distracting the wind goddess to bring rain / by Jay Brown

After many scheduling stutters we finally made it up to Wumu this year with Er Ge, Jay, Miranda, Crystal, Jen, and Lizzie to see what He Jixian was up to. An exceptionally dry year here, the rainy season is a month late already. The village decided they would do a ritual, last performed in 1984, to invoke rain. The ritual invites the naughty wind goddess, who often associates with wandering souls who enjoy bringing trouble to the stable and orderly life of the village. Recently she has been blowing the clouds away before they could form rain. She is vain, though, and the villagers built an altar with an effigy of her as a beautiful Naxi woman, and her favorite things such as mirrors, hair ribbons, and flutes. The idea was to distract her long enough for the dragon spirit, invoked the night before, to stir up some rain. The dragon was constructed in Wumu's thriving cultural center and ran through the village, people waiting at every turn to splash the dragon (and everybody else). He Jixian explained that Wumu is one of the few villages around here to combine Han (dragon) and Naxi (wind goddess) elements in the same ritual.

Unfortunately, something didn't go well, and either the wrong spirit was summoned or the wind goddess did not take the bait: it still hasn't rained, and He Jixian is starting to get very sensitive about this topic.