The Two Powers are deceptively simple. They interweave throughout the hallows of the sacred center and the elements. They link with everything and just as you think you have a handle on them, a new association appears. This was one of the more complicated essays to write.
My experience with the Two Powers started simply enough. I found a standard script I online and used it as a meditation in my rituals to get everyone’s minds tuned to the task and hand. At this point I associated the two powers with the elements of water and fire.
The water power, or current, runs deep within the earth. It ebbs and flows, twisting and carving its way to all parts of the globe. It weaves its way through rock and soil and turns into an interconnecting system of streams. The water we honor has touched all parts of the earth. This twisting and weaving seemingly without path or pattern is why, I believe, some associate the water current with chaos. You can never be sure where the waters will take a twist or what they will decide to go through rather than around. These waters also swirl with nutrients and the raw building blocks of creation. It is unrealized potential.
The fire power, or current, leaps into the air and towards the stars. This power can be seen in our sun and the other stars that shine overhead. It warms us and the rest of the world. The same light that shines upon, illuminates, and nourishes crops here, does the same all over the world. Fire is also associated with all heavenly bodies and the absolute order that is present there. People have literally set clocks by the motions of the stars. They march on in the same patterns year after year and century after century. This is why some see the fire current as relating to order.
The Two Powers can also be used for cleansing, healing, and restoration. Water is change over the long term. Change driven by water alone takes patience. It tends to be gentle yet persistent. It gradually washes away that which no longer serves.
If water is the slow and steady power, fire is just the opposite. It is a fast, sometimes devastating, change. It is painful, but must be endured for long term growth just like forest fires that must occur from time to time in order to keep the health of the forest intact. Both of these are needed at times and we must be able to use and balance the slow and rapid methods of change and healing.
As time went on and my experience with the powers expanded, I began to see how the powers interact with air and earth.
The water flows through the earth. Water can be seen to represent our emotions and the earth stabilization. Emotions can be overwhelming. One often used cliché phrase is a “flood of emotion”. When you add earth to water, you anchor and support those emotions. You give them a medium through which to run so you aren’t carried away. Of course too much water can liquefy earth and negate any stabilization that it may offer and instead, turn into an enormously destructive force like that of a mudslide. Not enough water leads to drought and the inability to move. You can become stuck or frozen in place, fossilized forever. Once again, balance is key.
Fire moves through air on its way to the heavens. Fire is often times equated with passion and air with intellect and the mind. The passion of fire can be mitigated, or controlled, by careful thought or analysis, but you have to be careful not to blow out the flames entirely. Too much air, or thought, can lead to dullness and inaction because no passion exits. On the other hand, the flames can also be fanned until a firestorm is created that will consume everything in its path. Too much intellectualization, or air, can kill a dream or goal, and too much fire can burn you out before having a chance to realize your dreams.
Balance between these elements is key in all of these things and is one reason that I have been using the phrase “Between fire and water I find my balance” in meditation and as a mantra.
The Two Powers can also be seen in the hallows of the ritual sacred center. The fire equates to the fire of the sacred center and links to the Shining Ones and the Upper Realm. Once again this is a place of order. The water equates with the well of the sacred center and links to the Ancestors and the Under Realm, a place of chaos.
Where is the tree? The tree is us. We represent where these two powers meet. We span the realms and let the powers mingle in us to manifest change in this world. If you add water to fire you get steam. If you add chaos and potential to order, you get creation. So, just as the steam from the mingling of water and fire can be put to work powering engines and other machines, so to can the chaos of potential and the order of the heavens be combined to power creation in the Middle Realm.