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Weather Shamanism

Harmonizing Our Connection with the Elements

Published by Bear & Company
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



About The Book

Creating an alliance and working partnership with the spirits of weather to restore well-being and harmony to Earth and ourselves

• Reveals that, intentionally or not, we affect the weather not only through our actions but also through our thoughts and emotions

• Explains shamanic techniques for working with the spiritual nature of weather

• Special section on “weather dancing” details both its ceremonial and therapeutic aspects

With the growing consensus that global warming is a fact comes the realization that the increasingly violent weather we are experiencing is its chief manifestation. Each storm, each flood, each blizzard seems to break 100-year-old records for both intensity and damage. Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases may be too little, too late.

Through a unique blend of anthropological research, shamanic journeys, and personal stories and anecdotes, Moss and Corbin show how humans and weather have always affected each other, and how it is possible to influence the weather. They present teachings directly from the spirits of weather that show how our thoughts and emotions affect weather energetics. They also reveal the ceremonial and therapeutic aspects of “weather dancing,” a practice used to communicate with the weather spirits.

Weather Shamanism is about transformation--of ourselves, and thus our world. It is about how we can develop an expanded worldview that honors spiritual realities in order to create a working partnership with the spirits of weather and thereby help to restore well-being and harmony to Earth.


From Chapter 14



Around the world, there are significant stylistic differences in weather-working practices, as might be expected when differing worldviews and approaches to life are considered. Despite their differences, all of these cultures acknowledge that the forces of weather are spiritually alive and sentient. More frequently we find evidence of harmonious weather workings. In general, these methods employ the ritual or ceremonial use of song and chant, dance, prayer, food or drink or herbal offerings such as tobacco, and more. Weather workings can be as simple as when many of us as children chanted (and maybe danced as we sang) the ditty “Rain, rain go away! Come again another day!” At the other end of the spectrum, we have the example of the Hopi people of the Southwest, who are well known for their successful rainmaking not only by virtue of their beautiful and elaborate ceremonies but also because these ceremonies come from a matrix of a people traditionally dedicated to living spiritually oriented and intentionally nonmaterialistic lives. As such they are able to continue to live and “dry-farm” corn in a notably arid region as they have done for hundreds of years.
Perhaps closer to home is the story of young Taylor Newton, age nine, of Connecticut, who in September 1995 performed a weather working of his own. Distressed over the severe, summer-long drought and consequent suffering of the gardens, trees, animals, and people of his hometown, one evening he donned his moccasins, painted his face and chest, took his mother’s drum, and proceeded alone to the backyard, where he danced and drummed in an effort to bring much-needed rain. According to Taylor, “Once I was done, the wind started blowing and trees were rustling. I thought, ‘Wow, this is neat.’ I never got spooked.” Taylor performed his weather working from the heart. When asked why he chose to do it, he replied that he danced for rain because “I wanted to help the people of the town.” It rained several times during the remainder of that week.4
How much of successful weather working is simply being in the right place at the right time? This sort of ambiguity can be our friend, helping us stay out of our own way so that we can focus on what’s really important: a harmonious balance for our realms. I learned during a drought-filled summer that our presence, focus, and genuine appreciation--along with appropriate timing--can sometimes tip the scales.
David and I were working in a place we have visited and cared for over a span of several years. It was as drought-stricken as any I had seen. The normally lush grounds were bone dry and brown at a time when the predominant colors should have been shades of green. Shrubs were dropping their leaves, and only a few flowers bloomed here and there. The towering oaks and sycamores were doing a little better, with their enormous spread of roots and longer life spans, yet their leaves had a pinched look as well. It was another regional drought for the Northeast--and a time for humans to learn more about the preciousness of water.
Our group wanted to do something to end the drought, yet the journey teachings clearly indicated that the drought was a necessary experience for reasons that we didn’t have to understand. We could, however, ask for some short-term relief. A couple of days later, during lunch hour, I felt I had to go outside, and immediately I noticed the beginnings of a promising cloud on the horizon. The day was hot and sunny, and the sky mostly clear except for this now very puffy cloud that continued to rise as it expanded. As I watched for ten to fifteen minutes, the cloud took on shades of gray and then blue-gray so that now it had depth, texture--and the possibility of even rain? I took a quick look around to make sure I was still alone, and then I started to sing a song of appreciation and acknowledgment of rain to come. I sang it over and over, spontaneously adding a little dance with my hands to the song--just like a child would, and like a child, I was having fun. There was something alive and joyful in this act of singing and dancing to a growing cloud, to the birthing of what turned out to be a brief but intense thundershower!
So what happened here? Conditions were promising. I showed up with my attention. I had a spontaneous feeling of a window of opportunity for something to happen. Through the portal of my genuine appreciation for the beauty of the cloud, I experienced an uncommon sense of connection with something greater than me. I felt playful yet sincere in my desire for some much-needed rain on behalf of that place I cared for. I offered the gift of a little song and dance. Was this a weather working or an expression of weather dancing with fortuitous timing? Who knows? The rain fell, and we were blessed.

About The Author

Nan Moss has been a faculty member of Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies since 1995 and also teach courses at Esalen Institute in California and the New York Open Center. She has been researching and teaching the spiritual aspects of weather since 1997 and has a private shamanic practice located in Port Clyde, Maine.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Bear & Company (January 24, 2008)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781591430742

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Raves and Reviews

“In this time of climate change our planet is asking us to raise our consciousness and awareness and to find a state of peace, balance, and harmony within us. [Weather Shamanism] is filled with brilliant teachings that will fuel your understanding and insight not only into weather but about life itself.”

– Sandra Ingerman, author of Soul Retrieval and Medicine for the Earth

"Nan Moss and David Corbin have given us a beautifully written book, enriched by an abundance of interesting stories that inspire a greater awareness and appreciation of our interrelationship with weather and all of Nature."

– Michael Harner, author of The Way of the Shaman

Weather Shamanism is quite simply a wonderful, profound, power-filled book, alive with sacred stories and loaded with cross-cultural indigenous wisdom. Nan Moss and David Corbin are master shamanic teachers who reveal what becomes possible when we intentionally align ourselves with the ancient forces of nature to alleviate suffering and help restore order when chaos moves in. This book contains very good medicine!”

– Hank Wesselman, Ph.D., author of The Spiritwalker Trilogy, The Journey to the Sacred Garden, and coa

“With global climate change barreling down on us, the techniques of weather shamanism are essential to our collective survival. Nan Moss and David Corbin share their courageous exploration of these ancient spiritual ways of living with and learning from weather. They have brought timeless wisdom and wit into working with clouds, water, wind, and the ethics of believing humans are in control. This book matters--it has guided me through Hurricane Katrina; serious floods; ice storms; long, hotter and hotter summers; and an unpredicted winter tornado that hit my house in the middle of the night. Our ancestors practiced these ancient arts for countless millennia, and now they are even more relevant to the new world of weather we are experiencing. I say thank you to Nan and David and to this book.”

– Martha Ward, research professor of anthropology, University of New Orleans, and author of Voodoo Que

“Nan Moss and David Corbin have written a wonderful and inspiring guide to living spiritually with weather. I greatly value their insights, as shamanic practitioners, into how we can be conscious and respectful partners with the great spiritual forces that pass across the sky, the land, and the seasons. A book for everyone who hopes to live more consciously with the natural elements.”

– Tom Cowan, author of Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, Shamanism as a Spiritual Pra

"Weather Shamanism offers readers a holistic way of understanding weather and relating to it. . . . For readers familiar with shamanism, the book could be displayed to advantage alongside those by such authors as Tom Cowan, Joan Halifax, Michael Harner, and Sandra Interman."

– Richard D. Wright, New Age Retailer

" . . . full of awe, transformative power, and surprising gentleness and humor. . . . I came away from the book with a profoundly deepened trust in the weather, and that alone is plenty to recommend Weather Shamanism for these meteorologically challenging times."

– Gina Covina, Terrain, Dec 2008

"In print and in practice, Weather Shamanism is about transformation of ourselves, and so our world. It guides us to an expanded worldview that honors and dares to reach out to fearsome, natural forces in order to reciprocally restore harmony to All That Is. I urge everyone who is even remotely drawn to do so to connect to this material and work with the shifts it opens up for you. Our collective efforts will surely be of great benefit!"

– Scott Crowenweth, Inner Tapestry, Vol. 6, No. 6, Apr/May 2008

"Weather affects every aspect of our lives, even our internal organs. Weather working was practiced in ancient days and the authors point out that if we communicate with the weather, we can use this knowledge and practice to not only increase our overall spirituality and relationship with nature, but we can modify it for the better, without the use of contemporary, mechanical means."

– Sonia von Matt Stoddard, Awareness magazine, Vol. 15, No. 4, Jul/Aug 2008

"Weather Shamanism is much less about formulaic technicque than about the quality of our relationships with the natural world. . . . I found this a mature, valuable, and enjoyable rendition of what it means to be in relationsip with the spirits of nature, and how we're all in this together. Highly recommended."

– Karl Schlotterbeck, The Henge of Keltria, Issue No. 78, May 08

"In a gentle narrative that flows like poetry, Moss and Corbin have written a thorough and encouraging work that will alternately frighten, reassure, and inspire readers."

– Curled Up With a Good Book, July 2008

"The book is very well written. The authors are able to explain spiritual and magical things in a way that is easy to understand. Weather Shamanism is a large format paperback, so it is easy to read, and the price is reasonable. I highly recommend it."

– Kathleen Gresham, Houston Shamanism Examiner, July 2009

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