Lightning Dancing 101


lightning dancing


One must become the path to dance the path.

The clearest path to a relationship with my father was in surrendering to becoming the path. Rocky died when I was only 20 months old - sacrificed his life to save a stranger from a road-side accident and was electrocuted by the live-wire power line.

They told me the wire jumped 12 feet to his grounded body. I told myself he must have been a clear conduit. I also told myself he was dead and that was that.

Lightning Ghost

For the entirety of my youth, my grief went ignored. Refusing to mourn him was wearing my "big girl panties" and I threw enough teary fits as a tyrannical toddler to refill the Gulf of Mexico. It was history - a distant piece of my life's story. *Shoulder Shrug* 

I was “over it.” This tactic served my development well... till it didn't and I was bound to go a searchin’ for the spirit of my dad.

At the ripe age of 17, I was initiated into an unfathomable archetype. I became a lightning dancer. My brother, a wiseman and guide, told me the Yaqui Indians believe women have the natural ability to “call the wind.” Theoretically, I imagine everyone has the skill.

Nonetheless, my brother planted the seed and I was inspired. That was around the time I began to explore the truth that I missed my Dad. A yearning to know my father became my poetic muse and I, in turn, became an elemental muse. 

Trauma breeds connection

When I began my practice, my home life was bad. Like "demon rage for breakfast" bad. I ran away often, but always came back to martyr myself as a whipping post to protect my little sister and dog from our mother's rage sickness. We lived on the border, just outside Big Bend National Park. Nature walks into the desert became a regular coping practice.

On the border of Ojinaga Mexico and Presidio, Texas

On the border of Ojinaga Mexico and Presidio, Texas

With each step away from home I felt safer and stronger. Sometimes, when things were really bad, I'd camp out in a tiny shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was just big enough for her devotions and myself.

There, I cried and prayed myself to sleep. Prayer for the grace of the rivers to bless my mother. Prayers for the grace of the holy mother to bless my family. Prayers for balance. Prayers for peace. Prayers for grace and the strength to become a great lover, wise woman and guide.

The prayers brought the blessings into my field of awareness. I began to witness profound synchronicity.

Grief is a catalyst

Amidst the chaos, I finally began to accept that I deeply wanted to be held by someone strong and safe. I yearned to know my Dad and finally began to let myself grieve. The Northern Chihuahuan desert was in the sky - a space that felt sacred enough to allow the embrace of my deepest sorrow.

Sky Wizard

I bellowed and howled. I sang sweetly as though my father were listening. I watched the thunderstorms role in on the horizon and reveled in the magnificence of the earth's turning.

The lightning seemed to strike just in time with my deepest passion. My father's body had returned to the earth. His spirit, herein completely.

The best way I could come to know his heart was to witness the sentience of the earth around me. The wind, the lightning, the trees, the cacti. To grieve is to love.

Fancy yourself a wizard

I needed to feel like a wise-woman fully equipped to cope with the intense chaos at home. My brother's words about calling the wind resonated to the parts of me that needed to feel wise, connected, strong. I leaned into a dance between my desire to be held by something greater and my desire to witness my own majesty. A love affair unfolded.

Like any love affair, at first you don't believe its true, but with repetition you learn your lover's queues and you can let yourself be moved by their spirit. I practiced calling the wind like a Yaqui maiden.

I sang to the storms as a beloved sorceress. The lightning struck in time to my crescendo, again and again. My voice and tears were pure revelry for the great sky-father.


I, like my father, was an electric muse, a clear conduit, a magnetic heart. My gratitude roused into a dance with my sorrow as the heavens stepped-in to dance my bitter joy to the ends of the earth. 

Honor the synchronicity

Its fair to say I exercised due diligence with a healthy dose of skepticism. At first, each lightning strike brought me to tears. But soon after the storm, I just wouldn't believe it was anything more than my poetic imaginings. In time it just seemed more logical to accept what was happening.

What to do with it though? The connectivity was so powerful and so profound. I felt irresponsible by casually accepting that maybe I am a sorceress. It was too big. Too powerful. I didn't know what to do with that kind of power. So I tucked it away, put it on the back burner and played small. It wasn't my power to wield. And it was compassionate connection, not a fighter jet. Still, reverence for the supernatural was and is still in order.

Get Cocky

Not surprised and pleasantly amused, he confided that he also had "the gift." We decide to play a "little" game and call a thunderstorm over to play. We set our intentions and fell asleep.

Irresponsible! Hours later our barn was struck by lightning. The tin next to my bed cracked my ego like the whip of a train car on steel. That night I learned the heavens are not playful puppies. They deserve respect. It's human to misplace reverence for vanity. Be ready to learn this lesson if you get too cocky.

An essential experience for every new sorcerer. Go right ahead! Puppeteer in vain and just see what happens. Sure, you are all powerful wizards, but true power is wielded with grace in humble reverence.

A few years after my initiation, my brother and I decided to rummage cow patties for psychedelic mushrooms. Bunked up in a corrugated tin barn and lit the f$#k up, I blissfully confided in him about my experiences calling the wind and lightning dancing.

Be gentle with your responsibilities

You don't have to take it on all at once. A seasoned life of compromise is sometimes exactly what your inner witch-doctor ordered to help you step into owning your responsibilities gracefully. Cultivating compassion and a sense of humor is a quick way to ease the transition, but then fucking up again and again will certainly speed it along.

Being a powerful wizard does not mean you have to have all the answers, be evolved, meditate every day or have a baller's bank account. Trust the process. Trust your process and try to remember the magnificent gifts you've stored away on your back-burner.