Et tace – To Be Silent

In online spaces discussing the occult, connected to hundreds if not thousands of people interested, curious and even devoted to the occult, how do we interpret, ‘to keep silent’ in this day and age?

What does it mean ‘to be silent’ in an online world?

What’s the harm or risk to be ‘out-spoken’ or ‘share’ mode about one’s practice and experiences?

Why would we be asked ‘To Be Silent’?

Recently I listened to a podcast where this topic came up between Gordon White (GW) of Runesoup and Peter Grey (PG) of Scarlett Imprint. Both Gordon and Peter are in the business of publishing and here they talk in part, about the function and impact of to be silent.

Peter puts it succinctly:

PG: I think magicians should also learn to shut the fuck up, um we should value our privacy too.

When I’m producing material, one of the reasons that you don’t find a ‘stand here, say this, do that’ book from me is that I have profound, magical misgivings about putting a lot of this kind of information out in the public domain. I think it’s bad magick.

And I think it’s potentially dangerous as a serious practitioner to let everybody know exactly what you do, when you do it and how you do it and here’s a picture I’ve uploaded to Instagram.

GW: I could not agree more with that last piece…to your point that it’s bad magick and potentially dangerous, that’s actually been my experience.

Talking Lucifer with Peter Grey December 2015 episode #1 at 54.38.

Gordon goes on to emphasise the link between silence and the impact this can have on the relationship between practitioner and entities.

GW: There are a few kind of spirits or classes of spirits I work with, that are okay with it and other ones are like in no uncertain terms, some of them ask for it. Some are like, okay, but you have to tell people about this. And the rest of them are like I wouldn’t do that.

Talking Lucifer with Peter Grey December 2015 episode #1 at 55.50.

My experience of the Demonic is similar. Whenever they’ve revealed something to me, or shown a new tool, strategy or technique, unless I have their express engagement and agreement to share it, they do not take kindly to the disclosure. 

Other times, they make it very clear when certain items must be publicised. ‘To keep Silent’ also builds trust crucial to any relationship. Without silence, energy leaks and trust erodes.

Peter continues:

PG: I think we, magicians tend to ah, tend towards secrecy. Um. And I think that’s a good thing. I think it’s a necessary thing….I try to keep myself as private as possible. I think it’s much more magickally potent to function in that way…

It’s also very difficult for kids who’ve grown up just with the Internet, with no sense or privacy as a result. So, so I’m not ragging on people who do this, because they all have their individual reasons and very often they’re still in a learning curve about it.

Talking Lucifer with Peter Grey December 2015 episode #1 at 56.54

I’m reminded of a learning curve I had when a colleague questioned me about a workplace incident. She knew something occult had happened, and pushed three times for an answer, so I told her what I understood was about to occur.

A look that crossed her face was an instant relief quickly followed by a mixture of frustration and then intense discomfort. In that moment, I understood one of benefits of ‘to keep Silent’. 

I’d never understood how frustrating and intensely uncomfortable the meantime can be for non-practitionersIt’s a place when you know you can’t take any action and you can only wait in for things to fold into place. 

As a practitioner, ‘the mean-time’ is an active tension that ‘cooks’ an event or process.  As time gradually folds-in and matures, the tension of the meantime is a occult simmer of time and matter.  

Whatever our maturity, age or time in the occult, what considerations guide us in the relationship with silence? What signposts offer direction as we interpret ‘to keep Silent’ in this day and age?  

Gordon suggests these factors coalesce together as we practice and grow in our craft:

GW: …as a baby witch or baby wizard gets more and more confident, there is the realisation that some of the practices and customs, make sense if you only arrive at that realisation on a performative basis. ‘Couse I mean, it’s very beginning magician thing to think, oh well let’s you know, get this information out there, secrecy’s silly.

PG: yeah.

GW: And in many respects it is. Like false secrecy is silly…

…So you can kind of see the initial rejection of secrecy as a positive part of the journey and I think as people move further and further along they start to realise that secrecy forms on an individualised basis rather than around a corpus of material and that’s when you know you’re really cooking with gas.

PG: Yeah. Yeah. Agreed

Talking Lucifer with Peter Grey December 2015 episode #1 at 59.17

2 July 2018