Since my trip to the Smithy over 18 months ago, it seems Silence has wrapped itself around me. As much as I wanted to write about the experience of that pilgrimage, the words wouldn’t come–so much so that when I tried to force myself with the artificial deadline of a scheduled essay, I then forgot about that deadline, and had an unfinished post be published as a result!
Sharing knowledge and experience is essential to regrowing polytheistic paths and perpetuating mystery traditions. But how much is too much? I think in the age of instantaneous communication, we speed too readily towards the sharing of our most profound experiences. The desire to turn UPG into PCPG (peer-corroborated personal gnosis) can lead down into a dark, dark rabbit warren of group-think and egregores.
Indeed, in my more trusting youth I shared things with online acquaintances that I should not have, dreams and visions I should have kept close and let incubate and inform my practice, things which ultimately were relevant to me and me alone. Sharing them diluted their power and in some cases, even led to the hijacking of those experiences by an echo-chamber effect of well meaning, but ultimately erroneous co-religionists. I craved external validation, as if that would somehow make my experiences more real, more acceptable.
It has quite literally taken years to sort out what was real and true, and to find my way back into a coherent practice. Thank gods for the work of the Ovate grade and for the wonderful real-life Grove members, friends, and neighbors who helped keep me steady and grounded throughout the untangling process. Community and acts of service are the touch-stones that keeps the cunning folk from sinking into delusion and madness. Without them, we are lost.
The Four Powers of the Sphinx, sometimes called the Witch’s Pyramid, consist of the oft quoted “To Know, To Will, To Dare, To
Shut the Fuck Up Keep Silence.” I’ve stood at the edge of Silence for long enough now, I think. Going forward, may I have the wisdom to know when to write, when to speak…and when to STFU.