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Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 19,648,703  

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Question of the Week: 7 - 9/18/2000

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. Reverse Sort 

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.

Blessed Be

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!

And Do What Though Wilt As Ye Harm None?" I Had Firm... Sep 21st. at 1:45:34 pm EDT

Little Witch (San diego, California US) Age: 22

"And do what though wilt as ye harm none?" I had firm belifes in that for a longggg time. And with some of it i still do. I look at a situation and say.."How will this benifit me? and who will it hurt." Sometimes the situation is so dire that the good of myself is underlaid with the need of another person. So in the end I will reep the karma back lash.

request for spells..haha. I get them all the time, ones for love, for protection, for health. Even for vodo dolls. And i laugh. I have done protection spells for others at no expense to them. love er no. I have told them how to do them if they really want them done, but I'm not eating their three fold.

Psychic weapons, I consider it cheating. I had a young ignorant girl on my last ship that had gifts and used them on innocents. I went head to head with her one day in the P-way. I pulled a shield of protection around me. She and I glared at eachother as we passed. I could "feel" her pinging me. So I pinged her back. Needless to say as we went on are ways. I looked back to see she had tripped and fell.

I'm constantly using my skills to protect my self and my loved ones. It's a harsh world. The Gods gave us gifts t use, we she use them in moderation.

Being A Solitary Wiccan,few Know Of My Belief,abilities Or Power... Sep 21st. at 1:54:48 pm EDT

Bird man (Panama City Beach, Florida US) Age: 40 - Email

Being a solitary wiccan, few know of my belief, abilities or power to do spells. As far as Magick is concerned, I feel there is a certain Magick in everything around me. It has been my experience that people in true need of some certain Magick(usually some sort of healing) will cross my path without having to "ask". I would never do any thing for Love for anyone, LOVE is pure and not manufactured. I do believe in the law of three's, so to help is as good for you as for them. Psychic weapons, now this is a tough subject. If to protect yourself is considered a weapon, then yes, this is ok. There is, sadly to say energy vampires out there, pardon the expression. To do work for your own spiritual life is great, just be very sure you know what your asking or doing .

Well, Number One, I Rarely Practise True Magick. Usually It's When All... Sep 21st. at 2:28:02 pm EDT

MachaCrow (Charles Town, West Virginia US) Age: 31 - Email

Well, number one, I rarely practise true magick. Usually it's when all mundane methods have been exhausted or in concert with non-magickal work. Yes, good old fashioned work.

Need money? I get a second job. I may place a small charm on my resume so that it will get noticed. I may make for myself a reminder to save money (I love money boxes - though mine is a money jar..)

If my health is suffering, well, along with calling the doc, trying to get more sleep and eating better, I may magickally adjust my chakras.

Magick is as natural as breathing. We do it every day, whether we cast a circle or tossed salt over our shoulder. It's a matter of intent and purpose.

I have had requests for spells, usually, I give ideas or sources on what they can do. I don't give out spells, you gotta write it and do it yourself. I personally believe magick works on the practitioner's intent. And you are a lot more intense if you are the one with the bill due! I have done love charms, however, these are for finding self-love, healing and comfort in your own company. I would rather the person becomes whole and happy, then love will find them. I joke, if you can't love yourself, who can you love. But it's true. When there is a loved one sick or hurting, I will send prayers and magickal energy to carry them through a difficult time. I don't neccessarily pray for a total healing - sometimes it may not be in the best interest of the patient. So I pray for relief from pain and let the universe work it out. I can and have done magick for negative results for cancer and other medical tests, for something benign.

As for spells at 10 paces - well, I have to comment how immature of the individuals involved. Protection is passive and preventive. I have no problem with casting a Repel all Salesmen spell on my front door. However, flinging curses at another human being I find a sad way to handle a situation. If it is so bad, or you are physically in danger there are ways to prevent damage and keep yourself safe, and there's the regular ole policeman if it gets to that point. I don't really like mirror spells either, I would prefer a way to ground or convert (reverse polarity) any attack. I agree with the post on martial arts - when you learn, you must accept responsiblity.

Though I have to admit, I am human and there are times in traffic where the urge to cast a Karmic-Backlash spell have crossed my mind (I hope Karma catches up with the b**** that just cut me off). It's a Grey area for me.

Perhaps one day I will be wise....

I Don't Do Anything That Would Effect Others In Any Way. I'm... Sep 21st. at 3:08:33 pm EDT

Mike Johnson (Canton, Ohio US) Age: 17 - Email

I don't do anything that would effect others in any way. I'm an idealist, and most people I have come incontact with disappoint me, so I just don't pay attention to them. I only try to reason out my feelings and thoughts, and why I have them... I'm so very against blind faith that if I would do something that woulde ffect others, it would deffinatly not be for the good of all.

As A Solitary, I Don't Get Much In The Way Of Requests... Sep 21st. at 11:34:22 pm EDT

wytchling (taipei, Taiwan) Age: 21 - Email

as a solitary, i don't get much in the way of requests for spells. to date, my number of requests stands at zero, and i'm glad of this (i'm out to my family and friends, but none have an interest in magick). love magick for anyone else, especially to "get" a certain someone, is totally out!! ditto psychic weaopns!! generally, i use magick within my spiritual life to honour the goddess and god, and to give my dreams and goals inspiration. if i'm going to do a spell for anyone, it would be well-wishing, basically, like sending good vibes when they need it. that's all. :)

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