Secrets of Magic 31: Mars is power

Mars is the next planet after ours from the sun. In many ways Mars seems like a smaller sibling to our planet. This planet may have housed life at some time. It has an atmosphere something like ours and bears evidence that seems to indicate that the planet had water in the past.

The red color of Mars attracted ancient conceptions of war. Today most of us do not think of war in a positive light. Many humans seek to end war on our planet, making a safe and happy life for every one of us.

Mars embodies more than just the force of arms. The red planet points to the exercise of power. Because many of the world’s cultures prize competition rather than cooperation, we have come to understand power in to mean the domination of some human beings by others. Often the people around us who have power use that power to gain advantage for themselves and their families and friends, sometimes at the expense of others. Too often power means the ability to hurt others and get away with it.

Because vying for power means competing with others and hurting them, people often become frustrated and decide to give up power altogether. Sadly, being powerless can mean leaving ourselves and our families vulnerable to those who have no scruples about trying to control our lives.

Fortunately there is another way to think about and use power. Cooperation is more effective than competition. Competition determines which human in a group is the strongest, but when humans combine their muscles, brains, and hearts, the group is much stronger than its strongest member. Many neighborhood coalitions have discovered that a committed group can accomplish major changes, challenging the power of governments and large corporations, and banding together to build parks, save schools, and rescue families in distress.

Magic is the power of the universe. Mars is our will to use that power. We decide that we will take control of our lives. We can choose to compete, at athletics, academically, or in the workplace. We can also choose the cooperative path, volunteering, joining existing organizations, founding new groups, and committing ourselves to living in harmony with our neighbors. Happily, we can choose to compete in some times and places while cooperating at other times and places, moving from one mode of exercising power to another.

Affirmation: I hold the power to control my life.

Practice: making it happen
Think about times you have competed for something and won. You might have applied with many others to rent a house, gotten a job over several others, earned an A in a class graded on a curve, won a race or a game. What factors allowed you to win? When you did not win the competition, what factors contributed to the loss?

Think about times you have cooperated with others. You might have had a team project in school, built a house, joined a sports team, sung in a choir. What did you enjoy about this experience? What did you dislike? Were there ways that the group could have cooperated more efficiently?

Write a journal entry beginning, “I have always wanted to compete in…” List the steps required to engage in that activity. Try writing affirmations that would support you in a bid to compete in the activity you have written about. If competing makes you uncomfortable, you are in very good company! Most of us hesitate to enter into the competitive arena. You can build your competition stamina, for example by playing games with your friends and family.

Now write a journal entry beginning, “I have always wanted to belong to…” List the steps you would need to take to join the group or organization that you have written about. Make some affirmations in your journal that would help you link up with the people you have written about. If social occasions make you nervous, know that almost everyone is shy in new groups! You can start with an easy group. Many volunteer clubs welcome any new members with hands willing to pitch in with the work.

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