I have said for a long time that it is not enough to carry an almanach and check out the moon phases and the Celtic calendar in order to know when there's a good time to cast a spell, do a ritual or any form of magical activity.
You need to be personally aware of the universal weather.
Now whether this is "just" solar storms or whether there's more to it than that is irrelevant. The main thing is to take a reading of the existing universal weather in real time. And that starts by becoming aware of universal weather in the first place.Even many magical people don't realise how much universal weather influences everything, including themselves.
Most magical people tend to think that if they're feeling strange, out of sorts, tense, stressed, wired, off, freaked out, weirded out somehow, that's just them being crazy as usual. But before we think that, we should stop and check.
Check with animals, if you have any. Are they acting strangely too? That's a really good indicator for universal weather conditions, and anyone who works with animals on a regular basis is well aware when they all seem to have the wind in their tails, are distracted by something, unusually nervous or simply acting out of character.
If you haven't got any animals, ask some friends how they are feeling today. If one person after the other grimaces and says, "Oh I don't know ... I didn't sleep well ... I'm kinda wired ... can't keep my thoughts together ..." or words to that effect, you now know that's not just you, there is something affecting everyone, and that something is likely to be universal weather.
Solar storms and the like really do affect our energy systems. They can make us feel vulnerable and weak, sleepy and dreamy/drifty, wired and like PMS on steroids, or simply completely confused.
Can you do good magic under the influence of universal weather?
The answer to this is yes - but you have to be very flexible, very aware and USE the universal weather to your advantage. That's like sailing a boat in the ocean; you have to work with the wind and the waves, not pretend they don't exist. If you do, you'll sink. The universal weather adds a component that can definitely de-stabilise spells and all other forms of magical activity.
Which means that they either don't work, or work in weird ways that were not quite (or not at all) what the person had in mind. This can cause confusion and self doubt in healers and magicians and the wrong conclusions can be drawn.
For example, I was talking to a very experienced energy magician the other day who were worried because they had tried to send distance healing to a person and instead of their usual effective way of working, all they managed was to create a diffuse orange blob that didn't want to go anywhere.
"Have I lost my magic?" they worried.
No. It's difficult universal weather at the moment. Huge solar storms. All sorts going on. Just about every person I've talked to these last two months has had experiences of this kind of magic failure, and they all thought it was them.
So what to do?
First of all, start to recognise the effects of solar storms and universal weather - on yourself, on your animals, on the people around you, on the whole world. When all your Facebook friends start whining at the same time, you know what that is now.
The next thing is to abandon "standard" spells and work with what is happening. Ask yourself, what would work at this time? The fact is that universal weather creates opportunities in magic and in energy work that are not there when the weather is normal or not noticeable.
There is a lot of power in those solar storms and universal tides; you can use them to do things that are normally not possible. They also create shifts and divergences, allowing you to "get into" systems that are normally too stable to make much inroads.
So we ask, "What kind of magic is PERFECT for this exact moment in time, for this exact universal weather?" Sometimes, we may conclude that there's nothing you should be doing and to leave it be. We call this "steady as she goes" - just batten down the hatches, ride out the storm, wait till it's over and then do what you need to do from a more stable place.
Other-time, and if you can really tune in, you can discover amazing magical opportunities. The strange dreamy/drifty state can be an invitation to do something shamanic, to make it easier to enter into the dreamworld, perhaps meet with ancestors, or explore dreamtime whilst the veil seems to be thinner than usual.
The high wired "wind in the tail" state that feels like PMS may be perfect to bring in new ideas, catalyse action, like lightning strikes fuse molecules and life is born. The whiny complaining state might be the perfect opportunity to change something - old habits, old entrainments, constructs, things you don't want in your life.
There may be highly unusual states which offer precious and unique opportunity to do things you've never done before as well. If in doubt, go with "steady as she goes" and do something harmless until the weather has passed.
So! There really is universal weather, and it really does influence people. It influences energy aware people, magical people, more. This can be a challenge, but also an opportunity.
The first step to unlock the inherent potential of working actively with universal weather is to pay attention, learn what it feels like, notice how it affects you and everything else around you, and factor the universal weather into the equation rather than immediately thinking, "What's wrong with ME?" yet again.
Solar weather forecasts and reports can be found at http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/
A study published in the New-Scientist recently indicates a direct connection between the Sun's solar storms and biological effects on humans.
Many animals can sense the Earth's magnetic field, so why not people, asks Oleg Shumilov of the Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems in Russia.
Oleg Shumilov looked at activity in the Earth's geomagnetic field from 1948 to 1997 and found that it grouped into three seasonal peaks every year: one from March to May, another in July and the last in October.
Surprisingly, he also found that the geomagnetism peaks matched up with peaks in the number of mood disorders i.e. depression, anxiety, bi-polar (mood swings) and even suicides in the northern Russian city of Kirovsk over the same period.