Though Summer will not officially be here until 21 June, we have already welcomed our first Monsoon rain of the year. In fact, we were a bit early with a storm coming upon us before 15 June. Unfortunately, I will not be getting out to take many photos this time around, at least not until the season is coming to a close, so I will share some moments from the previous years Monsoon.
With the coming of the yearly rains comes to thoughts of yet another deity of this Place I call home. Monsoon, the Wet Summer as the local tribes have called it, brings with it not only life giving rain, but life itself. Reptiles and amphibians come out of their hiding to eat the vast amounts of insects that appear with the rains. The air is heavy, not only with moisture, but with electricity – you can feel the charge even when the skies are clear.
ei-teph (ay-tehf) is the Goddess of summer rains, the second spring, and floods. ei-dysus (ay-die-suhs) is the God of thunder and lightning, of fires started by lightning strikes, and the consort of ei-teph. They do not appear alone, they are always beside each other. Their passion brings the rains and the storms, and they inspire our ancestors to dance in the clouds and bring us the sounds of their drums and flashes of their fires.
Fires are not uncommong during Monsoon – especially when we have days without rain, but with so much lightning. Many fires are started by people, some unsuspectingly, and others with intent – but there is no life without death, no creation without destruction. The rains always come and help to douse the flames, and in the years to come, ei-teph brings green back to the land.
I have never been one for Deities – they feel too fantastical. But I also understand the desire to put a name to the energies that surround us. I know that, with science and modern technology, we can understand the things that our ancestors could not – but Deities are not only about putting a name to things so we can understand them, but Deities are a way for us to connect, in a deeper way, to the energies around us. We can have all the scientific knowledge in the world, but there will always be a part of us that is awe-struck by the rolling clouds, the cracks of lightning and booms of thunder, the waves of flood waters, and the intense greenery that springs forth each year in an otherwise arid valley.
I may not regularly honour the deities I name here as their own entities, but that is not to say that I do not honour them at all. My primary Deity is the Great Spirit, that which is within and around all of us – those aspects of this Place that I choose to name are only facets of Spirit, the parts that make up the whole.
The rain is so cleansing. Even if you do not step out and feel it on your skin, the sounds can wash away the things within our minds that we wish to be rid of. Sit for a moment and listen to the rain hitting the ground, the leaves, the roof of your house or car, and just be still. Watch it fall. Count the drops. Centre yourself, mind and body and spirit, and connect for a moment with the forces that surround you in your Place, even if there is no rain.
Summer, for me and the rest of the desert, is about Birth and Life and Cleansing. The skies wash everything clean, and leave behind a sort of Newness that we desert dwellers pine for every year.
☽ ✰ ☾