Another Friday, another epiphany from Iron Pentacle class, this time from Kyeli!
Power over: I have power over you, he has power over her, the government has power over us all.
Power with: We share power, I have power with you, we are powerful together.
In Iron Pentacle, we talked about power. The Iron point is power, the gilded is power over, the rusted is powerless.
I have a long history of struggles with power. I spent most of my life feeling powerless. It was unsurprising, then, that I would get into relationships with people who would take advantage of that. Nearly every relationship I had, friend or romantic, prior to finding and standing in my own power was unhealthy in some way or another. People who had power over me, people with whom I was powerless.
A few years ago, I underwent a dramatic Phoenixification. I suddenly and rapidly burned away a huge chunk of myself, replacing the old tattered bits with new, stronger, shinier, healthier bits. I started embracing myself, embracing my light and my darkness, my flaws and fears and strengths. I became powerful.
I found my magickal center of power through ritual and tattooed a dragon with a negative-space unicorn there, to mark the wholeness of me – I am light and dark, good and bad, whole and strong.
Around the same time, I started losing friends. All of the sudden, some of my best friends started snapping at me a lot. We started bickering a lot, stopped getting along so smoothly. Eventually, those friendships died, the relationships ended, and I was left wondering what the hell happened.
In Iron Pentacle, I figured it out.
When you’re in a power-over dynamic, the one with power isn’t going to easily give it up. Power over others corrupts the ones with it and weakens the ones without it. My sudden growth spurt into a powerful being broke the connections in those friendships based on others having power over me, because I was no longer willing to accept being in a powerless state.
It wasn’t entirely one-sided: I accepted those relationships and allowed them to keep me powerless. They accepted the power and used it. And when I came into my own and wanted to move toward shared power – a more equal relationship – it didn’t work.
It usually doesn’t. Power over stays power over until the relationship ends in some way. It’s so all-consuming, so unbalanced, that bringing things into balance often either breaks things or results in different imbalances. In my case, in all of them, I found that my desire to share power wasn’t shared by those with power over me – they wanted to stay in control. In some cases, I spent years struggling for balance before giving up and going my own way.
Eventually, though, I did go my own way. I found power in myself, and that gave me strength, self-love, and confidence. It is hard and painful when relationships end, but forming a solid, loving relationship with yourself is the most important thing in the world – after all, when everyone else is gone, you’re left with you. Best if you like who you’re stuck with.