Soul Bites Spellcraft: On Being Silent

Yesterday, I cast an important spell. Afterward, I got to thinking about the Witches’ Pyramid. I first encountered the idea a million years ago in one of Silver Ravenwolf’s books. I remembered liking it. I looked it up online and found several different explanations of what the various points mean. The one that intrigued me most was, “to be silent.” That was also the one about which I disagreed with witchy bloggers the most.

It appears the various bloggers and supposed experts are all of one mind, (or perhaps directly copying from one another). They all seem to want to soften the “to be silent” aspect. I’m skeptical. One thing I read was that “to be silent” means finding inner silence while doing the work. That sounds pretty loosey goosey to me.

While I am a fan of the fluff, in general I am opposed to over-softening aspects of witchcraft and/or Pagan religion. We can have great fun and use glitter and fairy wings in our craft, but we also must know the rules of the craft in order to work it. You have to know the alphabet before you can write dirty limericks.

In my opinion, “to be silent” means exactly what it says: “Do your spell and shut up about it.”

Inner silence is important to some, I suppose, but that’s not where the oomph is. The oomph is to be able to work a spell and let it go. If you hang on to the energy you have amassed and into which you’ve poured your intention, that energy will never disseminate out into the world and work its purpose. Talking in a specific way about the spell you worked is a form of hanging onto it. If it were out there, fully away from you, fully detached and breathing on its own, it wouldn’t be so much on your mind that you need to decompress over and over again with your friends, the Internet, and/or fellow witches.

I have had bad experiences in the past in my own practice with leaving spells to go stagnant on my altar. I have left whatever objects I used wherever I used them until they collected dust. I have blabbed and blabbed about my spells because I didn’t believe they would work and I was trying to convince myself. All of this caused the energy to stay right where it was, go stagnant, as I said, and then go fetid. The stink of a fetid spell upon you is bad news. That’s one of the reasons unfortunate backfires happen, such as every appliance you touch breaking for a few days, or the thing you want coming to you in a way that you would have been better off without it.

I am in no way perfect on this point. Oh, the longing to blab because I’m just SO excited! But I must resist. As I worked yesterday, that hit me more than anything else—the extreme importance of letting the spell go as completely as is possible.

The gods seemed to whisper, “Let it go. Clean it up. Shut up. Don’t worry about it. All will be well.”

So it is.



About M. Ashley

Essayist and poet, my work has been rejected by some of the finest journals in America. Fortunately, it also gets accepted from time to time and has appeared in equally fine journals such as Word Riot, Inlandia, Brew City Magazine, and SageWoman among others.. In 2002, I was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize for Vanderbilt University. For no good reason, I possess an unnecessarily dark humor which is why being third generation California Inland Empirian delights me so. My gods are weird. I once received $350 for writing a smartassed essay on “why the wise use of water is important in my daily life”. I am undoubtedly the Greek god Hermes’ special snowflake. I’m pretty sure I got into college via a series of fortuitous clerical errors. When I had to grow up and get a real job, I decided against it and stayed a writer. I have worked many odd—and I mean odd—jobs to support my habit: Commercial writer for country music hopefuls, resume massager, WalMart fitting room attendant and switchboard operator, telephone psychic.
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