The grants competition for the 2020 Parapsychological Association Research Endowment (PARE) has come to a close, and the PA has provided funds to Dr. David Luke (University of Greenwich, London, UK) & Dr. Dani Caputi (University of California, Davis, USA) to develop a naturalistic experimental field pilot study testing the reported ability of Wixarika mara’akames (more commonly known as Huichol “shamans”) to manipulate local weather systems in Northern Mexico.

The proposed study will take a multi-methods approach, combing ethnography and parapsychological experimental field research design, to formulate a naturalistic experiment exploring the claimed ability to produce rain in a chosen dry location within a pre-specified time period. Researchers will calculate the probability of rain in that location using current forecasting models, based upon available weather surveillance radar data from the time at which the challenge is accepted. The hypothesis is that weather shamans will be able to produce rain on demand more often than is expected by chance.

Given the lack of any systematic scientific study of shamanic weather control coupled with the increasing disappearance of such practices, and the increasing threat of climate change and ecological crisis, this international effort – in addition to having far-reaching implications for understanding the nature of consciousness – is both timely and long overdue.

Funding for PARE awards was made possible through a generous donation by Dr. Gertrude Schmeidler, who was a leading researcher and educator in the field of parapsychology. Donations to support the mission of the PA, including the funding of research initiatives, can be made through the Paypal Giving Fund, by joining the PA as a Supporting Member, or by contacting Executive Director Annalisa Ventola at

About the Parapsychological Association

The PA is the international professional organization of scientists and scholars engaged in the study of consciousness-related experiences and phenomena known as “psi” (or “psychic”) experiences. The primary objective of such studies is to achieve a scientific understanding of these experiences. The PA was first established in 1957 and has been an affiliated organization of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) since 1969. The PA provides an international forum for scholarly exchange through annual conferences, quarterly symposia, monthly networking meetings, and the publication of its Mindfield bulletin.