This is an article in response to the post ‘Cursework and “Real” Witches‘, specifically the assertion:
“A variety of arguments are put forth for why ‘real’ witches don’t use baneful magic but generally it boils down to 1) its naughty and naughty magic only really hurts the person casting it 2) hexes don’t work anyway or 3) a ‘real’ witch is wise enough to know better than to do naughty magic, because vague reasons.”
Now, as much as I love a good verbal tussle, especially in the “let’s start off shady, then I’m going to be perfectly accepting” category of spiritual blogging (of which I am JUST as guilty, believe me), I’m going to be speaking from my own personal experiences and from my own local and familial magickworkers whose craft I have been able to observe.
“It’s naughty”. Well, of course, when you’re taught pushing people down the stairs is naughty, the implication is, “and stop doing it, or else YOU’RE naughty.” However, in some specific cultures, pushing people down the stairs is seen as ‘Justice’ – there is no sympathy for the one who gets tripped; they ‘earned’ it, even if they don’t realize how. The same way we’re taught sex is naughty, instead of “so, there are things called STIs and you can totally make a baby on accident, be tee dubs, if you’re not careful. Also, don’t rape people!” Those who don’t take the time to delve into the differences between vaporizing pot in a recreational state with your own pen and sharing needles while doing heroin risk the same confusion – “Drug” becomes a dirty, damning word instead of a discussion. We assume one lie means everything we’ve been taught is a lie, and our ability to make correct decisions is impeded.
Magic has consequences. I bet, for a lot of us, if it didn’t, we wouldn’t even BOTHER doing it. We need to understand that when we do magic, the same as when we run someone off the road with an 18-wheeler or put something sticky on their chair before they sit down, while we go on with our day, that person is PISSED. If you don’t want that person to, I dunno, put a sleeping pill in your milk carton and shave off all your eyebrow hair, only to draw a dick in its place with permanent marker, or carry a crossbow in the trunk for every future road rage incident, don’t make it a point to feel punishment is yours to control and to dole. If they don’t care to punish you, the Universe will.
“I don’t see how defending myself against someone else’s aggression isn’t the best course… If you want to argue against hexing then argue against it from a moral standpoint making it clear that you are discussing your own morals or explain your own reasoning for not doing it, but don’t use scare tactics that make the practice seem like magical Russian roulette.” Now, punishing and defending are two different things. If you have the time to build a whole ritual around it, if you are the one going on the offensive, it’s not defense. Defense happens in the moment, punishment takes planning. Two cents.
I believe this has covered both points one and two… now onto three and the ‘vague reasons’.
Fuck a vague reason – if you give enough energy to something and put it in the wrong (or right, depending on who you ask) spot, people die. Straight up, and usually not the people you want. “Hexing is not inherently dangerous and it isn’t a practice that dooms the practitioner to suffer terrible consequences… This narrative that anyone who hexes will be awash in bad energy, usually described as karma but in the Western sense of instant consequences, is not something I have ever personally seen as true.” For those who don’t care about the consequences on another person, then no. However, you hear about someone getting hurt from a hex YOU threw (because you were drunk or maligned or sexually assaulted) and what do you do? How do you make up for that? How do you even begin to EXPLAIN what happened? (“Well, I was using a new paradigm and it just went horribly wrong!”)
Instead of hexing the most recent person to sexually assault me (hereby defined as making it a point to pour my energy into him via a very specific ritual time and space after invoking Elements and Deities), I vented my pain and anger in poetic form, and let the Universe handle it, instead using my Ritual Time to protect and strengthen myself, to show gratitude for my blessings. Guess what? No one died, yet all his teeth fell out, and this information still found its way back to me. Weird…
The reason Doctors get to accidentally kill people when they’re practicing their art is because they have that person signs a waiver, the Practitioners are required to make sure that person consents. When it comes to karma, the only person we are responsible for is ourselves. We throw a spell? We get to deal with the effects of throwing said spell, none of this, “but it was a huge ritual I found out about through my Facebook Feed, and I thought it would be fun,” nonsense. You drive drunk and kill someone? Guess what – you’re still a murderer, even if you “didn’t mean to, you just couldn’t miss that awesome kegger out on Hess Road and needed to get home with your car”. Not fully understanding the effects of your actions does not absolve you of your actions, it just changes how the Universe might teach you that lesson.
“I’ve also seen a lot of anti-hex arguments that say that positive magic works but negative does not.” It seems the intention of this statement has been lost in translation.
Energy goes where it is directed. If you give energy to something/ someone (i.e.: Trump), they become more powerful. This megalomaniac already FEEDS on negative energy, you think giving a concentrated burst is going to do anything more than empower someone like that?! You think mingling your energy with the intentional energy of people you have never met (who are tapping into not only your, but everyone else’s, energy in order to boost THEIR intention) is the best way to go about things? Alright, well, you better have something in place to negate any possible contamination, either in the prevention or the treatment department – both, just to be sure.
No one is saying “No” – just like sexual education, magical education requires people to be aware of things you might not know by simple observation alone – maybe you never feel any ill-effects because your spells are ineffective, in a sense insulating you from backlash through your own impotence. Schools of Magick exist because someone else took a bunch of time out of their lives (months, years, even decades) to learn about these laws (i.e.: Hermetic Principles, Order of Rituals, Correspondences, etc.) in order to save you the time it would take to learn them through trial and error.
Just in case you were wondering what my personal experience is with people who work magick differently than I do, my Uncle is a VooDoo priest who taught us how to hex safely – despite the potency of the power, we’ve never gotten any blowback, personally, beyond a ‘confirmed kill count’. The pain I can cause is not something I wish to have in my paradigm, so it’s no longer an option for me. Can’t stop my cousin, can’t stop anyone else, just making sure you cover your own ass.