Hermes: We know how to get energy out of a human. Strong emotions, dancing, singing, trance… etcetera. How do you tap into power? Where does it come from? And don’t tell me it comes from deities. Deities get it from somewhere, too. Where?
Obviously, Hermes knows the answer to this question. Because if he didn’t, he would have collapsed into a black hole a long time ago.
He’s asking because popular energy raising tech falls into two basic categories: the ones that leave ritual leaders drained and exhausted, and the ones which call on deities for power. So where does energy come from? Where do deities get it from?
I gave him my best guess:
Thenea: When I close my eyes, I can feel the rushing air overhead, the kinetic energy of wind currents. I feel the unending, insistent pounding of waves on the shore, and on land, things are fucking, giving birth, crawling, slithering, running, dying, rotting, eternally changing. Beneath them, the Earth is not still: molten rock boils beneath their feet, so full of raw power that it threatens, in every moment, to burst forth in an orgasmic fit of furious destruction.
And the sun — that constantly exploding ball of plasma, crushing matter with such force that it is forever transformed: hydrogen to helium, to denser things like carbon and lead, the very process that creates the stuff of planets — the sun is what heats the atmosphere, animating the sky, creating hurricanes and monsoons. It’s the genesis not only of the heat in the center of the world, the volcanic instablity that hurled the moon out of the sea, setting the waves forever into motion, but some suggest that life itself is just what carbon does to release solar energy.
Now turn your eyes skyward. A sextillion suns that can be seen, and more suns still that cannot. The universe is full of power, activity, energy and life.
If you want to hear my quick and dirty formula for creating an energy raising ritual? Look to the stars. Focus on them. Breathe in their light. Draw it down into the body. You can slap a GUI on it, I guess? Like, use some cosmology or other in there, and, like, maybe chant some culturally appropriate hullabaloo that corresponds to whatever energy widgets your religion thinks happen to exist in the human frame. But the energy should, in my opinion, be drawn from stars. It precedes what we imagine when we say “nature.” Ultimately, stars are a visible, tangible source of everything we understand as power.
He sort of scratched the back of his head a bit, looking somewhere between perplexed and sheepish, and said to me:
Hermes: I was gonna go with “being grounded in your personal convictions” … but if you are going to borrow power in the meantime, that’s not shabby