Many of the Pagan and / or Magical traditions have their ‘Laws’…the Wiccan Rede, the Law of Threefold return. According to Alister Crowley “Love is the Law” (and in part I can see where he was coming from). Robert Cochrane also states 4 of what he calls “Witch Laws” in his Letters:
Do Not What You Desire – Do what is Necessary
Take all you Are Given – Give All of Your Self
What I Have – I Hold
When All Else is Lost, and Not until Then, Prepare to Die with Dignity
Again I see where R.C was coming from here, and the Laws he presents are just as shrouded in mystery as much of what he presented in his letters…I admit I need to look at these in greater depth however I have my own Laws. My Law represents my ‘Witchdom’ my code of conduct, my ethos, my practise…in essence this law stands for who I am, why I am, why I do what I do and the way in which I do it.
To Be Silent
I first came across this maybe 10 or more years ago, in fact I can’t say I remember running into it again since but it’s always stuck. I have seen it referred to as the Witches Pyramid but you don’t have to do much research to know it’s older than that but either way, in true Magpie fashion it makes sense to me so I use it! So let’s have a look at these four lines and I’ll explain why I have adopted them as my ‘Witch Law’
To Know – As R.C said “a driving thirst for knowledge is the forerunner to wisdom”. One must have knowledge to practise ones craft. This doesn’t only apply to the Artes but all of the many threads of life’s tapestry…one must have knowledge of anything if one expects to practise…a doctor must know anatomy, a solicitor must know the law. I strive to know my craft… (My as in me, myself and I and Craft as in my practise, my heritage, the whys and wherefores). Knowledge plus understanding bring wisdom.
To Will – There is no place for arm chair Witches in the Craft….if you don’t make it past ‘To Know’ then you might as well move into the local library and bury yourself in books. Wisdom can only be gained through your will to seek it… if it’s not what you really want…if you don’t yearn for truth and feel the absence of God then you will never Will yourself out of the library. Anyone can read a book….only the willing can practise and therefore understand. Knowledge plus understanding bring wisdom.
To Dare – Do you dare seek the shadows of your soul? Do You Do venture out under the dark night sky to a place only the Old Gods know? Do you dare not conform with modern day mainstream faiths? Do you dare make the sacrifices which need to be made to practise your Craft? You must have strength, courage to do these things and more. Once you have mastered the Know, and you have established you have the Will…do you dare submit that will over to THE Will…the Will of the Gods?
To Be Silent – Silence is Golden (so they say). Silence is often a requirement….something you pledge upon initiation, sometimes things are discussed which are Sub Rosa (under the rose / secret). Yet the Law ‘To be Silent’ goes deeper than that. Words have their place and words have power…power can be abused. A name is a word…to know the name of something is to have power over it. In past ages the secret name of God was never uttered even by those who knew it.
Have you ever enjoyed the beauty and magic of a completely silent ritual? A gesture can say a thousand words. The old saying goes that Humans were given two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak (if only that were true). It is only when our mouths and minds are silent that our hearts can speak truth, and the spirits can be heard…whispers in the winds, a name in the song of a distant bird.
Silence isn’t just about secrecy….think of those silent Convents and Monasteries!
“In order to DARE we must KNOW; in order to WILL, we must DARE; we must WILL to possess and to reign we must BE SILENT”. – Eliphas Levi
There is something uniting these four however…a cord or thread which joins and makes these four parts whole and that is the ultimate Goal or The Why…why am I what I am? Why do I do what I do? Truth? Wisdom? Transformation?
I’ll have to ask the Sphinx…..