Would a witch stand by and let a friend get knocked down?
Some people think that The Wiccan Rede, by stating “An it harm none,” means that witches are pacifists. This is not true.
By the way, a definition of “pacifist” emphasizes “a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable.”
Could a violent act to prevent more violence be justified?
“Witches’ morality can be summed up in one sentence, ‘Do what you will, so long as it harms none.’ This does not mean, however, that witches are pacifists. They say that to allow wrong to flourish unchecked is not ‘harming none’. On the contrary, it is harming everybody.” – Doreen Valiente
How do we get clear about when we must intervene to prevent more harm?
The following questions apply both to casting spells and our daily actions:
- Is it personal?
Is this situation about gaining personal vengeance? Wicca is about honoring the God and Goddess—and being in tune with the natural world. Vengeance has no place here.
- Will this action do more harm or would it prevent additional harm from happening?
My elders have advised that if you can solve a situation without magick, solve it that way.
Let’s say you recognized a serial rapist (confirmed by a conviction) running down the sidewalk. If you stuck your foot out to trip him, that would be a type of violence. However, if this serial rapist is not returned to prison, he would assault more people. So, tripping him IS advised—so the police officer trailing him can cuff him.
- What is at stake here?
Who will be affected by your actions? Remember the effects are ripples in a pond the move out and away from the impact or casting of a spell.
- What consequences will there be?
Think deeply about what may be the consequences of your casting a spell. The classic example is making a faulty love spell. It is unethical to try to “force” someone to love you. Why? You are acting against that person’s will. Many negative consequences can arise including a backlash against you! I’ll trust that you do not want to have your own will to be thwarted.
- Who will be affected by these consequences?
Who are all the people involved in the long-term effects of your actions? How will their lives be changed? Make sure you identify the players, the roles they take, and what might happen.
- Are you willing to pay the price?
All magick creates consequences and even some form of aftermath that is not expected. Whatever you do, you will pay a price. Be careful.
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before trying to intervene in some situation.
It is reported that certain witches have actually cast spells to get rapists convicted and put into prison. That sounds like what Doreen Valiente talked about in making sure to stop “wrong from harming everybody.”
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