The Two Powers

Today’s post is short – and, if it’s a bit rambly, I apologize. I started playing Skyrim this week. I think that’s all I need to say about that.

Part of my Dedicant Path homework this week has been studying and meditating upon the twin energies known as the Two Powers. A Two Powers meditation can look awfully similar to the ubiquitous generi-Pagan tree meditation – you know, the one where you visualize yourself as a tree, with roots curling deep into the dark earth and branches stretching high above toward the bright sky? The eponymous Powers are dual streams of natural energy and magic which help practitioners bring themselves into alignment with their place in the universe. The first is the Earth Power, the darkness, growth, and mystery of the earth (and waters) beneath our feet. The second is the Sky Power, the shining and just light of the Heavens above us.

In ADF, our rituals center us along two axes. The vertical axis places us in the Midrealm, with the Upperworld above us and the Underworld below. The Midrealm is where humanity resides with nature spirits and deities of the earth and land; the Upperworld, the home of the gods and goddesses; the Underworld, the home of our Ancestors and deities of death. Along a horizontal axis, the Midrealm is divided into Land (surrounding you), Sea (below you) and Sky (above you) with yourself firmly in the Center. Knowing my place is very important in my ADF worship, not just to properly serve the Three Kindreds but also to understand just how vital my presence is to the entire spiritual ecosystem. We humans are in a unique position to interact with a variety of spirits and affect the world around us, both magical and mundane. Without our continued attention and service, I believe (and I don’t think this is ADF doctrine, so it’s all on me) that said spiritual ecosystem would collapse, radically alter itself, or at least go dormant until the next sapient species comes along.

But that’s just me. And as me, I like using the Two Powers meditation to remind myself of just how important I am in my corner of the world. Every change and every being is important; every entity has the ability to access the Sky and the Earth Energy, and thus be connected to the greater web of existence. So everything is important, because everything – if added, or subtracted – changed the mosaic. A tiny change, maybe, but every facet counts. This is an incredible truth to wake up to, and with it comes an equally incredible responsibility. In my own way, small as it may be, I am just as important for the maintenance of the web/wheel/mosaic/[insert appropriate metaphor here] of life as the greatest god, oldest Ancestor, or wildest spirit. All of us, together, call this reality home.

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