Originally I wasn’t going to post on N for the PBP but having nothing to say actually gave me something.
One of the five maxims of Paganism is ‘To Be Silent’ and it’s one that possibly gets overlooked by many. This isn’t just a case of knowing when to be silent but why to be silent.
The prase that came from the war office during WW2 illustrates the importance of silence in those extreme mundane scenarios ‘loose tongues cost lives’. In that instance the warning was clear, you didnt know eho was listening to your conversation and how the enemy might use it however magically there are different interpretations to that one phrase of ‘To Be Silent’.
Firstly, if your are constantly chattering you will never hear. This applies both to listening to the directnor may be indirect teachings of a mentor, be they a known teacher or one sent by the universe as a teacher in that moment, and messages from the divine. Equally in our busy modern lives it is hard to take time out to truly listen to oneself and he introspective. Some people feel they are not able to perform techniques such as meditation as well as others but sometimes it is not the journey that is important, rather it is that time set aside to try and put mundane worries to one side and simply be in that moment.
Secondly it reminds us that it is often best not to share magical workings with others. The rational behind this is that spell work should he kept as a private act between caster and divine/universe/spirit and that sharing information on the spell before it has reached its final conclusion can undermine the effectivness of spell. That is not to say that information should not be shared, or that there aren’t times when dropping hints to an intended victim might not be beneficial, but that as a practitioner its important to be able to know when silence is apropriate and equally when it is not.
Thirdly the phrase also reminds us that some things are entierly private, be they between yourself and the divine/universe/spirits or an oath bound group. While in both cases it is a state you enter into freely one is directed by the group you are within and the other by your personal experience. Still the important element here is knowing when remaining silent becomes damaging, for example hiding a crime.
As with many aspects of paganism how strictly you adhere to the five virtues is a personal thing. You come across people who find the concept impossible to comprehend and conversely others who adhere to them to the point (particularly with ‘to be silent’) that nothing is shared in terms of personal praxis. They are powerful concepts which aid in developing the sense of sense and personal power and go deeper than the cursory examination that I have given here.