InÂ my previous posts (#1 here and #2 here) in this current series, I described how authorÂ Michael Snuffin (in thisÂ post)Â describes the concept of the powers of the Sphinx and how they are centered on the writings of Eliphas Levi and Aleister Crowley. These powers are:
â€˘ To Know
â€˘ To Will
â€˘ To Dare
â€˘ To Keep Silent
For Pagans reading this, those powers are often calledÂ The Witches Pyramid, sometimes adding a fifth quality, to go.Â In this current post, myÂ previous posts, and my next post Iâ€™ll be discussing these four powers and how theyâ€™re associated with magick. I previously discussed “To Know” and how knowledge, in an of itself, can help you achieve change in conformity with your Will: magick. I also discussed the second power of the Sphinx, “To Will,” and the two aspects of this, making up your mind and how to program your unconscious mind to develop willpower. In this post I’m going to discuss the third power of the sphinx:
One of the things I’ve discussed in my books and when I give lectures is the theoretical or armchair magician. You can ask him or her any question on magick and the armchair magician can rattle off answers and even share differences of opinions about the subject presented by famous occultists. They can supply dates when important events in the history of magick occurred and how occult groups changed over time. But when it comes to actually performing any magick, they always have a reason why they can’t do it “right now”:
I have to finish making my wand. The original version of the ritual is being translated as we speak and I’m waiting for it. The ritual requires three days of fasting and my health won’t allow it.
These are all good reasons. They remind me of John Belushi’s wild rant as Joliet Jake Blues in the 1980 film, “The Blues Brothers”:
“I ran out of gas.
I had a flat tire.
I didn’t have enough money for cab fare.
My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners.
An old friend came in from out of town.
Someone stole my car.
There was an earthquake.
A terrible flood.
IT WASN’T MY FAULT! I SWEAR TO GAAAAAAWWD!”
All of those reasons, were they real, are good reasons. But just as we can see through the rant of Joliet Jake, it’s clear that there’s another word for reasons: excuses.
“A Vision of Jake Blues (John Belushi)” in “The Blues Brothers
by Julie Facine
There is absolutely nothing wrong or bad about being an armchair magician. Personally, I think we need theorists and magickal philosophers. But to the increasing number of people who want to be and are practicing magicians, all that needs to be done is get up out of the La-Z-Boy and do something!
Pick a ritual and do it.
Pick an exercise and practice it.
Once you get into the habit of daring to do something rather than just reading or thinking about it, actually performing magick will become something you literally need to do. Daring to do magick is the power of the sphinx that separates armchair magicians from practicing magicians.
Where Do You Stand?
As I wrote, there’s nothing wrong with being an armchair magician. In fact, I think we need more of them. But if you want to be a practicing magician, you need to empower yourself with the third power of the sphinx. It takes courage to dare to actually work magick. It takes courage to practice the exercises, study the theory, and put it all into use.