Secrets, or A Pagan Look at Advent

Keeping silent. It’s something that Witches do a lot. What happens at the crossroads, stays at the crossroads. You don’t broadcast all your business for others to pick apart the threads of energy you have so carefully woven.

Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead. – Benjamin Franklin

Much of the work we do takes place silently. The words we say are but a small part of the communication that takes place in our work. Silent threads of energy and intent root themselves and blossom and fruit without a word escaping our lips.

Great hearts steadily send forth the secret forces that incessantly draw great events. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I find myself contemplating secrets lately, as I find personal insights that lose value when spoken. Some things in our soul need to be shared to find their potential, others must be shielded in secrecy and solitude. Some flowers bloom by day, but others only blossom in moonlight.

We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows. – Robert Frost

Christians begin Advent today: a period of quiet contemplation and expectation. I don’t feel the same urge to contemplate the weeks preceding Solstice.

Yet I’m taken this morning with an idea. Perhaps the season between Samhain and Imbolc is meant to be focused on Silence. On Secrecy, and things kept very close to the heart. Imbolc to Beltane, might be the season of Knowing. Beltane to Lammas, the season of the Will. Lammas to Samhain, the season to Dare.

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. – Carl Jung

How do you honor a season of secrets? Of silence? How do you honor and respect the privacy of your own soul? What power lies in the keeping of knowledge? How do we know when to share, and when to keep silent?

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About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • Greenflame

    Yes to all you said. Great quotes. Just to add that I have always perceived contemplation in the Advent sense as having a certain connotation of silence, perhaps because of the Gospel story of Mary “keeping these things” (the extraordinary events surrounding her) and “pondering them in her heart.” 

  • Stephen Clark

    Thanks for posting this, Star. I’ll have to come back and look at it again. You may have just inspired four new poems. Brightest Blessings, The Renegade Poet

  • Zann Carter

    Wonderful things to contemplate in this post! I have been drawn to silence more & more lately. Your thoughts on this are so welcome as I consider what that means.

  • John Beckett

    A thought-provoking post, Star.  And I love the interspersion of the quotes. 

    Though it may have been easier (or at least, simpler) for our agrarian ancestors, it’s very difficult to practice silence in the Samhain to Yule season due to the overwhelming busyness of the Christian and secular holidays that dominate the overculture.  Perhaps Yule to Imbolc would be a better time.  Or perhaps this is a call to decline to participate in the mainstream madness.

    This is a thought-provoking post.

  • Star Foster

    I was quartering the year by the four major fire festivals. Maybe it is harder because of Christmas, but should we let Christianity and the overculture define our liturgical year? I’ve completely opted out of Christmas this year. I have no intention of letting it define my December.

  • Kat Emralde

    Love the seasons of the wheel, I find that they really resonate with me.

  • Annamkorn

    While I like your idea of quartering the year, it also repres ents a further ‘elementalization’ of Wiccan magick- a process that hasI been continuing since the 60′s or 70′s.