The Witches Pyramid for Beginners
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 4 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 Quatinary. 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
Points Made By the Witches Pyramid:
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 spellz-r-us.com 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.
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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.
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 make 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 road blocks 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
© 2014 Mackenzie Sage Wright
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