Magical Ethics and Guidelines
There’s a lot of spirited discussion about magical ethics within the Wiccan and Pagan communities. What’s okay to do, and what’s not? More importantly, do the rules apply to everyone? Read on to find out the basics of magical ethics, and how you can figure out what’s acceptable within your own magical tradition.
Magic for Personal Gain
There’s an awful lot of speculation about whether or not it’s okay to perform magic for personal gain. Unless your particular tradition forbids it, here’s why you should feel okay about doing magic to benefit yourself.
One of the first cautionary warnings that people new to the magical life seem to stumble upon is the idea that magic shouldn’t be used for personal gain. There doesn’t seem to be any clear-cut precedent for where this mandate came from, and in fact very few Wiccan or Pagan traditions follow it. To do magic is, after, to express your own discontent with the universe and the things in it, and to make changes come about to your satisfaction.
Think of it this way. Let’s say you are particularly skilled at building things. Is there some big Rule of Building that says you’re only allowed to construct things for other people, but never for yourself? What if you have a talent for balancing numbers? Does the Accountant’s Rede permit you only to do someone else’s bookkeeping, but not let you balance your own checkbook? Of course not. That would be ridiculous.
If your tradition says, “Don’t do this,” then don’t do it. Otherwise, what’s holding you back? Your personal code of ethics will help you determine whether or not you can perform an action or not.
Magic is a skill set just like any other. You can use it alone, or you can use it in tandem with the mundane. Part of developing magical ability is to make your own life better. If you’re sick, you do a healing working on yourself. If you’re financially strapped, you do a working that brings abundance your way. Just like with any other talent, use the skills you have to benefit yourself. If you’d like to use it to help other people as well, that’s awesome, and something to be proud of. In the meantime, unless your tradition specifically forbids you from doing magic for personal gain, don’t ever let anyone tell you that your abilities can’t be used for yourself.