An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links to Mythologies,
Fairy Tales & Folklore, Sacred Arts & Sacred Traditions
by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.

Common Themes, East & West

An experimental, on-going ritual in cyberspace

Above and Below
© by Wisconsin artist, Francene Hart
[Used with permission]

9 June 2000:
Note from Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.

As many indigenous peoples have long known, and modern science is now recognizing as well, we're all interconnecting, intricate webs of energies.  This is the basis of the ancient art of weather-working, once familiar to countless peoples but now largely forgotten.  It is the purpose of this page to make weather-working known again, but in a new way.....

Calm Within
© by Wisconsin artist, Francene Hart
[Used with permission]

Sacred smoke comes from fire-making, which was once at the cutting edge of technology; the prayer wheel comes from the invention of the wheel, which was also once at the cutting edge of technology.  Now it's cyberspace and webs.  Website technology gives us the means to create a "sacred space," an online "sanctuary," a place of insight in which we can give shape and color to our prayers and hopes.  Just as sacred smoke, in many Native American rituals, is a visible sign of prayer-in-motion, and just as a Tibetan prayer wheel, set into motion, carries the "vibration" of that prayer to the four winds and out into the universe itself, so too these pages can be our ritual smoke, our prayer wheels, moving through cyberspace to unknown destinations, and also triggering new, more positive synaptic pathways in our brain cells whenever we return to them.

With this as a beginning, let me explain how I came to create this experimental, on-going ritual in cyberspace, a ritual seeking to give conscious connections to what already exists as a field of connectivity between us and the planet we share.......

© by Wisconsin artist, Francene Hart
[Used with permission]
On 3 May 2000 I saw an ABC News report on Nebraska and the adjoining Great Plains states where there is a very serious drought.  The report showed Nebraska soil brought up in a coring-tube from about a foot or more deep -- and it was bone dry.  Even worse conditions are forecast for the future.  Even though I have never been anywhere near Nebraska, my heart went out to the land.  It was like the Wasteland of medieval legends.  I saw that dry soil sifting like talcum through the fingers of a worried farmer and I wanted to cry.

What could I do?  I remembered my shaman-friend Janice Vr Meer telling me last year that I have the power to do weather-working "magic."   "Do I need to study with a weather-shaman," I asked?  She checked with her Otherworldly guides and said no, that the Weather Spirits were willing to "download" whatever data I needed while I worked on a special page for them on my computer.  Weather-spirits, like computers, she said, are electrical energy-systems and they would not find this difficult.  In fact, they'd enjoy it.

© by Wisconsin artist, Francene Hart
[Used with permission]

I immediately, eagerly, created such a page full of lightning and images, but there it lay in my hard drive for a year.  Nothing further came to inspire me.  I was disappointed, yet not really surprised since I knew that usually weather-workers only work within the limits of their own eco-systems.  Since I live in Southern California only two blocks from the Pacific, weather here is fairly stable, and I never feel swept up into the cycles of a more seasonal eco-system.  It just isn't a very interesting region for weather-workers (earthquake-workers, yes, but that's another story).

Then, unexpectedly, that news report on May 3rd stirred something very deep inside me.  It was the land herself -- probably over-fertilized with chemicals, and periodically suffocated with vast clouds of pesticides, but she seemed to call out to me.  How long had it been since she was allowed to lie fallow?  Maybe she wanted the prairies and buffalo to return.  But nothing would return with such dry soil.  Rain was needed.

I was raised in a city near the eastern shores of Lake Michigan, yet I come from generations of farming people and spent happy childhood times among them.  I respect them and know that they are amazingly adaptable once they realize the nature of a problem.  Certainly they could greatly reduce the chemical poisons and adopt some of the irrigation practices used in Israel; certainly wiser natural cycles could be observed.  But they couldn't be expected to change their ways in the midst of a drought.  Rain was an urgent need -- and not a deluge that would bring flooding either.

I don't live in Nebraska, however -- and, as I've said, the weather-workers I know all work within their own localized regions.  There wasn't much I, living near the Pacific, could do about a drought in the far distant Plains states.  Their own weather-workers would have to handle it, assuming they existed.  Most regions no longer have weather-workers -- new ones are few and far between and, among Native Americans, either the indigenous skills have been lost or those who still possess them have been too abused and battered by the US government to care what happens to others.

An image of a map of Nebraska unexpectedly came into my mind along with my friend Janice's suggestion of working with cyberspace.   Nebraska might not be my turf -- but what if I were to put out a map of that region among the pixels and electrical currents of cyberspace -- could that be a possible answer?  I've always loved maps and having one in front of me somehow allows me to "merge" into that space.  Might that not attract the friendly attention of the local Nebraska Weather Spirits?  Using a map as an intellectual focusing device might influence the Otherworldly realms of spirit.  It was worth a try.

So that's how I decided to invoke weather-spirits beyond my own eco-system.  I went searching for the right map, found a great satellite one, reversed its colors, created a new page for the Weather Spirits, got some copal burning beautifully, incensed the computer, and began with the prayer that rains will come gently, steadily, wisely, in these regions.  I even sang "Kumbaya, O Rain" (adapting the words, naturally).  I just let the webpage run for more than an hour on my hard drive while I did other things.  I visualized the map being carried out into cyberspace on invisible currents, through webs of shimmering energy.

© by Wisconsin artist, Francene Hart
[Used with permission]

The next day the satellite map showed more clouds gathering and I felt cautiously pleased.  Perhaps my plan was working.  That day I again let the site stay on for an hour or more while I did other things.  I didn't light any copal as I was tired (those charcoal roundels can be hard to light!) and I sincerely hoped that copal was only necessary to get the energies moving at the outset.  I updated the satellite map and added new ones with radar data on the third and fourth days.

I was still doing this after a week.  I felt a sense of urgency.  I kept checking weather reports, listening to the Weather Channel, sending out intense hopes and prayers for rain to soak that dry land.  My fingers could almost "feel" the soil heavy and rich with the kind of moisture only many steady downpours could bring.

Unfortunately, all this was a mistake -- a very basic one -- and I did know better but I was too caught up in the drama of trying to rescue that poor, dry handful of soil in the farmer's hands.  I let myself get hooked emotionally -- and when no major network weather report proclaimed after that too-intense week that the drought had ended, I felt too burned out to continue.  I felt as tired as the wasted soil that had so touched my heart.   I kept the page in my hard drive, felt a bit guilty when I remembered it, continued to stay alert for newscasts about the Great Plains, but I couldn't bring myself to do anything more.  Between teaching, webbing, and writing new lectures for a summer course, I had nothing left to give.

My mistake, I now realize, was in trying to change things when, in good rain-maker style, I should have been trying to bring myself into harmony with the overall process and cycles of life.  It's unwise to persist to the point of fatigue or discouragement.  In my initial enthusiasm, I forgot that.  Somewhere in there I would also remember Kierkegaard's wise words: "Prayer doesn't change God, only the one who offers it."

Chakra Wheels
© by Wisconsin artist, Francene Hart
[Used with permission]

A month passed.  I shared the unpublished Nebraska page with a good friend, Jane Brown (who has much more of a gift for weather-work than I do).  She loved what she saw.  Since I knew by then that the page wasn't doing me (or the Great Plains) much good lying around in my hard drive, I started thinking about publishing it online and sharing the ideas instead of trying to carry the weight alone.  Sharing is usually an excellent way to bring about greater balance and harmony.

I checked with Janice and asked if this would be wise.  If so, should I restrict access only to those weather-workers I already know? -- or to selected friends who would understand the parameters of such a venture?  Or should I open it up to everyone via my MythingLinks website.

What she got from the Otherworld was that they like the idea of many humans involved in this project, not just pre-selected ones; they said that since most people don't even know that such "intervention" is possible, this site will be truly educational and useful for them; those who feel inclined to help will be most welcome.

Love and Power
© by Wisconsin artist, Francene Hart
[Used with permission]

Of course, not everyone will respond to maps, nor will they intuit how to enter into relationships with the "beings" inhabiting the invisible spaces represented by maps.  Yet, hopefully, many will.  In this spirit then, if you feel inclined to go further, I have created three ritual cyberspace pages -- one for the Western Hemisphere, another for Europe, the Mid East & Africa, and a third for Asia and Australia (see below for links).  There is also a  page (with a great opening illustration of a tornado-spirit) of scientific weather links to various sites if you wish to create your own private database for selected areas.

I won't be updating the maps on these pages -- not only because of time constraints but also became I like the idea of using the original ones as a baseline of what the weather was like on the days when I began.  I'm including links directly below each map, however, where you can go for current updates.  You could also download my pages and create your own private "sacred space" wherein you can make frequent downloads of satellite maps for whatever regions you're trying to help.   Just please avoid my own mistakes and don't ever get too drained or discouraged!  Keep it light and humble.

Wise Friend
© by Wisconsin artist, Francene Hart
[Used with permission]

Please understand that this ritual in cyberspace is only an experiment.  Don't expect global changes -- that would be unrealistic.  But if enough of us can "tweek" a little here, a little there, and if the Weather-spirits, seeing our desire for greater balance and harmony, are pleased, then we can still accomplish much, albeit in ways we may never fully understand.

Weather-Working Pages:


Weather-Working Cyber Ritual for the Western Hemisphere

Weather-Working Cyber Ritual for Europe, Mid East, & Africa

Weather-Working Cyber Ritual for Asia & Australia

Scientific Weather Links (Radar maps, humidity, satellites, etc.)

Other Related Mything Links pages:

Common Themes:  Floods, Storms, Rainbows, & Other Weather Wonders

Common Themes:  Nature Spirits

Summer Solstice 2000: Greetings, Lore & Customs

Wheel of the Year (for all other solstice & equinox pages)

© 2000 Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
All rights reserved.

Page created 8-10 June 2000;
published 10 June 2000, 1:46am.
Updates: 24 July 2000; 1-2 August 2000, 1:55am;
All artwork changed 8-9 August 2000