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Calling The Lightning

October 28, 2013

Now I’ve researched all the theory it’s time to put the “call the lightning” quest into action! I had to sort out three remaining issues – the exact location where the work could take place, to re-affirm the full method of calling the lightning, and then to determine the exact timing of when it could be called and when ti would appear. One final local outing was required to do that.

1. Location

I was called to go out the other night. I dowsed which direction I should go in, and knowing the sites on that bearing I worked my way outwards until I found the correct location. It was a nearby local hill, but not one I usually visit. I know it used to have an Iron Age hillfort on it once. That was the location where I would find something related to the ash wood – either a staff or a tree that I could use in my experiment to call lightning.

So it turned out to be the case. On arrival in the dead of night I saw the outline of an ash tree’s leaves. Was this the tree I could use? NO. But having identified the ash tree I noticed that next to it was a solitary tall dead ash tree! This was the focal point that I would use to call the lightning. It was perfect. I didn’t have to be holding on to it, and it wasn’t going to mean that a living tree would get hit. Perfect!

Francis Danby - The Opening of the Sixth Seal
Francis Danby – The Opening of the Sixth Seal

2. Method

The way I would need to call the lightning had a couple of components:-

  1. I would need to bellow like a stag in order to get the ground around to vibrate at the right frequency. I think this will involve evoking the feeling of the stag as I did in the forest recently [see this post]. This would change the “charge” of the earth and make it begin to attract lightning from any storm clouds above.
  2. I would need to draw the lightning sigil around the dead ash tree in order to specify the location that I wanted to lightning to strike.

I did these things in preparation for the event. I let out a low grumbling bellow across the hilltop. It was audible but not loud – it was the dead of night after all, and there were houses nearby. I wondered whether it would be enough o cause the lightning though. We would see. Next, I drew the sigil out from the base of the dead ash tree that I had identified as the focal point for the calling. I dowsed afterwards and could follow the new energy pattern, so I was happy that this would be in place ready for the actual calling.

3. Timing

After a great deal of dowsing I was able to determine that the correct time for me to call lightning is during the three days of the Full Moon. I could do the work on any of these days, but the outcome was quite specific. Lightning would strike exactly three days after the peak of the Full Moon. By my reckoning that’s going to be somewhere around Midnight on Monday 21st October.

Now for the big event. Will I be able to call a lightning strike on this dead ash tree? Let’s see!

The Calling

The evening of Monday 21st arrived – three days after the peak of the full moon I watched the skies and took weather reports from all over the place to try to determine my chance of having the right conditions to call lightning. It didn’t look good. A 32% chance, said the most hopeful report. Still, it’s a chance.

I made my way up the local hill in the dead of night  and was standing on the top of the hill for 11:30pm. There was a slight breeze and some light high cloud cover, but not enough to cause anything vaguely “stormy”. I carried my new yew staff and began work straight away. I re-traced the lightning sigil close to the dead ash tree that I was hoping would be the target of the lightning strike. Then I called upon all the elemental forces to come together to help me make this event happen. I stood rooted to one particular spot, eyes alert for changes, and re-traced the sigil over and over, calling on Herne/Gwyn Ap Nudd to come bring the storm.

After fifteen minutes of doing this the wind had picked up to a dramatic peak, twisting the tops of the trees around me, bowing their top-most branches until I thought they might snap. Gwyn, the Stormbringer, was bringing a storm indeed. The clouds thickened and soon a slight drizzle formed, then it turned into a steady rain. I continued to evoke the lightning.

After another ten minutes I had to give up. I was exhausted! There was no chance that lightning was going to appear. In the far distance I heard a clap of thunder, but that was as close as I got. Failure.

It was a lesson. A powerful one. I was not in command of this situation, nor was I able to call the lightning yet. Humbled and disconsolate I repaired to the car and drove home wondering where I went next with this particular quest. Could I try again? Should I wait until a storm is already in progress? I had been able to intensify the existing conditions. Perhaps that was my saving grace. When the conditions are right, then maybe I will have another go.

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