Political Power and Spiritual Life
Continuing in the spirit of this Scorpio season, and particularly the New Moon in Scorpio this week, let’s talk about power. Scorpio understands power on a fundamental level, intuitively. How power moves, how it functions individually, interpersonally, culturally, politically. Scorpio is a sign of extremes, and for this reason it’s very human. It has the most power for self-destruction, for exploring beyond the edge of any taboo, and also the most power for transformation and healing. This energy embodies the uniquely human experience of choosing our path - the aspects we have a choice in, anyway.
How power moves politically is especially foregrounded for us in the USA this week - showing up in our elections.
I’m especially invested in the relationship between political power and spiritual life. This may not be apparent based on what you see expressed within this project so far. I’ve been asking, for many years but with particular focus in the project called Existing Together, what is necessary on an individual and internal level to build a truly sustainable political practice? And by ‘political practice’ I mean, what must we attend to in ourselves to really be able to be there for others? And this is, of course ongoing, not fixed. So I paused on a more overt expression of my politics to some extent when I started this project, because I want as little as possible to get in the way of asking myself and you the questions that turn us back toward what is sustainable for us.
There seems to be a separation between political life and spiritual life - spiritual life being something we do in a certain set of spaces, usually private, (and is somehow only needed by the intellectually less rigorous), and political life is something we do in another set of spaces, usually public. This separation feels connected to so many of the problems of the moment. That somehow engaging politically means we put our humanity, vulnerability and compassion aside in some way, to ‘fight’, or, to engage in spiritual life means we give up on forward momentum in the form of tangible improvements to people’s lives.
I reject this binary, and yet it feels imperative that we describe the interconnectedness of these realms in literal and concrete ways for ourselves if we want to experience joy at all now, while also not resigning ourselves in any way to the horrors occurring on this planet. This is what I mean by asking questions about sustaining our own spiritual and political lives.
Along these lines, here are some questions and horoscopes for you, asking you about your own power. The New Moon in Scorpio is a great time to ask yourself questions about your own political and spiritual power.
When do you feel any sense of power?
How do you accrue or draw on power?
What does power feel like in your body?
How is your power expressed?
What’s the correlation between power and effectiveness for you?
Where do you have power that you might not see it?
Where do others reflect your power to you?
Who models a relationship to power that you admire?
ARIES | March 21-April 19
Question - How does your power relate to your support system?
Meditation - the power in receiving
Assignment - Begin a new project of connecting the sensation of strength with the sensation of being resourced, helped. Being surrounded by support. Even if it’s through your imagination of unseen guides or influences from art and writing, those dead and alive, human and all other species - take a break from your habit of imagining strength as isolation and see what happens.
TAURUS | April 20-May 20
Question - How much do you associate power with consistency?
Meditation - taking a break from routines
Assignment - What beliefs or habits feel entrenched? What beliefs and habits feel chosen and embodied? Do you worry about changing your mind? Do you give yourself permission to change your mind? Experiment with changing your mind, letting go of your view, building flexibility in your mind - and notice how that affects your power.
GEMINI | May 21-June 20
Question - When can your indecision be powerful?
Meditation - letting it be as it is
Assignment - Instead of lamenting your tendency to want to do everything, or being indecisive, spend some time writing this week for yourself. To connect this indecision and curiosity with your own power. Write especially about examples of when this tendency has helped your life in a way that you can only see in hindsight.
CANCER | June 21-July 22
Question - What are you afraid of lately?
Meditation - facing fear
Assignment - Look directly at your fears right now. Write about them, spend time with them. Don’t turn away from them. You don’t need to make them go away. You don’t need to solve or fix them. You can touch your own power just be not avoiding them. Take note of the differences between avoiding and being with, and how they relate to your power.
LEO | July 23-August 22
Question - What kinds of lights do you surround yourself with?
Meditation - light and power
Assignment - Start with the physical realm and look at your lighting situation - in your house, in your work, your environment. How does it affect your vitality? How is your vitality connected to your power? Then look beyond the physical and ask those questions about what other kinds of light influences are around you. Put some intention into cultivating influences, both physical and spiritual, that nourish rather than deplete.
VIRGO | August 23-September 22
Question - What would happen if you didn’t have to improve?
Meditation - the power of being
Assignment - This relationship to doing comes up a lot in your horoscopes but that’s because it’s so needed. Identity for you is so closely tied to output, and the more space you can let in between your self and your output, the more peace and breath will arrive. It’s not a matter of stopping doing, although that is helpful sometimes, but it’s just keeping present the truth that your being is not dependent on, or earned by, your doing self. Think about how we regard children - we don’t expect them to do things to be worthy - we love them just for existing. Turn this lens to yourself.
LIBRA | September 23-October 23
Question - What percentage of your day is spent considering potential conflicts?
Meditation - the power of your own breath
Assignment - Find ways to let your mind rest this week. Especially surrounding any conflicts or potential conflicts in any area of your life. Give yourself periods of time where you do things that help turn your attention away from problem solving your social interactions and into a more internal experience. What is happening in your body? What is happening in the sky? What is happening in your digestion? What new ways could you be attending to your own vitality?
SCORPIO | October 23-November 21
Question - When do you conflate your intuition with emotional responsibility to others?
Meditation - distinguishing what is you/yours
Assignment - Just because you perceive some emotional state of another, doesn’t mean you have to do anything about it. It does not mean you become responsible for another, or their state. This power to discern between these two things, to create more distance between your intuition and needing to do something always in response, will help you feel more energized and full of power that allows you to be much more generous. Spend time looking at when and how you conflate your intuition with a sense of responsibility for others, see what you find.
SAGITTARIUS | November 22-December 21
Question - What is it that fulfills you in the quest itself?
Meditation - seeking as power
Assignment - There’s power in seeking, in looking for the next thing, but only if you know that’s what you’re doing. Spend time reflecting on what you are looking for as you look for a new thing - a new belief system, a new person, a new activity, a new product, a new philosophy. The more conscious you are of the fact that you are seeking, the less you are controlled by this habit.
CAPRICORN | December 22-January 19
Question - How do you see your own power and your own freedom?
Meditation - social freedom as power
Assignment - It’s easy for you to see power as only for people who follow certain rules and have achieved a certain set of things. Observe the places where power exists, yours and others, that are because of someone’s freedom to break rules and freedom to create their own path. Seek out this new understanding of power, look for it.
AQUARIUS | January 20 to February 18
Question - How much and what kind of power do you want?
Meditation - the six directions as related to your body
Assignment - You are not responsible for healing on a collective level and the more you can give yourself permission to focus on your life individually the more power you will find that you already have. This doesn’t mean giving up your group-oriented spirit - you don’t have to worry about giving that up - it’s in you. But when you allow there to be a focus on your individual experience you gain freedom to connect to others more deeply through this lens. Spend time acknowledging and meeting your personal needs this week. Notice your reactions to this practice, if/how much you think it feels self-indulgent, etc. Notice how you ideas about power relate to all of this.
PISCES | February 19 to March 20
Question - What kinds of power do you care about?
Meditation - connecting to power itself
Assignment - Let yourself register and explore the importance of power in your life. Your own specific personal power. What is that and how does it move, how does it work. Write about this - your relationship to power, and see what you notice. Are you avoiding power because it makes you uncomfortable? Are you denying places where you do have power? Are you vague when you could be clear, and how would that help you and the others in your life? How does your sense of clarity relate to your sense of power?