This article is the ninth in a series on the Witches Square. The first article in the series introduces four pillars of the Witches Square, Perfect Love, Perfect Trust, Discipline and Will. Your true potential as a Witch will be achieved when you live your life in harmony with these four principles in equal proportion. Previously, we finished the first three pillars, Perfect Love, Perfect Trust and Discipline. We are now ready to step onto the fourth pillar, Will.
What is Will?
Your will refers to the driving force behind your actions. It is related to your destiny, your purpose in life and determines what you should do during your life. Will is one of the more differentiating factors between different religions.
In Abrahamic religions, for example, the ultimate purpose of a person is to do their God’s will. They consider a pious person to be someone who suppresses or destroys their own will to do exclusively what their God wills them to do. Christian scripture, for example, has the phrase “Thy will be done,” in its most famous prayer.
By contrast, Wicca places your own free will as the ultimate source of your actions. Wicca does not say that you need to suppress your will to any God or any other person. This is canonized in the Wiccan Rede, which states “… do what thou will.” In fact, we hold that sin is the lack of following your own true will.
Will vs. Want
Many, both inside and outside of Wicca, have trouble understanding the line, “Do what thou will.” They think it means that you can do whatever you want, without any consequences. For some, this belief is what draws them to Wicca. They see it as a liberation from their prior religion’s rule of doing God’s will, thus making it so they don’t have to live with any consequences.
Unfortunately for them, this is not how it works. In fact, doing your own will also means living with the consequences of your actions. You cannot blame any of the Gods (or Satan, as many Christians prefer to do) for your actions.
Doing what you want is based on thinking only of yourself and thinking of the short term. Children focus on doing what they want because they are too young to know their true will.
True will is a focusing on your life’s journey. It is based on thinking of your effect on other people and your world. It views your actions from a long-term perspective, in years and decades instead of days or hours.
What is Your Will?
One of the most difficult aspects of being Wiccan is that in order to do your will, you must know what it is. Our society is focused on not knowing your will, but trying to understand and follow the will of others. We are told to follow the will of our boss at work. We are told to follow the will of advertisers on TV. We are told to follow the will of a God. We are told that we can be all that we can be, but the understanding is that it must be in accordance with another’s will.
As a result, our society is filled with adults who do not have the faintest idea what their will is. To alleviate this problem, many companies have developed personality tests and career-choice tests that essentially are designed to tell you what your will is. The problem with these is that they don’t address any of the deeper aspects of will; the tests only work with the most superficial parts of the self. It is not possible to communicate the nuances of your personality and desires on a multiple-choice form. Likewise, it’s not possible for any computer to indicate areas of your spirituality that may need further exploration for you to determine your will.
How to Discover Your Will
Discovering your will is not an easy or linear process, as our society prefers to view it. Knowing your will is not a destination, but a process of refinement. First, you need to learn about yourself on all levels, including mental, emotional and spiritual. Then you need to learn the most basic aspects of your will. Over time, you will learn to refine and further develop your understanding of your will.
The way that I learned how to discover my will was to perform spiritual exercises, act mindfully and work with my spirit guides and Gods. The exercises I used were basic, but done regularly and with discipline. They included the following:
- Dialexis to Latreia – Adoration to the Lady/Lord of the Universe
- Dialexis a Stauros – The Hellenistic Cross
- Dialexis Phos – Bringing Down the Light
- Hellenic Alexandrian Ritual of the Pentagram
Regular prayer to your spirit guides and Gods is important as well, asking for the insight into yourself to discover your will. When they respond, whether it be in dreams, voices in your head, through meditation, etc., make sure to write it down in your magical journal. The messages will not always make sense right away. By writing it down, the meaning will come to you over time.
Pay attention to what you do during the day. Be mindful of each chore at home, each task at work, each moment of play and entertainment. Through this, you will gain a deeper understanding of your relationship to the act. You will gain a sense of what is in accordance with your will and what does not.
All of these techniques should be used together, as each shines a light on another angle of your will.
Discovering your true will is probably the most difficult pillar of the Witches Square for people new to the process. This is why it is listed last of the pillars, as it is best to work on the first three pillars before attempting the fourth. Developing Perfect Love, Perfect Trust and Discipline are steps to preparing for your Will.
Benefits and Responsibility of Will
Once you have discovered the nature of your true will, your life will change dramatically for the better. You will see a purpose in everything you do. You will know in your heart what you should do in your life, from the most banal and mundane tasks to the most sacramental.
The challenge then becomes following your will. Once you know your will, it is a sin to not follow it, for your will is your destiny and life’s purpose. Also understand that even if performing some action is in accordance with your true will, it does not absolve you of the consequences of the act. If your true will is to participate in an illegal act, such as civil disobedience, know that it is part of your discipline to accept the sentence given to you by the court.
Sometimes your true will is in conflict with that of another’s true will. This does not mean that you or they are wrong, but you will be in conflict. How you resolve that conflict while remaining true to your will is up to you. Just remember that you need to do it with Perfect Love, Perfect Trust and Discipline, while being true to your will.
The benefits of knowing your true will increase as your understanding develops and refines. Over time, your most common chores take on a sacred purpose. You no longer worry about what you should be doing with your life. As a result, your very being is filled with happiness and joy.
Additionally, your world will change. You will be doing things with more purpose and they will have a larger impact on your world. When you set your mind to accomplishing something that is in accordance with your will, it will go much easier and will be much more successful because you have the power of the Witches Square behind it.
Here are the other articles in this series on the Witches Square:
- Unlock Your Magical Self with the Power of the Witches Square
- 3 Steps to Loving Yourself Perfectly
- 6 Steps to Compassion: Loving Others Perfectly
- Love the World and All That’s in It
- Trust Yourself
- 9 Ways to Trust Those Around You
- 4 Steps to Faith
- Developing Discipline