Morality and Spell-craft
As adult thinking human beings, we all follow a certain set of moral guidelines that we have learned from our ancestors, or which were indoctrinated into us throughout our upbringing. We call this idea of what we would, or would not do, our conscience. Our angel and devil are sitting there on our shoulders, arguing over the idea of selflessness and selfishness. This argument leads us into a personal conflict. We have to come to a justification of why we wish to do a thing. When that thing contradicts what we know to be right, or what society tells us is right, we become morally conflicted.
So the question is where do our basest levels of morality lie? There is a base level of what we would or would not do; from there our higher morals are built in increasing complexity. To find out where we stand, think on the following topics: At a base level, there is my life (or the lives of my loved ones) first, and everyone else’s second. If the choice was between my or my loved ones lives against any other’s life, I choose mine and my loved ones. I’m sure everyone else would view that choice in the same way.
If you have spent your life building up a home, property and future prosperity, then others come along who haven’t done those things and just want to take what you have built, for themselves, you’d fight and kill to keep what you had made for yourself. What right does anyone else have to come and take what you have made away from you? So is it morally right to fight to keep what you have made, or to fight for you and your loved ones lives? One group of people is very prosperous through their own efforts, and another group is not. Is it morally right for those less prosperous to demand a portion of the wealth of the more prosperous? Is it morally right for one group to force their concepts upon others? Where do we draw the line of right verses wrong?
My right might be your wrong. I don’t wish to force another to follow my concept of right; however others wish to force me to follow their concept of right. Who is morally correct? You are given a choice: One child can live or be put to death, but that death will result in a cure for AIDS. Would you sacrifice that one child for the greater good? If not, then possibly millions will suffer and die as opposed to one. If you chose the child to live, then you believe that individual good is more important than group good. If you choose the child to die, then you view the society as more important than the individual. So therefore it is morally okay for someone to come and take away what you have through your own efforts, and give your abundance to those who do not contribute.
These morality questions are all the same. There is no moral difference between any of these situations. On one hand, there is individual good, and on the other, there is group good (with the group being viewed as an individual entity) . These morality questions can also be viewed as situational. Or we rationalize that a moral good is universal to all, when in fact, we are just rationalizing that good for all from the aspect that ‘our group’ is the ‘all’ that matters.
In order to be at peace with ourselves, our internal moral compasses should all be aligned in the same direction. We need to honestly look at our own morality and decide where it lies and in which direction it points. That is who we are on our basest level. From there we can move upward morally, consistently, because you shouldn’t believe one thing this way and another thing contradictorily that way.
So what does this all have to do with the Pagan etc. community? The Rede instructs: “And it harm none, do what you will.” That ‘will’ should have a healthy dose of morality applied to it before devoting any energy to ‘doing what you will’. [As a side note, I feel that many confuse the word ‘will’ with ‘what you want’. Will, in this instance, is using the force of your gathered and focused WILL (purposeful directed energy) to implement your desires.] All the above leads down to this: When you spell-craft, are you doing so from a morally correct position?
It is often said what you put out comes back to you three-fold. This is to give you caution, to pause, and to really think about what you are trying to accomplish for yourself or others. As adult thinking human beings, we must acknowledge our culpability in the actions we take, to admit to ourselves our true purpose. Only then, without inner conflict, can we fully enact our desires. Conflicted morality leads to conflicted emotions, which lead to conflicted energies.
How can you effectively enact your WILL if you think you are doing something against your moral fiber? If your thoughts are scattered how can you direct your distracted energy? And this is just with our OWN desires, what of the desires of others who wish us to enact something on their behalf? You can see how difficult this becomes without a moral underpinning?
Prior to performing any spell work, you should do an honest self-assessment. Will what I wish to put into action cause harm to others? If harm is possible, is it justified? As an example: if you help out a friend by performing a spell that they get a promotion at work, is the person who is currently holding that position ineffectual, and therefore not as deserving of the position as well as your hard working friend? That person could be fired, that is harmful to them personally, financially, and their family’s well-being could be in jeopardy because of them getting fired. You were doing something good for your friend, but your actions could cause harm to more than you think. See how morally sticky this can get without thoroughly thinking something through before beginning?
Why not do the same thing, but more expansively? Perform your spell that the Boss gets promoted, and in the vacuum of the vacant position your friend is chosen to fill it. Who loses there? Not a lot of moral conflict to overcome in the second situation, you can therefore direct the energy to accomplish your desire with more focus and positive emotion.
Above I asked, ‘is it justified?’ Justice is the means of society to enforce the laws or moral standards of that society. Your friends car gets bashed by a hit and run driver. You perform a spell that the culprit is discovered and gets thrown in jail for reckless driving. Not a lot of conflict there because of the ‘wrong’ done. However, you should not go wishing for more harm to befall the hit and run driver. That driver was rushing an injured family member to the ER (hey, you don’t know) . While the hit and run was unfortunate, and they couldn’t take the time to get your friends license plate number, they definitely had more urgent worries. It would be morally wrong to wish more harm to someone who intended none. Why not wish that the culprit be discovered, and that JUSTICE be served. Simply leave the details for the universe to work out. As you can see this requires LESS detail, and leaves you morally un-conflicted as well.
We could play these scenarios out all day, but at the heart of the matter is using your morality to keep yourself out of conflict when preparing for spell work. In order to lessen undesired consequences, practice honesty with yourself and admit your true reasons for doing what you WILL.