For many years now, most of us have lived with the comfortable delusion that we are immune to weather. If the temperature soars, we turn up the AC. If snow falls, we nestle in front of the gas logs. If a late freeze or lengthy drought destroys crops, we buy imported produce at the supermarket. Since few of us live in direct contact with nature, we’re not only oblivious to the power it has, we’re also ignorant of nature’s influence on our lives.
Nan Moss and David Corbin, the authors of Weather Shamanism, offer an open invitation to anyone who recognizes the folly of arrogance and who would like to reestablish that connection to all the elements of nature and experience the transformative power of a symbiotic relationship with her. “This book,” they tell us, “is for those who love beauty, who welcome wonderment, and who are wiling to dance with mystery.”
Notice that there is no mention of controlling weather in that statement. Both authors are faculty members of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and are certified as shamanic counselors. They do not claim special powers, nor do they promise to teach the reader how to make rain or stop blizzards. Instead, they seek to guide readers in raising consciousness through deeper understanding of our connection to each other and to the planet.
The practices described here are “aimed at bringing the whole system back into balance,” to ‘heal’ the earth, so that each part can function harmoniously on its own and in conjunction with all other parts.
The alarm was sounded a long time ago by scientists and others that an imbalance in nature caused largely by human behavior is guaranteed to lead to global catastrophe. Long mocked by politicians, businesses, and mainstream science, those same radical voices are now recognized as prescient sages. Today they tell us that the situation is critical, that we must take immediate and drastic action to reverse the damage we’ve done and restore balance. Otherwise, as one scientist recently put it, “We’re toast.”
An ordinary person doesn’t have the ability to remove exhaust-coughing cars from the highway or shut down the lung-clogging emissions from industrial plants. Moss and Corbin remind us, however, that ordinary people “can and do collectively exert a real effect upon the weather by our psyches and emotions and by our sense of connectedness…”
Weather Shamanism is a fine blend of indigenous cultures’ traditions of weather working, modern-day attempts to re-route the natural cycle of seasons and climate, and the science behind climate change. As noted earlier, this book is not a how-to guide, but Moss and Corbin share experiences from their own and others’ shamanic journeys and the insights they’ve gained during those experiences.
Covering such topics as the spiritual nature of weather, the sacred nature of storms, and the ethics of weather working, Weather Shamanism strongly promotes the importance of respect for nature. A chapter about healing with weather is especially compelling and drives home the vital link between a healthy planet and the health of human beings.
In a gentle narrative that flows like poetry, Moss and Corbin have written a thorough and encouraging work that will alternately frighten, reassure, and inspire readers.