Monday, December 30, 2013

Two Powers Meditation Essay

The Two Powers meditation, as described in the ADF publication Our Own Druidry, is "...a basic meditation intended to link the Druid's spirit and flesh to the currents of Earth and Sky."1  In this working, the dedicant visualizes roots which emerge from the feet and penetrate deep into the Earth.  Through these roots the dark currents under the Earth are drawn up into the body.  Above the body is a bright star, whose light illuminates and charges the overflowing water which trickles down the dedicant's limbs.  Intermingled, these powers of the Earth and Sky are balanced in the dedicant.

My own experience with the Two Powers meditation began prior to my involvement with ADF.  An ADF member introduced me to the Two Powers meditation as a way to calm pre-surgery nerves in January of 2012.  Although she did not label the meditation as such, she utilized the Two Powers meditation as a centering/grounding exercise before an extended guided imagery sequence.  I encountered the Two Powers meditation yet again during the first several Ad Astra (Proto-)Grove rituals I attended.  Again, the meditation was not named but often used.  When I finally joined ADF and began reading through the Dedicant Path requirements I immediately recognized the frequently-used meditation.

Because of this background I did not utilize a script when I began using the Two Powers meditation in my regular meditation/trance work.  I immediately reconnected with the routine - the roots budding from my feet, traveling deep into the dark, moist reaches of the Earth, drawing up the sacred water with each breath, feeling the warmth of the bright star on my moistened skin. 

What did surprise me was how much more productive my meditation/trance work was when I began the session with the Two Powers meditation, versus when I did not.  Over time it has become clear that what I do during the Two Powers meditation isn't just an exercise to focus and shut out the everyday world; the Two Powers meditation actually serves as a gateway to the other world I was attempting with which I am attempting to connect.

When I feel my roots push downward into the damp darkness, I grow and reach out towards the sacred tomb of the ancestors.  When I draw up the waters of the deep Earth my body becomes the vessel, the well, for the waters.  When I feel the warmth of the star flash, hovering in the sky above me, I reach towards the Shining Ones in the heavens above.  The electric charge of the light upon the water becomes the fire, the transformer.  Balanced in between these forces I become the tree, the axis mundi, connecting the three realms and the three gates into one.  Connecting with these forces, and passing through these gates, my meditation/trance work feels much more secure and substantial.

Because of this the Two Powers meditation is especially well suited to ADF-oriented paganism.  During ADF ritual we bless the Triple Hallows (fire, well and tree) in order to re-create the sacred center and thus open the gates to these spiritual realms.  In the Two Powers meditation, two of the Triple Hallows, fire and the well, are summoned in the visualization; by becoming the third Hallow (the tree), the practitioner completes a recreation of the cosmos.  Through this manifestation of the sacred center within us, we allow the gates to open simultaneously between the cosmic planes.  As stated in Our Own Druidry, when this happens, "...anything is possible."2

1.  (2009)  Our Own Druidry, ADF Publishing, Tuscon:  p. 95.
2.  ibid: p. 20.

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