To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Be Silent

The Witches’ Pyramid
also known as the 4 Powers of the Magus

To Know – (Air Element) means to know what you want and what you are doing, intellectually and practically. To have knowledge of spellwork, magick, and ritual. To know what may work best in your situation, what you are able to handle, are comfortable with, how to execute what you want. Most importantly, to know what you want to accomplish. The more concise you can make your statement of purpose, the better and more effective your magick will be. Keep journals or notebooks on work you are doing, i.e. spells or rituals – what you used, astrological info. (time of day, month, hour, moon phase, etc.), colors, incense, oils, and so forth. You may even record other spells you’ve found and adapt them. Research and assembly of materials take up most of the time. If it’s worth doing a spell or magick it’s worth putting in the time to do it right.

To Dare – (Water Element) means to have the gumption to get it done. You can say you have the will to do something, but unless you physically move nothing will happen. You need to do the research, the preparation and actually physically perform the magick or nothing will manifest. I realize that sounds as simple as it comes…but this is where many rituals, spells and magick fail. You’ve heard the expression that “actions speak louder than words”, nothing could be more true here. You must invest your time and energy to put a magickal act in motion.

To Will – (Fire Element) refers to the desire, drive or internal fire. The emotional and psychic energy to accomplish your purpose. You can be very educated and have all the information of a book inside your mind and be perfectly practiced at it, but you have to have your own emotional energy to put into the thing, or it won’t go anywhere. The will is the energy you draw from when you raise the power for the magick. If you truly don’t have the desire, drive or internal fire it will never manifest.

To Keep Silent – (Earth Element) is the last but certainly not least. You know what you want, you have the desire for it, you have performed the act to make it manifest…now you must let it go. If you are constantly talking and dwelling on it, you haven’t let it go. You are still tied to it and are in effect calling it back every time you mention or discuss it, thus you are not releasing it to the Gods to let them handle it. In addition, there are people who may not like what you’re doing and/or may not approve of the methods you used thus their negative thinking, words and actions could effect the outcome.

To be Silent also harkens back to the burning times. When to discuss magick, spells or rituals could get you killed. It is a belief among some traditions that you must never reveal others within the Craft, you must never reveal true identities (thus the reason for magickal names), you must never reveal the location of your circle or Covenstead, for to do so would certainly mean death for not only you but others as well….So be Silent!

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The Witches’ Pyramid
also known as the 4 Powers of the Magus

To know, to dare, to will, to be silent.

I don’t know for a fact, but I strongly suspect this phrase to be another hand-me-down of ceremonial magic due both to its content and its alternate title – a magus was a magician or astrologer in ancient times. The term originates from Persia, where it once referred to members of the hereditary Zoroastrian and pre-Zoroastrian class of priests.1

The Pyramid refers mostly to the practicing of magic.

To know – Ceremonial magic, especially that which survived through the Christian era, requires extensive knowledge of numerology, astrology, mathematics and more. While such studies have little place in Wicca, we still value knowledge. Everything we learn contributes another piece of the overall picture. It’s why so many of complain today of Bunnies who “read one book and think themselves expert.” Wicca also requires knowledge and understanding of the gods – not book learning, but personal experience.

To dare – One must be willing to take risks, to approach their tasks boldly and face the mysteries we investigate and experience. Wicca is not all goodness and light. One must be willing and able to face down the bad as well as the good, embracing the whole. However, this does not mean we should enter into things brashly or without thought, for that would negate the first phrase, “to know”.

To will – If you do not believe you can succeed, you will not succeed. This is more than a simple acknowledgment – it must be a deep and heartfelt belief. You cannot fake you way past the gods. And yet, you should not shy away from those things that might contradict your belief, as that would negate the first two phrases, “to know” and “to dare”. Crowley’s Thelema centers solidly around the concept of power of will.

To be silent – There are several meanings attributed to this phrase. The one I find most appropriate in this day and age is that one should not brag or threaten others concerning their talents with magic. Magic is a divine gift, not some big, shiny stick to wave in crowds for attention.

Some say that magic loses its potency when it is openly discussed, or discussed at all.

Others attribute the phrase to the Burning Times, and that it was a command of self-preservation – advertising otherworldly powers won one a quick trip to the stake.

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