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 offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative initiative format for $23. I use the Gaian Tarot for these readings. When I receive payment, I’ll be in touch to let you know about when to expect to receive your reading by email. I generally am scheduling out at least 3 days in advance; my readings days are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. If my timing doesn’t work for you, I will return your fee.
Inspiration for the Reading
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 March 25, 2020 new moon started us on the path of the Emperor, who called 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:
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 – and especially what you are learning about power in this time of pandemic. Then read below or check out Starhawk’s ideas and thinK about: What surprises surface in your understanding of power? What resonances?
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 echoes 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 Two of Wands. A woman tunes into her inner sight and from it flows a vision of another to teach her a skill she needs to learn. This teacher might be her own wisdom that emerges when she steps away from the critique and noise of the wider world. Or it might be an ancestor offering her needed guidance. No matter the source, the gift offer will sustain the woman and her community.
Attuned to power-from-within, we are able to bring forth our unique spark of wisdom 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 being 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 for shifting power dynamics. Power-over, after all, has been dominant for millenia. But power-over is not the power that can stop the spread of the coronavirus. What will, if not stop, but at least slow the virus is our understanding of how we are connected to others, our understanding that what I do impacts you. And inspired by that understanding we stay home, we check on others and share what we have, we practice social distancing. We feel the loss of our physical coming together but take comfort in knowing that we are actually expressing our power-with. The power-over Emperor won’t save us so we’ll have to save ourselves.
And as we save ourselves, observe and applaud the power-from-within visions emerging, the power-with systems we are creating, and web of connections we are creating in unusual ways. Recognizing how these have saved our lives, we will demand that these expressions of power-with become the foundations of our collective institutions.