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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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The Ethics of Magick and Spellwork
Wiccans have the Rede and many other Pagans have similar ethical codes of conduct. But it isn't always easy to determine what the 'good of all' may be or even if it is a viable rule for each and every unique situation. How do YOU handle requests for spells? What about love magick, psychic weapons at high noon and the general use of magick and spells in your own spiritual life? How far would YOU go?
| Reponses: There are 43 responses posted to this question.
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| Let Me First Start Out By Talking About My Opinion On The... ||Sep 19th. at 12:01:14 am EDT|
|Melissa Carsey (Tampa, Florida US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
Let me first start out by talking about my opinion on the wiccan rede ... the rede, written by Gardner, was IMHO simply good PR. It was a way to let the "cowans" out there, see there were no "evil forces" at work within the pagan community. I also know many pagans that follow that way of thinking, and don't always pay much attention to the rede. I do, however, feel it helps serve a purpose, especially for newbies to the craft. It helps them stay within certain guidelines, until they themselves come to a greater awareness and respect for the magickal energy they utilize.
Now, onto "requests" of spells... I do not give out spells to people I do not know well enough, to know whether they understand what they are doing or not. As far as doing a spell for a friend.. I will do helpful things as long as they do not cross any moral line to me. Like love spells... I absolutely believe in a person's free will, and will not tamper with it.. but, certain love spells that only help open a door, to pave the way for honesty of feelings with the "love" the person wishes to be with, does not take away free will.
As far as my own use of magick in my own life, I find it to be a very small part of my spiritual path as a whole. I use magick when I find it to be necessary, and on esbats... but not on a daily basis.
| When Others Ask Me For A Spell, I Take Time In Meditation... ||Sep 19th. at 7:08:36 am EDT|
|Erianne Eaglewing (Kansas City, Missouri US) ||Age: 38 - Email |
When others ask me for a spell, I take time in meditation to determine the proper course. As an example, recently a co-worker asked me for a spell to help her get pregnant. After meditating for grounding and guidance, I instead created a charm bag for her to carry. It's purpose was healing and peace, so that if bad health was her problem it would be helped. By the same token, if it was not meant for her to become pregnant, she would find personal peace with that fact. In my personal opinion, there is always an alternative path that allows me to give help to those who ask it of me, yet not bring harm to others. I strive diligently to follow the Rede in all things.
| Absolutely Not! I Don't Do 'spells' For Anyone For Any Reason, And... ||Sep 19th. at 11:20:23 am EDT|
|Sunfell (Little Rock, Arkansas US) ||Age: 40 |
I don't do 'spells' for anyone for any reason, and I haven't picked up the Wand for myself in ages, either, unless its a crisis or emergency, and even those are few and far between. I suppose my use of active spells can be compared to one who has been in Martial Arts for a while- when I was younger, I played with it every chance I got, and did little workings all the time. But as I got older and gained experience, insight, and most important, wisdom, I realized that doing spells of any sort was really unnecessary, and that the consequences of errors were greater as I got older. The same would apply to a martial arts expert- where the beginner wouldn't hesitate to try a move on someone, the Master is extremely aware that she is capable of doing extreme harm with the same move.
As a beginner, it is important to learn and understand Magick from a ground-level point of view. Most spells given in the books are fairly harmless- like those involving yourself, your home, or immediate environment. It gets ethically sticky if you begin to aim any working at anyone besides yourself. Even if requested by another, it should not be done. Even if they 'think' they need a spell done to or for them, it isn't your call to do it. They should do it themselves. Remember, magick is an INTERNAL operation, with external effects. The longer you work with it, the more deeply you will understand this, and with that understanding comes the wisdom to use it very sparingly.
| Merry Survey! I Have In The Past And Will Continue In The... ||Sep 19th. at 2:05:44 pm EDT|
|Bal (Florissant, Missouri US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
Merry Survey! I have in the past and will continue in the future to cast healing spells on loved ones without their knowledge. It's not a no-no. For one, it's worked 9 out of 10 times, and for two, my father's not Wiccan, but I know it's not against his will to be healthy. Thanks and Blessed Be, Bal.
| Will I Have To Say That I Won't Cast Spells For Anyone... ||Sep 19th. at 8:48:43 pm EDT|
|Lyonness (Everett, Washington US) ||Age: 24 - Email |
Will I have to say that I won't cast spells for anyone, they have the power to do it themselves. I also don't cast spells on other people and feel that anytime you cast a spell on another person no matter how much good you think your doing, you could be getting yourself into trouble. Just my little take on it.
Washington State Director of W.A.R.D.
| I Use Magick And Spells Everyday, As A Matter Of Keeping My... ||Sep 19th. at 11:15:09 pm EDT|
|Draeka (Long Island, New York US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I use magick and spells everyday, as a matter of keeping my mind active. They're usually just psychic exercises (like playing with a candle flame, a blue sphere, etc.) but it's magick none the less. As far as for other people, now that's a different story. I absolutely refuse to send out any type of negative energy (intentionally, although I am an Aries and sometimes Aries girls explode...) and I refuse to do any type of spell that interferes with another's free will. I know it's getting to be cliche, but Love Spells are among the worst. When people ask me to "do a spell thingy" for them, I usually respond by saying that I'm not soliciting my belief system and that there are people that would be willing to do so. If he/she is really that desperate, they could go find one. The idea of actually having to go search for someone to do it seems like too much work for them, and they usually get discouraged and forget about the idea within the next 15 minutes.
Psychic Defense. It's sad to say that I've had to defend myself several times psychically, a few times from teenagers just discovering what they're capable of and deciding to "test their limits." Basically, my philosophy is if someone comes after me, I will use any means necessary (without excess force) as defense against the attack. No more, no less. Martial Artists (I am also a Martial Artist) use the same philosophy, which tends to work out well.
| Well I Come From A Family Of Pagans, You Could Say I... ||Sep 20th. at 9:04:34 am EDT|
|Djinn (Goldsboro, North Carolina US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
Well I come from a family of Pagans, you could say I am hereditary, I guess. My Grandmother was my teacher and she instilled in me a strong moral, as well as a strong since of honor and pride. But she also always told me to stand up for myself and to never roll over and think, Ň IŐll do nothing because some day they will realize what they did and apologize.Ó Although the rolling over approach works (sometimes), I believe in taking care of things for myself. So by now you probably think Im a psycho Celt that will zap you if you look at her cross-eyed. Well, no I very rarely use magick for that, unless the other party leaves me no choice. I prefer to settle things differently if possible, by talking it out or taking it to the back yard. The brawl in the yard does wonders and I have gone into fights as enemies and came out as friends. Im not saying this is a good solution for everyone and I know violence begets violence but it is my way. Im not a mean person, I have honor and pride. I would much rather have you set at my table as a guest drinking, drink and eating good food. I donŐt do love spells or anyone else or myself, its a waste of energy. I meditate and I am much more spiritual then magickal but I do use magick on a regular basis.
| I Think That Anything Negative Should Be Avoided, Including Magick That Seeks... ||Sep 20th. at 12:17:56 pm EDT|
|Xamien Mooncrow (Charleston, South Carolina US) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I think that anything negative should be avoided, including magick that seeks to take control of others' minds. Of course, sometimes there just lines that are too thin to be seen so we can cross them without ever knowing it. That's why we have to be careful when we wish things, cast spells, etc, etc. We have to question our intentions behind a spell we wish to cast or a psychic effect. That's how we learn things, is by questioning them, so we'll learn where are hearts our when we wish something, cast something, etc. Just doing a spell out of the blue or just doing one for a request is something to be avoided. when we're asked to do a spell for someone, we have look for the purpose behind it.also, Dark Magick (not black magick; magick dealing with the human nature, looking into the past/future, stuff like that) is something to be careful with, too. That's just my two cents rattling in the jar, as the saying goes.
| I Am Retired From The Canadian Army (13) Years And Follow The... ||Sep 20th. at 2:21:47 pm EDT|
|Havoc (Salmon Arm, British Columbia CA) ||Age: 38 - Email |
I am retired from the Canadian Army (13) years and follow the path of Celtic Warrior as well as Celtic Crafstman. Many people would believe that the rede precludes things like using magic in defence and that witches should be pacifists. That may be the path that is right for some, but is not necessarily precluded for all. The warrior in ancient times was a proud and honourable tradition.
The rede often presents us with problems of ethic and none more so in the case of defence of the innocent. If I observe a person being mugged is it wrong to bind, or curse the assailent without his permission? It is certainly harmful to him. But at the same time inaction could result in serious harm to the victim. So the question is, if we must allow harm to the one in order to prevent harm to the other, what do we do?
I reconcile it this way. I am not harming the assailant by preventing him from commiting his crime. In a case that is even less clear cut, the right of the innocent not to be harmed of the assailant overrides the right of the assailant not to be harmed by my magick. Just as Celtic Warriors carried spells into battle we too also have the right, and the responsibility to protect ourselves, and the innocent, from injustice.
HAving said that, I also believe that the use of magick in cases where the rede is not clear cut must be an option of last resort. In the case above my size and training would probably allow me to physically intervene. That would be preferable for me rather than a spell. I could certainly enlist a spell to protect me from harm, which would certainly not cause harm to the assailant.
Finally, always listen to your conscience, that still quiet voice of the Goddess. Always be mindful of, and ready to accept, the consequences of your actions.
| Not Being Wiccan I Don't Follow The Rede, Or Believe In The... ||Sep 20th. at 2:28:55 pm EDT|
|Ned Farnsworth (Lafayette, Indiana US) ||Age: 27 - Email |
Not being Wiccan I don't follow the Rede, or believe in the Threefold Law. Instead I take the simple view that all actions, mundane or magical, have consequences. You must try to be aware of the possible consequences of your actions, both for yourself and for others. Take each situation as it comes and act in accord with your conscence.
| Hmmm... This One Is Hard. I Have Never Been Openly Asked To... ||Sep 20th. at 6:27:47 pm EDT|
|Kaicielia BlueDragon (Madison, Wisconsin US) ||Age: 24 - Email |
Hmmm... This one is hard.
I have never been openly asked to do a spell for someone, or to teach someone how to do a spell. I have discussed how to do certain spells with a friend, but it was more to undo a mistake she had done years before.
There are definately lines that should not be crossed, but outlining them is difficult. They are different for different paths. Some of the ones I follow are, first and foremost, do not cause deliberate harm. Harm is sometimes mistakenly caused, or an unknown consequence of action, and at these times the harm should be minimized and dealt with as soon as possible. Second, One should not cast a spell on someone without that person's permission. In cases where prayer/spell requests are gotten, I would assume that the person involved is accepting any form of help offered.
As far as personal gain spells, such as money, love, luck, or others, I very seldom ever cast such spells, but they are not within the realm of "don't". I have, at one time, been so desperate for money that I did cast such a spell, and did it in very strict, straight foreward words. There are many fairy tales where someone wishes to become rich, and suffers terrible consequences. A loved one dies and leaves them money, or there's always the golden touch. However, these often being petty, unnecessary requests, I believe it would be a negative show on a person's Karma. Greed is never good.
But, as I have said, there are different ways of viewing the world. This is by no means a "Ten Commandments" type of thing, although I do believe the first two I mentioned are shared by the pagan community as a whole.
| Requests For Spells Are Usually (in My Experience) From People Who Do... ||Sep 20th. at 10:12:13 pm EDT|
|RiverGypsy (Chicago, Illinois US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
Requests for spells are usually (in my experience) from people who do not like to deal with their problems. They think that it will be a "quick fix, " a painless and effortless solution. I learned that magick is no such thing, and will not hesitate to tell the querant. As with everything, this is not always the case, but my two cents. Blessed Be!
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