To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silent

To Keep Silent is just one of the popular reminders of many Pagan traditions. Image (c) Image Bank/Getty Images/Licensed to


In some Wiccan traditions, you may hear the phase, "To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silent." Sounds sensible enough, but what does it really mean?

The phrase refers to four important reminders about the practice of Wicca. Although the interpretations may vary, in general, you can follow these explanations as beginning guidelines:

To Know refers to the idea that the spiritual journey is one of knowledge -- and that knowledge is never-ending. If we are indeed "to know," then we must constantly be learning, questioning, and expanding our horizons. Also, we must know ourselves before we can know our true paths.

To Dare can be interpreted as to have the courage we need to grow. By daring ourselves to step out of our comfort zone, to be something that people see as "other," we are in fact fulfilling our own need "to dare." We are facing that which is unknown, moving into a realm that is far outside what we're used to.

To Will means to have determination and perseverance. Nothing of any value comes with ease, and spiritual growth is no exception. Want to be a competent practitioner of magic? Then you better study, and work at it. If you make the choice to evolve and grow spiritually, then you will be able to do so -- but it is, in fact, a choice we make. Our will guides us, and will lead us to success. Without it, we are stagnant.

To Keep Silent seems like it should be an obvious one, but it's a bit more complex than it appears on the surface. To be certain, "keeping silent" means that we need to make sure we never out other members of the Pagan community without their permission, and to some extent, it means we need to keep our practices private. However, it also means that we need to learn the value of inner silence. It is a rare person indeed who recognizes that sometimes the unspoken is more important than the words we utter.

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Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silent." Learn Religions, Aug. 26, 2020, Wigington, Patti. (2020, August 26). To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silent. Retrieved from Wigington, Patti. "To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silent." Learn Religions. (accessed June 2, 2023).