Some people who claim to be of a holy variety who try to be pious and self-righteous in the magickal community often make the mistake of learning how to be a witch from the Television show “Charmed”. All too often I hear things like “you can’t do magick for personal gain” and “Harm none means you can’t defend yourself”. Many of the older and more experienced Witches know that those statements are bullcrap. Anyone with the ability to reason and who has a moral compass and wit that allows them to defend and protect themselves and others without causing harm can see how ignorant those statements are. I mean ignorant as in a lack of knowledge. This knowledge comes with experience and proper training.
I, being from a Wiccan background from back in the day when Wicca was a tradition of witchcraft, I learned some very valuable skills. I was lucky to have teachers who taught me how to defend myself against personal attacks and defend against the attacks on my community of Witches in a way that harms none. I was taught that I do not under any circumstance have to turn my cheek and allow myself to be attacked repeatedly and allow someone to abuse me or in any way cause me harm. The Wiccan Law, And it harm none, do what you will, does not mean you have to take abuse or turn the other cheek. It simply means take action with responsible consideration. To defend yourself in a way that does no harm.
I believe the whole purpose of learning how to use magick is to gain power. It is power over one’s own life, It is power to change the world we live in and the power to defend and protect ourselves and others. Magick is a tool and can be a weapon. A weapon of defense. Just like the military is designed to protect its country or territory and people from attacks and harm, magick can be used to protect the witch and the witches community.
Yes, I was taught, with power comes responsibility. Yes, that power gives a degree of control over our lives and the world in which we live. Is using that power to control the damage that heads toward us or to use that power to deflect harm, a bad thing? Is using the power of magick to defend oneself against harm a control freak thing? Hell NO! By all means, cast your protective shields, protection spells and your reflection spells. Oh and don’t forget your justice spells. You have the power to protect yourself from harm. Use it responsibly.
I do not cause harm and I may harm none and I live by the Wiccan Law to Harm none, I can’t say it enough, but I also learned how I can defend myself and use not only The POWER OF WILL god gave me, but the Power of Magick to keep me safe and keep my life going in a way that is beneficial for me. Yes, I can do magick for personal gain, how else will I take control of my life? I don’t exist on the show charmed. Charmed was not my teacher. “Do as Ye Will” is the second part of Wiccan Law. I will harm none, but I will not take crap from anyone. I will NOT take abuse from anyone for any reason. I will NOT allow anyone to cause Me harm. I have the POWER to protect myself and my community and the ability to use it. As long as I use it responsibly, I am within the confines of the Law in which I live by. And be aware not all witches are Wiccan and they don’t live by the Rede. I was taught to also live by this: Never mistake my kindness for weakness. You see, I am a Witch, I have the Power to have Control over my life, I will always be kind, but I will never be weak and defenseless. As Witches, we not only have the ability but we also have an obligation to defend and protect ourselves from harm. The Wiccan Rede Does not say, And it harm none so take the abuse.
Today’s Lesson: Witch, defend and protect thyself.
Thank you. I needed to read this especially today!
This is the first thing that I have read of yours, and I look forward to reading more.
But, I wanted to add that “an ye harm none” can and should also be a warning to consider the sometimes not so obvious consequences of what we do.
I think that is the usual consensus for Wiccans. Keeping in mind that not all Witches are Wiccan and they do live by their own rules, I think it is important to recall the “do as you will” part as well. Of course in Wicca there is the law of three and no matter what we do there will be consequences good and bad kinda like the whole Newton’s third law. However, I think some wiccans take the “an it harm none” to the extreme not considering that it is impossible to not cause ANY harm at any time to anything. When we drive our car, eat, use the toilet, something is being harmed in the process somewhere in some way, our environment, plants and animals, people. There is the natural order or cycle of the universe. I think it is more of “do not intentionally cause harm and carefully consider all the possible outcomes of our intentions that our human brain can conceive before just hexing someone”. But Hexes and Vexes and crossings are not what we are discussing. Right? I eat meat. Death, eating, and so on are a part of life’s cycle. I think we have to look at that law within reasonable and sane expectations within a healthy perametor. It is so easy to cross that line into the zone of extreme and zealot which in itself disrupts the natural functions of nature, causes imbalance and therefore also causes harm. So where do we draw the line of not causing harm before it actually becomes unhealthy and harmful? In Wicca, we are supposed to seek balance too. Just another perspective to consider. 🙂
My husband and I both have witches and warlocks in our family, though years before our generations. We’ve both always felt drawn to witchcraft but both also share the same question. How do you know if you have a natural gift?
I’m sorry you have warlocks in your family. We all have bad apples in our family I suppose. As far as our gifts, I believe that we all have a gift of some kind. It is just a matter of self-discovery. Some people are empathic, some are gifted in magick, some are gifted with herbs, some are very good with Tarot or some other divination technique and so on. I recommend you study and practice witchcraft to learn about yourself and to discover what your talent is. Sometimes, discovering your talent is more of a personal gnosis.
I agree with and appreciate everything u’ve said in this article Sunny and two words resonate: balance and intent.
Balance is something I continuously struggle with. I consistently feel completely unbalanced. Being an empathic witch and also a healer I find myself entangled in other ppls emotions, not their lives, I mean I’m not a drama queen who has a need to be involved in everyone’s chaos. I just mean I haven’t figured out yet HOW to ground myself or how to separate what are truly MY feelings, MY emotions vs the feelings and emotions I’m “picking” up from the ppl around me. If that makes sense, Idk…..?
As far as intent goes I firmly believe it is our intentions that draw the +/- energy to us and that if we “work” with intentions that are less than pure, so to say, even in the deepest recesses of our beings we can unknowingly be drawing negative energy into our lives. Which is the reason I rarely practice my craft on others and when I have, the few times I have, I do it cautiously and I search my soul to make sure my intentions are for the good of the person my work is for. Of course we can’t take credit or blame for things that happen collaterally. As there are an infinite number of scenarios we can come up with in our imaginations on either side of the energy field that could possibly happen as a result of our using our talents or “the craft” as my husband and I say.
Thanks again for the article Sunny.