Sunday, December 30, 2012

Selfish magic?

As a solitary pagan, I have very little use for group magic and no one, typically, to help perform it. I also have a strict "No Meddling" policy in regards to doing spells for others. If I am not specifically asked to magically help someone, I don't cast spells on them or for them because it violates their right to self determination and opens me up to divine retribution. I will worry, hope, wish, pray for, and send energy to a person I love, but I do so with the intent of seeing their life made healthier and happier. Having explained these, my moral guide posts about magic for others, I am going to ask you if these guidelines make my magical endeavors selfish or reasonable?

Should we as pagans and witches use our magic, especially spells, on others, or should we keep it to ourselves? Obviously, I think I have no right to magically meddle in someone's affairs, but I have recently heard a couple accusations about selfish magic (not directed at me, but still worrisome), and I think that maybe we need to have a conversation about it.

Is it selfish to protect your loved ones, or is it common sense like locking the door?  Is it selfish to ask for help from the Universe in finding love. so long as you aren't trying to force someone to feel a certain way about you? Is magic that heals unselfish?  Should we expect all people to contribute magically to a larger group, even if they don't agree with that group? Should I feel guilty when I perform spell work for myself?  Where is the line between selfish and manipulative in magic, and is it universal?

I think we all need to find our own boundaries, through serious self reflection and honest internal dialogue. I tend to stick with my gut on all such issues, if it feels wrong or like I'm invading another person's energy or invalidating their free will, I shouldn't be meddling.  If I meditate for peace in the world, I am not doing anything other than communicating my hope and intention to work for that peace to the Universe.  I don't see that as negating someone's will. I can only describe my boundaries, my thoughts, and my views; I cannot and will not force others to do as I do, but I want people to realize that they have to make these choices for themselves because doing any differently is selfish.


  1. As for doing magic for yourself, that's what magic was created for. People who had no resources, who had no one to back them up, who had no way out of various situations (many more dire than what we might face today, in middle-class-ish America), used magic to benefit their own lives. People who HAD resources didn't need magic! So it's common sense to use it to better your own life. Just like anything, moderation is key: don't let greed, fear, pride, or lust overrun your life, and you'll be fine. Selfishness is not inherently evil or bad. Wanting to eat is selfish. Selfishness only becomes a problem when it's rooted in deceit or ill intentions towards others.

    As for doing magic for others, I tend to ask for permission. Some people think it's evil; others just don't want me to waste any effort because it isn't real; some are okay with it for whatever reason. Of course you want to protect your loved ones, but they have to want to be protected.

    Magic that heals is of course somewhat selfish; it is impossible to separate out that instinctual selfish feeling of wanting to avoid the loss or pain of someone you care about. It doesn't mean that it isn't beneficial to the person receiving it, or that the person doesn't want to be healed. This is where the other person's permission comes in. Think of Catholic exorcism rituals: the person afflicted with a demon must *want* to be exorcised themselves, or it won't work. Somebody else can't just say "Oh, ____ needs help! Do this now!" It isn't supposed to be run like that! The sick person, whatever kind of sickness it is, must want to not be sick. That goes for sickness with or without magic.

  2. I agree, completely, Lena. Thanks for the comment.


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