Weather Shamanism – Nan Moss with David Corbin

Weather Shamanism: Harmonizing Our Connection With the Elements
Nan Moss with David Corbin
Bear and Co., 2008
258 pages

Now that I’m telecommuting instead of commuting to a workplace via public transit, I’m not reading as much as I used to (plus I admit to having been reading more comic books from the library than usual, now that I have the time to go!). However, I picked up a copy of Weather Shamanism, a book I’ve wanted to read since I first heard about it last year. I just finished it off, and I’m rather pleased with the result.

I was a bit concerned that this would be a text on how to control the weather, a modern-day mix of spirituality and human-centric overpowering. However, I was pleasantly presented with a book full of concern for the impact we’ve already had on the atmosphere and the Earth, how this has affected the weather, and how further manipulation is not the answer. Nor is the power placed entirely in our hands; the authors focus on working with the spirits of the weather–not ordering them about, but aligning ourselves with them, and learning to see the bigger picture even when our immediate needs may not be being met.

The bulk of this book is theoretical in nature. It is not a “how-to” book with a bunch of exercises and rituals and prayers. I was quite thankful there wasn’t some dictionary of weather spirits, talking about the personality of cloud spirits or the favorite offerings of rain spirits–the authors stress building your own relationships with the weather spirits, which I very much support. Also the authors seem to go on the basic assumption that the reader will already have a decent understanding of shamanism, particularly core shamanism which is the foundation of their own practice. Therefore, this is not a shamanism 101 text.

I think my only complaint is that there’s too much theory; while the authors do a good job of explaining things like respect and power, animistic perspectives, and the nature of certain weather spirits in particular, as well as share a lot of anecdotes (their own and others’), they could have gotten their points across effectively in a lot less space. Really, it’s only the last few dozen pages where there’s any explanation of practical applications beyond anecdotes. My favorite chapter was probably the second to last, the one on healing with weather. And yet, there was so much more they could have described. The book spends a lot of time setting up the stage, for a comparatively brief “performance”. While I don’t expect a bunch of precrafted rituals, it felt at times like they were making the same general points again and again in different words. I would have liked more specific information on practical applications and considerations.

Still, this is a very worthy text, especially for being the first of its kind, and I would definitely recommend it–I am most assuredly hanging onto my copy, because I learned quite a bit that woke me up to the reality of weather spirits, and since I started reading it I’ve been much more aware of them in my everyday life. Thank you to the authors for providing this text.

Four pawprints out of five.

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