Friday, June 17, 2016

Whether the Weather

I've never understood that people think astrology is a way of telling the future. It's not. Astrology doesn't tell you what's going to happen. It doesn't even tell you what will happen if you do x, y, or z. No, astrology tells you when the right times for doing things are. Which is why I love the term "space weather." Astrology is a weather forecast. Whether you go out without a coat is your business.

Take an umbrella why don't you?
So one of the very first posts I ever made (no, not here, on a long ago blog) was about "The Gambler." Yes, the song, stay with me here. See, "The Gambler" is a bardic-style ballad about an initiatory experience, and a passing of knowledge from one magician to the next (yes it is, go read all the lyrics). And the wisdom in the song is that you have to keep an eye on the weather. You have to know when the best times for doing things are and you need to do things during those times.

Back in ye olden days TM, it was critical for many professions to be able to foretell the weather (sailors, farmers, ranchers). And the ability to do so really well and accurately bordered on magic. My husband's grandfather was a bit of a weather buff. He had a little collection of weather tools in his house: thermometer, wind meter, glass bubble barometer. You need tools to check your weather as well because as a magician, reading the weather is a the first step in deciding what to do and -- maybe more critically -- when to do it.

Astrology: I love astrology as a weather forecast and follow several different astrology blogs (Austin CoppockRob Brezsny's Free Will AstrologyAstroblogick). You'll notice that only one of the three has advice by sun sign and that's deliberate. I'm more interested in macro level weather than micro-climates when it comes to astrology. Personal preference, your mileage may vary.

Tarot: Of course. I have several readings that I like for forecasting the weather including one from Keywords for the Crowley Tarot, which includes some great layouts (though I don't personally read with the Thoth so the bulk of the book isn't relevant to me). This reading has you laying out a row of cards that is to represent your path over time. Another common reading is the wheel of the year, where you layout a circle of 12 cards, one for each month. Finally, you can do a general "what should I be focusing on during the coming <timeframe>?" Celtic Cross.

Omens: I find that omens are often shorted in these sorts of discussions. Not because they aren't useful, but because they are so very personal. My crow dead on the road isn't your crow dead on the road -- it's all how you interface with the liminal and living world around you. Of course there's a long history of collecting omens, which make for interesting research. However unlike tarot or astrology, you don't have to do anything to check this weather. It's the magical equivalent of looking out the window to see if it's raining. It's a push model instead of a pull one. You just have to pay attention.

Personal cycles: I've talked about this before, but there are certain times of the year where I need to be doing certain things. Always. Who knows why, but I've learned to avoid fighting (as much as possible) my urges to socialize, nest, plan, etc. Journaling is a great way to get more in tune with your personal weather -- this is micro-climate.

Intuition: Another one that sometimes gets short shrift. It's important that we trust our instincts. Because what we're really doing is processing all kinds of subtle input that we aren't even conscious of. This isn't the hurricane blowing your roof off, it's the whisper of a breeze stirring the hairs on the back of your neck.

So, once you know the weather, what then? Well, there are a couple of strategies:

Float with the tide -- sometimes the easiest way to get things done is to just roll with whatever's indicated. A time to work and a time to rest, a time to kill and a time to heal. A time to laugh and a time to quote Bible versus that will get a hippy folk song stuck in your head for the rest of the day (you're welcome).

Rest in the shallows -- other times the best thing is to do nothing, and wait for better weather entirely. I'm typically a proactive sort, so the idea of doing nothing is uncomfortable. Still, it's sometimes the exactly right thing to do.

Tack into the wind -- you can maneuver against the prevailing winds, but you need to be strategic. Sometimes you just can't wait for the right time. Sometimes there is no right time. You have to do what you have to do.

Finally, and probably most interestingly, you can change the weather.

Despite me having made the claim that literal weather magic is a bad target (which I still believe), metaphoric weather magic is a good target. Starting when things are favorable, you can do magic to attract the kind of weather that's good for what you want to do. You can also work to calm any coming storms. I talked about enchanting for the future already and this is related. And when the weather is crazy, you can try to change it from the eye of the storm.

That said, there are times when the weather is what it is. Into every life a little rain must fall and all that. So you'd better have both a slicker for now and some thirsty plants to bear fruit later. And that's critical, because when the time come for the big break or major opportunity, you need to be ready.

Stop singing, I mean it.
Are you casting spells to make things happen or to make the right time happen for those things? Or, back to the gambler metaphor, are you enchanting for aces or for the round that gives you the whole pot? Because every hand's a winner and every hand's a loser and the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.

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