Pennsylvania German Powwow

Faith healing and folk magic of the Pennsylvania Germans

A weather charm I learned many years ago.


Thrust your knife into the ground with the blade facing the oncoming weather. 


"Three angels ride the winds

to lands both far and near

Go west, go east, go south, go north

but do not linger here!"


Leave the blade in place until the weather has passed. 

Weather signs and portents

Predicting the weather has long been an understood part of being a farmer or gardener. All of my life I've heard predictive bits of information from the people around me. I remember my grandfather always knew rain was coming because his back would hurt. Now, being a middle-aged man myself, I have that unfortunate ability!!  Another way I can tell the weather is my ears swell shut. I have complex hearing issues and when my hearing aids prove useless, it means humid air and thunderstorms. See how powerful old age can be! :)


Weather prediction is fascinating to me. It's not fool-proof, but it's very interesting and accurate enough to get you through your day. If you are right with your predictions, then you can feel satisfied that you planned accordingly. If you are wrong, well, it happens to the best of us.


The following bits of predictive folklore are by no means "scientific", nor are they the only method of predicting the weather. However, I present them here as a matter of folkloric interest. I still adhere to most of these. If you know more, PLEASE send them to me!


When the full moon has a halo around it, rain is expected.


If the crescent moon has horns pointing down, rain is coming.


If the cows are laying in the fields, expect rain.


If the leaves on the trees are flipped over, grab your umbrella.


If you dog is eating grass on his morning walk, expect rain that afternoon.


If your cat is laying with the top of his head against the floor, rain is on the way.


When the smoke from the chimney goes down instead of up, rain or snow is forecasted.


Arthritic joints become inflamed and achy when barometric pressure changes, meaning rain.


If rice is spilled on the kitchen floor, expect rain.


The faster the crickets chirp, the hotter the weather will be.


If the sky is red in the morning, it will be a rainy afternoon.


If rain is falling when you first wake up, it will likely continue until noon.


A knife stuck in the ground will weaken an oncoming storm.


When the temperature decreases before noon, rain is likely to fall all day long.


When the ants stop working, rain is coming.


When the fish go into hiding, a hot sunny day is in the forecast.


A clear moon on a winter night predicts frost the next morning.


When pine cones are closed up, it means rain. When open, it means dry and sunny weather.


When your fire burns blue, a storm approaches.


Many crows gathered in one place portends a storm.


If the birds are up high in the trees, it means good weather. If they are on the low branches, it means rain.




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