For the most part, those choosing to work magick want to work magick with some kind of ethical guideline, some type of balance. This is all to the good, because whatever is done always comes back to the practitioner. Realizing that there are ethics involved in the practice of magick is the first step in avoiding the dangers of magick.
Magickal Ethics and Responsibility
The greatest ethical principle concerning the practice of magick is taking responsibility for one’s own life. It is the acknowledgment that everything in that life is there because of a choice that has been made, usually by the practitioner himself. These choices may have been made subconsciously, but they have been made nonetheless.
These choices relate to every aspect of life. Every decision made regarding relationships, career, family, spirituality, thoughts, and material matters are a direct result of choice. You have made your own bed, so the saying goes.
The Wiccan Rede and Causing Harm
There is much more to magickal ethics than simply taking responsibility. There are certain laws and principles that govern the ethical practice of magick. There is the Wiccan Rede, as an example, which states, “An ye harm none, do as ye will.” In plain language, this means that whatever one does, it must not harm anyone, including yourself; the idea of harm includes the physical, emotional, and mental. Everyone and everything is connected. Harm to one does harm to all.
There are many forms of harm, and it can be difficult to avoid them all. However, one of the most difficult things to resist, and the thing that can sometimes do the most harm, is to interfere in the lives of others. As a result of this, most ethical practitioners will not perform magick for anyone without first obtaining their informed consent. If someone does not want the help that magick can offer, it would be wrong to force it upon another individual.
The Threefold Law and Magick
The Law of Return, sometimes called the Threefold Law, basically states that what is send out returns, or like for like, to phrase it another way. This means that if one were to send out a curse, then he or she would likely end up cursed as well. Send out love, and love returns. Acting out of love and compassion, no matter the situation, is much safer, in the long run, than acting out of anger or vengeance.
There are many models for ethics and magick, such as the Witches' Pyramid. The application of ethics to the practice of magick is an important factor when deciding to follow a magickal path. The connection that is made between the subconscious mind and the Higher Self will depend, at some point, on the moral compass of the magician. Truly embracing magickal ethics will only serve to enhance the magick within.
Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.