This week's events have led me to meditate on the concept of power. The USA exerted a reactionary form of (perhaps justly) violent action in defeating Osama Bin Laden, and the effects of such a powerful act are being felt in our cultural consciousness(es). Bin Laden had been using a perverse form of power to control and influence others into committing murderous acts. While both have very different aims, both display symptoms of the same sickness. Is the placing of two bullets into somebody's head (no matter who they are) a display of true power? I doubt it.
T. Thorn Coyle has recently written how this event made her aware of her Pride* point, whereas I would like to discuss my own reactions. In Feri, we place Power on the Iron Pentacle, the Pentacle which holds the energies that cause us the most problems. Yet, it's other face, its twin on the Pearl Pentacle is Liberty. How does Power flow into Liberty? And how does Liberty inform Power?
When I think of Power, my immediate reaction is a concept of strength, whether that be physical prowess or an iron will. I think of the Spanish word poder, which means both 'power' and the verb 'to be able'. To have power is to be able to do something. How do I find power in myself and others? I think this week of my friend who gave birth to her first child, a truly powerful act. I think of my lover who followed his instincts and went traveling alone for four months. I think of myself, as I try to teach teenagers to speak other languages. I think of their efforts in trying to speak to me.
All of these have lead us to greater liberation, to freedom. My friend used the power that was within her and liberated herself to create a family. My lover's power enabled him to be free to pursue his dreams. When we are powerful, we are at our most free. If we twist our own power for selfish and unhealthy reasons, our liberty encroaches upon us, creating a self-induced prison.
I believe that Power is placed on the Iron because we need Power in order to develop our will, as those with a strong will are said to have a will of iron. True power is available to us all, as is Liberty. The only way to access this liberty is to befriend our own power, to hone our own skills, without comparing them to others or to anybody's expectations. This is tough work. The Iron continually reveals things to me; aspects of myself I had locked behind (iron) bars, small irritants I had buried, the larger-than-life parts of me that mask insecurity. If I wish to be truly free, I must become one with my Power.
So mote it be.
*I capitalise these words when they relate specifically to the Pentacle points.