The Universe came for tea today (of course she did!) to sit with me in silence. I was not uncomfortable with the silence but aware of it. I became more aware of my body, the sounds of my home, the birds chirping outside, the sunlight coming through the blinds and even though I had been awake for hours, it was as if I was just waking up to today. I lit some of my connection incense (mugwort, skullcap, lavender, and cinnamon) and settled myself into my chair for a much-needed conversation with myself and the universe. The fundamental necessity of silence became very clear.
Silence as a Necessity
The past few weeks have been busy and while I have managed to find a few moments each day to enjoy being present, I have not had enough time to just be. Contemplating this, I found that what I really mean is that I lack the silence that is necessary. It is in this silence that I can connect to the Universe and listen. I can be aware of her responses to me more clearly and I can discern the guidance that my soul is giving me for the next steps along the winding path that I am walking. I believe that is where the power of silence really starts. It is the ability to listen. It is taking pause without filling up the space with anything else, so that way whatever needs to come to me, comes. It allows the disconnection from busy and fast thinking, to the now. Silence can be the ‘slow down’ we all need and many of us don’t get enough of it.
Silence as an Answer
Sometimes silence can be an answer. It can be a placeholder until a later date. It can also be a full response. This is going to be an unpopular opinion to anyone who has ever been ghosted or ignored, but please hear me out. This is not the type of silence that I am referring to exactly, but it is my trigger warning that this may strike a nerve (I hope it is the nerve of reflection or contemplation though!). When I make a choice to be silent for an extended period of time, often it is because someone is encroaching upon a boundary that I have set or I am just not in a place where I can have a fruitful dialogue. I may be in a place where I need silence for myself, absent of distraction from outside influences. In addition, not everything needs an active, engaging response right away. Not until I consciously choose that I am ready to actively engage. Maybe I need time to reflect on a request, on a conversation, or why someone is reaching out after a while of silence of their own. There are any number of reasons why I may choose silence first. Silence does not have to be a disruptive force in our lives. If silence from another person leaves me feeling disrupted or feeling sad, angry, frustrated, unheard, or worried – that really is on me to figure out. It is my responsibility to understand the reaction I am having to it. There is not a single ounce of obligation from any person, place, object, spirit, or any other thing, to respond or engage with me just because I am on this Earth and want it to do so. I would hope that those I have built relationships with would not return my engagement with an extended amount of silence, but any thoughts or feelings I have about the silence I am receiving are for me to find closure with. I have found, more times than I can count, that if I make space for my own silence, I will find what I am needing on my own. This could mean I find closure to a relationship or partnership that is not viable, that there is another source of information or engagement that I am looking for, or that I am not ready to engage in a certain dialogue because I need time to digest it fully. It is really a disservice to think I owe anyone more of myself than I can provide and it’s a disservice to others to try to engage when I am not fully ready for engagement. Silence can be an answer if one is needed right away.
Silence as an Action
This year, my spirit guide is the wolf and trust is the currency for navigating the changes of 2020. When I connect with my wolf or shapeshift into her during trance, we are silent. I am silent. I am aware of my surroundings and my senses. I am fully in that moment. I trust myself, my choices, and my actions. I think it is important to mention here that while our voices are powerful, there is only one thing I find more powerful, and that is our actions. We can protest for and protect the marginalized, not only by being loud, but through our actions. Showing up to vote. Peacefully protesting. Holding moments of silence. Recycling. Donating. Giving our time. Meditating. Lighting a candle for another person. Studying. Practicing our spirituality. Connecting to the Earth. Calling our power back to us. These do not require a voice but can be a force of great change in a world that desperately needs it.
Silence as a part of the Witch’s Pyramid
As an Initiate of the Sacred Seven forces, I was taught the witch’s pyramid with respect to my own sovereignty. Silence requires a certain amount of discipline and action. Whether it is teaching us to dedicate ourselves to the ‘doing’ that is required for a magical life and a witchcraft practice daily, or how to meditate or how to change our own levels of consciousness to understanding when it is necessary to remain silent (I won’t go into the historical information too much on where this part of the pyramid comes from, but Jason Mankey does in his article on the Witches Pyramid that I rather liked). Overall, in modern terms, it is the silence that is required to hear our own inner voice without it being necessary to use our voice outwardly in an immediate sense. It is the beginning of an understanding of what my true self is saying and how I can use it to shine and foster change within and without.
Silence as a Pause
I watched a talk recently discussing silence by Neal Gittleman where he discusses the power of silence and the power of pause in relation to music and the song beginning. He relates it to the pause before the big bang or of something like Beethoven. Which does have the smallest pause at the very beginning. Or the song 4’33’’ by John Cage. This song is silent. It was originally played in an outdoor theater, and it was over 4 minutes of spectators available to listen to the sound of the world around them with the same amount of focus as listening to music being played. It is also the power we find in ourselves as Witches before our next spiritual upgrade or understanding of our connections to everything around us. It the pause between this heartbeat and the next. It is powerful. It is necessary.
A candle and a key,