The Magician's Pyramid
Copyright © 2001 Michael Lewis
Of the Magician's Pyramid, the tip of the pyramid is the work performed and the power used, and the four corners of the base, the four sources of that power. They are, equally and in no order, Imagination, Will, Faith, and Secrecy.
Imagination (Air): You must be able not only to devise potent ways to achieve your aims, but also to visualise or feel the energies you are working with and the results of your efforts. You can only do what you can think of, but you can do anything you can think of. Allow yourself to daydream and develop your imagination. Make use of your wildest ideas, dreams and fantasies. As long as they remain under your control, the wilder, richer and more fantastic the better, but be careful not to lose touch with reality. There are many who have gone before you and have gone insane, and it might be best for you not to follow them if your mind is not strong enough. If you can sit for an hour with your mind blank, not thinking a single thought for that time, then your mind is strong enough, and if not, then you must practice.
Will (Fire): You must be focused and determined. Nothing must distract you or waive you from your aims, and so you must develop your will. You must be able to assert yourself, to dispense with any opposition and traverse any obstacle. In your mind, there must be nothing that can stop you. If you do not have the will, you do not have the way. Now, be warned that failure is devastating to the will, and sometimes it is better not to try at all than to try and fail, and have not the will to try again. To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail, and you cannot afford to fail. Therefore, prepare. If you can hold your gaze on the centre of a candle flame for an hour, without looking away and maintaining your awareness the whole time, then your will is strong enough, and if not, then you must practice.
Faith (Earth): You must believe in yourself utterly and, if you call upon any talismans, amulets or deities in your work, you must believe in them utterly also. The slightest doubt, however deeply buried in the back of your mind, can still thwart your aims. He who does not believe in himself is his own greatest adversary. In the words of Paracelsus, "Through Faith the Imagination is invigorated and completed, for it really happens that every doubt mars its perfection..." Indeed, every doubt you hold will dent your will, and whether the dent be slight or great, you cannot afford the detriment to your will. It is for this reason that you must be able to depend completely upon the validity of your own words. Every time you tell a lie, break a promise, make a prediction that does not come true, or simply say something which is proved wrong, whether the fault is yours or not, it will dent your faith. For this reason you must say nothing that you cannot be totally certain is the truth, not of the past, the present, nor of the future.
Secrecy (Water): Knowledge is power, and to give knowledge, and therefore power, to someone who may then use it against you themselves, or pass it on to someone else who might, is folly. You should not reveal to anyone any more about yourself than you wish them to know. Guard also your knowledge of other things. Study and learn all that you can, and share it only if you are given something in exchange. The total power you have over those around you is the total of that which is relevant and which you know, and they do not. Never give in to vanity, and never feel that you have to prove yourself to anyone. Keep your tongue still and your ears sharp. Remember that those around you may, and probably will, be keeping many secrets themselves, as well as trying to learn yours, so always read between the lines, and never take anything that anyone says at face value.
If you are strong in Imagination, in Will, in Faith, and in Secrecy, then you are strong in magick. What you lack in any of these, you lack in magick. Not only must you be strong in each of these, but you must be strong in each of these equally, for any imbalance in these will unbalance your magick. You must keep your Imagination, Will, Faith, and Secrecy in balance. He who allows his imagination to reign becomes insane, he who allows his will to reign becomes megalomanic, he who allows his faith to reign becomes stagnant, and he who allows his secrecy to reign becomes paranoid. Whereas he who allows his imagination to suffer becomes brain-dead, he who allows his will to suffer becomes indifferent, he who allows his faith to suffer becomes inhibited, and he who allows his secrecy to suffer becomes ignorant. He who develops each of these in balance becomes powerful, he who neglects any one of these becomes nothing.
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