages from the Ice Storm. Now the question is, what do we do with them?
My thanks to Karen Sharp for her memory and support of this article.