Also called 'The Four Pillars of Magic."
I recently added this information to my book in progress "Witchcraft, Power, and Transformation: A Magical Mystery School for the 21st Century. Getting ready to do some crowdfunding to help me publish. Watch for future developments. Okay, here's what I wrote:
The first pillar, to know, means to know what you’re doing. At first, you tap into the knowledge of your predecessors, but you make it your own as you gain experience. There’s a lot to know: the correct timing for a spell; the correspondences of colors, herbs, and stones; how to put your intention into words; and much more.
The information in this chapter provides only a foundation. Every spell you cast serves as a lesson upon which to build your magical practice. Over time you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t. ‘To know’ refers to getting acquainted with the energies you feel when you work with various allies, or when you cast spells on different days, phases of the moon, or astrological alignments. But knowing goes much deeper, as well.
First, know yourself. Know exactly what you want, and why. Be sure your intentions are pure. If your words differ from your true desires, your energies will be at cross purposes, and the results of your spells will show it.
To will, the second pillar, refers to determination. When you cast a spell, you don’t just wish. An old saying tells us, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” You don’t hope things might turn out the way you want them to. You grab the horses of circumstance by the reins and turn their heads in the direction you want them to go. Do this with determination and the inner fire you can feel at your solar plexus, where your third chakra spins.
If you’re unfamiliar with the chakra system, it comes from India and is a feature of the practice of yoga. The word ‘yoga’ means ‘yoke’ in Sanskrit. It refers to the neckpiece that animals wear to pull together, and is sometimes loosely translated as ‘union.’ Most of us in the US are familiar with the physical practice only. In India, the asanas, or poses, were developed as part of a multi-faceted discipline designed to unite body, mind and spirit. There are seven main chakra centers, and the one at the solar plexus correlates to the will. Make up your mind that the universe will answer to your commands. This is the ‘committed’ part.
If you’re thinking, “Wait, this contradicts the instruction to detach from my results,” you’re right. (This refers to an earlier part of the chapter on casting spells where I talk about being 'committed, but not attached.') The magician must be able to hold these paradoxical mindsets, and interpret all outcomes as perfect. That’s the ‘detached’ part. When I wrote that developing magical skill requires practice, this is the kind of skill you need to develop. It will teach you to operate from a place beyond conceptual thinking. Don’t let its scope discourage you. Start where you are, do your best, and trust.
We come to the third pillar, to dare, which speaks to the courage required to challenge the gods, the fates, chaos, or whatever name you choose to give the force of unfolding destiny. It’s as if you stand before the All-Mother/All-Father to whom the force of the hurricane is microscopic, and with your tiny human voice, command the wind to be still. That takes some daring.
When you challenge the fates, you make yourself vulnerable to correction. Dare to face your own shadow and grow beyond who and what you think you are now. Be like the snake, shedding skin after skin. We already spoke of detaching from the results of your spell, but of all attachments, the most important to discard is the one binding you to your ego-mind.
Many people misunderstand the power of detachment from ego, thinking it means to devalue yourself. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all begin to define ourselves as very young children. We decide who and what we will be in order to survive. You became your own self-defined person, and reshaped yourself with every experience which made you feel threatened or diminished. Your ego-mind lives in fear. Its sole purpose is its own survival.
You need to become stronger than your self-imposed limits. Free yourself from their control over your life. Expand beyond restrictions of your mind so that you can gain the power necessary to bend fate. Magic will teach you how, if you let it. Over time, your ego will cease to be your master and become your servant. .
The fourth and final pillar tells us to keep silent. When you Cast a spell, you create an energetic vortex. Your words and actions will set it spinning. You also determine whether it grows and changes how things turn out, or whether it diminishes and does nothing. A lot depends upon how you nourish it.
Silence allows the energy to build. Talking dissipates it. When you tell others about it, you make your magic vulnerable to their projections and negativity. If it’s a spell you do alone, for yourself, it’s best to tell no one. Discretion is crucial.
There may be exceptions. Depending on circumstances, you might choose to share personal spells with a spouse or significant other. Do this only if you trust them to hold your work as sacred and allow the energy to build along with you. Even the best partners have their own baggage. If you’re not certain, err on the side of silence.
If it’s a spell you do for another at their request, you can tell them that you’ve done the work, and even share some details if you want. Don’t tell anyone else, and keep your sharing simple. If you do a group spell, say with a partner, close friend or your coven, everyone needs to keep silent.