In continuation of my Ethics of Love Magic, I wanted to also discuss openly and share my personal views on the use of Magic/Witchcraft/Sorcery, understanding what powers you're utilizing and understanding the potential consequences that could happen. Feel free to add any comments on how you feel about this and what this means to you.
Trigger Warning - Suicide, Abuse
"Magic is dangerous,just as fire is dangerous.Anyonewho forgets this truth gets burned" Vivienne - Dragon Age Inquisition.
Yes this is a quote from a video game character, but one that holds truth, Magic is a dangerous practice - not just because of negative entities and other practitioners, but because of things you could do which can harm you either in the long run or create a situation you did not mean for.Magic is not separate from real life, it isn't all sunshine, rainbows, shiny crystals and lovely incense or even kumbaya - you could fill your life with all these things but that won't stop bad from happening, bad that either you cause or someone else causes to you.
Even with practice, experience and understanding we can minimalize the damage caused by magic but we can't ultimately negate it. Even with the 'Harm none, So mote it be' damage will still be caused - even if not immediately 'But I said harm none' the universe sees that like 'sending thoughts and prayers' it doesn't care/do much and despite your good intentions - bad things can still happen to good people. An example I love to use when talking to other practitioners and newbies is the Money Spell conundrum, take a read of it and think.
You're currently in a bad position financially, you really need that money - bills to pay, mouths to feed - so you concoct a spell to bring in some money to help out, you go to your spirits, you ask and they give. A few days maybe a couple of weeks later you walk down the street and someone drops $50, you call out to them and try to catch up with them, they don't hear you, they just keep walking and you can't find them - you now have $50 extra, you think about it and come to conclusion that this was the spell that you cast, you received that money.
Congratulations the spell worked, you thank the spirits, give them more offerings and you walk away happy, but what had to happen for you to get that money? someone had to lose it, money is not infinite - yes there is a lot of in the world, but based on person to person - there is not a lot, you receivedthat money - you got your wish but someone had to lose out for you to get it.
When I mention this to people I generally get them to stop and go 'Oh, I didn't think of that' - you got exactly what you desired, you got that money but even if you said 'Harm none' the powers you're working with will have a harder time getting things to you, looking at the scenario above, you could say that this person who dropped the money could have had thousands in their account and $50 won't be missed - so the harm is minimal, but the spell could have very well taken the money away from someone who really needed it.
This idea goes the same with trying to get promotions at work, trying to get some kind of material or thing that fills a void in your life - it has to come from somewhere, it won't appear out of thin air. I recently did a spell similar to this and my coworkers are now asking me ' Why am I getting more shifts than the others?' I asked for that extra through my spell, I got that extra, but there was only enough hours to go around - someone had to lose.
My question from this example is - Are you prepared to accept these sorts of consequences from doing your magic? If you don't want these sorts of things to happen - either revaluate if you want to practice magic, get over yourself or try and find another way around it - this is something that goes throughout life - if not you, then someone else and you'll lose out.
That was a very basic understanding of consequences in relation to magic, lets now talk about some the more darker aspects of this idea and why we must becarefulof what we conjure.
Going back to my post Ethics on Love Magic, a consequence that can grow from a love spell is that the partner you attract could be an abuser, they could harm you physically and emotionally, take control of your life and force you to do things you would never accept but in your head it could be saying 'But they love me, this is just how they show their love' .
A more extreme example I have is through Curses, now cursing is actually pretty hefty magic - it's never polite and requires you to put your all into it, you can't half do a curse - this kind of magic is a statement to the world that you're willing to inflict all kinds of torment onto someone and you best be ready for its consequences.
I liken Curses to Bullying, at the end of the day it is targeting a weak spot in someone, exploiting it and using it to inflict torment, but torment isn't always one off - it can spiral, it can grow - it can destroy. There is an opinion that magic can't kill someone - sure you can't tell someone to drop dead, but as we have seen with Bullying - suicide is always a possibility. When you're cursing someone, you must be prepared for what it can do to a person - it can change them and grow specific areas of their personality - it can leave lasting Mental Health Problems.
You must always be 100% sure on what sort of magic you're trying to do, and you must be willing to accept the consequences, if someone was to commit suicide due to all kinds of pain in their life - pain that you helped to inflict - you are part of that equation - you helped cause that death. "But what if I only wanted to teach them a lesson!" There are 2 ways to do this, specify the curse to only last until they learn their lesson or kill the spell when you think they have had enough.
As practitioners we have a duty to be mindful of what we are doing, magic is not always pleasant - it can hurt and it can destroy someone or destroy the practitioner - if you cannot handle that kind of burden, then don't do it. A lot of people come into the craft for personal reasons, they come in to achieve something - to get something but they aren't always aware of what can happen.
Take care with your magic, be aware of what it can do and don't try to lie to yourself about it.