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Rain, Rain Go Away. Folk Predictions of Rain and Storms

Thursday, April 14th, 2016


Folk Predictions of Rain and Storms

It’s that time of year again. Spring is pushing into our lives, stomping her foot down on Winter.

Spring can be a crazy-unpredictable time. It has to do with the transitional nature of the season. Winter and Summer tend to take command of their time in the year. Spring and Autumn, however, are all about shifts and changes. For more symbolic seasonal insights click here.

So Spring is springing (in the Northern hemisphere). That means rain. It can also mean big honking storms.

Now, I’m a huge fan of rain. It’s symbolic of neat stuff like:

  • Healing
  • Renewal
  • Cleansing
  • Emotional Rebirth
  • Gifts from the Heavens

All good things, right? Indeed, rain is a super-keen meteorological event. Without it, we’d all be in a world of hurt. From replenishing vital water tables, to insuring food on our tables – we owe a lot of appreciation to the rain spirits.

But sometimes Mother Nature can go bonkers. Whatever the reason, sometimes Madame Nature takes those life-giving raindrops and transforms them into bullets of destruction in the form of a storm. You’ve heard it said “Into every life some rain must fall”. Well, same is true with storms. Both literal and metaphorical storms happen. To all of us.

So what? Nothing we can do about it, right? Wellll, I wouldn’t be so committed to that view.

I grew up with a friend whose mother was a walking encyclopedia of folk wisdom and medicine. She had hundreds of ways of predicting the weather. She also had equal amount of ways in thwarting bad weather.

Did her methods for shooing away storms work? I can’t say for sure. But I do know her prediction skills were better than the weatherman on TV!

Whether you believe in folk methods for weather prediction and prevention or not – sometimes it’s fun to entertain the ideas.

The following are some old folk tips on predicting rain, as well as ways to dissuade storms ruining your Sunday picnic.

Folk Ways to Predict Rain and Storms

Turning over a new leaf:
When leaves begin to turn over, it’s often a sign of upcoming rain or storms. I’ve written about this phenomenon on a symbolic level here: Turning Over a New Leaf – It’s Symbolic.

Pitter pat, check out the cat:
When cats rub behind their ears during a cat-bath, rain is on its way.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out:
Spiders are predictors of many things in folk lore. Spiders ducking for cover and seeking shelter is a sign of rain or storms.

Oh! My achy breaky bones!:
Perhaps the very best barometer of rains a’coming is aching bodies. I know it certainly works for me. So pay attention to those cranky corns on your feet, creaky bones and stiff joints – it could mean impending rain storms.

Folk Ways to Prevent Storms

Pass the salt, please:
Sprinkling salt on a ceremonial fire is thought to thwart torrential storms in the Spring.

X marks the spot:
Appalachian lore says marking an X on windows with your right index finger protects the home from storm damage.

More bark than bite:
Find a piece of bark from a tree that’s been hit by lightning. Folk tales say keeping this tree bark will protect you from lightning and ill effects of a bad storm.

Get stoned:
No. Not like that! Striking two stones together sends a message to the thunder and storm spirits. One stone must be black, the other white. If you’re about to be caught in a storm outside, strike these two stones together until you are safely under cover – it’s said to protect you from storm damage.


All superstitions aside, deluges of rain and epic storms are nothing to snicker at. It’s up to you whether you want to employ any of these folk tactics to predict or avoid weather threats. Admittedly, I find myself doing some of these things out of habit. I remember my old friend employing her folk remedies and predictions – and I guess they rubbed off on me over time.

Belief is a big ingredient in any method of honoring rain and storms. Symbolism certainly plays its part too. While the folk ways offer nostalgia, I still find the best tact is a path of respect. For example, tap into the symbolic meaning of rain. Once we’re familiar with the deeper meaning of rain and storms, we tend to connect with it. We may even auger a sense of honor and respect for it. I certainly do. In that same vein, I practice a simple ceremony. Just a closing of the eyes and uttering words of honor and gratitude for Mother Nature and the nourishment she provides. I also pay respect to Her power in the form of storms. All that said, I ask for the very best outcome for all involved. Then I sprinkle salt on the fire, X my windows and put Ben-Gay on my poor knees. LOL!

I hope you found this post on folk predictions of rain enjoyable. Maybe it will come in handy. Maybe not. Either way, I’d like to think you came away with a little laugh and a renewed respect for Mother Nature.

As always, thanks for reading!

Mightily Brightly,

Avia

If you liked this post, be sure to check out related articles here:

Want the Bad News? It’s Not Coming From Me.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

BadNews

Want the Bad News? You won’t get it from me.

I get a lot of emails.  I don’t answer all of them, but I DO read each and every one.  A number of emails are quick to point out the absence of negative meanings for a sign or symbol on my websites.

It’s true.  Currently, I have over 1,000 articles written on various symbolic meanings.  If you read each article, you’ll maybe find three or four citations that might be deemed negative.

Many well-intentioned folks ask why that is.  They ask why I don’t mention the symbolism of death about a certain animal.  Why not mention the connection to the devil with a certain symbol?  And what about that flower that means avarice?  Or what about the bad omen implied when a certain bird flies by?

Valid questions.  I mean…for every positive, there is a negative.  It’s the universal law of polarity.  So why not mention the “bad” stuff with the good?

My answer is pretty simple.  There are over 6 million websites on the internet. There are over 10,000 news channels broadcast around the world.  There are over 7 billion people in the world.

If you want the bad news…just look around the internet, turn on the news, or ask somebody…you will inevitably get it.

Better yet – if you want the bad news – just focus on bad stuff for awhile.  The bad answers will come.  I guarantee it.

There are negative observations enough without me contributing more.

Now, I’m all for a balanced debate.  I’m no Pollyanna with a sugar plum shoved up her bum.  Bad stuff happens.  There’s a dark side to every light.  But in all honesty, I’ve had my fill of wading through crummy energy.

I strive to gear my thoughts, my life and my writing towards the good juju.  I want to inspire.  I want to enlighten. I want to energize.  There are plenty of other sources in the world that can do otherwise for you if that’s what you want.  But if you want a bad rap sheet on symbolic meanings from me…sorry…I’m not your gal.

Do some animals, symbols, etc. have negative meanings?  Yeah.  Sure.  Lots of stuff carries meaning of foreboding and fear.

But let me ask you…where do those meanings come from?  For that matter, where do ANY meanings come from?  They come from the human mind.   They come from our ancestors who passed on their observations.  They come from our parents.  They come from you and me.  They come from our biases and experiences.

Some might argue meaning comes from the Divine (the deity of our own understanding).  I agree.  However, the minute a Divine insight is bestowed upon a human – it goes through a series of filters.  Filters of experience, judgment, discernment, etc.  That Divine wisdom will never be as pure as it originated once it passes through the filter known as human cognition.

So what does all that mean?  It means the realm of symbolic meanings is infinitely open to interpretation and personalization.

In essence, the world is your oyster…and so are the meanings rooted within it.  Make it sparkly….or make it slimy.  Your choice.  Your oyster. 

Just thoughts.

Brightly,

Avia

 

Turning Over a New Leaf. It’s Symbolic.

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

TurningOverANewLeaf

Turning Over a New Leaf.  It’s Symbolic.

We’ve all heard the old cliché, “Turning over a new leaf.”  But what does it mean?

General consensus tells us the phrase means something like turning away from one behavior in favor of a new or better one.  Like changing a habit, or reforming our lifestyle.

Where did this phrase come from?  In truth, I don’t really know.  I’m more interested in the correlation between leaf-behavior in Nature and how we adopt this cliché in our lives.

To explain, many types of trees can detect changes in their environment.  They sense a shift in weather before it happens.  It’s as if they predict the weather.  Trees adjust to these changes to prepare themselves for pending change.  For example, deciduous trees like maples and poplars turn their leaves as a protective measure before a storm hits.

I like this a lot.  It’s an illustration.  An example of savvy sense and mature action.  How so?

Well, instead of telling ourselves: “I’m turning over a new leaf.”  Maybe trees offer a sophisticated twist to this affirmation.  I mean…what prompted us to make that statement to begin with?  Upon thoughtful introspection, perhaps we detect a shift in our environment.  Perhaps our intuition is telling us to prepare ourselves for future events – just like trees prepare for change.

Rather than flippantly tossing about the cliché – maybe we can embrace the idea that a deeper presence within and around us is beckoning us to shift our position.  Maybe a powerful, sentient energy sees a positive purpose for making a motion for our betterment – for our safety – for our future.

Feeling a shift in the wind?  Sensing something coming your way?  Consider opening yourself to the gift all biological beings have – the gift of perception.  Everything in Nature is hard-wired with predictive ability….including us humans.  Often, our awareness is crammed with distractions.  But stoic, patient, wise trees don’t let distractions jam the signals they receive from Nature.  Nope.  They open themselves to the subtle signals Nature impresses upon them.

Be like a tree.  Experience environment on a full-body, full-spirit scale.  Know you have Nature’s gift of knowing to turn your leaves whichever way necessary to insure your best life experience.

Just thinking.

Happy leaf-turning :)

Avia

Go Green. Symbolically green, that is…with more links to meanings in Nature:

Symbolism in Nature

Symbolism of Trees

Symbolic Earth Meditation