‹ Go Back

The View from a Power Place



What is a power place? More importantly, where is your power place?


The question, “Where is your power place?” is one that should really be addressed to the Millennials. These are the young people between the ages of 13 and 35 who may currently believe it to be a chair in front of a computer. For this reason, I’m hoping some readers will relay this message to Millennials. My theory is that a general awakening to the importance of discovering one’s real power place could contribute to collective transformation. So, now for a little background.

It was Santa Fe that introduced me to the concept of a power place. It originates in metaphysics, a philosophy that goes beyond traditional knowledge to explore the nature of reality. One example of a metaphysical question is, “Why am I here?” Santa Fe seems for some reason to be extremely attractive to people trying to figure this out. And surely this is a big question for Millennials riding change like a storm-tossed boat.

A power place would be onshore, figuratively speaking–solid earth with a landscape, a cultural dynamic, a distinctive climate, and opportunity to fulfill unique individual potential. It is basically a place where one will thrive as nowhere else.

A wide variety of entities have incorporated this term into their names–churches, equipment businesses, office buildings, gyms, and residential developments. A message resonates: You will find here the way to empower yourself through the discovery, development, and cultivation of important tools and personal gifts.

I had no idea about any of this on my first visit to Santa Fe back in about 1992. I was taking a walk alone one winter morning down Alameda Street East, which runs along the Santa Fe River. I can’t say exactly what it was that moved me–the Sangre de Cristo Mountains looming ahead, a brilliant quality of light that can turn any humble image into art, or a mysterious energy acting as a kind of sensory inebriant.

As I walked, it was as though a hand reached up from the earth to touch me with this message: “This is where you belong.” And like artist Georgia O’Keeffe on her first visit in 1917, “From then on I was always on my way back.” It would be 13 years before I was finally able to settle here permanently. I had lived in eight states, the District of Columbia, and one foreign country, all with special virtues and beautiful landscapes, but Santa Fe is different. It’s my power place.

But to Be Realistic . . .

The city has a reputation for turning on creative people, and I have been more inspired and productive here than anywhere else–not that I’ve gotten rich and famous from my work. In fact, there is a saying that “The way to have a little money in Santa Fe is to come here with a lot of it.”

Early Santa Fe Adobe

The city is not for everyone. In fact, a friend who is a Realtor shared the story of a woman from New York who came here expecting to buy a home. She stayed overnight but called my friend early the next morning and said, “Everything here looks like little brown loaves of bread, and I’m leaving.”

Another friend who was very much into metaphysics and was on a spiritual quest also stayed only one night. She hit the road for Taos the next morning, where she found herself more aligned to the “warrior energy” for which it is famous.

But what a revelation to discover that there is a place on this earth that may speak to each of us as no other does. This may jump roots and family ties and career opportunities. This is about some quality of attraction that claims the individual in a way that, as Oliver La Farge wrote, “cannot be explained or submitted to reason.” That’s metaphysics for you–the discovery of a heartfelt alliance with some special place on Earth, a place where the soul begins to vibrate like a happy tuning fork.

Finding such a place has never been a conventional objective, but perhaps we are at such a time in history when the young may add it to an early bucket list to maximize quality of life. And discovering it might not require traveling all over the country as in search of a treasure. I also discovered here a potential shortcut.

Years after Santa Fe had captivated me, I was introduced to astrocartography, a form of locational astrology that purports to predict certain qualities of experience in certain locations based on the moment and place of birth. I checked into Santa Fe just out of curiosity and discovered that at the moment of my birth, Jupiter occupied a powerful position overhead here that was extremely auspicious. So glad Saturn wasn’t up there murking up my impending enchantment.

The Importance of “Grounding”

I can sense eyes rolling, but this is the kind of metaphysical inquiry that leads to a larger sense of grounding on Planet Earth itself. We are perpetually so distracted by the incessant din of reality that we forget how deeply rooted we are on this planet, just like every single blade of grass and every tree. And amid the current turmoil, an attachment to place may not only ground us but also bring out our best in the form of commitment to “home.”

If one accepts the premise that we live in a very precarious time and humanity needs to change to ensure our survival, one’s power place would be an important platform from which to launch idealistic initiatives. The point I’m rounding on is that, since New Mexico has historically had a special appeal for adventurous and independent women, this may be the power place of many who will serve to generate positive momentum nationwide.

Everywhere I’ve ever lived, I’ve had women friends who were highly intelligent and dynamic, but I’ve never known so many in one place. These are women who are married, divorced, widowed, or single, who are highly educated, and who are deep and daring thinkers fortified by extraordinary careers and life experiences. They are a collective powerhouse whose meter reading daily registers a rising desire to help make things better.

So perhaps Northern New Mexico and Santa Fe in particular could gain an even larger reputation for being a place where feminine creativity has served cultural renewal. More on that later, though. Time to head to the gym to work on further strengthening my own core.




2 Responses to “The View from a Power Place”

  1. Elizabeth Robechek

    Santa Fe and New Mexico provide environmental, cultural, spiritual, artistic etc frames that really work for me—the spareness of the setting and that fact that towels dry long before next use also make me sigh with satisfaction—a form of empowerment, yes?

    Yet there are elements of place that provide an infusion of power that are more characteristics than map orientations. We each have major and minor landforms that strengthen or deplete us as human beings. For instances some like the feeling of a harbor, some a promontory, some a cave. Matching were we spend our time with a land form that empowers who we truly are can lead to a productive life. Myself, I like the borderlands far more that crowds and bustling activity. Finding and experiencing the edges of things, the perimeter, anywhere I find myself living, is one of the first things I scope out.

    Understanding what leads to, adds to our sense of empowerment could change civilizations…..may each find the journey rewarding. So many are on the move across the globe at this time…..may it lead to the highest and best for all concerned.

  2. Orwell or Aldous Huxley? Les Fenter

    Well Ellen, thx for another worthy insight on . . . .you. Your comments cause me to consider “My Purpose” and “My Power Place”, two piercing thoughts enter my head. 1. My purpose is, “To love God by loving others.” The word, “love” here is translated from the Greek word, “Agape” or “respect”/”honor”/service”. (As an intelligent, product of extraordinary experience, you don’t need that mini-vocabulary comment.) My purpose is to interact with some folk in a way that improves their existence. Well, I try. 😉 2. No matter where you go, THERE YOU ARE!. — Geography has some influence on my purpose. But, shamefully, I admit, as a short man, my sphere of influence is strongest where my record survives. (i.e. cannot walk into a room of strangers or barely know-me’s and have much influence.) So my influence would be my little area around Marble Falls . . . and maybe a few SA or Houston remnants. Oh BTW, what do I mean by, “God”? (Pls hang on another moment.) God is Spirit, God is “agape” love. Can’t see it, touch it. Sometimes can feel it; experience it; bask in it. As your “Spirit Guide”, Lizard gave you peeks; you have experienced some of it. Ahhh wait! espere te.. This evening’s sunset was nothing short of spectacular here in ABQ. How was yours? That is where I am now. Looking forward to sipping a cool beverage w/you some day, Ellen.