Back from Break

…and I’ve got a basket full of tomatoes under my arm. Yellows, reds, blacks, and greens, all just begging to be munched.

This is going to be one of those “natural sciences” posts, so for those of you not in the New England area, you may be bored to tears. (In fact, you may be bored even if you are from New England!)

Anyway, the approach of hurrican Irene has got me thinking about weather and magic. Not weather magic, which can be tricky to say the least, but the relationship between the two, and how being able to read the clouds for approaching rain does indeed seem magical to me, who is largely dependent on Doppler forecasts and the such. I mean, we know a tropical storm is coming because of our technology. How would we have handled it without the weatherman?

The past few months I’ve been trying to learn what the cloud patterns are in our region. We’re fortunate in that there’s a nice clear view of the sky that lets me watch their progress from west to east (if they’re going the other way, it’s usually some pretty bad stuff coming). The only pretty reliable sequence I’ve noticed so far is the clear blue sky followed by cirrus clouds usually means rain 36-48 hours later. Now my goal is to further refine this by watching the speed and timing of the clouds as well as their type.

And, while I’ve had my head in the clouds, I’ve also been paying attention to the ground under my feet—particularly apt since we had a 5.9 earthquake here on the East Coast a few days ago. The US Geological Survey (USGS) has some wonderful resources available online, including geological and topographic maps. Through these, I’ve been able to discover just what type of bedrock I’m living on: part of the Nashoba formation, apparently. Our particular part is composed of sillimanite schist and gneiss, partly sulfidic; amphibolite, biotite gneiss, calc-silicate gneiss, and marble are also present. It’s also bedrock that was formed during the Proterozoic era—before there was life on Earth—so it’s pretty frickin’ old. I’m hoping I can find samples of all these rock types around our community. (Hmmm, actually might make for a pretty cool earth altar in the back yard…)

Anyway, the overarching point of this post is that, to me, part of being a Druid is understanding the natural patterns in the land. The sky, the rocks, the moon and sun, they’re all part of that. The deeper I can delve into their rhythms, the better I’ll be able to synch with the land, for my own good and that of my community. I want to be able to do it myself, to be able to listen, watch, and feel the currents flowing around me. And I’m getting there, slowly.

But for now, the weatherman’s still a pretty good resource.

—A.V.

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