This is not precipitation of the ‘rain’ kind – it is of a different kind –

It’s been a day of being at home after being away for several days and settling in and attending to my study. I was scratching in a desk drawer for something and pulled out a scrap of paper, undated ..

It was/is a precipitation in my writing – on the back of a torn envelope –


for Christopher to know that he can return to who he essentially is, a good and caring doctor. And if not in the way he was before, then in some other way.

I pray that he regains his self-regard.

I pray that he does not hide behind depression.

I pray that he pays real soulful attention to himself.

                                                                                             x x x x x x x x x x x x

Many many years ago, at a guess I would say 20 years, my good friend who knows Christopher said about precipitation and that she had used it effectively on occasion, for her father if I remember correctly who was unwell. It was the first I’d heard of it. She is a science prof, so not in any way ‘woo woo’.  She did one for Christopher at that time. I’ve done a few over the years. And now I find myself taking this up again.

This one appears to be the only one I’ve retained. I’m paying attention to the timing of finding this old one with regard to other friends, not necessarily those with depression or with Christopher’s particular afflictions. I bought a pretty note book at a fair in the suburbs of Cape Town earlier this month and I’m using a separate page for each of those I know who are in some sort of crisis, soul and/or body wise. My sister for her ankle that is taking a long time healing and is painful. My neighbour who had a hip operation last week; my friend from Cape Town who had surgery recently here in Johannesburg to remove a basal carcinoma very close/behind her eye; another friend in Cape Town who is recovering from a hip operation; a friend here in Johannesburg whose husband committed suicide 2 years ago – the anniversary is this Sunday; another local, dear friend who is in the depths of despair and feels her soul is no longer alive. There are a few more – I’m writing out precipitations for them each. I saw on a google search that it is a form of intercession. Or prayer if you will … on behalf of another –

There’s something about putting my ‘precipitations’ down on paper and reading them daily or nightly or whenever as a prayer – into the atmosphere –

I am home, back from my Somerset West school re-union held near Stellenbosch/Somerset West (outside of Cape Town) in a lovely restaurant earlier this month. I had my hair cut and bleached while there – the day after I arrived – in parts (strand by strand) to begin the process of going au naturel – going grey naturally (hopefully gracefully). If this first step is anything to go by, I like it a lot. It’s an excellent cut and I like the grey/silver with the brown. Others who’ve seen it like it too. A few with fulsome praises – I enjoy an ego stroke every now and then, even if transient!

My Cape Town visit was very special on many levels. I saw 4 precious friends, 3 of whom schlepped a fair distance to come and visit me in the suburbs at my sister’s home for which I was and am very grateful. The school re-union was lovely – people I have not seen for 50 years! People came from far and wide, Australia, Canada, UK, Namibia and locally of course. Being with my sister was very special. She faithfully and arduously conserves water because of the severe drought and water shortage in Cape Town. All water is recycled. I got a shower down to 2 mins max. Water from the shower into the loo .. not a drop is wasted. Dishwashing water, much else. My sister’s daughter’s small sons are a delight. I feel privileged to be great aunt to them. Last Tuesday night my younger son and his wife came for dinner, as did my niece and her sons, my sister’s son and my brother’s son – 

We visited ZeitzMOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) last week the day before I flew home.  It is an extraordinary structure at the Cape Town Waterfront (the link  will show a few pictures under ‘Exhibition’). It’s hailed as The Tate of Africa. It is a refurbishment of silos and turbines and is now a magnificent architectural delight with 6 stories of enormous rooms containing art from all parts of Africa. It was officially opened in October. My sister and I met Robert there last Wednesday. He’s a classmate of mine from 50 years ago. He lives in Sydney where he is a forensic psychiatrist. Here we’re having an iced coffee after roaming the museum.

This is my photo of a bronze entitled ‘Zeus’ in the museum –

It’s raining as I write late-ish this Tuesday night – crashing thunder and lightning about. I hope it’s going to be a jolly good downpour. The distinct smell of rain in the air is called ‘petrichor’ and/or it’s the earthy smell after rains have soaked the dry earth. It’s hot here up on the high veld in Johannesburg. May rains come wherever they are needed.  I’ve added that to my precipitation list especially for where the drought is dire –

Thank you for reading. May this find you well. I pray for peace in this troubled world of ours and pray also that we each somehow manage to manoeuvre these trying times. May The Force be with you all.





36 Comments on Precipitation

  1. This is a gloomy time of year here, so I imagine it being easier in South Africa where spring is unfolding. You tell me otherwise. The unfolding of this life is a constant challenge when we look around at others and our world–and ourselves.

    Your new-to-me way of using the word “precipitation” is wonderful. Finding the essence of the prayer or blessing. I found a definition of the word from alchemy: “Most people associate the word ‘precipitation’ with meteorological phenomena such as rain, snow and hail. While that is certainly a correct usage of the word, in alchemy, precipitation is a process that involves the conversion of matter from a gaseous form into a liquid form.” (

    I love that you’re taking wonderful journeys and meeting old friends. It will help you precipitate prayers for all of them.

    Finally, I like letting my hair be the color it is–gray. An admission of my time of life and a signal to the younger ones that turning gray doesn’t mean we’re washed up or washed out. Sending love from the other side of the earth.

    • Thanks for coming by Elaine. I remember reading Edward Edinger on I think Jung’s Rosarium Philosophorum much earlier this year about the dew of Gideon, about the 6th or 7th stage; but at the time of my post, I didn’t have the time to look it up. This would definitely tie in with the alchemical process. I also thought at the time that if I DID look it up I would have to say something about it all in my post (and I would still be writing about it) … I will definitely check your link, thank you for it!

      It’s all happening this side – our neighbouring country, Zimbabwe, is in process of ousting it’s president, Mad Bob Mugabe (Robert Mugabe) who’s been in power for 37 years and brought this former great country to its knees – 90% unemployment which is why we have several million Zimbabweans living here. Mugabe and SA’s pres are great pals. We could have such an Arab Spring here in the not too distant future … as could you in the US! People are NOT putting up with the unacceptable any longer, hopefully.

      Love to you and all good wishes for the upcoming Thanksgiving! 🙂

  2. I’ve never heard of “precipitation” in the way in which you are using the word. An intercession, you say. Fascinating idea.

    Your reunion sounds like it was uplifting and fun. Your friends scattered around the world, didn’t they? What an opportunity to see how everyone turned out.

    • Well, Ally Bean, I barely knew them as I was at that school for such a short while … though a few I remembered and it was jolly good to see them well turned out! And the lunch was great and the music, live duo – from the 60’s! Thanks for coming by 🙂

  3. I especially enjoyed this post, as it made me think of our love and kind thoughts for friends and family raining down on them in gentle ways. It definitely is a unique form of using precipitation, but I love it.

    I tried to reply two other times, and now I have forgotten what else I wanted to add. I only can think that since you had a drought this year that you receive the precipitation that nature needs in order to be happy and healthy too.

    OH… I LOVE the picture of you au natural! I hope you enjoy being the real you! HUGS!

    • Thoughts for friends and family raining down on them in gentle ways – lovely Gwynn thank you! And also for coming by in spite of two previous failed attempts. I appreciate this muchly! Cape Town had lovely rains yesterday so this is good news. My sister sent me a video of the rains. No salmon swimming upstream as in your previous FB video 🙂 Our soaking was the other night, and no rain forecast for a little while. Glad you like the photo of the real me! Hugs to you too xx

  4. Lovely post as always, Susan. I hope your kind thoughts help your friends heal. I’m sure they will. And hopefully there are brighter days ahead.

    Glad to hear your reunion went so well. That’s great that people traveled so far to come.

    • Thanks Holli for coming by. I guess it helps me in some real way to put my thoughts vis a vis my friends and the world on paper … taking a moment to think and feel about them …

  5. You can add me to the list of people who never heard of using the word precipitation in this way…as a condensed prayer. I like it. And I’ve done it without knowing it had a name. Thank you for this new insight.

    I also like your new ‘do!’ Deborah phrased it charmingly: “the way you’re tolerating the ego being white-washed, strand by strand!” Another way I’ve seen ‘going gray’ is committing myself to a conscious process to attain congruence between outer and inner, body and soul, i.e. uniting the opposites, black and white. For me the two have gone hand and hand during the second half of life.


    • How lovely to see you here Jeannie thank you for coming by! And for articulating so clearly about congruence between inner and outer, black and white and uniting them. For a long while now I’ve been wondering about taking this big step of going au naturel, also from the point of view of that stuff being on my hair and going down the drain into the waters and the cost and time. I’ve seen so many who wear their gray so well, my sister included, sister-in-law, my late mother. And some friends I saw while in Cape Town. But maybe there was an inner push – of course I would never go anywhere without my lipstick … 🙂 I’m all in favour of women adorning themselves – we’ve done so from time immemorial. (Incidentally Jeannie, I reviewed your wonderful book Healing the Sacred Divide – Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other, & the World on Amazon some while back – maybe in September?)

      • Like you, I’m all in favor of women adorning themselves and would never go anywhere without my lipstick either! I look like a ghost without it. But somehow gray hair goes well with my skin…as long as I’m wearing my lipstick! And I did have that ‘inner push’ in my mid-thirties when I was already going gray and had the same concerns you do.

        Thank you so much for writing a review of Healing the Sacred Divide and letting me know. I’ve been so busy and frankly a bit overwhelmed with my book this fall that I haven’t checked my reviews out in quite some time so I didn’t know. I apologize for taking so long to finish In Praise of Lilith. I haven’t forgotten and will get to it . 🙂

        • Susan, I’ve just read your Amazon review of Healing the Sacred Divide. Thank you. The recent dream I wrote about on Matrignosis suggested I was in need of some nurturing sweetness and spiritual ‘greening’ but I hadn’t realized how much until my eyes welled up as I was savoring your most affirming words. You’ve given me just the boost I needed today to shore up my belief in myself and hope for my work. Again, a heartfelt thank you, not just for your review, but for your kindness and friendship. Jeanie

          • Jeanie that is lovely thank you. You put ‘greening’ in your second sentence. I had a dream this morning in which green was the dominant colour … all of the dream was green. The bushes, the bird in it, two women (the other the same name as mine) … so I am taking this as a valuable affirmation on all levels. And, the strangest thing – a baby praying mantis of the same colour as my green dream showed up on a handle of a kitchen door later on this morning. I haven’t seen one for a very long time.

            I meant to say in my previous comment that I hope the work on your new book is going well. Doubt happens often – without it its strange bedfellow Faith would not have the opportunity to show up. You, your book and your posts are ample reasons to have faith in yourself. And, you encourage me and countless others to have faith – for that and your friendship and kindness I am extremely grateful, thank you 🙂 Susan

            • I love the affirming synchronicities of the green dream with two Susans followed by the green baby praying mantis in waking life. Lush new spiritual birth is the feeling I get. And I adore your description of doubt and faith as strange bedfellows. Absolutely! Their togetherness is such a common occurrence that it’s a wonder we don’t simply accept it as a natural part of the growing and creating process instead of struggling with it each time it comes around! As we approach our Thanksgiving holiday here, you are someone I will be feeling thankful for. 🙂 Jeanie

              • Thanks Jeanie so much 🙂 I’m still puzzling over the dream but your words on it are inspiring to me. Happy Thanksgiving – may this time of family bring you much joy and peace … Susan

  6. Hi,
    Precipitations are in many ways our heart’s deepest desires for those whom we love and know. So yes, I see the phenomenon as intercessory prayer. A time when you focus on the needs and best wishes for people you care about.
    Hope you are doing fine. I enjoyed your article. It made me think about my own precipitations.
    Shalom aleichem,

    • Thank you Patricia, how beautifully you put that – our hearts deepest desires for those we know and love. This is what it is essentially for me. I remember over the years praying for my children’s safe travels when to-ing and fro-ing and of course I still do. And for many others – just feeling something in my heart which wanted their safety in mind, body and soul.
      Shalom to you, Susan

  7. I really enjoyed your post, Susan. Your posts are always so positive and inspiring. I wasn’t aware of this use of the word “precipitation”, but how wonderful it is.
    How exciting to have a 50 years school reunion attended by people from all over the world. Fifty years – that must put us in the same era. I attended a 20 years reunion but none since. I have no idea whether there have been any, but I have no interest either. They were definitely not the best days of my life. I add my voice to your final precipitation. Peace, respect, compassion – all so necessary now. I also wish you rain. The smell of rain is delightful, isn’t it, and that word “petrichor” – did you know it was an Australian invention?

    • Lovely of you to come by Norah thank you! This is the first EVER re-union that I attended. Mind you, I went to 5 different high schools and around the same number of junior schools. This last one I attended for 2 years. And I have to say, my school years were NOT the best years of my life! I also wanted to get to Cape Town so this was a perfect excuse. The friends I mentioned seeing were not at my school. They are from over the years ..

      I will check the link thank you! We always learn something from each other! (Petri – as in petri dish which would of course have some moisture? Just ruminating as I go along ..) How are your jacarandas doing? Still in bloom? High winds which chase away the rain, also cause the purple blossoms to fall on the ground, which look lovely for the while they’re there, before being swept away ..

      • That link on petrichor was so interesting Norah thank you – earth’s perfume! And how the stones and clay absorb this perfume before the rains – quite quite fascinating 🙂

        • Hi Susan, Thank you for these two responses to my comment. For some reason WP didn’t alert me to them. It usually does. I wonder why. Never mind, you alerted me and I’m here now.
          I’m so pleased you enjoyed the article on petrichor. I found it quite fascinating. Not long after I read the article I encountered a trivia question about it. I was proud to know the answer. 🙂
          We obviously have the same feelings about our school days. Far too many of us do. I think it should be different, and it may be for some. Perhaps those with an academic bent.
          Yes, our Jacarandas are still in bloom. They seemed to do so early this year, but have lasted longer, I think, which is nice. I find wonder in their blooms against the bright blue skies and green of the foliage. Gone too soon. I wish they could bloom all year round, but maybe then we wouldn’t appreciate them as much.

  8. I learnt a new word today, precipitation, never thought that it could be related to intercessory prayer – I do believe in prayers and value them as I know that it works very well.Like your attitude towards “aging and becoming:) and what a beautiful experience to meet old friends and keep travelling. Its always a pleasure to read your post, thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you for coming by Genevive! I’m hoping that I will have more belief in the power of prayer as you do, and thank you for saying that. There are many many examples in the literature of the power of prayer – in fact it is something I want to research more fully. I guess a good way to start is with myself and putting up and out my own prayers. I know how you live meeting up with old friends on your travels!

  9. Dear Susan, Your wandering words arrive like a welcome precipitation! A long, cool drink. A holy prayer that returns (all) to sender. Words deeply imbued with the importance of both inner and outer water(s). Thank you for the gentle reminder to open up and pray for others.

    The idea of keeping a little book full of others’ sufferings creates much humility, kindness as we pray for others lack of health and happiness on all levels, mind, body, spirit and soul. My interest has turned to ancestral healing in recent weeks and I’m enjoying initiating this work.

    I love your new light(er) hairdo and the way you’re tolerating the ego being white-washed, strand by strand! Next month marks the second anniversary of growing out my own unique mix of grey, white and brown. That statue of Zeus is magnificent! Blessings always, Deborah.

    • Thank you for your lovely comment Deborah. I hadn’t thought of my precipitations in the note book as one of humility. For me the question of praying or making precipitations for others is complex in that I ask myself ‘do I have the right’? Is it some sort of arrogant interference on my side believing that my small thoughts may make a difference and thus maybe pride comes into play, the flip side of humility? But it also helps me to sharpen my mind a bit, bringing that person into focus and sending well wishes directly to them and into the stratosphere. Which I do anyway in the normal course of events as we all do ..whether for the individual or those who live in exile, fleeing their war torn countries ..

      Ancestral healing – how lovely and so necessary. Yesterday when I popped in to see my neighbour who is bed-bound, I met her carer who had come on board that morning as the shifts were changed. A sweet woman, Phumi, a Zulu. I chatted with her and we wondered whether it would rain later on. We surely hoped so – I asked her if she knew about doing a rain dance. She laughed and laughed and was amazed that I knew of such a thing and said about the Pedi tribe (one of many here in SA) who always do this … I wrote some long time ago about Queen Modjadji the Rain Queen.

      Thank you re my hair! Happy anniversary to you! I find it quite liberating! As you say, growing into it’s own unique mix! Tomorrow it will be two weeks, never mind two years! Blessings to you 🙂

  10. Hi Susan – what an interesting thought – and idea … I’ll be back anon – I have changes about to happen – so am rather up to my eyes in things. I have friends who are suffering .. so will be back to take this all in. So glad it’s raining … for you – but glad it’s not doing that here … it’s warm though – I’m grateful for that too … I’m off to colder climes. Cheers for now – Hilary

    • Hi Hilary, thanks for coming by. I remember that you have friends here and there who are not well. It’s hard to witness most times but we can and do – I keep on reminding myself it’s not about me when I find witnessing difficult and/or if want to shy away from someone because I do not know what to say, it’s about the other … ‘showing up’ is the important thing. I wonder where you’re off to … enjoy wherever it is! Susan

  11. What I was going to write was – I seem to remember Mommy Psi doing something similar, at least, it looks like she’d written a couple of these ‘precipitations’ and they were rolled up and kept in the inside of a ceramic Buddha.

    • That’s an amazing memory Mike. Now that you mention it, I recall that too … this would have been about 20 or more years ago since my mother, your grandmother died…

  12. I like the way you approach intercessory prayer: very personal and intentional.
    Your approach to praying reminds me in some ways of my writing process: blue or yellow sticky notes, lined tablet paper, or WORD documents on the computer.
    Thank you for giving us a travelogue of your time away, making discoveries and renewing friendships.
    Peace and blessings to you too, Susan!

    • Thanks for coming by Marian, I appreciate it. I can see how precipitation relates to your writing process, in that intention/attention is given to the task at hand.

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