Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.
Ask Your Mama, the What, When, Where, Why, How, and Who of Ceremony & Spirituality
by Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman
A Question of Precipitation
Dear Mama Donna,
It is raining again. For months now it has rained just about every day. The entire Northeast is inundated with more rain than we can possibly deal with. This seems like a curse from above. Any thoughts?
Soaked to the Bone in Syracuse
I know what you mean. This spring and summer have been so incredibly wet. Here in New York City there are mushrooms growing out of the cracks in the sidewalks!
Rain is the vital, vivifying fluid, which flows down from the heavens to recycle and replenish the world’s water stores. To refresh and revitalize the lands and all those species who live upon it. Celestial substance of necessity, rain is absolutely elemental and essential. But it can be quite quirky. You never know with rain. Too much, too little, too late, too soon, too hard, too long. You can’t really depend on it. And yet you have to.
In the best of times, precipitation is seen as beneficent, raining down life-sustaining liquids for our benefit. And then we are grateful, or ought to be. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. We are nearly drowning in the stuff. Saturated, soaked, sogged. Completely waterlogged. Rivers rushing down city streets, the drains overflowing. Towns, fields and highways flooded. Dams, bridges, houses and lives swept irrevocably away. And the predicted storms aren’t over yet.
People have long believed that bad weather is some kind of vengeful divine retribution. Punishment for our earthly misbehavior. Certainly in the face of extreme hardship, this is a tempting response, based, perhaps, on guilt. But, of course, weather is weather, a neutral force. Our perception of whether it is good or bad is based solely and myopically on our own immediate inconvenience. Of course, you can’t take these acts of nature personally.
But maybe this rain is truly aimed at us as a lesson about the cause and effect of our selfish, wasteful, polluting ways.
Maybe Mother Earth is engaged in a deep purification ritual, a much needed purging of Her soiled body and profound pain. Picture Her, like any rape victim standing under a pounding shower for hours, days and weeks, trying to wash away the dirt and degradation that we have heaped upon Her so mercilessly.
Or maybe She is weeping, sobbing, down pouring tears of sad disappointment in us, Her errant, arrogant offspring, so rude and disrespectful. After all, just look at what we gave the Poor Old Dear for Mother’s Day in gratitude for all of Her great gifts to us: greenhouse gases, radiation, drilling, missile tests, oil spills and chemical trails.
The word “precipitation,” is related to “precipitate,” which means impulsive, not thinking, impetuous, rash — perfect descriptions of the way we treat the Earth. Makes you think, eh?
Maybe we should take this deluge is a watery warning. A reminder to appreciate the present and prepare for the future. To re-enforce our roofs, buy Wellington boots and build a safe, waterproof ark where we can collect, preserve and protect, two by two, all of our best intentions and human qualities: hope and love, charity and understanding, forgiveness and peace, compassion and reverence for all life.
Best blessings for keeping dry,
*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. *Send your questions about seasons, cycles, celebrations, ceremonies and spirit to Mama Donna at: CityShaman@aol.com
Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman,
eco-ceremonialist, award-winning author, syndicated columnist,
popular speaker and workshop leader whose joyful celebrations of celestial events have introduced ancient traditional rituals and contemporary ceremonies to millions of people in more than
100 cities since 1972. She has published four books, a CD,
an acclaimed quarterly journal and writes a column for UPI
(United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum.
Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called, maintains a
ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy
in Exotic Brooklyn, NY where she works with individuals, groups,
institutions, municipalities and corporations to create meaningful
ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.
For information about upcoming events and services contact:
Mama Donna’s Tea Garden & Healing Haven
PO Box 380403
Exotic Brooklyn, New York, NY 11238-0403
Read her blog at: