To Keep Silence: The Power of Taboo

An interesting and much needed topic to address, on a very dreary, wet and windy day over my way. As a quick aside, I wish everyone well in the current turbulent times and hope everyone is well and prepared. On to the post.

There were recently some unfortunate circumstances in the wider Primal Craft community – and I think that some of the lessons learned there would be of benefit to others who read the blog. As such ill jump straight into it. This may seem a little preachy – but it is vital that people reflect on the concept of taboo and how it applies to witchcraft practice as its a vital part of our praxis.

Taboo is a word that entered the english lexicon from the Tongan word ‘tabu’, and means in both languages that which is ‘set apart, forbidden’. In witchcraft practice, and especially Primal Craft practice, knowing about this concept and where it is applies is extremely important.

This goes doubly so, when there are no ‘formal written rules’, like much of witchcraft, but instead where the practitioner must use good common sense based on a relationship with their fellow craft members and the Spirits and Gods of the current.

In the ‘witchcraft’ community these days, there is a tendency to overshare all aspects of the craft. From ‘instagram’ witches to televangelist style ‘LHP’ youtube channels, unfortunately the last few years we have seemed to hit peak ‘pop exposure’. In my mind, none of this serves to further the actual craft – all of it being mostly for self serving ego trips, or simply a quick buck. Even amongst genuine practitioners, it is sometimes hard to know what should be, and what should not be, shared. It is something I personally struggle with – wanting to illustrate and share the stellar, primal magick I practice, whilst at the same time leaving enough occulted to protect both myself and others and to keep to my understanding of magickal taboo. Looking into the history of the craft can help illuminate the way forward.

‘Sabbatic Goat’, original artist Eliphas Levi, print artist unknown

The famous occultist Eliphas Levi, was the first to articulate what would become known as the Witches Pyramid. This became woven into the magickal practices of the Golden Dawn and thus into many Modern Witchcraft practices which were heavily inspired by western ceremonial magic. This list of four principles, sometimes expanded to five by some, is described in Levis book ‘Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual’, as follows:

“To attain the SANCTUM REGNUM, in other words, the knowledge and power of the Magi, there are four indispensable conditions an intelligence illuminated by study, an intrepidity which nothing can check, a will which cannot be broken, and a prudence which nothing can corrupt and nothing intoxicate. TO KNOW, TO DARE, TO WILL, TO KEEP SILENCE such are the four words of the Magus, inscribed upon the four symbolical forms of the sphinx.”

This witches tool is where we can begin. As we can see, Levi used the words ‘TO KEEP SILENCE’, but many witches today replace this with the much improved sounding ‘to keep silent’. Silence can mean many things when we look at it – not only is it about keeping literal silence, but also is about discernment – knowing when to speak – and when to instead, focus on listening. This is something lost in our modern social media world – many are only interested in speaking. This holds them back and leads to grave mistakes. Thinking one holds the answers all the time is not conducive to further learning. Instead, silence encourages us to listen to our internal voice of discernment, rather than rushing and making mistakes, and that of others who are knowledgeable where they they offer wisdom and guidance.

In Levis day it also had another meaning – witchcraft was looked on as extremely socially unacceptable and that came with in many cases, severe repercussions not just from the community, but from the judicial system. This is still the case in many parts of the world, where ironically witchcraft itself is a taboo, and punishments can mean death for practitioners. There they do not have our freedoms to plaster up calling cards to dangerous entities as tweets, without getting hauled off to a very real dungeon.

In regards to magickal taboo, we can see the echos of the witches pyramid within it. There is a power in silence – ‘power shared is power lost’ and other sayings found in even wider culture reinforce this.

When it comes to Trident Craft, there are certain elements that are certainly taboo for me. Sharing full altar images publicly is one of them – there may be sigils that are not meant for the eyes of the profane, those who are not initiated into the current. As a meeting point between the worlds between me and the Gods, contamination from outside is not acceptable when performing the higher theurgic rites and can have severe consequences. The only time ive shared such images was  is one of a torn down altar as it was a requirement to join the Covenant of Hecate – the altar having been ‘sanitised’ of anything sensitive – or between close working initiated witches who I was demonstrating particular setups and the reasoning behind it for learning purposes.

For similar reasons I won’t share pictures of certain sigils, or even publicly available sigils blooded these days. That work is sacred and not for display on the internet, and is debatable to share even within an outer court group where everyone may not be self initiates. There are real energetic links there that can be significantly disturbed if shared inappropriately.

The risk in certain cases can be even worse, at least someone who believes like me that the Gods do not take kindly to those who profane the work. This doubly goes where such profanation is done to rake a profit at the expense of the gullible. For example, maybe someone new to occultism will see a sigil and try to activate it in blood, causing them severe issues as they have not done the needed preparatory work, up to and including an early death. That mistake, would be to an extent on the person who shared the original sigil, so it is something I just try to not court.

Silence,” by Igor Stevanovic

This amplifies when dealing with the Atlantean current, which is incredibly heavy and raw. There is a reason that there exists many pass me knots before serious work with it can begun, and why it is reiterated time and time again it is not for the initiate but the adept. My experience at the Temple of Four Pillars of Fire and subsequent small encounters with Sepheranz has taught me to show nothing but the deepest of respect to her, with the healthy dose of fear that does accompany such work. One should know ones place, when working with such Gods, to an extent. Only from this position can the work be effectively approached. This is again something that has been lost in modern magick – leading to an explosion of ego and bad practice.  Missteps with those beings can be permanent and see destructive soul change that cannot be repaired.

This is also the reason I have uploaded fewer and fewer PDFs in recent years. The current ‘route’ I am taking is quite untraveled – until i have reached to a safe plateau where I can detail the route in full, it would be idiotic to encourage others to climb that exact same route without a proper map. Therefore only sharing the more exoteric aspects, I am able to keep people informed and guide without revealing anything that could cause potential issues. The work I am doing now is simply not for sharing in full at this time. Whenever, and if ever, the gnosis is released from the temple here it will be in a complete form that guides the seeker to the correct stellar gates and work.

As such these taboos exist within our craft to separate the mundane and the magickal, and to protect non initiates. It is also used to correctly teach the principles that are expressed through the current – diligence, devotion, love, and a balance between a certain selflessness coupled with a desire for self perfection. What they are not is arbitrary rules that aren’t based on solid foundations – but instead based on occult logic that has always persisted in the oldest mystery traditions, all the way back in human history.  Unspoken but ever present rules of conduct that we can find echoed through Levis words and our practice today, having survived as magickal axioms. By following and understanding them, especially the rule of ‘TO KEEP SILENCE’ in modern times, we are able to find the correct balance between disclosure and logical secrecy.

This balance is what alot of what calls itself ‘Left Hand Path’ has seemingly lost in the west. Caught up in race to the bottom wrapped up in their money making egregores, it is not a surprise that many of these adherents are also gear using junkies who have made very little progress and have no sense of any kind of moral compass. It lays itself bare in most cases as simple juvenile delusion.

Instead, we should be following the examples of the Magi of old and the principles passed down by them, the natural principles of magickal logic. Give me a handful of witches that truly understand these axioms wrapped so succinctly by Levi; for I am sure they would produce far more valuable work than 100 times the number ignorant hylics could produce in my estimation.

‘Ave Hecate,
Ancient and Unconquerable One,
In Whose Abyss the Stars Strive
Drawing Trails of Fire in the Nights Sky
To Know!
To Dare!
To Will!
To Keep Silent!
This is our witches way,
Guide us forever onward,
Let us not wander lost,
Let us not stumble and fall,
Like the corrupt Atlantean Priests of Old
Guide us forever onward
True as the hunters arrow,
Until we reach your silvered throne,
O Green Eyed Queen of Heaven’

~S~

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