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Reading of the Moonth: Power From Within

For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit

I see the new moons as offering us initiating energy that we can explore throughout the moonth, aligning our own energy and desires with what is happening in the wider cosmos. Through my e-news I offer a reading around the new moon that can be revisited and added to through the moonthly cycle for gaining greater wisdom, acheiving goals, or finding the right way to be of service, for example.

The conflicts brewing today are only superficially questions of who will take power. Underneath is a deeper struggle: to change the nature of the power in which our society is rooted.  

Starhawk, Truth or Dare

The April 5th new moon started us on the path of the Emperor, who calls us to renew our vision of power. Wiccan teacher and activist Starhawk offers a model for encountering the fullness of power by naming 3 different aspects:

  • Power-over
  • Power-from-within
  • Power-with.  

Before you read my musings on these forms of power or Starhawk’s original ideas, take a moment to let the words work on you and evoke your own feelings and ideas about power. What surprises do they surface in your understanding of power? What resonances?

Our initiating energy of the moonth cards taken from the Motherpeace Tarot-  Path of the Emperor, Action of the 3 of Wands, and Posture of the Queen of Wands – can serve as illustrations for each of these kinds of power.

Power-over wears the face of the Emperor. This type of power operates through domination and grows from an understanding of the world as one of separation and hierarchy: God is removed from and above the human; the human is removed from and above the earth; people from different tribes, groups, or nation are in competition with each other, viewing their own group as superior.

Control, and violence – both in overt forms such as war and subtle ones that shape and limit our consciousness – are the tools of power-over. The Emperor contains this power-over energy within its range of meaning. In the Motherpeace deck, the Emperor shown is Alexander, the Great, who ruled much of the ancient Western world after taking control by conquest. Today’s authoritarian leaders across the globe are echos of Alexander and employ the tactics of power-over. 

Some of them are quite good at their brutal game. If we fought them with their tactics, we would likely loose, but there is more than one kind of power.

The vision of power-from-within is shown on the Three of Wands. In introducing this form of power, Starhawk writes that it is “akin to the sense of mastery we develop as young children with each new unfolding ability.” 

Attuned to power-from-within, we are able to bring forth what is unique about ourselves and offer it to the world. This kind of power is visionary, creative, connected. When we flow with power-from-within we fully trust our inner voices of guidance as well as recognize a connection to something greater than ourselves. There is no disconnection between serving the Whole and expressing ourselves. Energized by power-from-within, people manifest their visions.

The Priestess (Queen) of Wands shows us how power-from-within supports a third kind of power: power-with. The Priestess does not walk alone; she walks naked with a lion. Her nakedness here is an expression of her comfort with showing off her power-from-within. No need to hide her light! She is joined to the lion. They support each other on the journey, becoming more powerful through their connection. When we, women and men, who embrace power-from-within join together, we can overcome the tactics of power-over. 

There is no sure fix, linear progress, or quick timeline. Power-over, after all, has been dominant for millenia. But power-with is rising. We see it in women from diverse background dressed in white and exuberant in the US capital. In New Zealand’s prime minister reciting the Koran in parliament to offer comfort to the Muslim community following a terrorist attack on a mosque. In Chicago’s newly elected mayor saying, “Together we can and will make Chicago a place where your zip code doesn’t determine your destiny,”

This moonth’s questions invite you to cultivate and contribute your power-from-within:

POWER: What is your power-from-within that the world needs now?

EXPRESSION: How to express this power?

MANIFESTATION: What can you manifest to tip the balance ever more away from power-over to power-with?

I do offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative intitituve format for $23, but my e-news readers and those who’ve signed up for a year of readings filled up all my slots. Want to be sure to get in on future readings? Be sure to be on my list.

And if your power-from-within flows through writing – or your would like it to flow more – I invite you check out the Decoding the Messages of the Muse mini-retreat I am co-facilitating on May 5th.

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