The first of my virtues and the foundation of moral path is Silence.
There are different ways to interpret what Silence means and how it can be applied as a virtue. The simplest definitions are "the absence of noise" or "speechless". But as a virtue Silence means so much more. For the first definition as a virtue Silence is not just the absence of noise but the quietness of the inner self. Meditation provides for us the perfect environment in which to experience both outer and inner Silence. In a dark and quiet room we can sit or recline comfortably and breathe deeply. At first this exercise brings about a myriad of jumbled thoughts that try their hardest to distract us from the peace of mind we are attempting to achieve. But if we just let the thoughts flow through us, not holding on to any of them, we can find that as our minds are allowed the freedom to wonder uninhibited the thoughts will eventually take on a less harried quality. As we train ourselves to find this Silence within ourselves we can begin to experience it in a wider range of situations throughout our lives. We can begin to find the "absence of noise" from within us.
Another aspect of Silence is speechlessness. When we refrain from speaking we are giving our ears a better opportunity to hear, and our eyes to see, what is going on around us. When our attention is not focused on what we have to say next we are better able to focus on what other people are really trying to say. To listen is the sister of Silence and we need to really listen to all that is around us so we may have a true and accurate picture of what is going on. Those who learn how to listen to the whispers of nature and the mutterings of their own hearts are better able to listen to the true meanings behind the words and actions of others. In this way to be Silent is to seek the truth.
The virtue of Silence also means to keep secrets. Trust, faith, and magick are all grounded in the Silence of secrets. The trust of a friend that you will not betray their confidence is based in your Silence. The faith that your confidant will not betray your trust is based in their Silence. Often we see the Silence of secrets as a bad thing, "what are they hiding?" becomes the common question, like having or keeping secrets is wrong. On the contrary secrets can be quite beneficial when the aim is not to cause harm to someone but rather to have a private piece of mind. In the occult magick in and of itself is no great secret, in fact magick is freely accessible to all. But the magickal journey of the individual is a well guarded secret kept securely by anyone involved in that journey. This Silence allows a person to explore their path both spiritual and mundane in peace and privacy so they may grow into who they are meant to become without the useless scrutiny of others. In magick, as well as in trust and faith, Silence here is meant to love and protect and is a virtue.
In Silence we can find ourselves, we can see plainly within ourselves the demons and angels that lurk there. In Silence there is love, trust, and beauty. The knowledge that we are able to be open and honest with ourselves about how we feel and what we see opens the doors for us to be better people. And as better people we have more to give to those around us, we are then able to attune ourselves to the heartbeat of Nature and to work with Her rather than against Her. Have you stepped out to a park or forest lately? Have you stopped to hear the songs of birds and insects or the rustling of small animals? There is a quietness in this noise, a peace in the Silent mutterings of Nature.
When we are Silent we hear the message of our hearts and the voices of the gods. The divine speaks to us all the time but we rarely stop to listen. There is magick in the voice of the gods when spoken through us and the messages are clearer when we are Silent. In meditation and prayer we find the divine is eminent, all around us and within us. As we listen we learn, we become stronger in our minds, our hearts, and our in our beliefs, we become better people.
I shall always endeavor to quiet my mind and listen to my heart
I will not rush to speak but pay attention to those speaking to me
I will keep the secrets of my heart and those secrets entrusted to me
I will listen to the voices of the gods as they speak through me
In Silence I will hear the heartbeat of the Earth
So Mote It Be