My prayers and meditations often take the form of a question. Most recently, I have been meditating on the nature of Power. What is it? Where does it come from? What is authentic power and how does one manifest it in ones life?
The Summer Solstice found me far from my Midwest home, on the edge of our continent - the Atlantic Ocean. I spent a week there with my kids and parents. We visited the ocea every day, and every day I offered the question, "What is Power?" to Mama Ocean. While standing in the waters of our collective birth, the answers rolled in slowly, like the waves. They whispered: "Fear. Fear is powerful." "Anger. Anger is powerful." And, "Hatred. Hatred is powerful." I sat with these for a couple of days. Yes, how powerful these things have been in my life.
And then more rolled in. Mama Ocean whispered on the salty air: "Self hatred. Self hatred is powerful." "Guilt. Guilt is powerful." And, "Addiction. Addiction is powerful." As shocked as I was by these answers, I had to admit that these too held me captive with their power.
Yet I was stunned. I had expected answers like "love", "forgiveness", "kindness" - but what I got was the exact opposite. What did it mean? So I continued to offer my question to Mama Ocean, "What is power?"
The gulls and pelicans on the shore cried, "Depression. Depression is powerful." "Poverty. Poverty is powerful." "Death. Death is powerful." And "Exhaustion. Exhaustion is powerful."
I left the ocean and the east coast on the Summer Solstice and began my trip back east. I was depressed. My meditation on power had led me to a dark place. Mother Ocean had mirrored to me that which held power in my life. I am, by nature a happy and easy going person, but poverty and a really deep bout of depression has really colored my world in shades of grey. I have always known my mothering experience to be Shamanic. Not just the pregnancy and labor part, but the actual parenting aspects as well. Mothering has felt like Inanna's decent. Moving through layers of myself and learning to let go and transform that which doesn't serve.
My deepest wish this solar cycle - and perhaps for this life time - is to be a Woman of Power. I still am not sure what it means. I do know that I can no longer allow Anger, Hatred, Fear, Poverty, Depression, Addiction, etc. to have power over me. And so I did the only thing I know how to do. Like Inanna, I left each of these dark aspects of power at Her feet. I chose to no longer accept them as having power over me.
And perhaps that is the most powerful thing of all. The power of choice. So I have taken all of those words and found their exact opposite, and I have written these words on cards and placed them around my home.
This was a fascinating meditative experience and what was revealed to me was profound as well as startling. I realize that the crux of who we are as witches rests on our ability to make a choice, to transform reality, to create who we want to be. This is our power, our wisdom, our legacy. It is the source of our magic, the point of our magic, the intention of our magic. It is who we are. To be a witch is to be a woman of power.
I am becoming a woman of power because I choose to be a woman of power. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, but today. Right now. In this moment. And isn't that true for all magic and all power. Power is in the moment, in the choice, and in our intentions. It is work - like laboring babies - and isn't always pretty and certainly isn't easy - but it is the work we were born to do - as women and as witches.
I am curious what your concepts of Power are. How do you define it? What has power in your life? Are you a Woman of Power? If so, how do you know?
Jenny June Sterling is a Goddess mother of three, 10 year old Josie, 5 year old Zeke, and 3 year old Oliver~ seeking the joy and spiritual lessons of being a mindful mama.