It’s raining a lot in London at the moment. I don’t know why anybody would be surprised by this, because April is famous for April showers.
But people constantly comment and complain about it, and quite honestly, as you prepare to leave for work to the sound of gusts of wet wind crashing against the side of the house, you do begin to feel a bit washed out. Last week a hurricane took a couple of trees down in my neighbourhood, and you never know if you’re out and about, when you might not be surprised by a shower of icy drops.
I’ve decided to embrace it, though. When you consider that on Saturn it rains methane, on Venus; sulphuric acid – and that one of the extrasolar planets in the Sagittarius constellation has iron rain, just having a lot of water flooding down from the slate-grey skies begins to seem quite desirable.
And then it’s so good for the flowers and grass, and see how happy all the ducks and worms are?
Anyway, you can’t fight a tidal wave, and I like going with the flow. Not only am I going to enjoy the rain we are having, I’m going to encourage a lot more of it with my own weather-modification ritual. It’s my monsoon season, baby! Weather magic is one of the most ancient and widely practised forms of conjuring.
Most rituals combine sympathetic magic and imitative magic by taking objects or decorations associated with weather and water – the Zuni people used feathers and turquoise to symbolise wind and rain – and then producing by the favoured method a liquid to be sprinkled upon the ground, encouraging the weather gods to follow suit by opening the heavens.
My method works best if you have a combination shower/bathtub, so you can run the shower whilst you are in the tub. You will also need some hibiscus flowers, some Pisco clear grape brandy and a few drops of rosewater and rainwater.
Kali’s Cherrapunji Special
1 preserved hibiscus flower – you can buy jars of these in syrup online
1 shot chilled Pisco
3 drops rosewater
3 drops rainwater
Clear chilled sparkling elderflower mixer
This cocktail is simplicity itself to make. Place the flower in a chilled glass, pour the Pisco over it, top up with elderflower, then add your rose and rain waters. Rosewater adds a top floral note, and the rainwater is purely for symbolic use – to introduce the element of actual weather to the drink.
Take it into the bathroom with you, and run a bath – let the drink stand by the side of the tub. As the tub fills, turn on the shower and create your own personal tropical storm, lying in the hot water while more pours down on you from above, churning and pitting the water.
If you don’t have that kind of shower, just get in while the taps are still on.
Make sure the doors are closed, to keep the weather in.
As the drink develops and you soak, the flower will spread out, looking rather like a sea anemone. The hibiscus is the symbol of the goddess Kali, so she should be responsive to your desires.
Objects offered in votive deposits carry value as media for communicating with supernatural beings. Votives are the physical manifestation of this significant act of communication which involves the transfer of meaning from the human world into the supernatural. In this case, presenting the flower then devouring it connects you physically with the ritual.
The syrup from the flower will suffuse through the drink, tinting it palest pink, and condensation will form on the glass.
This is the charm, because rain is condensation which has formed from atmospheric vapour until it has become heavy enough to fall from its cloud to the earth.
When condensation drips down the glass and begins to form a pool around it, drink the glass down and eat the flower from the centre. The flower reminds us of all the good things that come of rain, and the fruits and flowers it nourishes. This is rainwater rendered very potable.
Surrounded by water, vapour and condensation, you are in a cloud of your own- this is a very relaxing and stimulating situation to be in, so make like a manatee and enjoy it. There in your monsoon trough, you can imagine yourself in Cherrapunji – the wettest place on Earth. Close your eyes, and let your pores open and steam-clean.
It’s much more copacetic than the ritual performed by the ancient Chinese Wu Shamans, who danced in a ring of fire until sweat dripped off them, producing the desired rain-imitation.
So let your muscles unwind and your brain be soothed as you alter rainfall patterns with your magical microclimate. I recommend Jo Malone Red Roses bath oil to create scented steam, but get someone else to buy it for you, because it’s terribly expensive.
Nicknames for a heavy rain include gully washer, trash-mover and toad-strangler – learn them now if you’re in London or another rain-city, because deluges, downpours, soakings and saturations are coming soon, to a sky near you.
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.