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Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 13,135,276  

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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 

When I Learned How To Create And Cast Spells, I Immediately Learned... Oct 18th. at 11:54:03 pm EDT

dracon (Alvord, Texas US) Age: 24

When I learned how to create and cast spells, I immediately learned how not to.
They are not to be taken lightly, and if it is cast wrong, it comes back and hits you like a brick. I believe now that you should only cast spells to improve someones life, and if what I do for someone else seems like a non-selfish thing, then I will if "I" honestly believe that it is deserved. I espeacially believe that a person should "NOT" recieve money for the deed, well, not ask for it at least. If your helping somebody out to improve their lives, why ask for something in return, your just improving everybody's way of life. That should be pay enough.

Ethics Of Magick--there's A Delightfully Sticky Question. So Many People Seem... Sep 24th. at 3:05:04 pm EDT

Victoria Brockmeier (Warrensburg, Missouri US) Age: 22 - Email

Ethics of magick--there's a delightfully sticky question. So many people seem to think that all morality comes from the Christian Bible, and therefore anyone not looking to that text for life guidance must be morally bankrupt. I've had a couple people say things to me like, "Well, you're pagan, or whatever, right? I thought you'd be OK with adultery!"

Imagine my snort of disgust.

I rarely work the Craft for other people. I do get asked, because, though basically solitary, I'm extremely, extremely visible. But just about every time I've ever been asked to do something, it's been, "get me this job, " "make my girlfriend stop cheating on me, " "make men go wild with lust over me, " or the ever-popular, "can you curse someone for me?" Occasionally I feel inwardly compelled to do work for someone, but only once has that been anyone who asked for my help; the rest the time, I don't even tell them.

When people come to me and want me to use my skills for them, I explain that it's a religious thing to me, that my powers are actually from a sacred source, and not to be taken lightly. I usually recommend a couple books to them and say that if they want to enlist the aid of the Goddess and God, they can do it themselves and see what happens. I also point out that my whole belief system--ethics, metaphysics, politics--is based in nature, and that even if I help them, I would only be helping along whatever is absolutely natural. I always put a clause in like, "Be it aright, by my hand so mote it be." If that relationship is supposed to fail, I'm only going to help it fail faster, the way I work energy.

I trust my own instincts completely. There have been times when I felt absolutely right in sending a whole lot of negative energy at someone, or at some event, in order to right some balance. There have also been times when I really, really, really wanted to, but I knew it wouldn't have been the right thing to do, and refrained. It seems to arrogant, on its face, to say that I am in tune with the divine powers of the universe and am therefore qualified to judge who's right and who's wrong, who gets healed and who has to suffer or save themselves. I continue to face a lot of issues as to whether or not that's my place, but the farther I go on my own quest, the more assurance I get that it's OK. I tend not to interfere with other workers of magick, but lately it seems like the only people I meet have methods and goals that line up with mine almost 100% anyway, which I take as a sign that, yeah, strange though it is, I'm making the right choices.

I think it's important, though, not just for making your own life make sense, but for the status of the Craft as a whole, to have an ethical framework and to stick by your guns. Or levinbolts, as the case may be. It's too easy for those on the outside to see a witch who wavers in her convictions, or who works magick for causes she herself doesn't even believe in, and apply that example to the rest of us. I mean, hell, how often do we identify Christianity with, say, Fred Phelps or Jimmy Baker? Every time you go out in public, you're making a statement to everyone who knows you're Wiccan or Asatru or whatever, about what witchcraft is and how it shapes your life. Take the opportunity to show the Craft off as something healthy and sensible; to my mind, that is the biggest ethical duty we have.

Request For Spells; We Teach Them That The Power / Ablity Is Within... Sep 24th. at 6:59:29 am EDT

steve (worcester, Massachusetts US) Age: 51

request for spells; we teach them that the power / ablity is within each of us so that they can bend the furture or events......... which means we don't do that for people , only teach using the path or beliefs of that person

on a personal level we use no love spells , never use it agianst others, and only use protective spells

I Am Glad To See This Question Posted. Being A Practicing Witch... Sep 24th. at 2:24:48 am EDT

Lady Silverwolf (Wilmington, North Carolina US) Age: 48 - Email

I am glad to see this question posted. Being a practicing witch for 30 years, I am glad to see we are coming out of the broom closet.The internet has really made this possible. But there are still some things that should be left sacred and taught on a one or (coven) basis. Spell work is a personal thing to me. Yes there are basic spells we see them now openly in many books. But like anything if they are not taught the basics first with this belief system, one may cause caos. I have seen too many "think" they are doing spell work and then wonder why and how.. things got screwd up? The energy that is used in spell work is and can be very powerful and if one does not know how to ground, center and protect oneself it can backfire.. This is something that is learned over time and with a teacher. The books can put the words down.. but what works for one might not work for another. We can give basics.. but we know that to work.. we must feel that energy... know that energy. If some young person says suddenly I am a witch? do they really know the meaning? Can they feel the "Goddess". Do they know when and when not to work a spell? I say lets "spread the good news about us" but please... when it comes to spell working advise for a teacher, someone who has practiced for more than a year and a day. Reading books for years does not make someone a "witch" it is a feeling.. it is a connection... it is a knowing... I have always said and will now.. Not everyone who studies Wicca will be a witch.. and there are many who will never call themselves Wiccan who are witches. And this is my opinion and not to offend anyone.
With many Blessingsm Love and light
Lady Silverwolf

Blessed Be! I Have Been Practicing For Three Year Now And Being... Sep 23rd. at 12:05:01 pm EDT

Persephone BlackWolf (Vestal, New York US) Age: 15 - Email

Blessed BE!
I have been practicing for three year now and being that I am only 15 I have delt with a lot of skepticism and close mindedness that comes with being in middle school and high scool. And i have been asked many times what is a "witch" (I put it in quotes only because when they ask the think I'm ready to turn them into a toad. isnt that funny?)And every time i try to design my definition so that I enclude the basics and not rule out any one practice. However, I have gotten request about spells before. Some of them are stupid and childish like. "Can you turn my friend into a carrot?" Can you make potatoes dance?" (dont ask me where that one came from. The mind behind that one doenst absorb, what i tell him, very well.) anyway, thoes are easily shucked off. But when someone asks me, Can you do this for me its hard for me to judge whether the person is serious and whether I should. But I think that each situation is different and its too hard to know which ones you should and shouldn't. But, if someone asks me, "will you say somethin or "cast a spell" to help my so and so who is sick?" I usually will. Healing spells are for a common good in my eyes and as long as they ask you its ok.

Being A Solitary Witch, I Do Not Get Too Many Requests For... Sep 23rd. at 10:36:46 am EDT

Lilly (Jacksonville, Florida US) Age: 21 - Email

Being a solitary Witch, I do not get too many requests for spells. Generally though, I only perform magick for people that I know and trust very well and I am close to. I have been asked for the simple little "parlour trick" love spells before by some friends in college. I politely declined and suggested that they read some books on Wicca and learn about the ethics of free will of all, etc. I do not participate in any kind of magick that will harm another. I regularly perform protection magick for myself, family, loved ones and my beloved animals. I am still relatively new to Wicca and I spend a great deal of time learning as much as I can.

I'm A Druid, And One Of The Ancient Codes Of Draiocht Is... Sep 22nd. at 11:30:46 pm EDT

Callum (Lyons, New York US) Age: 16 - Email

I'm a Druid, and one of the ancient codes of Draiocht is for payment of a service. If someone comes to me and asks for me to aid them in healing, I'll perform what I see fit, and they will repay me in offerings of special herbs, stones, or anything that they feel is suitable to be given to me. I never except money, (a personal ethic code). But we've all at least once been asked for spells, most of them being love spells. What I do is offer them an alternative. If they ask for someone to fall in love with them, I explain that it would be preventing the other person from the right of free will. I then offer a charm such as a rose love bead necklace, an oil, or a simple piece of advice. I enchant the charm but that's where I draw the line. I try hard not to be evolved in love matters. They tend to become rough at times. In my own life, magick and my religion is an everyday thing. I can't walk down the street in the morning without feeling some type of spiritual form of energy from my surroundings. When problems arise, I tend to steer away from typical spells. Being an herbalist, I look for an alternative way in herbs, and charms. And coming to the deities for assistance never hurt anyone.

I'm A Solitary And Most People Know That So I Don't Get... Sep 22nd. at 8:04:32 pm EDT

Jeanette (Oceanside, California US) Age: 46 - Email

I'm a solitary and most people know that so I don't get any requests for spells.
Even if I did I would not act as you don't always get all the particulars of
a situation that you need to make an informed decision. I and I alone make the choice of when and what kind of spells I use. I do not hesitate to protect my loved ones from harm, no matter what kind of spells that would take.In matters of life and death, I am willing and have cast very powerful spells to protect others, and am quite willing to take the consequences, as long as no one but myself suffers.

I Generally Don't Respond To Requests For Spells At All - You May... Sep 22nd. at 2:11:55 pm EDT

Garidd (Aylesbury) Age: 26 - Email

I generally don't respond to requests for spells at all - you may not know the full story behind what the spell is about or the person who is requesting it. Responding to requests like this, in my opinion, is a very dangerous occupation.

Back to the question, I use my own intuition for what is "right" or "wrong" when working magic for people, but as I only do magic when I offer to do it for other people, then my own intuition is enough for me.

I've, Over The Years (too Many Of 'em) Fielded Some Requests For... Sep 22nd. at 1:25:38 pm EDT

Harry Strunk (Gainesville, Florida US) Age: 66 - Email

I've, over the years (too many of 'em) fielded some requests for Magickal help. I would not do or suggest a spell for "wrath and vengeance", of course; I also consider the so-called "love spell" as being really black magick in disguise -- the spell is trying to over-ride someone's freedom of choice. A spell to make the target more attractive is not so objectionable. Healing, support and growth -- OK. I might remark in passing that the only "magickal" act permitted by Christians, Jews or Moslems is prayer (a prayer is, after all, utilizing a Power not recognized by conventional science to affect "change in accordance with will", and therefore magic by definition); prayers to "convert" the heathen (us!) is, in my opinion, not only magick, but black magic at that.

The Ablilty To Determine What Is Truely Apropriate In Any Given Situation... Sep 22nd. at 3:16:40 am EDT

Erynne Brooke Stormrose (Little Rock, Arkansas US) Age: 22 - Email

The ablilty to determine what is truely apropriate in any given situation is a great gift of the gods, one which is known by the name Maturity. As one grows in their spiritual path, they begin to run more on what intuition says than what is written in some book. As a witch and a family taught shaman, Magic is a part of my life every day. When I wake up, I light my candle, I say my morning prayers to mother earth and father sun. Through out the day, I am mindful to keep myself centered and in times of quiet having an inner dialouge with my gods.
I have gotten several requests for spells. If the person coming to me is a wiccan/pagan, often their requests are less of "Give me a spell to make something hapen" and more of "what herb/stone/colors work best for a spell dealing with this." In the latter case it is easy to refer someone to a book or a website. When I DO get requests, I often pass along a few pages on how to construct spells that were given to me when I was a newbie. When the inevitable non pagan asks for spells, or for me to do spell work, I often point them to a good book, usually something easy to understand, Wicca : A guide for the solitary practitioner or Wicca for Men are good ones. On rare occasion that someone asks me to perform a spell, I look at the situation. A person wanting me to help them rid their home of negative energy? Yes, but I also teach the person to do it himself. Healing for THAT person? Yes. Anything that involves control or love or anything that I know is immorral or illegal? Heck no! I believe in teaching people to help themselves.
As far as psychic warfare, I have had to engage in that twice, once on behalf of a friend who had been so drained that I stepped in at her request to help shield her so she could get her strength back. We then together worked to bind these people from harmning US. The other incident I was involved in was a rather brutal witch war. I was a newbie then and made some mistakes I regret. But you live and learn.
How far would I go? I would go as far as reason and knowledge allows

Blessings. As To Request For Spells..i Am Pretty Cautious Unless I... Sep 22nd. at 1:28:39 am EDT

feywytch (hubbard, Ohio US) Age: 38 - Email


As to request for spells..I am pretty cautious unless I know the person well, I always talk to the person to see if they have tried to work this out on own and how much they know about spel work. Generally I will help anyone who is willing to help themselves. And as long as it is positive.

I do not like to think about loaded wands at fifty paces....but realistically with in my own experience i have had to personally use defense magicks. For the good of my family. But for someone unknown...same as above..try and scry or discern the validity of the situation. It is so easy to be swayed by a sad tale...and to easy to overlook there may be a totally overlooked other side to it. And it is never easy to get clear the facts when not a situation that directly invovles you.

Now as for things like stopping a stalker or such....I do not look at that as against will...I look at it as common decency. We are the caretakers of this earth...that includes all lives and protecting all lifes from harm.

I really do try to keep in mind our ethicsa nd the eternal balances within when dealing with requests though. Too many think spellwork a quick fix and are usually treating the symptom not the problem.

I hope this helps.. Fey

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