• Maegan Clearwood

20 – judgement

Updated: 4 days ago

20 – judgement

purpose, awakening, clarity, evaluation


Power-over, power-from-within, power-with – Starhawk situates variations of violent and generative energies from their places of origin. These three configurations prompt witches to consider their particular positionalities and where their powers manifest. Situated powers, like situated knowledges, express themselves differently depending on the factors of who and where: what is missing from this positioning, then, is why. The directional propositions of over, within, and with tell us where power comes from, but not what it is working towards.

A witch uses her will, her powers-from-within, to manifest a desire. This desire is sometimes impossible, but in spellcasting with intent, she moves towards that unreachable horizon. The To – in all its imaginatory, hopeful, dynamic, and pragmatically useless ways – is possibly the most important consideration in my meandering attempts to make sense of power. No witch can undermine power-over, even with the solidarity of a radical queer coven. A witch can, however, use her own erotic powers, individually and collectively, to move her small, fractal self towards something better-than.

power prepositionality

a tarot reading

ingredients: a tarot deck (or put 5 into the number of cards here)

card 1: signifier

pull out the card that stands for You. it may be your birth card (link here), a court card that corresponds with your astrological element and age, or any card that you resonate with the most at this moment in time. this card does not move.

card 2: power-from-within

this card lives beneath your signifier. what is your poetry? your erotic self-connection? what is your well of creativity, generative energy, pleasure? this is the stuff of personal magicks: the innate spiritual gifts that are always inside of you, waiting to be expressed.

card 3: power-over

this card lives beneath or above cards 1 and 2., vertically, depending on its message. in a world of oppressive power forces, where are you situated? how do you hold power-over others, and/or how do others hold power over you? the position of this card is unfixed: it depends on the context of your reading (are you examining your power generally or in a specific community?) and temporally specific configurations of ever-shifting power energies. you may want to pull two power-over cards, one for each position. or not.

card 4: power-with

this card lives beside your signifier card, linearly and equally. how do you (or can you) manifest power-with others? what is the expression of your highest self in the context of community?

card 5: power-to

this card lives wherever it needs to live. it is not a direction from, but a direction towards. now that you know where your powers emerge and how they manifest, you must examine intentionality. what world are you conjuring? what do you care about, what are you creating, what do you desire? in a world based on power-over, what are you attempting to rebuild? the other power cards should be pushing you somewhere, so let them move you with hope, imagination, and intent. place this card in whatever position feels the most dynamic to you, because remember: utopia is not a fixed end-point. it is unreachable but worth reaching towards.

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