Powers That Be

From EWImport
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The demiurgic powers brought about at the beginning of things to assist the One in the creation and management of the Universe.

Little is said in the YW canon about the history of the creation of the Powers, but it is plain from their occasional discussions with the characters that they have existed for a very long time -- certainly for at least as long as our physical universe has existed, and possibly for a considerable time before it. They have on occasion said that they were personally involved in the work of physical creation, doing it under the One's direction (HW, AWAB): that they became involved in defending that creation from the Lone Power after that Power's fall (HW): and that they continue to manage or care for some parts of physical existence, in some case continuing to create new things under the One's auspices.

Due to their immortality and power, and the fact that they reside outside of the Universe's normal timeflow, the Powers that Be are routinely mistaken for, or identified with, gods, demigods, and angelic powers of the highest orders. This does not, however, necessarily make them remote from mortal existence and its concerns. They are often known to take mortal form and may spend long periods in it, sometimes in extremely unlikely disguises (HW, AWAB). They also seem able -- possibly because of their hyperdimensional status or structure -- to leave parts of their personalities (as avatars) embedded or contained within mortal beings. Sometimes these embeddings may lie latent or dormant for long periods before being revealed (as in the case of Ronan in AWAB). Under most unusual circumstances, a new Power henceforth unknown will initially manifest itself in the physical universe as an avatar before being otherwise revealed. (WAW)

Despite their great power and their closeness to the innermost "circles" of reality, the Powers are not omnipotent or omniscient. There are many matters in the Universe which are unclear to them; these they must rely on mortal creatures to discover (WAW, TBM). They therefore conceive of their relationship to beings living inside time as a partnership, rather than a relationship of superiors to inferiors (HW).

The Powers that Be share some characteristics with the Powers (a rendering of the Greek word exousia) of classical angelology. It would probably be a mistake to attempt to describe them simply as angels, however, as the Powers' job description seems to include operations previously attributed to more elevated orders of creation such as Virtues and Dominions.


(See also: Pleroma.)