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Author Topic: Ethics & The Use of Magic  (Read 25415 times)
rose
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« Reply #30: September 17, 2007, 09:50:39 am »

I suppose it equates to me creating a house protection spell that might function similar to a guard dog. If you take the warning of the dog growling and leave, you'll be fine. Ignore the growls, and it's your own darn fault if you get bitten. But, if you were doing something wrong in the first place, that's your fault.  Tongue But the intent isn't to cause injury, but rather to deter potential thieves/wrongdoers from coming in in the first place (rather like with a guard dog).

Well, I would certainly recommend a physical dog; after our house was broken into we got a dog, and have had no problems of that kind since.

As far as houses protection, I have a ton here. I live in a dicey neighborhood, and my house is old and would be easy to break into. I did a whole lot of spell work to protect my house after we moved in, and set wards, and all that, and update them regularly  (here comes Mabon....time to check them soon). To me, the magickal equivalent of a growling dog is extra energy I don't want to expend, b/c as I said I fail to see how threatening to or actually hurting another person is necessary.
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/

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rose
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« Reply #31: September 17, 2007, 09:54:02 am »

I'm going to stay out of the overall debate on the subject of house protection ethics, but I do want to address this particular statement as it seems to be about general magical practice. 

First, what is or is not necessary is very subjective.  What you view as an "unnessary emotional addition" may be just the thing that someone else needs to give their spell power. 

Also, most complex situtations require spellwork that is multi-faceted in order to be truly effective (just as a mundane solution to a complex problem would need be).  Drawing on additional, related emotions can be one way to add that depth.   

Let me give an example:  If I'm doing magic work to heal someone, I draw on healing energies primarily.  I also draw on several of my own emotions at the same time such as love, compassion, hope, and warmth to help in comforting the person.  Often, I'll  ask the person to draw on their "negative" emotions relating to the problem (anger, fear, frustration, disappointment, etc.)  so that we can re-direct those energies toward fighting the problem. 

Could the work be done without bringing in the additional emotions? Most definitely.  Would it be as effective without the additional energies?  Not at all, as adding these energies helps the person to establish a sense of wellbeing which will help in the healing process.   

This is very interesting to me, as I have usually gone out of my way to try and keep my emotions focused and clear when I am doing magick. For me, especially where anger or love is concerned (see the burned off eyebrows?) I have not had a lot of luck yet with controlling my emotional intent. Have to get better at that Undecided
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
Aisling
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« Reply #32: September 17, 2007, 11:03:26 am »

This is very interesting to me, as I have usually gone out of my way to try and keep my emotions focused and clear when I am doing magick. For me, especially where anger or love is concerned (see the burned off eyebrows?) I have not had a lot of luck yet with controlling my emotional intent. Have to get better at that Undecided

I think you've hit the proverbial nail on the head here.  Uncontrolled emotional intent can result in a less effective spell (or less effective mundane solution for that matter).  Like so many things, the key is to be able to direct the emotional energies toward your goal, instead of letting the emtions direct your actions and dictate your goals.  It's a difficult balancing act, but a skill well worth mastering. Unless, of course, you perfer that smoking eyebrow look.  Grin
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« Reply #33: September 17, 2007, 11:12:32 am »

Some of the most powerful magic can be worked from a place of anger.  Especially righteous anger, I've found.  Some of my best non-magical work has come from anger as well.  "I am going to finish this [expletives] paper if it [expletive] kills me!"  Anger can lead to determination as well as fear or aggression.

Good point!  Anger can be a powerful motivator to take action and properly redirected, can make for some very effective magic. Another case where being able to take control of the emotions and focus them can be very beneficial. 

I'm beginning to wonder if emotions (their control, influence & use) in magic might be a good subject for its own thread, as it seems there may be alot of issues to discuss in that arena... hmm... (where's that head scratching smiley when you need him?).
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Purplewitch
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« Reply #34: September 17, 2007, 11:13:33 am »

Agreed, actually, that one single set of ethics should govern all of an individual's actions, regardless of the form they take. 


I'm with that one too - and I'm going to apologise for in all likelihood making several posts in a row since I'm catching up Wink (linkback is a wonderful thing Smiley )

And then there are those out there (out there not here at TC usually) who appear to believe that they can use magic to do things they wouldn't otherwise do.
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« Reply #35: September 17, 2007, 11:18:17 am »

My only hard, fast, unbreakable rule when it comes to magic is that my magical ethics need to be in line with the personal ethics that I apply to everything else.  Oaksworn put it very nicely in the Hexing thread: "If you wouldn't do it without magic then why would you think it would be ok to do it with magic?"

To go back to my example in the hexing thread, while I wouldn't have actually taken a baseball bat to the offending party (much as my inner bitch appreciated the mental image), I would most certainly have gone and confronted the ... person... and done something and it certainly wouldn't have been pretty, or polite, if I'd been able to. So, I didn't see any reason not to do something magically. Make sense?
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« Reply #36: September 17, 2007, 11:24:46 am »



  • If you were the teacher, would you include ethics in your lessons? 
Yes, and feel a good teacher doesn’t preach it to you. They teach you to think before you act and teach by example.

Quote
  • Do ethics even have a place in magical practice? 

Always. One must ask the questions, is it interference, does it remove free will of another, is it morally wrong? Each has to ask self what is deemed ethical or not.

Somewhat minor Ex: A friend is heading down the wrong road. You see it will lead to heartache but your concerns are dismissed. Do you step back and allow, or do you take measures on their behalf? To prevent the heartache may prevent the friend from learning a life lesson and the same road they may walk down again. To soften the blow may cause the friend to believe it was a minor event and not take it seriously to prevent it from happening again. Each measure fringes on the friends freewill to decide for their self. Each measure changes the course and a possible lesson to be learnt. Far better it would be to remove blinders, and wool from ones eyes, to move energy towards clear understanding, options and such. Leaving intact free will and somewhat removing what could be deemed interference in the larger scheme of things.

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  • What ethical principles, rules, and guidelines are important in magic?
 

Before any magick, consider outcomes, affects, chain reactions… the butterfly affect. Once set in motion it is more difficult to correct should the energies direction go astray due to misdirecting or intent is hazed.

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  • What ideas are nice guidelines, but not really rules to live by, in your opinion?
 
A personal guideline I try to employ is to ask before acting. Others may not want your help. An ethic guideline I also employ that keeps me out of trouble when I think justice is needed, after all how can you ask someone their permission to act towards them? Far better to ask for justice by that which is much larger than self… if you think you have just cause. *which makes you think twice before acting* Are you seeking vengeance, are you running on emotion, acting in anger or hurt? Will it come back and bite your butt later?

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  • What should be magically taboo, if anything? Are there circumstances when a normally taboo spell might be acceptable?
 

What should be and what is taboo are very different depending on ones path. For me … I see it as taboo to evoke, command, summon another. Regardless of what realm they dwell. To invite and ask leaves free will and shows respect. Powerful allies. If someone or something tried to command or summon me, I know I would fight back. If I could not resist and was commanded to act I would do so with hostel intent and look for opportunities to break free. I would see it as enslavement, control. Not the type of energy I would want to be added to my workings. To ask and invite me would not infringe on my free will, free to act with my own ethics intact. A far better energy I would manifest and aid with. I feel this applies to those I ask for their attendance during workings, as well as myself and those that walk the earth.

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  • What words of wisdom would you give to a novice in helping them make decisions about what is ethical and appropriate?

To turn the table and sit on the other side. To think of consequence and where does the right of the individual begin and end.

Quote
  • Related but not directly about ethics, is there an appropriate escalation of action or spells when dealing with a problem?  Is there a specific sequence of steps that you take when confronted with a problem?

An appropriate escalation of action or spells when dealing with a problem can be seen as spelling building… or.. layered spells. This takes planning from the very first casting. To add spells as things manifest is tricky business. You end up trying to catch up or fixing, rather than getting ahead of it. Can end up being overwhelming and draining… chasing after it rather than directing manifestation of an outcome.

When confronted with a problem, I work through the emotional attachment first. Acknowledge it then step back/out of myself to view the problem. It helps me thinking with a clearer head. I look for all aspect of how or where the problem began to occur. *to recognize it sooner next time before it manifests* What I did or didn’t do that may have caused the snowball. I look at the now and what is, then I look for answers, possibilities, avenues, opportunities. I gather the info in written form and from this I will build a spell/spells before I act.

Quote
  • If you are young and new to magic, what questions or concerns do you have about ethics as they relate to magic use?
I’m not young and not so new.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 11:33:04 am by Star, Reason: Moving responses outside of quote code » Logged

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Aisling
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« Reply #37: September 17, 2007, 11:27:59 am »

To go back to my example in the hexing thread, while I wouldn't have actually taken a baseball bat to the offending party (much as my inner bitch appreciated the mental image), I would most certainly have gone and confronted the ... person... and done something and it certainly wouldn't have been pretty, or polite, if I'd been able to. So, I didn't see any reason not to do something magically. Make sense?

It does actually make perfect sense, because if I'm understanding you correctly, I think we're on the same page here.  (Sorry, am fighting a headache, so the grey matter is moving a little slow this morning). 
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« Reply #38: September 17, 2007, 11:32:51 am »

It does actually make perfect sense, because if I'm understanding you correctly, I think we're on the same page here.  (Sorry, am fighting a headache, so the grey matter is moving a little slow this morning). 

No apologies needed - I'm still fighting being sick so I'm not sure anything I say makes the sense it's supposed to Smiley

I think we are - just because I wouldn't have literally used a baseball bat on him didn't mean I wouldn't do anything - and oddly enough I was so far past being angry the few people who know me well would have been really scared. That doesn't happen very often Smiley
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« Reply #39: September 17, 2007, 11:34:25 am »

I have to say, this pretty much sums up my opinion as well.  My code of ethics is a little off of what most people seem to find theirs to be--for instance, I have no problem with causing harm if I feel that I need to and am willing to accept the consequences of doing so.

I don't think you're as far off as you think you are Wink
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« Reply #40: September 17, 2007, 11:43:39 am »

I can see certain self defense situations where doing a binding or a hex would be unavoidable, but really if you are doing adequate self protection and warding, and are not *trying to piss people off, it just seems totally unnecessary.

Sometimes not trying to piss people off isn't enough (IMO only Wink )

Sticking with my example, since I can speak from experience on that one at least, in that case, (for once) the person being harrassed and threatened by the guilty party had done nothing to warrant it and had been bending over backwards to avoid confontation. In his case, that in itself is a near miracle.

Not that he couldn't have handled the situation but if he had there would have been consequences - big ones. And honestly, it's a good thing I wasn't able to go deal with the idiot face to face because ..... it would have been ugly.

Sometimes people just don't know when to quit. Seriously.
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« Reply #41: September 17, 2007, 03:19:37 pm »

The witches rede - first quoted by Gardner "An it harm none, do what ye will" seems to offer some guidance.  Clearly not doing harm is essential, but there are issues with this simple statement.

"An" means "If".

The Rede says precisely nothing about what to do if one is harming something.
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« Reply #42: September 17, 2007, 03:21:33 pm »

"An" means "If".

The Rede says precisely nothing about what to do if one is harming something.

Not to mention that the Rede is by no means a universal code of ethics among Pagans.

A lot of us follow it, even if we're not Wiccan, but not all.
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« Reply #43: September 17, 2007, 03:29:13 pm »

Not to mention that the Rede is by no means a universal code of ethics among Pagans.


A very important "not to mention", imo Smiley
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« Reply #44: September 17, 2007, 04:09:53 pm »

A very important "not to mention", imo Smiley

Seconding that!  I put it in the category of being a nice, but far from comprehensive guideline.  It leaves a lot of room for interpretation (which usually results in loopholes you can drive a lorry/semi through) and gives very little in the way of practical advice, IMO. 
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