c. 1300, “ability; ability to act or do; strength, vigor, might,” especially in battle.

c. 1500, from potis “able, powerful, lord, master”.

Power contains within it the possibility of having “influence” so there is often a drive towards having more of it. Power contains within it a frequency of getting. Power can constellate tremendous Shadow. When Shadow is present, so is the potential for addiction and/or lack of sobriety — this is evidenced in terms like “power-addicted”. This is particularly true and relevant for men and the masculine principle. Once an addiction such as power is sensed, counter-intuitively, it weakens a man’s sovereignty, because the world knows he wants it, so he becomes susceptible to un/conscious manipulations of his need to feed his power-drive.

The Feminine is extremely attuned to this hunger, originally for purposes of her survival, and more-so now because of her own unconscious power-drive and shadow complex which, when turbo-boosted with her deep feminine intuition, will always be more sophisticated than its masculine counterpart.
Additionally, because power contains within it the frequencies of shadow, “getting”, and addiction, it activates an unconscious drive towards possible self-destruction, what Freud calls Thanatos: the Death instinct. Power without Eros is indeed tyranny, and tyranny is a deeply self-destructive state for men.

This is not to imply for that all expressions of masculine power constellate shadow or an unconscious death instinct. However, we certainly see the devastating result of a masculine psyche locked in the jaws of the addiction to power in the Icarus-like plummets of Weinstein, Tiger Woods, Kevin Spacey, Bill Clinton, and Matt Lauer (sadly, to name only a few.)

The idea of “power” being commensurate with ability (in French, the shared etymological root of pouvoir literally means “to be able”) is compelling — and revealing. “To be able” or “to have the ability” contains within it both privilege (meaning a collective or individually-sanctioned state of permission) as well as the understanding that something can be moved from A to B. It implies a certain capacity to implement, execute, or develop — often with “strength” or “might”, especially, “in BATTLE.”

So, additional fractal realities of “power” are that its nature is one of “DOing-ness”, it thrives in competition, and exists inside a zone of competence: of imposing one’s will on reality simply because of enough competence to do so, and because of an individual or collective privilege of permission.

Power is privileged, it is hungry, it wants only more of itself, it thrives on competition (and by organic extension: war). It is susceptible to external validation — (which is the dirtiest fuel source for men in positions of leadership), and it keeps men in a zone of competency and/or excellence. Our culture is built upon power — it intrinsically rewards power with money, sex, and meaningless video-game points of social standing — all engineered to feed identity consciousness (aka: the ego) and the heat-seeking missile of the reptilian brain for pleasure.


And yes, there are different forms of power — I am speaking most specifically to unconscious masculine power as it is articulated in our culture through the shadow aspects of patriarchy. (I personally believe that not all aspects patriarchy are shadow-infected; many are deeply benevolent.)

Stuck in the endless “initiation” dimension of the Hero’s Journey, expresses an ethos of control, Thanatos / death-instinct, addictive, lack of sobriety, pleasure-driven, assumes privilege, can become predatorial in its hunt to “get”, is rewarded by meaningless cultural video-game points instead of a deep sense of purpose, “capitalistic slave to power”, need to feed identity consciousness (aka: the ego), dirty fuel source, sexually hungry, over-polarized in masculine Shadow aspect, effortful in competition and “battle”, expresses “gratitude”, Doing-ness, stuck in zone of competency/excellence, co-dependent, uninitiated, tyrannical, fear-driven.

The primary etymological derivation of the word “potent” is “able, powerful, LORD or MASTER”

Thus, we see that “potency” contains within in it some of the same attributes of “power” in that it includes the quality of being “able”.
However, the massive distinction here is that it also contains at the level of its own epigenetic reality the concept of “Lord” or “Master”.

These are the corrective conduits to the susceptibility inherent in power — as the principles of “lord” or “master” invoke an utterly different frequency of sovereignty. To be a “lord” or “master”, one must have a sense of — and the capacity to live inside of — “mastery” — no longer efforting and exerting “strength or “might in battle”, but living in full co-creational attunement with life. One must have King-like attributes. Just as archetypal power is encoded with shadow and Thanatos (death instinct), potency is encoded with light and Eros — which is creational life-force. This is because potency does not contain within it a hunger for more of itself, it is not susceptible to addiction or states of egoic drunkenness in order to “get” or experience more of itself. The masculine psyche, which Jung refers to as the Animas, is susceptible to “power-addiction” — this is not possible with the higher frequency of potency: the human psyche literally cannot become “potency-addicted”. The shadow of addiction is absent, and instead, there is a characterological thru-line of BEINGness, not just the banal exhaustive “doingness” of power.


Has entered the triumphant “Return” dimension of the Hero’s Journey, expresses an ethos of care + creation, Eros / life-force activation, benevolent, fulfillment-driven, Being-ness as a state of Love, wealth in all dimensions, frequency of Light, fully integrated and WHOLE, lives in the zone of GENIUS, Mastery, “Lord” as creator of one’s own life, radical responsibility, high state of sexual and relationship satisfaction, expresses “appreciation”, fully integrated and WHOLE, unapologetically expressed in the TRUTH of your nature, initiated, fulfilled in purpose, victorious, free.

It WINS not from doing battle — but by expressing its most inherent and highest Truth: that which IT SIMPLY IS.
The luminous sperm which demonstrates THROUGH BEINGNESS its NATURAL capacity for MASTERY to CREATE LIFE is the most profound example of potency. It teaches us that life, from its very earliest inception is encoded with the life-affirming masculine pulsation of triumph and VICTORY — of POTENCY.

Man or Woman:
You literally have already won.

We are all ALL things. At once: powerful and addicted; potent and impotent; in remembrance of our Truth and believing the lies. And we are each of us, man or woman, encoded at our most elemental, our deepest cellular reality with the codes of victory, the codes of triumph, of the most glorious expression of MASCULINE CREATIONAL MASTERY: POTENCY.

For a man to shift from power into potency is one of the most intensive initiations of his life. It is THE game-changer. THIS IS BECAUSE OUR ENTIRE COUNTRY AND EVERY ONE IN IT TEACHES MEN TO BE POWERFUL WHICH IS A WEAKER and MORE COMPROMISED FREQUENCY. While I think there are a few soaring exceptions to this, in general, POWER is the currency of the (unconscious) masculine — it is initiated and taught from one man to another. Not so with potency: it is initiated and activated by the channel of the conscious Feminine. Unless we are at the gym, I won’t ever support a man in becoming more powerful — as that is disrespecting the TRUTH of his NATURE. If you are a man / masculine principle, you are the CARRIERS of the greatest activations of creational possibility: you just need to be supported to REMEMBER.

It is my great honor to support POWERFUL men in leadership who CHOOSE to become POTENT in business and in love — because leveling up from power to potency is the precise activation point for men (our primal leaders) to gain the respect, appreciation, wealth, love, freedom and victory that is literally encoded in their DNA.

MEN: The world needs you AWAKE, ALIVE, and POTENT AF.

Gillian Pothier, M.A.

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Archetypal Coaching, Creative Mentorship, Erotica