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"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men." — St. Francis of Assisi

Been Raining Toadstools

Toadstool and puddleweb

Toadstool in Cityscape, Rose De Dan©2009

Okay, I know I live in Seattle, a place renowned for rain nine months of the year, and should be used to inclement weather, but today I felt way overdue for sunshine.

Usually the rain is gentle. The downpours I knew back East are relatively unknown here, but that pattern seemed to change recently when we endured what I would have called a Nor’easter — had I still been living in Massachusetts — several days of heavy rain, strong, gusty winds, hail, etc.

My dog, Puma, and I were forced to take our usual walk during one particularly heavy rainfall, and were soaked by the time we had gone two blocks. Poor Puma expressed his displeasure with the whole soggy mess by laying his ears flat against his head to keep the rain out. Midway through our usual circuit he volunteered to cut our walk short by trying to drag me in the direction of home. We compromised by shaving off a few blocks.

During this time of unusual weather we even had thunder, a very rare phenomenon here (unlike South Jersey where I grew up). So rare. that while in session with a client, I thought at first what I was hearing was a neighbor dragging out their garbage can. It was only when the volume and vibration continued to increase that I recognized it as an isolated peal of thunder.

The topper was the hail. One minute I am sitting on the couch, reading quietly, the next the peace is shattered by what sounds like stones hitting the windows. Winds were driving the hail sideways into the ancient glass, and the noise was so loud all the animals, even Puma, looked panicked.

The hailstorm picked up in intensity, and despite sending Reiki and positive feelings of safety and comfort to the animals, they were uneasily moving away from the windows and gathering in the center of the house, all the time casting glances at me for cues. Keeping up a running dialogue of reassurance, I eyed the windows with some concern (I joke to people that I think the original 1924 glass is only held in place only by the glazing pins), and tried to think what we would do if one of them gave way.

Listening to the winds I suddenly had an idea. In the course of my shamanic training we had been told that a practitioner can work with weather. Now it is my understanding that it is usually an altomesayoq that can do that, a higher level than I am, but an experience I had very early in my training made me feel that  it could not hurt to make a request. There was no time to reach for rattle and Florida Water, I simply turned to each of the four directions, and very simply asked the winds to be gentle with us, and thinking of all the birds, animals and plants enduring the onslaught, added a request on their behalf. As soon as I finished speaking, the hail stopped. Completely.

I imagine that my request simply coincided with the natural cessation of the hailstorm, but I was not taking any chances. It would be impolite not to say “thank you” no matter what the reason for the end of the storm. This time, with rattle in hand, proper offerings of Florida Water and deep gratitude from my heart, I gave thanks to all four directions, all four winds.

And today I gave thanks for the appearance of the Sun, feeling the warmth on my face, watching my cats basking, I felt my spirits lift in response. Sometimes I guess you just need a reminder that the elements of nature are truly powerful, humbling and miraculous in their splendor.

P.S. This past week may not have been fit weather for woman nor beast, but it has been great for the fungi family. Toadstools have been popping up all over the place. The image appearing with this article is one that sprang out of the ground alongside the city street on which I live. In the background you can see the store lights reflected in the puddle underneath a parked car.

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©2010 Rose De Dan. All Rights Reserved. www.reikishamanic.com

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Think Outside the Cage
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Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is a paq’o and mesa carrier in the Peruvian Q’ero Andean Medicine Tradition. In addition she is also a Reiki Master Teacher, animal communicator, author of the acclaimed book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism, and creator of Animal and Reiki Art. As an animal shaman, she views her role as a healer as one of building bridges between people and animals, and of empowering them to reconnect with Pachamama, Mother Earth.

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