Monday, July 28, 2014

Weather Magic and Folklore (Part 1 of 2)

In many magical traditions, weather magic is a popular focus of workings. The term “weather magic” can be used to mean anything from divination and forecasting to actual control of the weather itself. When you consider that many of today’s folk magic customs are rooted in our agricultural past, it makes sense that an ability to foretell or change weather patterns might be considered a valuable skill. After all, if your family’s livelihood and life depended on the success of your crops, weather magic would be a handy thing to know.


Dowsing is the ability to find a water source in a previously unknown area via divination. In many parts of Europe professional dowsers were hired to locate new places to dig wells. This was typically done with the use of a forked stick, or sometimes a copper rod. The stick was held out in front of the dowser, who walked around until the stick or rod began to vibrate. The vibrations signaled the presence of water beneath the ground, and this was where villagers would dig their new well.
During the Middle Ages this was a popular technique for locating new springs to use as wells, but it later became associated with negative sorcery. By the seventeenth century, most dowsing had been outlawed because of its connection to the devil.

Harvest Predictions

In many rural and agricultural societies, fertility rituals were conducted to ensure a strong and healthy harvest. For instance, the use of the Maypole during the Beltane season often tied in to the fertility of the fields. In other cases, farmers used divination to determine whether the grain season would be successful – a few kernels of corn placed on a hot iron would pop and jump around. The behavior of the hot kernels indicated whether or not the price of grain would go up or down in the fall.

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