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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The 'Power' Of A Word
Article ID: 12308
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Lady GoldenRaven
Posted: March 9th. 2008
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I am so tired of hearing the constant misuse of one particular word: POWER.
We need to lose the egos people. Being a Wytch, Pagan, or Wiccan is not about power. It is about honoring and celebrating the Old Ones and Their Ways. It is about keeping them alive.
Being a Wytch (from this point on WYTCH will refer to Wytch, Pagan and Wiccan only to simplify the writing) is about caring for Mother Earth and her children. These children include ALL life, not just human. Being a Wytch is about honoring the God and Goddess. It is about observing the Sabbats as well as other rituals.
First, we must understand what the word power itself means. According to Merriman Webster Dictionary, the word power means:
Main Entry: 1pow·er
Pronunciation: 'pau (- and ) r
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English, from Old French poeir, from poeir to be able, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin potere, alteration of Latin posse -- more at POTENT
1 a (1) : ability to act or produce an effect (2) : ability to get extra-base hits (3) : capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect b : legal or official authority, capacity, or right
2 a: possession of control, authority, or influence over others b: one having such power; specifically: a sovereign state c: a controlling group
For most people, the word usually refers to the second meaning: possession of control, authority, or influence over others. For those making the transition from other religions to the Old Ways, they misuse this word.
As a Wytch, we DO have power according to the first definition. We can produce effects, but we can also misuse it as in the second definition.
Being a Wytch for over 30 years, I have seen many folks attempt to threaten others with their wytchy “powers”. I have seen wytches brag how “powerful” they are over other wytches.
In those 30 years, all those who claim to have this “power” have all misused it. They use it to control other people.
They use it to get what they want instead of either working for it, or obtaining it from some other means such as bartering for it. Most of what they want is not material items, but just the ability to “show off” to friends, feel threatening to those they wish to bully.
We need to first of all, strip the old familiar mindset of what power truly is. The power as described in the second definition is one that comes from man’s need to control everything. Yes, I mean men as opposed to women.
Don’t get me wrong, many women throughout history have misused this as well, but true misuse did not come along until Christianity and when MEN decided they had more power than women. I am not writing this to bash men--that is not my intent.
When women ruled this planet, there was a lot less war, killing, and rape? Puh--leeease!
But, I digress.
I hear so many young people say that they turned to Wytchcraft for the power. They are NOT in it for the religion. This upsets me terribly. We are trying to get rid of negative connotations to our religion and along come those who think they can have Power like they see on television.
I tell people, if I were a wytch like they portray on television, why would I be working my butt off week after week? I would not be in debt; I would have enough food so I would not go hungry, etc.
If I were a wytch as seen on television, I would be popping over to Paris for lunch with a twytch of my nose. I would be in the Bahamas with a blink of my eye during the cold winter nights.
I would not be driving a car that is old and falling apart. I would drive my Mercedes one day, my Porsche the next. I would have hit the lottery for millions several times over.
You get the picture.
What really almost pushed me to my limits was an event that occurred the other day. Debbie, a friend of mine considered an “adopted” daughter, is under my guidance as she learns our Ways.
She met a 23 yr old girl whom I will call Mary and they were talking about wytchcraft.
Mary said my daughter, ” I am more powerful than you will ever be!”
At age 23!
This girl claims to have more power than those older than her?
The wrath of a pissed off Wytch comes to the surface. Now, all my self-control was sorely needed. Not just because I felt the urge to just slap her silly, but I also had to watch my mouth.
I think the definition of the word ‘Power ‘should be changed to “the ability to maintain control over oneself”.
I am glad I had some time in between hearing the above statements and in my future meeting with Mary. It gave me time to think how I would handle this situation. I am still torn in some ways. The egotistical human side of me wants to just beat her down (verbally), but the Old Crone in me knows there is a better way to handle this situation.
I think we need to redefine the word power. As wytches, we do have the ability to influence not just other people, but events our professions, etc.
Have you ever heard the phrase: He had the Power to Influence others on the jury?” (Ok, the statement is redundant. It is like saying He had the Power to Power others.)
Our biggest “job” as a wytch is to not just worshipping and praying to our respective God/Goddesses, it is not only to heal Mother Earth and Her children.
Our biggest job is not letting egos affect us in any way.
We are HUMAN--we will NEVER be so powerful that we can instantly snap our fingers and have a mansion appear on our path.
Our jobs in healing the earth and in other rituals and/or spell works that we do is, in fact, to act only as a conduit through which the Ancient Ones may affect Their will. They alone know the Big Plan.
Let’s say we were doing a healing ritual for a person who is ill. This person recovers. Did WE do the actual healing? No. We sent our energies, prayers, and thought forms to the Ancient Ones. It was in Their plan that this person recover.
What if this person had crossed over? Some people blame themselves. Again, it is not our choosing nor is it our call on what happens to whom. If this person has crossed, the Ancient Ones had it in Their plans long before any of us were born.
As a Reiki Master/Teacher, I give my body to the God/Goddess to use as a conduit for their energy to heal. One can stand in the room and feel the heat increasing.
I am not supplying the energy that is being used to heal. If this were the case, none of the Healers in this world would be doing anything except sleeping to restock their supply of energy. The amount of energy used is far greater than what I as a human could ever “conjure” up.
Final words: Drop the word POWER from your repertoire. You really are not all that mighty and powerful.
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