After bringing up the subject of “Harm None” in a previous post (Morality and Will) I was asked if I could explore it a bit further.
“Have you never been put in a situation where justice/ vengeance is perhaps a necessary evil? When you just can’t walk away, and the human law is not going to help you.
So when is it appropriate, shall we say, to take the next step and teach an asshole a lesson for screwing you (or someone you love) over in a bad way. Do you really do nothing and expect the Gods to care enough to do something (karma) when you don’t care enough yourself to take action? When do you say enough is enough and take action? Our ancestors had no issues with vengeful magic what is our P.C. hangup?”
Have I never been put in a situation where justice/ vengeance is perhaps a necessary evil? When I couldn’t just walk away.
Yes, I have been. And having been through it, given the same set of circumstances I would do them again. I did not make a decision to do any spell of this nature on a whim, or out of blind rage. Each time when I have taken this step, it is because I have tried other avenues and those have been ineffective or because the person the spell is directed against has engaged in actions that are an immediate threat to me to to those under my protection. (i.e. my children)
I think when looking whether or not a retribution spell or even a curse is warranted, you have to weigh things up. I don’t so much believe in a threefold law, but I do believe that actions have consequences. In decided on whether or not a spell for justice or vengeance is necessary, you have to look fully at what the consequences for taking such an action might be – and ask yourself, am I willing to accept the consequences?
Do I think that one should automatically move into – he hurt me I’m going to curse him! No. That’s a knee-jerk reaction to a stimulus. He hurt me, I’m going to hurt him.
More often than not, mundane actions can take care of the majority of situations. Spells not required. This holds true for the majority of spells, not just those pertaining to vengeance.
So when is it appropriate?
I don’t think there is a hard and fast rule here. I would say though, when you have looked at mundane options and realised that they wouldn’t work, when you know without a doubt who is responsible so that you aren’t just casting a net to see who you might catch, and when the consequences of doing nothing are greater than the consequences of doing something.
What have I done?
Between 2012 – 2014, I was dealing a lot with a major legal situation, which meant frequent contact with official people writing all sorts of reports. It because very clear, early on, that the people writing these reports were twisting facts and outright lying in order to present me in a bad light.
I made sure that my solicitor was fully aware of these untruths, and I also made sure to provide evidence at every stage that the reports were not accurate. These are the mundane steps I took.
But, I also know from the way things were going that these actions were not enough. So, I put together a spell focused specifically on the person who was falsifying legal documents and actively working against me. The intention of the spell – that their words would be revealed as false and they would be made to face the consequences. The caveat above all being that as long as the person did not act against me through unethical or untruthful means, then nothing would happen.
Within 4 weeks, the person involved had acted in an unethical manner on several occasions, earning her bosses a strong reprimand by the courts. Two weeks after that, this person was no longer employed by that organisation.
When do I think harming another is justified?
When the harm that may come to me or one under my protection by not doing anything is greater than the harm that I would be doing to that other. Eating harms the plants and animals that we eat. Not eating would be far more harmful to me and mine.
Why are we so averse to doing harmful magic when out earliest ancestors didn’t seem to have a problem with it?
To start, we don’t actually know that they had no problem with it, we can only speculate based upon observing actions in some modern indigenous groups and extrapolating – because they did it this way, then earlier people might have done it this way.
Now, having said that, I think that one of the biggest reasons for the whole Harm None brigade came about as Wicca moved to the forefront in people’s awareness in the 1960s and 70s. It was a way of making Wicca more palatable to the general public. See, we’re good people we don’t do nasty spells like those horrid witches you talk about it fairy tales. We only do good. Even our one “commandment” tells us that we can’t harm anyone.
In the 80s and 90s, the New Age crowds took up this mantra and we have ended up here where we are today.
Healing and wholeness cannot come from denying the shadow. In order to fully be healed, we need to honour, experience, and release with gratitude the shadow, and integrate it into ourselves.
~Working in the Shadows at The Healing Room
One of the reasons I stopped following a Wiccan religion is because I saw that there was an incredible imbalance happening. People were ignoring the shadow and focusing entirely on the light. As a witch, and as a Shadow Healer, I know that the shadow must be balanced with the light. And sometimes, that means doing work that may bring harm to another.