I’ve been thinking about working magic lately. If you’re in the United States and are not hidden under a rock, you can probably guess what the subject is. I don’t want to go into what I’m considering doing, but one of the steps along the way.
In the vast majority of cases, magic affects people. It might be targeted to only affect you, or it might be targeted to affect a lot of other people, or a single other person. It could also be targeted at a corporation, or a culture, or a governmental institution, but those are all full of people. As responsible magicians, we should consider the impact of our magic. It’s our responsibility to consider other people, to avoid carelessly doing things that would have negative impacts, and to be considerate of other people. I’m not saying that you should only stick to positive spells, or that you can’t do a negative spell, a binding, or a curse – I’m saying that you need to consider the costs of doing that.
Since I’m not a Wiccan, I don’t really follow the Rule of Three (1). I do, however, believe in the Strawberry Jam Theory (2). The Strawberry Jam theory states that, like making a strawberry jam sandwich, you’ll end up with some the effects of your magic on yourself. There’s a balance in this theory, and a recognition from the magician that they may be affected by the spell in addition to the target. You can, and should, do a personal cleansing after any spellwork, but depending on the Work, you still need to consider the effects on your life.
For instance, say that you bind someone to be unable to tell an untruth – chances are that you’ll find it difficult to tell untruths as well. If this isn’t something that will change your behavior, then you’re fine. But if you often find yourself in situations where you need to speak words that are not true, it may become more difficult for you.
We are all connected, and our magic is always connected to us. Consider this as you plan a spell.
(1) The Wiccan Rule of Three is a belief that what you put out into the world comes back to you threefold. Not all wiccans believe in it literally, but most consider the perspective that good begets good, and hurt begets hurt.
(2) The Strawberry Jam Theory originates from John Michael Greer