As I’ve mentioned before, I have some expressions that my friends have dubbed Gailisms. For the most part, most of these expressions have a story behind it or it is really an expression used by my family. I love stories. I love to tell them and I love to hear them. A good portion of my family are storyteller — telling stories about each other and on each other. To me, geneology is boring a sort of family organizational chart. What I love are the pictures and stories. In my family, when we show each other a photo or a drawing made by one of us, we know a story is going to be told. This habit and method of communication extends to my family of choice as well. In this way, we create community or tribe.
Many years ago, my youngest brother was telling me about three incidents that involved his thinking bad thoughts and having them come true. I don’t remember the incidents exactly anymore but it involved things like, “you’re going to get hurt doing that,” and then the other person gets hurt. He was talking to me on the phone about these situations and I quipped, “You should use your powers for good and not for evil.” From that point on, if he was nervous about something, he’d email me or say, “Use your powers,” or “I’m using my powers.” Then my sister picked it up and it became a family expression.
The use of this expression has extended to my work. We are holding a raffle fundraiser for our social committee in celebration of Valentine’s day. The prize is a basket of wine and chocoloate. When a young coworker came in to buy his tickets, he said he’d better win.
I said, “Too late, I’m using my powers.”
And he said, “Are you using your powers against me?”
“No I’m using my powers for MY good.”
Obviously the application of this statement has infinite variety and opportunity for cleverness (at least in my mind).
This was around the time I went from a solitary to a Pagan active in a community and this quip took on new power. As Wiccans and Pagans, we believe we do have the ability to create change by bending our thoughts and will to the change we want or need. We also try to use our abilities (powers) in harmony with the Universe. When our actions follow the trail of our mind and the Universe, we create magical change. Then, for me, the quip, “using my powers for good and not for evil,” took on a more textured meaning. It acknowledges that we, as humans, do have the power to effect our lives and the world around us, and that we need to act responsibly and with gratitude and compassion.
I’ve also quipped that you can tell when it’s going to be a bad movie if the characters over-pronounce certain words: Goddess becomes gawDESS and evil becomes eeeeeeevvvvvvilllllllllle (long, very long e).
So when using your powers, know that it is prounounced EEEEEEVILLLLLLLLE.