Also known as "The Four Cornerstones of Witchcraft", or "The Four Cornerstones of Magick" depending on the tradition and the teaching. They all refer to the same four basic principles stated here:
1) To Know
2) To Dare
3) To Will
4) To be Silent
To Know: To have the knowledge to do the work you have in mind. This means that you must have enough motivation to pursue learning all you can about the subject. You must also have imagination, for without that you will be simply redoing what others have already done. Remember that knowledge is power, and imagination is the use of that power.
To Dare: The courage needed to do the work, including the courage to carry through to the end and to take all all the consequences which will result. "Where lies your fear, there lies your greatest power." Facing the fear, moving cautiously ahead, and determination to go forward in spite of the fear is the greatest courage known.
To Will: The will is the desire which gives the work it's impetus, without the will, nothing happens. The desire for the outcome of the magick is one of the main driving forces to make it so. If you only want something haphazardly, that is how you will get it. Develop faith in your own abilities, for your own self-doubts will destroy your work more certainly than anyone else's can. A Witch makes magick manifest because she/he "says so", "As I do will, so mote it be" means it happens because I say it does. This is my will, a very powerful tool indeed.
To be Silent: This is the hardest part, especially for newer magi who wish to share their latest working with others. Never share what you are doing with anyone who may cast aspersions or doubts on your work. Remember "power shared is power lost" which is an injunction against loose lips telling all about their latest spell! Be careful with whom you share your secrets. The burning times may be past, but people are still human after all, and emotions such as fear, or jealousy, or envy can certainly hinder any working. Remember those who know do not speak and those who speak do not know.
In studying The Craft I have also come across another version of The Witch's Pyramid which I have included below. This version is just as valid as the first and should be used in conjunction with the first to enhance the Witches greater understanding of The Craft
This version of the pyramid like the first is based on four key concepts.
1) The Imagination
2) The Will
This in turn forms the base of our ability to work magick. They are sometimes referred to as "To Imagine", "To Will", "To Dare", and "To Keep Silent".
IMAGINATION: This is the power to conjure up in your mind whatever scenes you desire. It is the controlled daydream, a seemingly real flight of fancy, which permits you to imagine almost anything. Your imagination is a tool to be treasured and developed, for it evokes the emotions that help give life and movement to your magick. It enables you to visualize things you have seen and things you have never seen, places you have visited, and places you can only imagine. Therefore, encourage your fantasies and daydreams, and the emotions they generate, for each will undoubtedly be called to service in your magick. To a degree, the power of a spell depends on how much emotion you can generate, and how intensely you can visualize your desired result.
How can you generate that intensity of feeling? There are many ways to get the emotions stirred up. Use whatever you wish: scents, music, drumming, chanting, acting, or whatever gets you going. Employ old memories, much as actors do ('sense memory'). The idea here is to get you deeply involved; in so doing, your subconscious mind takes note and acts accordingly. Your imagination is an important part of your magick, and should be exercised often.
WILL: A Witch's magickal will is (or should be) a formidable thing, indeed. It is a will of iron that brooks no opposition; in fact, it cannot even conceive of any opposition. It is only exercised during magickal operations; like the imagination, it must be cultivated and developed. The magickal will works with the imagination to provide a focus for the emotions that are generated. What you are striving to achieve is a single-mindedness; a state of mind in which anything you will must come to pass; indeed, has already happened.
Begin by taking a passing interest in day-to-day things that normally wouldn't concern you. Switch on your magickal will with a conscious effort, and exert your influence. Remember, keep it simple; start with small matters and don't try willing things you may subconsciously believe to be impossible. Attempting too much can lead to failures and lessen your faith in your will.
FAITH: Faith forms the important third side of the Pyramid. In this case, however, faith does not mean the blind, obedient submission so often demanded by mainstream religions of their followers. Instead, it is that deep-down, solid knowledge that your spell or ritual will work. This includes complete confidence in yourself, your abilities, and your knowledge; there is no room here for any doubt. You know your spell or ritual will succeed, indeed has succeeded.
SECRECY: Witches have always been a secretive lot. In the old days of persecution, of course, there was a life-or-death need for secrecy. Today, Witches are more likely to be discreet about their spells and workings. There's a practical reason for this: spells seem to work better when they're not blabbed about. Indeed, some traditions believe that, after the spell is cast, it must not be spoken of nor thought about until the desired result has been achieved and verified. Many groups will not even discuss the particular working while in Circle, believing that this has a tendency to "pull back" the power and negate the working.
Mastering the four principles of the Witches' Pyramid is a good idea for any Witch. They are part of the foundation upon which all successful magick is based.
Farrar, Janet and Stewart. The Witches' Way. Blaine, Washington: Phoenix Publishing, 1986 Huson, Paul. Mastering Witchcraft. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1973