Articles/Essays From Pagans
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Paganism and Witchcraft in the Media
September 25th. 2018 ...
Understanding the Unseen
August 25th. 2018 ...
A Little Magickal History
Men and the Goddess
Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
Kitchen Magic and Memories
Why the Faeries?
Magic in Daily Life
An Open Fire: Healing from Within
Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
Gudrun of the Victory Gods
Ares and Athena
La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
The Lady on the Stairs
The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives
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The Importance of Unification: Bringing Together Community Members to Invoke Cohesivity
May 29th. 2018 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
April 20th. 2018 ...
Nazis Made Us Change Our Name
January 25th. 2018 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
November 15th. 2017 ...
September 30th. 2017 ...
July 31st. 2017 ...
Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
July 2nd. 2017 ...
On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
June 1st. 2017 ...
The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
April 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
March 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
An Open Mind and Heart
June 13th. 2016 ...
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
December 20th. 2015 ...
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
May 6th. 2015 ...
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
January 1st. 2015 ...
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
August 24th. 2014 ...
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
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Breaking the Law of Return
Article ID: 15662
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,750
Times Read: 3,398
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Author: The Living House of the Dead [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: May 11th. 2014
Times Viewed: 3,398
There are two concepts in common pagan tongue that refer to similar ideas: Karma and the Three-Fold Law. As is the case anywhere in physical science, the attempt has been made to connect a similar theory to mental and spiritual science: The law of cause and effect. For an action there will be a reaction. In some cases, this is an equal and opposite reaction. For the sake of my argument here, it may or may not be an equal and opposite reaction.
I would like to submit an idea that may rattle a couple branches. I propose that, very simply, human beings probably cannot ascertain whether or not their specific actions are garnering specific reactions, results or returns, when speaking of the collective conscious, the spiritual realm or the collective god-self depending on one's given viewpoint.
Here are some questions many of us have pondered and attempted to offer answers through religious reasoning: Why do good things happen to bad people? Why do bad things happen to good people? Does a tree that falls in the woods, with no one around to perceive it, make a sound or not? What are good laws? What are bad laws? If I do good most of the time, will I end up living a fulfilling and rewarding life?
There is not an iota of scientific evidence to suggest that a person who does "good" all of his or her life will get a rewarding and fulfilled life experience, a place in a heaven of sorts, or some other pleasing result. An undiscovered rapist could win millions of dollars tomorrow. A child abuser could be an extremely successful businessperson. A mass-polluter could feel the joy of a rewarding lifestyle in a number of ways.
So how does karma work? How does the law of return work? Without going into great detail, most theories suggest that good begets good and bad begets bad. They suggest that a certain cause can be tinged to provide or sway a certain effect. However, aren't "good" and "bad" essentially human perspectives? I suggest that "good" and "bad" are, in fact, human perspectives. Take pollution, for example. We all agree that pollution is bad. Why? A drop of radioactive material in the ocean is simply a drop of radioactive material in the ocean. It is not good or bad in and of itself. Our human notion that it will at some point cause us, the Earth or other organisms harm is what causes this to be labeled as good or bad.
So let us take this a step further. If I as a human being take it upon myself to do things that are humanly thought of as beneficial to others, like donating clothes to charity, providing transportation to those who have none, volunteering time to clean parks and streams, how am I providing a setup for a "good" wave of positivity in return? The fact of the matter is, I am not. As a human it is pleasing to think that I am, but I could be run over by a bus tomorrow.
This is why I respect systems of belief that honor the law of return, but do not accept them myself.
Yes, there is a lot of collective benefit to be had by "good" deeds done by people everywhere that benefit others, the masses, our planet, the collective mind, etc. However, none of that is guarantees a "good" return and ALL of it is based on our viewpoints of the actions performed as human beings. If I punch my neighbor in the face is that good or bad? It is neither. It is my neighbor's perspective of my action that makes the action good or bad. Is it likely that such an action would produce an undesirable result? Certainly. However, what about a CEO who authorizes a company move that will cause pollution that could affect mankind for generations? The CEO who authorized that move also saved several hundreds of decent paying jobs that will affect mankind for generations. Where are we drawing lines and how do we pretend which is universally "good" or "bad" as humans?
Also, how do we pretend to know which is going to result in the greater "good" and is that "good" again, not a matter of our own perspective? It is. My theory is that we cannot make those determinations, for the most part, as human beings. Only progress of life / time will tell whether or not specific actions, thoughts and so forth are "good" or "bad."
I do not feel that we are developed enough to see beyond our own perceptive capabilities. I can provide a shirt to a person in need who then gets a job using that shirt in an interview who is then able to provide decent food and shelter to his or her family who then goes on to raise children one of whom grows into teen years and comes and robs my house for drug money. Yes, my action will have an effect, but I cannot possibly determine where, what or how it will play out. And the scenario I mention doesn't begin with my donation of the shirt, nor does it stop with the teenager robbing my house. It is a continuous cycle of action and reaction and the effects are viewed by humans and labeled as good or bad based on how we feel about them.
As a witch, I like to think that I, and others like me, are on the forefront of taking humanity to the next level. Human spiritual perception, first arising through our ancestors, has been progressing all through the ages, through different dominant religions (sometimes taking steps backwards) and through different philosophies. But at the same time, how do we account for progress in other states of existence? Is a murder among a group of chimpanzees good or bad? Are we even able to make that judgment on behalf of other animals? Are we able to judge at all? We surely do, but are we universally correct?
Whatever the Truth is, be sure to be careful of at least one thing: If you are going to submit to a set of religious ideals, pagan or otherwise, do not do so blindly. Please be a thinking, active, and reasonable participant.
Mike of the Hallowed Order of Witches Liberated
The Living House of the Dead
Location: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
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