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The Witches Pyramid for Beginners

Sage has been a witch for 25 years. She enjoys writing informative articles to teach others the craft of the wise.

Witchcraft for Beginners

The Witches Pyramid is not an actual pyramid structure. It’s a philosophy of thought meant to demonstrate the foundation of magical arts. The name comes from the fact that a pyramid, a symbol of enlightenment, has four corners that provide equal support for the structure.

It has been called by other names, such as 4 Powers of the Magus, 4 Secrets of the Sphinx, and the Hermetic Quaternary. No one really knows the origins of the Witches Pyramid. It may be rooted in Hermetic magic, or it may be older and have come through Hermetic magic. It's been fairly widespread through ceremonial magic and, in the 20th century, made its way to Witchcraft.

The Witches Pyramid has some slight variations from system to system, but there aren't many major differences. If you're studying any kind of magic, it's a good idea to keep the pyramid in mind.

The Witches Pyramid

The Witches Pyramid

Points Made by the Witches Pyramid:

to know

to dare

to will

to keep silent

(revisionist version) to go

Witches Pyramid: To Know

Corresponding to the element of Air, one corner of the pyramid teach us that we must know what we are doing. People studying magic need to seek knowledge. Unfortunately, in literature, folklore, and entertainment, magic is always treated as though it's instant gratification, but that's a bit like saying a brain surgeon's career is instant gratification.

To really learn magic properly, it's not enough to just act out something from and cross your fingers. That’s not practicing Witchcraft; it’s dabbling, which is often ineffective (and can be disastrous).

You need to learn to understand the principles behind everything you’re doing. You need to understand why you are making certain gestures or why you are using certain components. You need to think about correspondences and timing. You need to understand the philosophy behind the methods you’ve chosen, to understand how and why they work. You need to know how to achieve the proper state of mind, how to raise and direct energy.

Anyone determined to learn Witchcraft should remember they are entering a practice in which they’ll be an eternal student.

Witches Pyramid: To Dare

The second corner of the pyramid corresponds with the element of Earth. Practicing magic is a challenging skill to learn. You need to practice. You need to develop skills. You need to be able to endure and persevere because rewards do not come quickly and easily.

You need to be strong and courageous—and by that, I don’t mean you need to worry about fire and brimstone raining down on you or demons (which I don’t believe in myself) knocking at your door. I mean, you have to be willing to get to know yourself, to test yourself, to face your true inner self. You need to be honest about yourself, about who you are and what you want. You need to learn how to be the master of your own ego.

Learning the Craft requires learning to develop and trust your ability, to have confidence and be willing to take action.

Witches Pyramid: To Will

The third corner of the pyramid corresponds to the element of Fire. It involves the will—is your heart in it? Are you committed to it? This corner of the period involves desire—are you truly ready to go after what you want? Are you willing to sacrifice for it, make it a priority?

You need to be able to focus your thoughts, visualize, and work with energy. You need to be willing to take responsibility for your efforts, as well as the outcomes. You need to have the ambition to carry on, how to focus your intent. You need to have the creativity and ingenuity to find a way to make it all work for you by cultivating the imagination as much as you cultivate knowledge through study.

To practice Witchcraft, you need to be willing and able to project your will and make it manifest.

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Witches Pyramid

Witches Pyramid

Witches Pyramid: To Be Silent

This cornerstone of magical arts corresponds to the element of Water. What has that got to do with Witchcraft? More than you would know, really. This is probably one part that is most often overlooked, and may even be unknown by many beginners.

One reason to keep silent is that the magical arts are a serious undertaking. Prideful displays of boasting and threats inflate the ego, which makes it impossible to find the necessary mental balance to practice the Craft effectively. Secrecy is common because Witches hold the study of magic in high regard—to throw sacred knowledge out there to be denigrated by non-believers is disrespectful.

Finally, until a magical working is made manifest, any negative energies can derail your effort. Telling people about your spells when they have negative thoughts, such as doubt or envy, can derail your efforts. Thought forms are energy and they essentially put up roadblocks to your success.

This is one point on which a lot of young seekers have so much trouble. They discover the Craft is real and can't wait to jump in, but their excitement and a desire for attention and external validation causes them to talk to much, or to show off a bit. They're dying to talk about it, so they'll bring it up at the lunch table at school or make announcements to everyone in the family. They want to be asked something or challenged, so they'll wear giant pentagrams or Pagan t-shirts.

I'm certainly not suggesting they be ashamed of Witchcraft, but there has to be a happy medium between ashamed and showing off. How about some good old-fashioned privacy and introspection? If seekers approached it with a little more reverence and respect—an eyes and ears open, mouth closed approach—they would be all the better for it.

Witches Pyramid Optional 5th Point: To Go

To Go is not a traditional inclusion in the Witches Pyramid, but has become more and more popular in recent decades. It’s one of the biggest variations you’ll find, as some sources include it and some don’t. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you feel it has any relevance in your efforts to learn Witchcraft.

To go is believed to correspond to the fifth element, the element of Spirit. It’s putting your soul into your workings by not just talking the talk, but walking the walk. Witchcraft is not just an interest or a passive pursuit, but a lifestyle. Through your service to yourself, your community, and your world, you truly become a Witch and reach your potential.

To Go means to take the other four corners and begin applying them to all aspects of your life; it’s bringing the other four corners into balance. When you integrate them under wisdom and divine insight from your higher self, you are able to achieve greater skill levels.

The Witches Pyramid

The Witches Pyramid

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2014 Mackenzie Sage Wright


Liliane on July 10, 2020:

I truly enjoyed this article.

Annabelle Hayes on February 19, 2019:


Patricia Quévy on November 04, 2018:

Thank you.

Jennifer on October 14, 2018:

I knew someone a while back and I just found out recently that she has put a block on me and I didn't even know until after we had stopped talking. I have always been an open person to new things and before I met her I was able to do things but I haven't been able to now.

Newbie confusion on September 04, 2018:

I’m not totally sure, but it seems like the elemental correspondences for To Dare and To Keep Silent are switched around? Based on other sources it seems that way but also from an intuitive perspective. It seems like Keeping Silent would be more related to the solid stable energy of Earth, while To Dare seems like something that occurs like a great ocean wave. Between daring or keeping silent, wouldn’t daring have a much stronger tie to water and the emotions than keeping silent? Are these correspondences often debated and not agreed upon?

Tate on August 01, 2018:

Hello, I have just recently started to research witchcraft. I recently told my sister my encounters with magic users, and how I've never tried it, and she wanted to try magic herself. She wanted to research but she isn't very good at it so I'm helping her with her. She thought she could start casting cool spells right away, but even I knew before we started research it wasn't that easy. As I've researched on your articles and a few others I've become increasingly interested in doing it, not as a small hobby, but actually learning it. We tried meditating and I had a wonderful experience with it, feeling at peace. My sister sadly fell asleep after 5 minutes, but felt peaceful as well. I find your articles very helpful and enjoy researching on them. Thank you for posting these.

Kelsey on March 12, 2018:

I am just starting to research witchcraft and am trying to learn as much as I can before I practice. I came across your articles for beginners and have found it very helpful. I have been very confused on where to start and this has helped me become less so. Thank you so much!

Nicole MacKenzie on January 04, 2018:

I am thankful for your inspirations. You paint a good picture.

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on October 12, 2017:

Thank you , so kind of you to say! Glad to help.

Blessings upon your journey.

Gemma Anderson on October 11, 2017:

I've been taking notes, this is very instructive and helpful, I'm drinking it in and thinking it over understanding it bit by bit. I'm a new witch , really more of a student at this stage, as I'm not ready to start practising , ...I never knew about the pyramid, but , To dare ..really applies to my life right now, at the minuet I am at that point , I'm questioning if I really dare to let this be a new life for me, and at the moment its winning.

Your a good teacher.

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on August 12, 2017:

That's easy actually. You're not. No one is. Witchcraft is just that-- a Craft. You're not born with it anymore than you're born being a doctor or a musician. Some people might have more talent than others, but if you want to be a Witch, you have to work at it.

What you're describing is psychic abilities; lots of psychics don't practice Witchcraft. They're not the same thing :o)

Hope that helps~

Srlemieux on July 15, 2017:

Excellent article, well said. Thank you

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on July 02, 2017:

Thanks Elizabeth! I appreciate the comment!

Elizabeth Bugarin on July 01, 2017:

I've always been an open minded person. I want to actually study witchcraft and become a witch myseslf. I've always thought it was a beautiful lifestyle, breaking the fictional stereotypes and all. Since, I'm new to all of this, I'm making sure to take notes. Thanks for the explanations in your articles. They are very easy to understand.

uh on March 16, 2017:

To Keep the Silence, corresponds to the element of Water ??? I think is a Earth element, rite? Some thing wrong here?

Moonchilld on January 22, 2017:

This is excellent and extremely helpful

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on October 25, 2016:

Dark, I laugh when people say we wear pointed hats, lol. I do correct people on the 'warlock' term when I get a chance. Thanks for the input!

Xavier DAH from Utah on October 24, 2016:

do you hate how people say we wear pointed hats and call male witches worlocks-(which means oath-breaker)

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on April 17, 2014:

Thanks Eddy, I appreciate your stopping by and voting. You have a great day too! I know I am enjoying this weather! Take care~

Eiddwen from Wales on April 17, 2014:

So interesting and well presented.

Voting up, sharing and also wishing you a great day.


Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on April 16, 2014:

Thanks MG Singh-- it has always fascinated me, I know that. I'm glad you found the information here interesting. Thanks for stopping by.

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on April 16, 2014:

Ha, "Hell Yea"-- I take that as a major compliment, thanks, Billy!

MG Singh from UAE on April 15, 2014:

Witchcraft is duch an interesting subject. Very well presented post

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 15, 2014:

I read and then I pass these on to my in his words...."Hell Yea!"

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on April 15, 2014:

Thanks Nell! Yep, an oldie but a goodie. Still great advice. Thanks for your comment!

Nell Rose from England on April 15, 2014:

Hiya, oh this brought back memories! lol! I remember learning this many years ago when I first got into witchcraft, great explanation wiccan! voted up and shared! nell

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