It’s Elemental My Dear Wiccan: Power and Energy
Author: Marty Couch
Let’s start with a scenario. You are driving in the country. You can see clearly for miles around. You are coming up to an intersection. There are no other cars to be seen. The light is red. Do you stop?
You may be inclined to answer “no, not me”, but really think about it. If you are like most people you will stop. Even if you will drive through after stopping, almost everyone will stop first. Why?
What does this red light mean to you? How is it that this symbol of a red disc glowing can stop a vehicle? By all logic, no damage would happen. If there are no other cars to be seen, there is no chance of an accident or ticket. So, what gives a red light so much power?
Let’s take a look at another example. How much money do you have in the bank right now? How much do you have on you? How much do you make an hour? How do you feel when you receive unexpected money? How about when you are broke? So, what is this money that has such power over our lives, our thoughts and our feelings? At the core its just paper with pictures. Merely symbols for us to look at. How do these symbols gain such power?
And how about this one? What time did you get up this morning? What time is your favorite TV show on? What time is it? Time, what is it? Do you see how the change in wording seeks to find out why something that has no actual physical manifestation can have such power over our lives?
So, what gives so much power to these and many other things? How do these seemingly unimportant items gain such control over us? Well, in all these cases, thousands (if not millions) of people over the course of time have put energy plus intent toward their meanings.
The formula is simple.
ENERGY + INTENT = POWER
This is at the core of all we do in ritual. We raise energy, state intent and release it as power. What we do in a specific ritualistic way is what society does every day without realizing it. Intent is added to energy and the result is power. Sometimes this power is for the good. Sometimes it has devastating effects. The formula however stays constant.
So, let’s take a look at each of these items.
ENERGY: According to TheFreeDictionary.com energy is “the capacity to do work”. So, how much capacity do we posses? Let’s take a look at (probably) the most famous formula for energy:
E = mc (squared)
Now, for those who have had a few years elapse since physics class, energy equals mass times the speed of light square. In this famous formula by Albert Einstein, energy is measured in joules, mass in kilograms and the speed of light is 299, 792, 458 meters per second (and in the formula this gets multiplied by itself) . (Source: Wikipedia.com)
So, let’s break this down a little. For those reading in the US, we’ll start with pounds. Someone who weighs 180 pounds is about 82 kilograms. So, 82 X 299, 792, 458 X 299, 792, 458 = 7, 369, 792, 465, 641, 904, 000.00 joules. So, if we consider it takes only 1 joule to lift an apple a couple feet, think of the actual energy we posses. Remember, in Einstein’s formula was the key to the first atomic bomb. The energy released from 1 atom was enough to level cities.
Of course this is only the scientific way of thinking about energy. Let’s go a bit further in discussing energy from a spiritual point of view. In “The Creative Process in the Individual”, Thomas Troward states about the creation of the universe “At this primordial stage neither Time nor Space can be recognized, for both imply measurement of successive intervals, and in the primary movement of Mind upon itself the only consciousness must be that of Present Absolute Being, because no external points exist from which to measure extension either in time or space. Hence we must eliminate the ideas of time and space from our conception of Spirit’s initial Self-contemplation.
This being so, Spirit’s primary contemplation of itself as simply Being necessarily makes its presence universal and eternal, and consequently, paradoxical as it may seem, its independence of Time and Space makes it present throughout all Time and Space.”
What Mr. Troward is saying is that as Spirit (or God and Goddess, or Elemental Spirit) was creating our Universe, there was no concept of time or space, as there was nothing to measure it against. So this power that created all there is, is present in each and every molecule of our Universe IN IT’S ENTIRETY.
This is huge. The power that brought about the whole of creation exists in every cell in our body. Not a part of this energy, but THE WHOLE OF IT. Think about this for a second. All the energy that exists is within us. Not simply a part of it but all of it. Quite simply, our source of energy is infinite.
So, if we have infinite energy, why don’t we have whatever we want? The answer is in the other part of the equation, intent.
So, let’s look at intent. Intent is defined as “an aim or purpose…firmly fixed” (source: thefreedictionary.com) . So, our intent is our aim or purpose that is firmly fixed (as an idea) in ritual. All that we do in ritual is used to support this intent. When we choose the candle, oils, incense, herbs, symbols, quarter calls, deities, tools, etc. it is all to support this intent. Intent however is the variable in the equation. So, if we have everything, where does the formula go wrong? Why don’t we have infinite power to do what we want?
Well, we may have all the correctly colored candles, the proper herbs and oils, the full moons energy, but if we start our ritual by thinking, “This will never work” or even “I hope this works” then the intent we put in to it is doubt. So, all this energy at our disposal goes toward our ritual not working.
Think of a child. Have you ever turned your back on a child for a second and when you turn to them, they have climbed half way up a shelving unit to get to something? They have no limits. They know they can do anything. And our first reaction is to say, “No, you can’t do that”. What happens when they hear that? Usually that is the moment they fall and hurt themselves.
They were doing fine until we told them they did not have the ability to accomplish what they set out to do. This is what builds up over time and begins more and more to limit our abilities. We start out in life as infinite possibilities and almost immediately start excepting limitations.
So, let’s look at the third part of the equation. Power. Power is “the ability or official capacity to exercise control” (source: thefreedictionary.com) . So, what we are working toward in ritual is the ability to gain control over a situation. This power comes from infinite energy and our intent. If our intent knows no limits, our power to control situations (our lives, careers, health, etc) is also infinite.
How do we avoid limitations? How to make our ritual practice more powerful? How do we tap in to and release this infinite energy that we posses? Well, how we undo the limitations we have acquired through the course of our lives is not something that can be answered in just a paragraph or two. As we travel through these future articles together we will discover how to remove these blocks and begin to fulfill our infinite purpose.
“The Creative Process in the Individual” by Thomas Troward