γνῶθι σεαυτόν Gnothi Seauton Know Thyself
The maxim at the Delphic Oracle that bespeaks the universal longing for wisdom.
This particular maxim is one any witch can embrace in that by knowing yourself you can better see what it is you truly want, what your true purpose is, and where your power lies. Once you have that knowledge, using magick to obtain what you desire becomes much easier.
The only maxim I love more than Gnothi Seauton is Credendo Vides, By Believing One Sees.
By Believing One Sees…and Better Knows Thyself
I came across Credendo Vides as a child watching the movie The Voyage of the Unicorn. In the movie, the mythology and philosophy professor and his 2 daughters are transported into the realm of the Imagination. This maxim repeats itself again and again as they learn they are part of a prophecy and are strong enough to defeat evils in both worlds if they only believe. Added to this maxim is the phrase, “Faith precedes the miracle.”
While Credendo Vides is often shadowed by the better known saying, Seeing is Believing (the skeptic’s motto), I think that it has more truth (it certainly is a truth for me). If, say, someone believes there isn’t any magick in the world he will easily be able to find evidence of it. The fact is, the skeptic believe is there before he sees proof of it. Because of his belief, proving to him that magick exists will be near impossible because he will see something different than a believer does.
This concept is discussed in quantum physics when it was proven that a person’s act of mere observation changes the course of a scientific study. There is no true objectification, everything is subjective to those focusing on it. The same goes to seeing proof of a belief or disbelief.
These two maxims (Gnothi Seauton and Credendo Vides) are not exactly independent from each other, at least not in my own opinion and experience. Both are necessary for living a magickal, holistic, spiritual life. I have found that until you do the mental work, until you BELIEVE you can do or be or have, then anything you do to achieve that will just be spinning in circles. Once you believe, then you are or it is.
For example: Know Thyself can include knowing that you have importance in this life. Knowing that you matter and have a reason for existing. By Believing One Sees is the act of believing you are important and then you are able to see evidence of this in your life. Both are intertwined. You can Know in your mind who you are “supposed” to be but until you believe it, you won’t know it in your gut, your heart, your emotions and you won’t see evidence of it mirrored around you.