I've been wrestling with this idea of power and using it to modify your own life. I have a record of getting slapped down whenever I use my power in any overt way but that may be the side effect of being a woman. I also dislike it when people use their power over me. I'm in charge of myself, opinions and ideas, or at least in charge of what I accept of them. And I've always wondered, if I use my power to add and subtract from my life, what are the forces I'm messing with and what could be the long term effects? So I hesitate in the use of practical magic and stick to evolutionary or high magic. Have you read any Josephine McCarthy? Her path is very interesting.
The concept of power is a funny one. Lots of people discuss having power or not having power. You’ll see discussions on the execution of power, the doing as it were. All of these attempts to have power, to establish some way of getting it. Power is placed external to the personal, an object to be obtained, a desire to be fulfilled. You either have or you don’t have it. Magic is perceived as one way to “have” power, to get it and use it. We could argue that money is another way, or politics, or any number of other avenues, all designed to somehow or another confer power from an external source on to another person. I disagree with this approach to power.
True power is the realization that power has always existed within you and your choice to use it to create the life you want to live. Magic is a path to power, that reveals to the practitioner how to connect the power within to the power in the universe and create a consensual reality. Power is not something you do or have. Power is the expression of your identity as it mates with the universe.
Now some might justifiably argue that if everyone has power, embodies power as it were, then why do so many people seem to be powerless. I think a lot of it is due to the abuse of power. Some people are much more in touch with their sense of power and have used it to abuse others, to create a perception of powerlessness, and to create cultural rules and boundaries that make it harder for a person to realize his/her innate power or to exercise that power. The concept of privilege speaks directly to that abuse of power, with the idea that certain people have a level of privilege that gives them a greater variety of choices and freedom, because of how the culture is structured to favor them.
To some degree this inequity has been countered, with difficulty by people who have recognized that such an inequity harms all of us. If power is to be realized as something you ontologically have present within you, the ability to execute that power must also be realized. Magic is one method (among many) of executing that power, and as such can be a way to discover empowerment of yourself , both in the environment around you, and within you. It is most effectively utilized when it is combined with other expressions of power, but can still be effective in and of itself.
There is nothing inherently better about one person or another. The realization of power ideally brings with it a realization of the responsibility that accompanies power. That responsibility is not merely to see to your own well-being, but to also look out for others, and to meaningfully contribute to the community around you in a way that shows other how to realize their own power.