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Posted: Nov. 17, 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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| 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.
| 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.
| 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.
| 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.
| 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.
| This Is A Very Interesting Question Indeed! I Would First Like To... ||Sep 18th. at 8:06:45 pm EDT|
|Simona Elda Marseglia (Duluth, Minnesota US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
This is a very interesting question indeed! I would first like to note that I am a *Stregherian Wiccan, * meaning I follow a basic Path of Aridian Stregheria while adding my own words to it since all of my possibly Strega relatives have passed from this incarnation, which makes me Wiccan, because I am the first *living* person in my family to practice the Old Religion. I know that's a confusing definition to some, but I wanted to make it clear why I "label" myself this way...
Now, onto more impertinant things--the questions:
1) How do YOU handle requests for spells?
Since I started formally practicing (like many Wiccans, I was raised Christian), I have noticed a great deal of requests for spells by two groups. The first group are Catholics/Christians who don't seem to have enough faith in their own religion(s) to trust their own prayers to their own god. Either that, or some of them who know I'm Wiccan think it's "cool, " or some such nonsense and want me to utilize my powers to help them. I usually tell them that magick is not something to fool around with. A lot of Catholics/Christians seem to think we are like children playing some sort of a game with the Universe, and don't understand how serious magick is--that it is not a toy to take out and play with when the mood strikes. I mean, certainly magick can--and should--be fun and joyful at times, but I often find that one has to teach Catholics and other Christians as little children. They want the excitment of ritual magick without the responsiblity of it. This is often the reason they come to us asking for spells while at the same time looking down their noses at our religions. I realize I sound a bit sour here, but I am only speaking from personal experience, and I imagine many of you have had similiar experiences. I always tell them "no, " or at least explain to them what exactly it is they're asking me to do so that they understand the implications if something doesn't turn out the way they expected. Almost exclusively I advise them to rely on their own religions instead of borrowing from ours, because it's your faith in your own religion that's going to help them through, *not* mystical things which they may not fully comprehend.
The other group of people I often see spell requests from is the Pagan/Wiccan/Witch community itself. I cannot tell you how many times I have logged onto a Wiccan message board only to see mostly scads of spell requests among a few scattered "serious" messages. To these people, I usually say, "Believe in *yourself.* Ours is a difficult path because there is no laity in true Pagan traditions." If a specific prayer for specific healing is asked for, I usually attempt for that. But these "how can I land a job spell, " or "how can I find out if my ex was cheating on me spell, " I feel, are a waste of time and taking advantage of magick in what should be taken care of by "mundane" means. I put this in quotes because, if done appropriately, the mundane can become the magickal, but I find that, too often, people are trying to use magick spells to *avoid* the pratfalls of every day life--things that take courage like tactful confrontation and the like. They are limiting themselves from the human experience by focusing only on the Spiritual. To embrace the human incarnation one is in, one *must* strike a balance of both. Now I admit that I, as everyone else does from time to time, lag in this area. When that happens, I pray, using a focus point such as a candle, a personal amulet, a rune or a rock to focus my energy.
2) What about love magick, psychic weapons at high noon and the general use of magick and spells in your own spiritual life?
I *never* perform love magick. Love is free, and should be treated as such. To enslave love is to take away the true Spririt of it. Love of specific other beings will come and go in one's life, but the Spirit of it never dies, nor can it be captured. I don't use psychic weapons per se. I have banished certain people from my life, but not to cause *them* harm, only to *avoid* harm to myself. I always make whatever Deity and/or energy I'm working with knows this, for I firmly believe in the Law of Return. I know that if I am purging myself of someone, it is not to wish them any hurt, but simply that I don't want them clouding *my* psyche any longer.
Other than that, I rarely do spells unless I feel is it absolutely necessary and I *never* perform them for others.
3) How far would YOU go?
This question is very timely for me. Recently I felt some *very* negative energies coming from my mother, who has not been happy with my Path (she's a Fundie Evangelical Christian) since I announced it to her this past spring. The urge to curse her was very strong in me, because I felt that she was trying to curse me, altho she did not know it. She's been disappointed in me, so she says, and has made it known that she is praying for me everyday (so that my soul won't be lost--isn't that sweet? Side note: what strikes me about Christians, even the most open-minded ones is that they are so *wrapped up* in following Jesus and worshipping the human aspect of him that they completely ignore his *message!*). Now this thought did form in my head, and I worked very hard scribbling in my journal to let it pass out because I did not want it to manifest into a harmful energy toward my mother. I love my mother, despite her limitations, and I wish nothing but gentleness and kindness for her. But some imp was really playing eight ball with me that day, and I openly admit it because, as somebody else on this board has mentioned, mistakes and bad feelings are part of our human experience, and to pretend we're infallible is to deny that in us which is human. Needless to say, I did not curse my mother, and the feeling eventually worked itself out.
Well, as per usual, I've dribbled on longer than I should have, so I will say a fond farewell until next time!
| Hi Ho... So Far I "don't Do" Magick For Others... Which Is... ||Sep 18th. at 6:20:30 pm EDT|
|Shawn (Victoria, British Columbia CA) ||Age: 30 |
So far I "don't do" magick for others... which is to say nobody ever asked...
Well, hmm, I suppose Reiki is a wavelength of magick and therefore... except I only do hands on treatments and that is a whole nother kettle of fish. But as for doing magick lets say a love spell, or a find spell etc. Nothing. Nobody ever thought to ask. I do however get a whole lot of questions on "how to do this and that". I try to be as concise as possible, and be helpful. Or I just say "I don't know", if I don't. If I was asked? I wouldn't do it. I would show them how, guide them throught it... pointe them in the direction of texts... and above all make sure they undestand clause 32... and harm none...
even self... :)
An harm none... I find it fairly easy. I don't do things that would normally harm people. Ah, yes, but then there are the requests... money, power, sex, love etc... one must know that all these things can be freely distributed by the boundless resourses of our universe without anyone doing without, or being hurt in the process. And above all, I believe one should not think of specific individuals in the process of such things. If you think of someone, you might just be focusing your spell on then and takeing their stuph or changing their mind. I don't need things and love from a certain individual that is un willing when Universe knows that these things can be freely and lovingly given from other sourses... and power... a fools game, that can be won with practice, patients, meditation, schoolastic trainig and otherwise general hard work that is ultimately more rewarding than the fast track down the dark path... :)
Here is a good one... Psychic weapons at high noon... I have seen such between native shamans... amusing to watch from a distance but something that ain't pleasant up front... Normally the more someone decides to fight the more I bless them and wish them well. They tend to gow away after a while. Most people will never run into anyone with any skill high enough to be a dangerous threat psychically. Usually the oponent will resort to more mundane measures sooner or later, and for that there is legal recourse. As long as you kept nice and friendly both publicly and privately in anycase you should be allright...
However there are some things that can be done: Pick up the books by Denning and Phillips and Marcia L. Pickands and other on Psychic Self Defense and practice the protections. Draja Mickaharic has good books on cleansing house & home wich also helps. But above all, Meditate, keep happy and be good and you will fare the storm. As for attacking? Only someone on the level of Don Juan from Carlos Casteneda need concern his or herself with such things!
How far would I go? As far as wisdom suggests, and no more. :)
Shade and Sweet Water...
| My Ethics Are Easy. I Don't Do Magick. I Figure, There's Enough... ||Sep 18th. at 6:09:09 pm EDT|
|shay (Phoenix, Arizona US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
My ethics are easy. I don't do magick. I figure, there's enough ambiant magick in the world that I can coast on that stream without forcing my intentions on the world. I know that seems very unwitchy of me, but I just don't think I need to be messing with the flow of the universe. There are times when magick occurs spontaneously in my life, and for that I am grateful. But to try to force it into my world, and for my purposes, seems a bit grandiose and selfish.
| If We Forget About The "wiccan Rede" Momentarily, Using Common Sense, You... ||Sep 18th. at 5:17:54 pm EDT|
|blackthorne (Concord, California US) ||Age: 36 - Email |
If we forget about the "Wiccan Rede" momentarily, using common sense, you may
descern for yourself that doing a spell for someone else, no matter what the
intent, if going to be difficult-if you are removed from the situation, how
are you going to summon the significant attitude, emotion, ect. Do you think
you would be able to do it without it being diluted.
Next question would be, Are you willing to take on the carmic debt?, Are you
willing to take responsability for making a wrong descision? Can you carry this
burden if it becomes one?
How many of us have been asked to intervene with a spell, and have later been
glad we didn't?
I can imagine that we all at one time or another have made a bad descision, this
should be considered normal, how can you grow as a pagan when you are not going
to try things out?
I think that most pagans are unwilling to talk about mistakes, bad judgements,
and wrongheadedness, because they are afraid to admit fallability.
When we can get beyond this, we will really be able to talk about something,
for now, people are too interested in proving they are not a BAD WITCH.
I for one will admit to making mistakes, I also will admit to many stupid
things I did, that I have since learned from.
| I Absolutely Won't Do Love Spells For Any One Due To The... ||Sep 18th. at 3:47:07 pm EDT|
|Betty J. Ryan (Tucson, Arizona US) ||Age: 23 |
I absolutely won't do love spells for any one due to the high rate at which they go wrong in one way or another. I won't do a spell for someone unless I know them well and have all the facts on the situation, I also do a divination to see if I should even get involved. I have no problem defending myself with magick if it is needed, if you can't use it when you need it why have it.
I use magick in all of my rituals even if only to feel that much more connected.
| I Am *responsible* For Everything I Do. Whether I Admit It Or... ||Sep 18th. at 2:54:48 pm EDT|
|NightWing (Denver, Colorado US) ||Age: 38 |
I am *responsible* for everything I do. Whether I admit it or not. And I tend to think that a person gets pretty much what he deserves. This then is the point I start from when considering spells and magick for others (and myself, for that matter).
The specific nature of the request and the need; how much information (ACCURATE info) I have about the situation; WHO the person is (I will risk far more for a close friend than for a mere acquaintance); all these are part of the considerations I make before deciding whether to use magick and how much/what sort of magick.
Almost the only hard-and-fast rule I have is that I won't perform magick for someone unless I know them personally. IOW, no e-mail/chat friends.
| I Don't Do A Whole Lot Of Magick. Well, Not A Whole... ||Sep 18th. at 2:05:07 pm EDT|
|Amanda (Providence, Rhode Island US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I don't do a whole lot of magick. Well, not a whole lot of "official" magick anyway. I try and live my life ethically, and generally follow that if I didn't want someone to do something to me, I don't do it to them. The golden rule, when used honestly, is a pretty good yardstick to measure the rede by.
Is is ok to do a healing spell for my sick grandmother who would go on a rampage if she found out? No, of course not. If she doesn't want to be associated with those energies, no matter how "good" for her, I have no right to push them on her. How about someone who doesn't have an opinion either way, or who would be ok with it, but you can't get in touch with them? That's a little more ok.
Love magick... hmm... do *you* want to have a love spell cast over you? I don't. Case closed. Anyone who has ever asked me for a love spell, or even about them has gotten that sort of answer.
I don't like to do spell requests. I get really nervous giving someone that kind of thing, especially when they think that it *has* to work because you're a witch and you know about these things. I only do spell requests for people who I know will follow the directions, and fully understand the consequences of what they are doing. Mostly, that means only *very* close friends. What if it doesn't work or it works, but not in the way they expected? I'm not about to be yelled at because something didn't go quite right. I don't want to take responsibility for that sort of thing, so I don't do it for people I barely know. I don't need that kind of stress.
How far would I go? Not so far that I couldn't look myself in the eye and say I did the right thing. Any further than that just gets me in trouble with myself, and I hate being mad at me.
Love, luck, and lollipops,
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