So far, the Two Powers meditation has been an incredible experience for me. I do the meditation four times a week, with three being stand-alone sessions and one is a meditation within my weekly devotional. This may soon change as I try other meditation methods, but I’m happy to have taken the time to truly get a feel for it.
The meditation is grounding and centering in the truest sense. In my experience, I feel rooted in place with the earth power while the sky power acts like a guide that brings me into the center of the cosmos. It has given me focus before ritual and relief from the stress that life throws my way. The earth power feels cool and rejuvenating when it fills me, but it is also dark and mysterious. Its chaotic nature is present when I do the meditation. As the three pools fill me when I draw the earth power into my body, I can feel the roiling water within the pools, not unlike a whirlpool. At the same time, I find this power comforting in some ways, like the darkness within the womb, ready for the light to be cast and life made manifest. All of this is contrasted by the warm, precise, and orderly nature of the sky power. As soon as that power merges with the earth power, it’s an energizing and vigorous feeling, revealing the potential and bringing it to life. I feel it is accurate to say that the earth power feels chaotic and the sky power feels ordering. Not only do they make sense on a conceptual level, but they present themselves experientially. When those two currents become one, it feels like I am touching the very essence of life. I feel full, complete, and radiant with these powers. It’s my favorite part about the Two Powers meditation and it is the core of the experience. While each power may subsist on their own as valuable energies, it’s the combination of the two that really defines the meditation. Sometimes I feel it on a small and personal level, and other times I feel the immense size of the cosmos. I often feel the earth power as cool and the sky power as warm, but there are times, however rare, where I have felt the opposite. In terms of intensity, neither of the powers have felt stronger than the other on average, but I typically do my Two Powers meditation near dawn, which is a liminal period. One time I did a Two Powers meditation outside late at night and the earth power seemed strongest at that time. Given the sensations I get with the earth power as chaos wrapped in the darkness of mystery and potential, this wasn’t entirely unexpected.
The question has been posed as to whether I have a viewed either of the powers as either masculine or feminine. In the entire time that I’ve performed the Two Towers meditation, it never really occurred to me to assign these powers in terms of gender. Furthermore, I really don’t think it’s necessary to understand the Two Powers in such a way. These cosmic powers are timeless, endless, and I feel attaching labels to them in terms of gender may be a bit of an oversimplification. This seems to be something that could have some worth within Wicca, since there is a focus on the divine polarity between male and female, however I haven’t felt that personally. That being said, if I had to make a correlation between power and gender, the earth power seems feminine and the sky power seems masculine. The earth power is linked with water, the Well, and life, much like the female womb, whereas the sky power is linked with order, the Fire, and penetrating light, which could be seen as masculine traits. Still, I’m uncomfortable making these distinctions since I don’t interact with the powers in this framework.
My chosen hearth culture is Norse, however I’ve only done cursory research in how the earth and sky power could be reflected within that cosmology. From what I’ve read, the earth power can certainly be using in the context of the three wells that lay at the base of Yggdrasil. The sky power can be seen as the Bifrost, a burning rainbow bridge which connects Asgard to Midgard, as well as the shining lights of Asgard, home of the gods. Come to think of it, the more I write about this, the more intrigued I am in using these symbols within the context of the Two Powers meditation. I believe it can add a personalized touch to the visualization, as well as deepen my relationship with my hearth culture. This is definitely something I’d like to explore further.
A short Two Powers chant:
Filling, swirling, comforting
lighting, warming, ordering
Nature awareness (continued):
It was overcast and muggy when I made my trip to Silver Lake Wednesday evening. The cooler temperatures have given way to the heat and humidity of a typical southern Illinois summer. I’m actually glad it has gotten a bit hotter as I’m not quite ready for fall just yet, and having temperatures in the mid to low 80s at the beginning of August is a bit disconcerting anyway.
I proceeded to the thicket and gave my offering to Nerthus and the land wights. Almost immediately after I finished placing the bread on the ground I heard a bird call near me and I took this as a sign that my offerings were accepted. After exiting the thicket, I decided to walk around the trails. There was quite a bit of trash I came across, so I decided to gather it together so I could dispose of it later. Cleaning up trash is the pure definition of dirty work, but I enjoyed tending and caring for the land in this way. While I strengthen my bonds with the land and spirits by giving offerings and opening my awareness to them, this is also a simple method of bonding with them. I’m of the opinion that while offerings are appreciated, helping to tend the land in a practical manner brings devotion and worship full circle.
As I walked the trails, I noticed that some of the plums have turned a beautiful purple while other plums still remained green. Since the ground has been damp from the rains we’ve been getting lately, some dark brown fungi was found growing on one of the paths. In fact, I almost thought it was a dead leaf until I turned it over! I also observed a spider’s web and I’m constantly amazed at how intricate and beautiful they are. While I’m not a fan of arachnids, I admire their ability to create their webs. In some ways, it’s like a practical work of art.
I made my way to my spot and I sat down to listen to my surroundings. The birds were fairly quiet, but the cicadas started to make their call into fading light of the day. A light breeze moved through the trees, giving me a slight reprieve from the humidity. The insects were numerous and biting, but the sun peeked through the clouds to show itself for the first time all day. It was nice to see it, but it wasn’t long until the clouds obscured it once more.
I did a 15 minute basic trance meditation soon after. My breathing rhythm and count started out a little rough, but smoothed out as the session went on. I had a fairly challenging time letting thoughts slider through my mind, but I did dip into a light a couple of times. I also flirted with the sensation of becoming one with the forest, like last week, but it didn’t quite catch this time, which is okay. I can’t expect to have experiences like that all the time, but it gave me a pleasant feeling all the same. All around me I heard strange noises in the woods and it was obvious that various critters were out and about. This didn’t distract me though, and I was happy to maintain my meditation through some of the startling sounds. The meditation was relaxing, being surrounded by the wild and the spirits. I began to feel the stillness settle over my being as the passing thoughts grew fewer and fewer, but the timer went off before I could truly reach that state. I’m beginning to think that basic trance works best for me when I’m doing it on a more consistent basis and not once a week. That being said, the meditation left me feeling happy and this trip was a needed break from the stress that life has brought me lately.
I don’t have to have a profound experience every time I visit to enjoy the time spent in nature. Just the act of being there, observing, tending, and experiencing the wild is reward enough. It was a tough day, having felt down for most of it, but this trip put me in much better spirits!
I thanked the land wights for the experience, disposed of the trash I had found, and left the park.