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Determining what the weather is going to do is about as old a tradition as one could find. These predictions often hold great importance, affecting travel, acquiring food, the design and materials we make things with, the list keeps running long. The responsibility for this great endeavor has often fallen on the shoulders of witches, mystics and the like. I figure rightly so, it often takes uncommon skills and knowledge and sometimes an extra edge to be right more than not.


Going back there's been no shortage of methods. Talking to ancestors, looking at clouds, arthritis as a tool, local news papers, groundhog oracles, and again it just gos on.


For myself I think I've mostly taken notice of soon to come local weather shifts. Its mostly subconscious. I'll figure its going to rain in the after noon so try and finish up in the garden early or keep my tools under cover on a work site. Its not till thinking back on the day that a realize I'm reacting to what the birds where doing in the morning or the sound of a distant horse and such, and if I'm wrong so what the weather seldom bothers me. Likewise with getting the all clear in spring and time to pack up in early winter. I just go with my gut. It most often works out.


However, anymore folk are asking me about the weather. More and more often this is connected to things important to them like planing an outdoor wedding or birthday. Or it has heavy consequences such as planting season or preparing for winter. Maybe their loosing faith in the weatherman. If so I can't really blame them the forecast is always off here by a somewhat reliable amount.


No matter what the reason, I figure its high time to put some effort into it. For me that means study by working to remember, seek out and compile methods. Put them to use and testing myself till I get things successful enough that I'm comfortable with my ability.


That and I figure such a old broad topic might strike up some good conversation here. So if you've got any interest in what the weathers going to do speak up.

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I'm interested in this but not especially knowledgeable. My one time 'luck' or inspiration was stepping out of the house one morning last summer and it was a normal day. There was a sound overhead and a small flock of gulls flew over. A voice popped into my head saying very clearly, 'Seven seagulls for a storm'.


I went about my business and hadn't seen the forecast for the day but late that afternoon we had an almighty storm! They are really quite rare here in Ireland - this was almost a tropical type storm with monsoon rain, lots of thunder and lightning.


So it's difficult to know if I read something in the air subconsciously or whether some little piece of lore popped into my head at the time. Also gulls have a spiritual significance for me so it might have been a little gift of knowledge. It proved useful as I charged some candles and cord knots that day.

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Well no mater it got to you it sounds like you picked out what it was saying. I also think that's kind of the way it should work. When we are familiar enough with what we've learned and worked with knowledge, instinct, and inspiration can just sort of blur together. That always seem the most effective way to me.


If you recall and are inclined to say, I'd be interested to hear how that one gos. Was it just “Seven seagulls for a storm”? I ask because we don't use that one here given our lack of gulls. However my great grandmother was from Germany and would tell her kids that. In this case we ended up with her two grand sons arguing about it being seven seagulls standing together or taking flight together. Makes me think it was just seven together and they just remember the way it was when they where told it.


Around here we have, fowl roosting in the day means a storm is coming.


One I use quite a lot is, when birds frenzy in the morning there will be long rains in the after noon. This is particularly true if they clear out right after.


There's, a bird singing in the rain means its going to stop.


Another good one is, if a hawk stays low in the sky a storm is coming. While if it stays high the storm will miss you.


Still on birds a chicken that molts in the front first means the beginning of winter will be the rougher bit, if the rear molts first the end of winter will be rougher. I find that's holds but doesn’t say anything to how rough. I had someone point out their hen molting in the front a few years back. When winter started it was mild. I thought the chicken was mistaken till the end of winter was almost springlike.

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Wooly Worms!


The longer the woolly worm's black bands, the longer & more severe the winter will be. Similarly, the wider the middle brown band is associated with a milder upcoming winter. The position of the longest dark bands indicates which part of winter will be coldest or hardest: if the head end (which one's that?!) of the caterpillar is dark then the start of winter will be more severe than the following days. If the tail end is dark then the end of winter will be the colder part. The woolly caterpillar has 13 body segments which is said to correspond to the 13 weeks of winter. I've never actually counted them. I suppose the 13 weeks of winter counts from Yule foreword, but my area snow can be on the ground from Halloween through Easter. Just sayin', but these gentle worms are awesome.


Pay attention & be sure to count the number of foggy days in August to predict the number of major snow falls to expect in the coming winter.


My area in Michigan is geared to fruit farming (blue berries, strawberries, peaches & apples; plus dairy cattle) so 1st&last frost is a big concern. I've heard these 2 weather knowing methods as darned near standard beliefs all my life.

Edited by Zombee
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Now that's a good one Zombee. Around here we call them Woolly Bears. That's one I definitely go by. Sounds like we have about the same spread of winter snow fall mid to late October, last frost can sometimes be mid May. Here we just kind of look at it as spread over the winter rather than the 13 weeks. I also say with the Woolly Bear, that I think they're a little sensitive. Their idea of a hard winter isn't what I'd necessarily call a hard winter, but it will sure feel like winter and they typically know what part will be the worst of it.

I seem to remember an article in the Old Farmers Almanac that said they think that one started in the Catskills up in NY State.

Now thick corn husks mean we'll get hit pretty hard.


I'll have to keep an eye on the fog in August and to see if that works out here.


I'm also looking at the 5th and last Friday of the months. Is said the weather on the 5th will describe the rest of month and the last Friday the month to come. I'm watching this month as I get the feeling it will hold, but the forecasts all disagree in the opposite direction as they're typically off.

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Well I said about the hawk above. The saying is “Hawks flying high means a clear sky. When they fly low, prepare for a blow.”


If today is anything to judge by the same gos for eagles. Around noon it was hot and sunny with a clear blue sky. Then I spotted an eagle quite close it danced around just over the tree tops. I thought of the saying with the hawks, but the day stayed clear for four or five hours. Then quite fast the sky went black and the lightning started.

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Someone I know told me about a gentleman called David King, he's supposed to be some sort of weather guru and has written a book called, "Weather Without Technology". I'm yet to read it but he teaches you how to read nature to forecast the weather. My acquaintance said how scarily accurate his predictions were. He could tell you what next year was going to do based on what was happening in nature now. The only reason I haven't read his book is because I forgot his name lol It will be my next read though now. So after me raving about him I hope he lives up to the hype haha 

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Just from my personal observation, when the Canada Geese leave the pond at the park in autumn, we can expect first snow within a week; and in spring when they return we get one last hurrah of wet white glop.

Edited by Zombee
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Well I said about the hawk above. The saying is “Hawks flying high means a clear sky. When they fly low, prepare for a blow.”


If today is anything to judge by the same gos for eagles. Around noon it was hot and sunny with a clear blue sky. Then I spotted an eagle quite close it danced around just over the tree tops. I thought of the saying with the hawks, but the day stayed clear for four or five hours. Then quite fast the sky went black and the lightning started.


I have found this to be true of Swallows, when they fly high it means a high pressure ridge and the insects are higher in the atmosphere. There will be fine weather.

When the Swallows are low, there is a low pressure ridge and insects are lower to the ground hence so are the Swallows. There will be rain.

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Love this topic! It's been something I have been wanting to learn more about so it's good timing.  

Lots of good info shared by everyone. :)


 I can feel pressure changes very easily in my head which makes it easier to notice when the weather starts to shift. Brings on migraines easier though so it's not exactly fun.


One sign I notice that is usually quite accurate in my area is if the leaves on the trees lay over so you can see the lighter colored underside it means rain or a thunderstorm is on the way and it will rain within the day.


If in the morning there is no dew on the grass it means it will rain that day. (However the opposite is not true, if there is dew on the grass it may still rain that day, it's not an indicator that it won't rain).


Another thing I look at is how the horses are growing in their coats, they seem to know if an early winter is coming or if it's going to have some pretty cold temps. Also I notice when they start to shed out at the end of winter, once they do I know spring will be here soon even if we still have some further cold and snowy spells. If they start shedding really heavily then spring is coming in.  If they are hanging onto their coats then I know winter will be hanging around for a time longer yet.


Hmm.. what else. :thinking:  The other signs I use are more just personal "feelings", i.e. in the Fall every year a certain wind blows in and it brings the strong sudden urge to "do" and to "go". I think of it as a migratory wind. It's when you just know it's time to wrap everything up and if your moving to another location to winter then now is the time to prepare and go. Otherwise you'd better finish bulking up and get ready to hunker down for the long winter. 

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Everyone is coming up with a lot of good stuff here.


    Thank you for passing that along Khundekling. I've been looking for decent books on the topic, but like most things I've resorted to a chapter out of some and a paragraph from others. I made a note of it on my books to find list.


    I'll also say I'm not entirely apposed to technological and scientific methods, or even forecasts. If they're often right. I look at them as good advice, and figure good advice shouldn't be ignored. The question I ask myself is am I willing to stake my good name on it. Well that and communication and power are out a quite a lot here.


    Again, yesterday the hawks didn't let me down. This time all day looked like a storm any moment. By early afternoon there was distant lighting and thunder in all directions but up. I noticed a hawk flying high and the storm didn't hit us till well after dark.


    Onyx we have a mess of barn swallows, but you know I hardly take notice of them through the day. Mostly when the works done I just lay about and watch them swooping like bats for their supper. I'm going to have to start keeping an eye on them.


    I'd say your lucky your geese do as they should Zombee. Our pond they ether take out as soon as their young can fly or they wait till after the snow flies. They just don't seem to get it.


    Going on geese, years back it was a tradition here that when you ate a goose in late summer or fall the patriarch of the family held the beast bone up to a light. Then they'd read the harshness of the coming winter by the thickness. If they're clever they can map the whole winter. Unless your cousin put a shotgun pellet or two through it. Then it seem traditional not to let them live it down for twenty years or so.

    For a witch this bone can be held to a fire for scrying out even more little going ons.


    Nature Mama feeling pressure changes and old troubles is a good one. It's little too inconsistent with myself. Seem the more I look after myself and am acclimated to the world around me the less I notice. However, I do take note of the complaints of some of my folk that are a little more consistent.

    That kind of gos with the strong sudden urges to. I'm always getting pulled this way and that by whatever I let at me, but sometimes watching folk's behavior is as good as watching the critters. For instance seeing violence escalating in the newspaper can mean a heatwave coming on. If my daughter gets all wound up and starts heavy clean and moving her furniture winters about to brake.

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A mackerel sky means change.

Red at night, sailors delight, Red in 'morn, sailors warning.

There's a bunch of cloud reading stuff from around these parts BUT it's the only stuff I can rely on anymore well, that and the winds.

The wooly bears have been lying, the spruce trees which when they are HEAVY with cones means a wicked hard winter... have been lying. Climage change as done gone and fucked up a lot of the weather signs around here, save for the clouds which can still be read. That is only day to day though, and no good for long term.


Weather signs are one of the major things in my local tradition, but so many have lost any sort of meaning because they seem to just not apply anymore. I just end up throwing my hands in the air and saying fuckitall I don't know, plant crops after the full moon in June, the smelt run in ?may? and caplin in ?june? more specifically, who can say these days. there's no way to know if you can plant sooner, when the fish will really run, when the wet and the dry will happen, what kind of harvest to expect, what kind of winter...


I'm seriously frustrated

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Speaking of wishbones... I save every Chicken and Turkey wishbone throughout the year and at Yule I silver leaf each one, attach a tag with a saying, and give them as gifts on the solstice.

For example one year I attached a small key to the tag and wrote "The Key to Success" on the tag.

Another year I glued a penny to the tag and wrote " Your Lucky Penny" on the tag. I have been doing this for about 10 years now. I'm kind off running out of ideas now. But I have a bag full of wishbones. Not sure what to write this year.

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KK I am a fan of David King. He has some interesting stuff about the full moon and the effect it has on earth depending on how close to us it is. Worth a read! It will put you off flying during a full moon when the moon is closest to earth!


PG the words were simply seven seagulls for a storm but they were flying overhead when I saw them. I'm fascinated that you are familiar with that number as a storm predictor as I honestly don't think I have ever heard it before this.

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    I can get to feeling that all forms of aromaticity are a pretty weak area for me. I have read many signs from the sky in my life, but not without having them spelled out in bold highly reliant ways. Then I often getting a smack in the head to get my attention. This makes it a topic I enjoy hearing about and thinking about very much.


    The red sky in the morning and night is one that's well known because its a good one. As I understand it this is the sky's way of saying “I don't know if you can see this, but there are a lot of heavy clouds building over here”. If in the morning in the east if in the evening the west. In the areas this saying has been found popular storms often come from the east. Particularly at the times of year reading the weather is most often done.

To me this also makes it a good one for changing patterns. By watching how the patterns are changing and the direction the storms are likely to come from we can add those bits of information to the conversation.


    As you say Citoyenne these changing climates and weather patterns are frustrating to overcome in weather prediction. However, as I understand its not a new frustration. Although we are in a time of these changes being sped up, those responsible for foretelling the weather have faced times when the signs don't hold. This often leads to having to dig deeper into our knowledge and intuitions. It can create a need to track what signs are holding and like to keep holding. For example many signs of daily rather than seasonal animal behavior. Other time we need to build our own new observations as Zombee mentioned. Other times we are left to relay solely on the signs of a more mystic or spiritual nature. This would fall into the realm of communicating with ancestors and many of the moon signs and such.

    I think it also can define a witch as being accomplished or clever with signs that they not only know their relevance, but when it is relevant.

    I suppose what I'm getting at is that the factors you've brought up can be frustrating. However, if we are pursuing greater skill and knowledge in weather prediction and reading signs we should not let those frustrations discourage or hold us back.

    That all said I think working past those changing factors are a great part of the topic. If any of you have thoughts or experiences to go deeper on that side of the conversation I know I would be interested.


    WitchInPlainSight to me it sounds a little too similar to be simple coincidence. I've always payed attention to the old saying like this in my family. That side of the family however cared very little for it. So the way it came to me was that if we where walking somewhere with gulls around. Then my father would sometimes count how many to a grouping. So he would say something like ”A group of four and a group of three no storm today.” or “Those seven are standing away from the flock. My grandmother(his not mine) would say a storm is coming.” Later I noticed his brother would argue that she said it was how many took off from the flock. So if seven fly off together and the rest stay or if seven fly over low it meant a storm. However, these were just nostalgic musings about their grandmother and they had no other interest.

    Now, I figure its worth mentioning that all the rest of her sayings they related match the sayings of my more traditional folk.


    Just to be clear Onyx the goose bone I was referring to is the breast bone or keel and not the wishbone. On a cooked bird this long bone would divide the white meat of the breast. That said I get up to some crafts and I truly enjoy the idea. Thank you for sharing it.

    By the way Onyx I'm finding you were dead right about the swallows. It will take some time for me to get accustomed to it and to strengthen the intuition of when to read them. But, the behavior is spot on and I think it will easily fall in to regular practice.

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    As you say Citoyenne these changing climates and weather patterns are frustrating to overcome in weather prediction. However, as I understand its not a new frustration. Although we are in a time of these changes being sped up, those responsible for foretelling the weather have faced times when the signs don't hold. This often leads to having to dig deeper into our knowledge and intuitions. It can create a need to track what signs are holding and like to keep holding. For example many signs of daily rather than seasonal animal behavior. Other time we need to build our own new observations as Zombee mentioned. Other times we are left to relay solely on the signs of a more mystic or spiritual nature. This would fall into the realm of communicating with ancestors and many of the moon signs and such.

    I think it also can define a witch as being accomplished or clever with signs that they not only know their relevance, but when it is relevant.

    I suppose what I'm getting at is that the factors you've brought up can be frustrating. However, if we are pursuing greater skill and knowledge in weather prediction and reading signs we should not let those frustrations discourage or hold us back.

    That all said I think working past those changing factors are a great part of the topic. 


 Wonderfully written PapaGheny! I think this was beautifully summed up and I know it helped bring clarity for me so thank you.  :thankyou:

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PapaGheny, you sound like my dad... LOL


Seriously though, I understand that when the signs don't hold we don't use them any more but then at that point they no longer bear repeating; your anecdote about the number of gulls away from the flock being more nostalgia for your grandmother than for weather prediction seems to support that. If it no longer applies, who cares where the wasps build their hives or if the oak buds before the ash?

The clouds and the wind are reliable, they are the weather so they can't mislead about the weather. Even in this regard though, the old weather adages about what kind of wind is blowing when the sun crosses the line will rule the season proves to be inaccurate.


I've established that day to day weather is not the issue but long term is unreliable (in direct response to day to day observances of animals as opposed to trying to figure out long term behaviour: I can't be on the river or the shore every day to see if any particular species is running at their peak, I have a job. Even if I have a general idea of their season, missing the peak of their run is missing a fair chunk of the catch and our life still depends on the harvest of fish. This is less about knowing what clothes I'll need in a month's time, general interest or any mystical purpose for needing to know the weather, than it is knowing what I'll have to eat and what I'll have put away for the lean)

In seeking to find new patterns, there have to be established patterns to discern. I am not sure how variable the weather is where you are, but the last several years here don't seem to follow any sort of pattern; at the very least there is not enough data yet to be able to establish anything. Everything is in flux. Yes there have been other periods of change but as you say not as rapid; the only time period I could think of being as rapid was the little ice age in the medieval period, and they just thought the world was ending. However when the climate settled out new prediction techniques were honed. I guess what I am saying is that it is too unstable right now and it is not for lack of skill or persistent observation.

I sounds like you're saying, you got an eye poked out, what a great opportunity to practice seeing with the other as though my sight is not overall diminished by the loss of a resource. Yes I would learn to make due without, as one must. Would you not mourn the loss the use of your eyes (traditional ways)? This climate change is not an opportunity, it is a loss, it's a mess and someday it will be fine, maybe not during my life and who knows what of our traditional ways will survive until then.

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Thank you for saying so Nature Mama. Glad you found some use there.

    I was thinking about your mention of feeling pressure change. When we're talking about the sensations of weather we often focus on pressure or pain from inflammation. Its not often we talk on other senses, such as hearing. Around here I learned in school if you could hear a horse for a minute before you could see it expect rain. We have a folklore explanation for that they didn't teach. But are folklore didn't stop us from later saying if you could hear a train before you see it or here a plain you can't see rain is coming. In my younger days my friends and I would sit on a bridge over the train track till one came by. Often the outcome would end up picking the activity of the day or what campsite to head for. It seldom lead us wrong. Anymore, I use a neighbors horse. Its got a distinct voice and I can only hear it if its going to rain.


Well that struck me as funny Citoyenne. Thanks for that.


    I think you've brought up a lot of good point to look at there. So much of it got me thinking I'll have to see how much I can respond to right off.


    To get it out of the way. Yep, the majority of my food for the year is affected by the world around me. If its a hard year we learn to do without. So yes, I can relate there.

    And yes, like most of the world are weather is in a rapid state of flux. Though if I remember your home ground, I hear y'all are having it pretty rough.

    As for it being an opportunity, that’s not the word I would use. It is what it is, its our world, and our life. And, I for one ain't going to belly ache about the cards that been laid out. I'm going to do what I can and keep livin' it.


    As for signs that don't pan out, I wouldn't discard them right off myself. Although, some like the seagulls you mentioned are more about regaining family lore. If any seagulls show up here I'm more like to give them directions and ask if they need a place to stay for the night than anything else. However, like you said we're in a flux. This means what's true today isn't necessarily true tomorrow. The world is always in a state of flux(all be it typically slower). So, in the past this meant what was true last year or decade may not be true today. For the old farmer that knows many of the weather signs this means noticing that something isn't holding and not trusting it for a spell. But, it may come back around.

    However, I find this is not necessarily the case for a witch. Depending on the witch, their methods and how clever they are at reading signs, I find there are many more factors at play. Say for instance a deeper knowledge of the sign. I find its not always enough to know what was said. It helps me to also know what they meant and what they were talking about. I'm still collecting data in my personal study, but the next bit will be track back the sings and building understanding of them. The hawk flying low we could say is a reaction to presser systems. We could also say it is because the hawk is a messenger of the sky. I see no reason for these things to be mutually exclusive, however knowing them can add versatility and connection.

   I think the idea of this connection can take us to the bigger point. That is that for many witches there is more to reading and distinguishing signs than the event taking place. If we were to write out every sign passed down and in published folklore we likely couldn't look anywhere without seeing something that is a sign. Many would also conflict with others. For many what separates the event from the sign is this connection that tells us what to read and when to read it. Back to the hawk there are three hawks that I see on a daily basics. Through a day of working the land I may see any combination of the three flying both high and low, these are events. When it is a sign the connection is made, and the importance is clear.

    As a witch I also may look to those signs that hold deeper spiritual significance. For instance what direction are the horns of the moon pointing. This can tell me a lot about what to prepare for. I also may look to direct communication with the forces sending the messages to begin with to seek clarity. Or, I may communicate with those that can advise me on what is to come or how to proceed. These are just a handful of many ways some might work.


    More in the immediate. I'm glad to hear your getting a handle on day to day weather changes. I'm making good progress in being more comfortable there as well. I think most would agree with you that the deeper into the future we try to look, the foggier it gets. I've been getting some forecasts for our winter together. More than my topical “It'll be rough” or “I don't think you need to worry”.

    Winter's not like to be the way it was in past years with this spring and summer. Again I've been looking a lot to the animals. I should probably say that this is playing on my strengths, I work a lot with the wildlife. I think honing that is good, but I need to push more out of my comforts. But, for now its been some direct communication and a lot of being nebby about what the deer, bear, coyote, and fox are getting up to when the weather's fair. This is giving me impressions about what they think is coming. For instance the coyote are fighting a lot, but not hunting much. I'd think likely concerned about pack size. That got me thinking, along with what the others are doing they're figuring on having steady, but not abundant food. Then its a matter of that weather's likely to match that expectation.


    As for establishing new patters, well no one said it will be fast or easy. I'm feeling that to. You also make a good point that most folk now days can't get out there every day. I might still suggest keeping a weather journal even if its limited in data. Mine at the moment has some entries like “Hot as blazes, but a cold night”. Got to start somewhere.

    This far I'm only seeing a few possible patterns, but hope it will bare more fruit in the long run. Can't say if the same will work for others, but some of my work is making me think the small repetition of short term weather will give more about long term changes. This came largely from spiritwork. I figure I'll be looking much more to spirits and divination to give me advice and inspiration in where I might look for more possible patterns.


    I suppose a lot of what I'm saying here is, there is more to traditional ways than repeating the actions of our folk. Their actions were built from the same lessons they taught us. They used those lessons to find ways though their lives and we can do the same. To simply go through the motions they did and hope the world hasn't changed would be learning how to take the test, without knowing the lesson. It wont help when the test's over.




Well I hope this is readable and makes sense. My communication lines have been down a few days and I rushed through this in case it dropped again.

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Weather divination is not a new skill for me and my understanding is not so superficial that I don't understand what contributed to the adages becoming established and passed down. The formations and directions and consistency of clouds has everything to do with pressure systems so an understanding of that will lead to a fair understanding of what is in store for the week.

For us gulls foretell storms when they are in the fields, that is because they are sheltering from the gales at sea.

The spruce get heavy with cones because there'd been a hot dry summer. The trees fearing the end has come for them focus on seed production, making new life rather than growing or prolonging their own. During those years there would typically have been a bitter cold winter, since the moderative effects of the ocean are playing less of a role. Where when the trees are light on cones it's because we've had a mild summer, they've focused more on growing rather than reproduction and will have a sloppy wet winter. It's the prevailing weather patterns as related to El Nino and it's effects on global weather and water temperatures. The directions of the wind when the sun crosses the line is about what air mass has settled where, the directions of the wind directly relate to both the temperature and precipitation of the season. Even the old groundhog with his shadow was predictive because no shadow means the air masses have shifted and warmed, which is to say spring is coming. (as an aside: the notion that the different groundhogs around the continent could be in disagreement with each other is a perennial pet peeve of mine, the cloudy vs clear/ shadow vs none thing only applies to regional weather)

BUT The weather patterns are shifted. Wicked summers are no longer followed by wicked winters but warm relatively dry ones, but not consistently, we have had a record breaking cold winter in recent years as well as record breaking warm winters. More random killing frosts after last frost is meant to have past. Cold wet summers followed by sweltering autumns; hot drought filled summers, punctuated by unseasonable cold. Even the animals are all off, I keep waiting for the rabbit boom we have every few years, no bunnies; this year there were June bugs in February; baby birds hatched too early and died because their parents couldn't feed them. It is unsettled with no pattern as of yet discernible.


This year our fruit crops have been beyond decimated because of an unforeseeable late killing frost. Our winter was too warm and dry and now our wells are drying too, so early when most years it doesn't happen; also a winter that all signs pointed to being quite cold and snowy (and this was not only my prediction but the general consensus).


It is that the weather patterns are like some god got all drunk and decided our weather by throwing darts at a weather chart.

I sit and observe, but until I can determine who drank what and where that dart filled chart is, there is no solid way of predicting when to plant, when to harvest, are seines better or pots, how much food should I put away, will I need to drill another deeper well or will I have to re-dig the french drains?

The land spirits are in distress and if there was anything THEY could do they'd have done it; they seem largely as baffled as I am elsewise they also wouldn't suffer as much as they are. It isn't because I'm not intimately aware of reading the local signs, their broader meanings or that I'm not a clever witch, which you didn't say directly but was intoned by saying that a clever witch could figure it out. It isn't even that change is impossible to deal with, our weather has always been highly changeable which is why weather prediction is so important, it is just that there is No Correlation between what just happened and what will happen next, let alone what has happened in the last couple years and decades to what will happen in the next couple years and decades.


edit for spelling

Edited by citoyenne
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Well You've said somethings that got me thinking there.


But first.

I don't quite see where I said anything about how clever of a witch you are. Maybe where I was talking bout the methods some use and described some witches as being “clever with signs”? I used the word clever there. Well some are some use other methods. I wouldn't have the foggiest if you are. But I do hope you got more out of that bit than putting words in my mouth to insult yourself. You know that's twice in this topic you decided put words in my mouth and were offended by the words you made up for me.

That said I suppose you're not a clever enough witch to have figured it out already(not that you wont). Now, I'm not singling you out there, nether one of us has figured it yet or this would be a different conversation. You could just explain it to me, or sit on it while I got there on my own. Instead we're talking over ideas. Cause we aren't there yet. I don't know of any witches to get a handle on it yet, but suspect some will. If they haven't. I'd like to think one of us would be among them, but we're going to need to get a bit more clever apparently. So, I'd hope you wouldn't take the phrasing personally, and speak for me. There was defiantly no insult or disrespect intended.

Quite the opposite I wouldn't be discussing the topic this much if I didn't think it could go somewhere. But, I'll tell you what. If you stop thinking I'm trying to offend you. I will unmistakably tell you if I decide to. Though I cant see why I would.


I'm glad you mentioned the gulls in the field. In my state we fallow that one, but name specific towns. If gulls are in those towns there is a storm blowing in. Not that I would know. Those towns are about 200/320 mile/km or so down hill and coastword. That said I should add it to my notes.


We have one I don't see a lot, but gos with your trees. “If the trees lose their leaves from the top first, then hard winters coming. If the bottom first, mild.” this tends to be true here.


Its good to hear the clouds are working for you. That can be a difficult one here. First seeing them in time to matter. We have high horizons from peeks and woodlands. There are spot the world falls away that folk would go to and see whats coming from one direction. However, that would mean taking a few hours a day to get there. I suppose if the right days could be figured out it could be handy. Not only that when it gets here low laying pressure systems change quickly in the steep hills and valleys.

All this adds up to asking passer by’s what the clouds where like where they came from. I'm baffled by how few folk look up. It also means odd or quick changing weather. In my journal so far I count four times this year that we had lightning within a few mile on every side and a sunny sky over head. One lasted two days and the stars where clear that night. At the end of it they ether blow off and maybe we get a little rain, maybe not. Or they fall in on us and we get hit till it blows out. In these cases it doesn’t matter what the passed by's have seen. Folk come by with wet horses from storms we never get.


Funny you mention the groundhog. I'm not too terribly far from Old Phil where the town takes him very seriously and honers him year round. There is quite a lot of changing folklore and takes on the groundhog oracle. For instance the shifting air masses you pointed out. I actual haven't fond that one before 1900, still looking. Some of the old pioneers recorded that to them it was about the frequency in spotting them. Simply put if here's not a lot of groundhogs up and about winter ain't over. On the other hand there are still some that hold that the groundhog(ether all or just Phil) is the embodiment of a grandfather spirit(some say reincarnated). This is an ancestor spirit particularly clever at spotting a early planting season. He then reveals this on candlemas/imbolc. It seems this tracks back to southeast Germany. Though around here if a folklorist can't find providence “it came from Germany”. But, it stuck around well enough that short pudgy old men are told not to leave the house on groundhog's day to keep them from seeing there shadow.

For me groundhog's day falls close enough to an ancestor ritual. That I ask directly and fallow more on the pioneer’s side keeping track of when they get out and about.


As for the weather your relating, it has me thinking a bit.


To start with what we want here is a hard snowy winter, real hot summer, and long spring and autumn. This keeps everything in check and gives us food through the better part of the year. The winter kills off our weak and sick. The summer damn near kills to make everything hard and strong enough for winter. Spring and autumn is to get most of the work done to prepare.

What we are getting is things flatting out to hot followed by wet. With spikes throughout. This means nothing can take the spikes. Animals are born late or early, sickness festers in everything, topsoil washes out and clay bakes. The last one there happened in one week this year. We got a late frost, within rang but just in time to kill our first foraging(six more weeks of last year's wild buckwheat). Spring, and I'm thinking autumn, get cut short. Now its floods then droughts about a week apart. If our normal drought hits in early Sept. things are going to get interesting. Meanwhile, I been trenching and welling so much the neighbors are joking about how much I like digging. Coarse their gardens are dead. I've been using that to gauge if what I'm doing's working. So far so good. Now I should point out they aren't stupid. A few are lazy and too busy look at their phones the tv to do anything about it. The rest don't hold with phones or tvs, but are doing what grandpa did instead of using what he taught them.


Now I'm truly sorry to here about your fruit trees. That I can relate with, but it was winter before last. I still haven't tasted an apple that didn't come from a jar since. This year they made it and I can't wait for harvest. Now a few of us that saw the frost coming, but didn't know it would be enough to takeout the fruit trees. We only spotted it by the pricking of our thumbs and a few flowers not blooming. It was more of somethings not right, than a late frost's coming. So we planted late and had a good tomato and herb year. As you said that winter none of the signs seemed to hold.


How is the rest of your crop coming now?

Are you head into drought after torrential rain?

Was the winter before last wickedly cold but mildly extending on both ends?


Just a thought, but what your describing sounds like you may be a year or two behind us. Same winter same spring.


I hate to rely on communication system(here they're more unpredictable than the weather). That said I remember stories of the Babylonians using weather from several different locations in Mesopotamia for long term weather prediction. If New York's like this in this season and Ontario has this kind of winter, whats that mean here? Just a stray though really.


I don't know if I can hold with your drunk god analogy. The personification suits me, but to me it feels a bit deliberate for that. I also keep getting this feeling its more abrupt and drastic than random. Maybe like someone telling a kid to turn off and on the water, while the kid just want to play with the taps.


I can relate with the spirits to. Its made for a strong and active, but odd and not altogether pleasant ritual year.


On the human senses as short term predictors. Smell's a pretty good one. If I can smell the deer, wild roses, or cow pastures, in the morning. Then its likely to rain. I can smell the deer grazing throught the window right now and betting it will hit before long.

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Umm, can I just point out that:

I don't quite see where I said anything about how clever of a witch you are

That said I suppose you're not a clever enough witch to have figured it out already”

followed by:

“So, I'd hope you wouldn't take the phrasing personally, and speak for me.”

Do back up Citoyenne’s points? ‘Cause I read your posts the same way she did. 


That being said, I agree about the unreliability of the current weather patterns. How can we currently come up with new ways to read them, when the climate is still in a massive state of flux and change? Once it stops, we can start understanding the correlations again, but since we don’t know where it’s going to settle, we can’t accurately predict yet. It isn’t a matter of clever witches finding the signs; without stability to study, there can be no prediction. And there’s nothing wrong with a good “belly ache’”, sometimes a bitch fest is good for the soul. :P

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Duchess to the question “How can we currently come up with new ways to read them, when the climate is still in a massive state of flux and change? “

I'm not quite sure how it will end up as I'm still currently still working on it. I think in the end it may look something like, finding signs that are already around that can give us several steps ahead to account for the quick change. Or maybe signs that skip over and pick out points in the future. This is not much different than say the wool bear caterpillar telling us about the winter to come. It may also take any number of signs working together. Maybe we could compare this to reading cards. Seldom is one card used and the interplay of more cards give more information.


As I said if we are at point things are to unstable I figure we may have to look to other forms of divination. We may also need to use those other forms of divination to find the reliable signs.


As for Citoyenne taking offense to my post all I can say has already be said. What ever Citoyenne thought was implied was not. Plane and simple. If you see it to, maybe I worded poorly? But as it was not said I can't say. As I said in that post I was typing quick.


And let me point out.

In the quote you pulled out you edited out the bits where I was making the point, we all in the same boat or we wouldn't be talking about it to begin with.

If your gong to pick and choose which words you read it can say what ever you like.


And your right belly aching. It can help at times. Just not my reaction to this issue.

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Yeah it seems like tone is the issue here and at least there is one other who reads your tone the same way as I do. Handing over my emotional autonomy to a stranger on the internet seems like a bad idea. If I promise to not get offended then you'll let me know when I can be offended.. yeah that is not weird or patronizing or anything. 


The belly aching that Duchess referred to was my initial post about being frustrated not about you. I am not going to touch the line on supposing that I am not actually clever enough and how you feel she edited it to make it sound worse. Read first line re:tonal issues. It seems like you missed the part where I mentioned that you never said it directly but it was intoned by your words. I am the type who addresses things head on and get out ahead of them, because clarity is important and intonation can be unintentional or intentional.


My trees are fine, it's the vines that are not, and any perennial ground fruit.

Your post previous to last seems to back up my assertion that the weather is behaving unpredictably. However good luck in your attempts at weather divination going forward. 

Luck is, at this point, all there is.

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At the risk of sounding patronising myself, we all know that the written word is limited in some respects. When you have a conversation face to face, you can hear different tones, see facial expression, and therefore interpret meaning in a more confident and clear way. I would hate for this thread, which has a lot of really good discussion and information from all, to be spoilt by a spat over interpretation. I am not directing this at any individual, but all who have engaged in the ‘clever witch’ diversion. Send me a PM if you need to but please keep this thread on topic.

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