The Two Powers

5 03 2014

The two powers are the key magical concept in ADF. They are two forces that mingle together to magically form the basis of all existence. The first power is the sky power. This is the power of the heavens, the power of light that emanates from the sun and moon and stars. This is the power that orders existence and provides the patterns and energy which turns potential into manifestation. This is the power of shaping. In the Anglo-Saxon/ Norse worldview, this is represented by fire and in ADF it is the sacred flame – one of the three hallows. The sky power is connected with the upper-world and with the gods, especially the sky-father.

The second power is the earth power. This is the power of the underworld, the fertile “chaos of potential.” This is the power flowing beneath the earth. It is connected with the ancestors, with memory and wisdom. It absorbs the nutrients of all that decays and allows them to be reused by the living beings of the middle world. The earth power is the dark, cool current that represents the Celtic primal mother Danu. In the Anglo-Saxon/ Norse worldview, it is represented by Ice and in ADF by the sacred well – another of the three hallows. Interestingly, quantum physics suggests that at its smallest most basic form, the universe is simply potential, so this is what I view as the earth power.

As we meditate on the two powers, drawing up the earth power through our roots and drawing down the sky power with our raised arms, they mingle inside us and become the “raw material for magic.” When considering the two powers, I find myself thinking about Taoism and the Yin/ Yang – the symbol that represents all existence as having two opposite aspects which are in constant tension with each other – night and day, light and dark, masculine and feminine. None can exist for long without the other and both are in constant movement and change. Cultivating these is called Internal Alchemy and I believe that when we meditate on the two powers, we are also doing internal alchemy – druid style.

I tried very hard to use this form of meditation but found it very difficult to do because visualisation is very difficult for me. There were a few times when I felt warmer or sensed things become more light than normal but on the whole I didn’t feel much going on when I tried this form of internal alchemy. It was suggested to me that I should try to imagine feeling the powers rather than visualising them in future and I will be trying that out. Of the two powers, I do seem to find a stronger connection with the earth power rather than the sky power. Despite the issues I have with trying to make it work, I do feel it is a very important practice to use the Two Powers meditation not only in preparing for magical activities but also especially in grounding and centering because it helps us to attune to the forces which Druidry teaches are at the very basis of the cosmos.

ADF. Our Own Druidry: An Introduction to Ár nDraíocht Féin and the Druid Path. Tucson: ADF Publishing, 2009.

Davidson, H. R Ellis, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. London: Penguin Books, 1964.