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Magick 101 # 8.4: Powers of the Sphinx #4

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on December 26, 2011 | Comments (0)

In my previous posts (#1 here, #2 here and #3 here) in this current series, I described how author Michael Snuffin (in this post) 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:

• To Know
• To Will
• To Dare
• To Keep Silent

For Pagans reading this, those powers are often called The Witches Pyramid, sometimes adding a fifth quality, to go. In this current post, my previous posts, and my next post I’ll be discussing these four powers and how they’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 the third post of this series I discussed the third power of the sphinx, actually putting your plans and rituals into work. In this final post of the series, I’ll discuss the fourth power of the sphinx:

To Keep Silent

Most of the discussions on this power of the sphinx relate to one of two things. The first is the idea of the silence of the mind. This is the penultimate goal of real meditation. The practice of meditation involves quieting the mind and when you achieve that silence you can then be in direct contact with your Higher Self, your Holy Guardian Angel, or even God.

The second commonly discussed aspect of silence has to do with protection. You keep silent so others don’t find out what you’re doing. In the past, if people found out you were doing magick it could have had serious or even fatal repercussions. Even today, some Pagan and some ceremonial magick groups stress silence to various degrees, supposedly for this purpose (although in some cases also for control and power for the leaders).

While these are great reasons for keeping silent about your magick, I have to ask,

Is this why you want to keep silent?
It’s just saying you should meditate and not reveal what you’re doing for safety.

Well, I don’t think so. I think there’s far more to this fourth power than this. And it boils down to a simple concept:

Enflame Thyself With Prayer

This is an exhortation from the book, The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. Similar concepts are available in other traditions. In Judaism, the part of the prayer that follows the famous Shema declaration of faith begins, “And thou shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” These comments, originally appearing in Deuteronomy, 6:5 on, are mimicked in Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27, so the writers of the Bible must have considered the concept to be important.

In more modern times, the classic book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, the book that is the true source of the modern Law of Attraction craze, is basically an extended explanation of the same concept. If you want something, you have to focus all of your powers on obtaining it, whether that goal is spirituality (Bible), obtaining the Knowledge and Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel (Abramelin) or money (Hill).

Magick: More than Wand Waving

If you read any of the popular fictions, from comic books to Harry Potter, or watch movies from The Craft to any of a long list of bad horror films, it seems like all you have to do is wave your wand or mumble some words and the magick happens. As most of you reading this know, real magick doesn’t happen that way. In fact, I’d say it’s better to think of magick as a process rather than a single event; a verb, not a noun.

Many times I’ve had students tell me that they started designing a talisman or ritual to achieve a goal only to achieve the goal before they charged the talisman or performed the ritual. This is why I say that magick isn’t something you do, magick is something you are. Magick doesn’t begin when you start a ritual, it begins when you think about your goal. Similarly, magick doesn’t end when you close your ritual, it ends when you achieve or abandon your goal.

I don’t like the concept of the “supernatural,” that something isn’t part of our world. I consider the physical and non-physical worlds to be completely natural. Magick isn’t supernatural, it’s very natural. It’s our birthright. I also don’t think it’s limited to what happens inside a magickal circle. Certainly, the ceremonial work puts non-physical powers into action, but other things will do this, too, including your thinking.

Remember Hill’s title, Think and Grow Rich? That’s definitely magickal in nature! It also tells something that’s very true. As I wrote in Modern Magick, magic occurs 24/7. It’s taking place all the time. What you think, consciously and unconsciously, has magickal results. If you spend five minutes doing a ritual for wealth, and then hours every day worrying about your poverty, which magickal act do you think is going to get results?

Magick involves harnessing external energies and internal ones to achieve a goal. The internal ones are directed by rituals and the mind. Controlling the mind, therefore, is an important and often overlooked part of magick.

  • If you’re thinking, “did I do the ritual right,” you’re sending your energy to your concerns, not to the desired magickal goal
  • If you share with others not directly involved with the magick, you’re sending energy to the sharing, not the goal
  • If you focus on aspects of the ritual, wondering if you could have done something better, you’re sending energy to that, not the goal

Chaos magicians may not focus on this understanding of magick, but the attitude is correct. Do the ritual and forget about it. I say objectively record everything that happened and then forget about it. You’ve got everything written down so you don’t need to think about it. You can check back later to see what you could have done differently for more success or what you did right to assure success in other rituals.

Yes, keep quiet for the two common reasons stated above. However, Enflame Thyself with Prayer—only focus on your goal and keep mental silence about it and other things—so that your mind, body, and spirit will work in harmony to obtain the magickal goal.

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