Column: The Law of the Sphinx

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In order to dare, you must know
In order to will, you must dare
You must will to possess the empire
To reign, you must be silent

The Law of the Sphinx gives us guidelines by which we may both work our magick and live our lives. Everything starts with the spark of a thought. Things must exist in the astral before they can be made manifest in the physical plane.

Sphinx near the River Thames, London, England, 2016 [E. Scott]

Everything starts as a seed full of maximum potential. The need for the outcome of the seed must be there – the desire to see it grow. Then there is the challenge of planting the seed, actually putting it in the ground out of sight, and trusting in the outcome. Finally, there is the trusting of the process: to let the seed grow underground without digging it up to check on it’s progression.

In magick, this gives us a sort of “order of operations” in how to craft our spellworkings and ritual. We start with the idea: the concept, the thing we’re attempting to attain, the goal towards which we are headed. We have to identify what exactly it is that we’re trying to do.

Then we must have the desire to create that outcome, the will to put our plan in motion. This is the driving force that says, “Yes, this is what I want to make happen, so now how do I do that?” Once the desire is there, we must really actually do the working, often doing something new or different in the process. We must dare to let these things manifest in our lives. We must love ourselves enough to believe they will, and should, having a desire for the outcome. Finally, we must trust the process and not poke the spell with a stick to see if it’s working. We trust that it is working. We know, due to our planning, effort and desire, that it is working.

The same is true in the rest of our lives. An idea sparks, followed by the need for that idea to come to fruition. That need drives the will to make it happen, and then we must wait and give the process time to unfold. We must remember to be happy with the outcome, and not gloat when things turn out the way we hoped (which shows a lack of true appreciation for the things we receive or the people to whom we are gloating), nor be mournful or despondent if they do not (as sometimes those things we desire are not ready to be made manifest at this time).

“Pagan” bookshelf in Hogsmeade, Universal Studios Orlando [H. Greene]

It’s hard to build a bookcase, for example, if the carpenter hasn’t envisioned the final product in their head. And as someone who has ruined perfect good pastry puffs by peeking into the oven before they’re done, I can tell you that the patience to trust the process is a very vital step, as all of your effort and planning can be done away with in an instant with one small bit of lack of trust.

Magick, like life, is a process that has a natural flow. These are also foundational aspects to all workings. These four laws – To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Be Silent – form the foundation of the Witch’s Pyramid. Without a strong foundation, our magick – or whatever you are attempting to build in life – will crumble.