Shand's Wicca Pages -- The Cornerstones of Power

The Cornerstones of Power
It is said that there are four cornerstones of power: To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Keep Silent.
To Know

Know Thyself. Cliched, but true, that good advice doesn't quite capture the full importance of knowing oneself. A former covenmate of mine formulated the advice a little differently, and I think it communicates much more clearly:

Be ruthless in knowing yourself.

Question yourself. Don't let questioning paralyze you, but examine your beliefs, your motives, your desires, everything. If you come up with an answer, run with it, but question again even as you move. You will spend more time learning about yourself than any theology, any magickal skill, any craft.

Be ruthless in knowing yourself.

It bears repeating. The Rede advises to "Do As You Will." How can you Do something if you do not know what it is?

And if you've learned
You'll know much more than I

That you're gonna have to go and find it
You'll have to dig beneath the ground
You'll have to unearth every ugly stone
That kept you on your own
And simply put them down
You're gonna have to look around

-- Blues Traveller

To Will To will is to turn thought into action. To plan how to get from where you are to where you want to be.
To Dare To Dare is to turn action begun into action sustained. To take the plan of Will and bring it into the world. Even when it is hard. Especially when it is hard.
To Keep Silent

The power to keep silent is many things.

Another way to state "Keep Silent" is "Contain," or "Internalize." Or "Ground." The ability to keep as one's own what one has brought about by Knowing, Willing, and Daring rather than watching it all evaporate in the first strong breeze.

The Power to Keep Silent is literally the ability to be silent. There is a time where that is appropriate. There is a time when it is tacticly prudent. There are even times when one's life can depend on it.

The power to Keep Silent is the ability to achieve a goal through subtle means rather than brute force.

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