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Blogs written by Shamans Cave faculty and other invited guests

Shamans Cave Blog

Welcome to the Shamans Cave blogs by faculty members and invited guests. All the blog articles reference topics in shamanism and the maker tradition in particular. You must be a registered user to comment on any of the blog articles.

Force v. Power


While power is a force, force itself isn't really power. Even though at face value it might appear to be, force is no more than a sudden gale that knocks over a few chairs and carries away a paper plate or two before it disappears. I've learned this through personal experience, which is the best way to learn a truth. Power is a steadfastness in both calm and storm and can waltz with either or both in an instance.

Not every maker's self-healing journey needs to devote lots of energy to learn the nuances between force and power, but some do. I did. Whether through self-healing, stalking, or moving to create outcomes in the world, I've gathered a few insights long the way. 

The good news is that any maker committed to recapitulating past traumatic events, where some form of force has been impressed into their energy, will run into opportunities to learn the energetic distinction between them. These distinctions will help a new maker understand where they are in their own journey of coming into their own power.

For example, like anger, force tends to break rather than to move. Contrary to what seems to a mainstream world perception, to a shaman the use of excessive force is actually a lack of power. It indicates a wobbly point in their energy that still needs to be stalked and healed. Force is linked to emoting and to personal ego: a shaman must always strive to be detached and compassionate through self-healing and it can be a process.

It is difficult to fully, truly be detached or compassionate if the need to use force exists in a given context. As I write this, I recall a funny episode of the series Curb Your Enthusiasm, where Larry David tries to open the hard plastic packaging around a tool from a hardware store but can't. Instead, he grows so enraged he starts hitting it with a hammer before giving up.

In a way force is like that, like an unfocused push of energy that quickly wanes.

Another thing about force is that even if you don't mean to, using force can lead to imposing your will on another instead of stalking to reach for an agreement. Or an unintended outcome: no one likes to be forced, and yet because of its disproportionate surge the impress of it warps.

Force is blind, or tunnel-visioned: there's no focal point, just a slamming strain towards a direction…. It causes you to miss out on the grander picture and promising approaches you might have chosen instead to achieve your outcome with minimal energetic investment, like true power does. 

I think this is a truth that applies to life in general and not just to makers.

On the other hand, Power is both silent and articulate. It is precision. Over the years I've seen many makers-in-the-making (including myself) struggle with differentiating between force and power — especially after doing The Agreement, where the grit of this powerful healing commitment sometimes surges through a maker's entire energy, maybe even overtakes their energy for a little while until things balance themselves out.

Power is steadfast. It is an unwavering position from where one can clearly see and act specifically without too much effort. It's being able to ignore the surrounding noise and commotion of the world of Man and not be swayed, so you can accomplish what you have intended to set out and do. It is willful yet non-reactive. It can at times use force in a controlled fashion. When wielded correctly, true power doesn't get depleted because it is often also an alignment… and if you don't know what this means yet, I intend you have to the opportunity to find out what I mean.

Power hits the bullseye, but force is like a brick wall, a wave full of rocks that knocks everyone off their feet. When you stand in your power, you stand detached and unblinking, whether looking into the void or the eyes of another, your awareness taking it all in so you can act accordingly. Acting with power enables the right application of pressure as one dances the fine lines of how you need to energetically move.

Power is both fluidity

and anchorage: 

it is being

earth air fire water

while also being a mountain.

The more healed

you become, the less

reactive you become

and innately feel the difference


force and power in ways

words fail.

Being powerful is about being healed, being non-reactive in any given situation so that you can see and act from the space of your own free strength, rather than be swayed by some unhealed emotional hook, by an emotional bully or past incident with a similar echo that, for a maker, is an opportunity to heal and retrieve even more energy to be even more powerful.

Power is knowing when to act, or simply stay still. 


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Saturday, 23 September 2023

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