Nan Moss, with David Corbin,
Weather Shamanism: Harmonizing Our Connection with the Elements
(Bear & Co., 2008)

Weather Shamanism: Harmonizing Our Connection with the Elements is likely not what you would expect. It does examine and teach how you can influence the weather; but it is also a manual for self-healing, an autobiographical sketch of the author's experiences with weather shamanism and an in-depth scrutiny of the issues surrounding weather modification.

I certainly did not expect this book to delve into the scientific research and applications of weather modification, but it did. Like most Americans, I was aware that the government had experimented with it, but I had no idea to what extent they had been manipulating it. I was aware of the environmental ethics, but had not considered a couple of the angles that the author brings out in this book.

The information about civilian weather modification projects blew me away. The numbers are terrifying! Then, there is the HAARP project. By the time the author gets through introducing you to the facts of weather modification, you should be in shock. You should also be mad as heck, for two basic facts:

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."
"Everything regarding the weather has a 'downwind' effect."

After providing you with a strong background in the traditional, governmental and civilian weather manipulation practices, the author begins teaching about weather: the different types and forms and the spiritual nature of them. She relates the way they have been portrayed in literature through the ages and many of the indigenous beliefs.

Part three brings us to "Weather Shamanism." This has my favorite part of the book, a chapter called "To Honor Hurricane," which relates the various experiences of weather shamans during the Florida hurricanes and others. They will likely put hurricanes into a different light for you. I'll wager that you never stopped to think of hurricanes as cleaners or as promoting positive change. The next chapter begins the instruction on working with the weather.

Basically, you must first achieve a state of harmony within yourself, and then you can reach out to the Weather Spirits and bring yourself into harmony with them. Once you have achieved a state of harmony and balance with the Weather Spirits, then you may ask them for their help. The author takes you through the procedure and discusses how she learned, what worked and what failed, and the problems she encountered with outside influences.

However, she makes it perfectly clear that the techniques are individualistic and almost as varied as the weather workers. The one thing that they all have in common is that it is a deeply spiritual thing. She also notes that there is a major difference between those persons that seek to learn how to work with the weather and those that are called by the Weather Spirits.

Moss has relied upon many sources for her research. From anthropological records and written references to interviews and anecdotes from Native Americans and shamans, she has provided a well-rounded look at the topic. Her bibliography is impressive and will direct you to further readings on several specific topics.

Nan Moss and David Corbin have been faculty members of the Michael Harner's Foundation for Shamanic Studies since 1995. They also teach at Esalen Institute in California, Boston and New York City. They have studied with indigenous cultures worldwide and are founding members of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. They have a private practice in Port Clyde, Maine.

Weather Shamanism is a fascinating book that educates, entertains and promotes healing within and outside. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read that will haunt you long after you put it down. This is one book that you cannot simply dismiss. It demands to be contemplated over. It is a finely written piece of literature that defies classification.

[ visit the authors' website ]

book review by
Alicia Karen Elkins

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