The Witch’s Pyramid

The Witch’s Pyramid

Author: J Rainwoods

A while back, when I was first learning about Witchcraft, I read about the four pillars of the Witch’s Pyramid. I was working solitary and getting all of my info out of books, and it seemed to be an important thing to know; so I used a little trick to memorize them. When I showered, as I poured shampoo onto my hand, I would draw a pentacle. As I did this, I would list the four pillars of the pyramid as I hit each corner of the pentacle I drew. It worked really well, and to this day I can list off the four pillars on demand when necessary. After a while of doing this, I became interested in using my shower power to learn other things. Life went on, and the Pyramid got filed away into a dusty corner of my brain.

I don’t know what happened to resurrect it, but here lately I have found myself hitting each of the four pillars with shampoo without even meaning to. Realizing this has brought the Witch’s Pyramid to the forefront of my thoughts. I find myself asking – how do I take this further? There is, of course, a fifth corner in a pentacle. I haven’t accounted for this one yet, because when working with the four pillars of the Witch’s Pyramid, you’ve got to have those four pillars worked out before you can even start to turn your attention to what follows. That’s OK, though, because a Witch can spend their lifetime – in fact, they are absolutely expected to – mastering the challenge of the four pillars. Here they are:

To Know…
Knowledge. Wisdom. Study. Experience. Book smarts vs. street smarts. A Witch is expected to study the ways of the Craft and to use that knowledge to enhance their practice. Of course. Sure. Got it. That is a given – the easy two-second explanation of this pillar. What about the rest of it? None of us spend our lives in Circle 24 / 7. What about the time we spend in the mundane world, which for most of us is almost all the time? Do we act, speak, think, make decisions, make friends, make love…with wisdom? Nothing, but nothing that comes from the Gods is ever given carelessly. What have They taught you in your practice? How can you take that beyond the Circle; and live your life to reflect the wisdom you have been blessed with?

To Dare…
To take a dare generally means you commit to doing something that up to this point you have not done – usually because you’re afraid of something. More than once as I have walked my path over the years, I have been afraid. Now, we humans are blessed with fear – it keeps us from jumping off cliffs or standing in front of a buffalo stampede; but sometimes the best view is from the cliff’s edge. Sometimes, the most amazing dance of power comes to us from the dust under the herd’s feet as they run with the wind and you’d never know it unless you stood right there. Often, facing down a fear and conquering it is what we need to make our lives better in some way. No chance we’ll ever be on a journey worth taking without a scary roadblock or two. We all have a treasured memory of a time when we faced down the fear of something – or someone. We get stronger this way. We get wiser this way. What are you afraid of? How would your life change if you conquered that fear? Got the guts to do it?

To Will…
Ah, will…you manly thing, you. For me, you are always over the next hill. You are always on the other side of tomorrow. Like too many of my sisters in this world, I was raised to be anything but willful. From the time I was barely able to realize the difference between good girls and bad girls, I knew that willful was not what I wanted to be. Willful girls always had their name on the chalkboard. They always got detention. They were always talked about behind the cupped hands of the popular girls as they walked across the classroom. Even in our Craft, so many of us write will off as that hot, sunny God-attribute the boys get to have. It’s not for “us girls”, so why worry about it? We’ve got our intuition, we’ve got our moon, and we’re good! Right? Someone agree with me before I get embarrassed for speaking out of turn…

Ever hear of girl power? Ever marvel at the things our daughters and little sisters do (“get away with”) that we never would have done ourselves at their age (probably because our moms would have grounded us to the end of the world for doing whatever it is) ? Ever watch a female use her goddess – given gifts: charisma, looks, brains, or maybe just a loud voice and a “Who gives a damn if I make a scene in public?” attitude to get her way; and then watch with longing as she walks away, victorious?

Some of us don’t have a problem with will. Some of us were those girls on the chalkboard, in detention, and damn proud of it! Some of us have the will of an autumn leaf as it goes wherever Father Wind tells it to go. Most of us tend to have a mix of both, leaning way more towards autumn leaf than Lady Get-My-Way. To be a Witch – true to your inheritance, true to your pledge, TRUE TO YOUR WOMANHOOD, guess what you’ve got to have – and I’m not just talking about the Witch within the Circle. What you try to work within will never amount to anything if you do not demonstrate the will to manifest without. Back to the next generation for a minute: think about a young girl / woman that you know and love. What do you want to teach them about will? What is your attitude towards willfulness in women? They’re watching – what kind of example do you set for them? These pillars are starting to get to me…I’ll never shampoo the same way again. But wait! There’s more!

To be Silent…
For a minute there, I thought about leaving this one blank and waiting to see if anyone got the joke…nah. Silence holds all the power in the universe. That’s why it is impossible to master. Traditionally, the fourth pillar – To Be Silent – has referred specifically to the things you do and the people you know within your craft. Basically, if you’re not with your coven don’t talk about coven stuff. I would offer this thought to chew on…silently. A minute ago, I said that silence holds all the power in the universe.

Here’s another one: to know yourself is to know your power. Getting to know yourself – to see yourself with honest love and objectivity instead of relating to yourself the way the world has always related to you – can be accomplished only when you take the time to shut out the world. Sit down (in silence) and listen. Ground and center. Meditate. Do it for real. Mean it. Say (to yourself and the Gods – without actually using your voice) I am open to good. I am receptive to wisdom. What is it I need to know? Do this often and regularly. A minute ago, after the part about the power in the universe, I said silence is impossible to master. Sitting in silence is really hard, even for folks that have been doing it a long time. If you’re new at the practice, it’s usually a frustrating waste of time. Commit to doing this every day and you will come to know yourself. You will come to know your power and know the Gods are working in your life.

I have committed to working the Four Pillars of the Witch’s Pyramid into my life. I want to use them to grow and to learn and to challenge myself to do great things. I will explore different ways to honor the pillars through the week, and I’ll keep in touch and let you know how it goes. This promises to be fun, frightening, and utterly stupid at times and hopefully will get others thinking about how they can live what they believe – whatever that is! Blessed be!