The four powers of the magus also sometimes referred to as the Four Powers of the Sphinx, or the witches pyramid is a magick philosophy that was first articulated by the French occultist Eliphas Levi in his book Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual. The Four Powers of the Magus are to know, to will, to dare, and to keep silent. All of these powers build upon one another. Sometimes a fifth power is included which is known as to go which is not traditional, and is said to have been added later by Aleister Crowley. This philosophy shows basic understandings of attributes necessary for the successful use, and practice of magickal manifestation. It is also sometimes portrayed in a physical form as a pyramid, or pentagram with each corner being used to represent one of the powers of the philosophy.
To know (Noscere):
To know is your intention, and knowledge, and in the philosophy it is connected to the element of Air. One should always strive to learn, and to seek out knowledge. There is always more to learn, and always room to improve. Know what you’re doing always within your practice, and consider everything from all angles. Make sure you are balanced in your thoughts and actions. Know yourself and your practice inside, and out, so that you can be effective when using your magick. Study, research, practice, and internalize every part of your craft.
To Dare (Audere):
To dare is to do magick, and to follow it up with action, and in the philosophy it is connected to the element of water. Dare to practice the craft, and to push past all limitations you come up against. Your emotional, and mental aspects must push to help you, and your practice courageously, so that you can accomplish anything you desire. To dare is to put your Will into your action.
To will (Velle):
To will is your power to manifest, and in the philosophy it is connected to the element of fire. Bring together all aspects of your being to direct them toward your goal. Your will is directly correlated to your manifestation, and your energy, focus, and discipline that you put into it to make your desire, and reality. You cannot just do, you must put yourself into your practice. Your will is what manifests change, and is present within everything you put fourth to manifest your desire in your working. It is not enough to merely have a strong intention if the practitioner is not willing to follow through on it.
To keep silent (Tacere):
To keep silent is to not speak about the working, and to not interrupt it by focusing too much on it after the working is done. It is connected to the element of earth. This is not a call for you to hide your practice, but it is to help inspire you to keep privacy, so that you can avoid your magick being dispelled from people knowing about it, helping you not to focus on your spell after it has been cast, and to give you an opportunity to hear divinity in the silence. All of this can be achieved by keeping silent about what you are doing in your working, while it is still doing its work. It will keep ones focus clear on their manifestation and will let the spell take its course.
To go (Ire):
To go was added later by Aleister Crowley, and is connected to the element of Spirit. This is what is achieved when one has mastered the other four aspects, and is the end result of using them. Which is really just to go out into the world and use your practice. Other forms of traditions may have their own 5th power such as To Imagine, or To Love, or the fifth power is simply represent their tradition.