Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Need Rain?

If you happen to be in India and need rain, the people of the state of Assam know exactly the thing to do - hold a wedding celebration for two frogs!

The frogs were joined in matrimony in a traditional ceremony in Hengrabari, in the northwestern Indian state of Assam. It wasn't the result of an amphibian romance, however, and neither of the frogs turned into a prince after being kissed.

Instead, it was an attempt to end the dry spell that has hit most parts of Assam over the past months, which has led to severe water shortages.

Because rain is so important to agriculture many of the magical practices of ancient cultures have to do with controlling the weather, especially rainfall. Rain dances were practiced in North America and it is believed that the association of blood with rain inspired the practice of human sacrifice in Central America. One of the largest mass graves ever found at a Central American site dates to a period in which a 50-year draught hit the region, and some scholars have hypothesized that the escalating sacrifices were an attempt to raise enough magical energy to bring rain after years of failing crops.

The tradition in India is not nearly so extreme.

' It's a traditional belief that when a frog marriage is performed, the Barun Devata [the rain-god] is pleased and the rain comes,' former councillor Bijoy Das told The Hindu newspaper.

The wedding of the frogs - male Barun (meaning wind) and female Bijuli (meaning thunder) - was accompanied by all the traditions of Assamese weddings, including songs and gifts presented to the bride.

In my own experience, weather-working is not all that difficult except that to some extent you have to work with what you have available. If there's no moisture in the air the best magician in the world can't make it rain, because as far as I know nobody has yet figured out how to reliably materialize physical substances out of nothing. The probability gradient involved in violating the conservation of mass principle is so steep that I suspect it may actually be impossible.

So what a weather-worker has to do is to first shift the weather patterns over the area he or she wants to affect so that moisture will be present. This can take several days depending on where upper atmospheric air currents are moving and so forth, but it is necessary. Once the conditions are in place you can go ahead and shape the atmosphere into a storm by visualizing how you want the air currents and moisture to flow together.

This usually works for me, but unfortunately the technique is intuitive enough that it is hard to explain. I just open an operant field, visualize what I want, and close it down using only the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. I can do it without the field, too, but it won't work as well. It's easier to cast for a clear day than for rain because it takes less of a shift to send clouds away than it does to summon them, and as a result friends often call upon me to summon clear days for their outdoor events.

So far my track record on weather working is quite good, though I've mostly conjured for clear skies and only tried to summon rain a couple of times. We'll have to wait and see how these frog newlyweds do for the people of Assam.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

No comments: