Wiccans Who Advocate Harm?
Strangely enough, in the recent years I have noticed a number of Wiccans who advocate the causing of harm in their practices, which I find bothersome for reasons you may not expect. I try to take a more intellectual approach to my faith and practice and I have no problem with someone getting what they deserve, but personally I would rather work with my individual theology rather than against it.
In Wicca we have the Wiccan Rede which basically states, “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.” Often, this phrase is interpreted as being strictly pacifistic and even weak-willed. Wiccans are sometimes criticized for having a theology which makes them appear like victims because of what the rede states. However, when we apply the rede in regards to the religion as a whole, there are no victims present. It’s just that understanding this fact requires a broader, deeper, and more complex understanding of magick and intent than is often realized.
Determining what constitutes harm can actually be vague because when we analyze even an innocent situation, like breathing, we find that our body kills off bacteria on a regular basis to keep us healthy. The point of this example is that a certain degree of “harm” can always be found in any situation, even in the most innocent of subconscious motor functions. Because “harm” can be located in all situations, in regards to following the rede, we are reduced to avoid doing acts of “intentional harm” meaning actions which are done specifically to cause a harmful result based upon our understanding of the action in response to how it will effect or be received by another. Basically the rede is a variation of the Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Now with the above definition in place, how do we as Wiccans proactively and defensively follow harm none without leaving ourselves open to victimization? This is actually much simplier than one would think. The following of “harm none” still permits banishings, bindings, protective magick, and counteractive magick. Also don’t forget karma and one’s greatest resource of all being the Gods! Because of these options, a Wiccan does not need to take anything laying down while at the same time not lowering themselves ethically or morally in the eyes of themselves or others.
Banishings and bindings, can be used to deal with the undesired activity, not to mention the situation or person involved. As long as the intent is to not cause harm, then there is no foul. Problem solved.
Protective magick, being magick done for protective purposes, in a sense creates a positive environment which by default removes or deals with any person or things which sets out to challenge that desired protection.
Counteractive magick, is magick done which utilizes the polaric properties of magick. For example, to deal with harmful situations you draw the opposite towards you like in bringing happiness and peace into your life to counter any sadness, negativity, and harmful disruptions.
Karma, in the west, is often viewed as a divine system of checks and balances, while in the eastern sense Karma is simply about right action. Basically people get what they deserve not because deity or a higher source commands it, but because through their actions and associations they have created certain events to occur. A simpler example being if you step in dog poop then your foot is going to smell. An eastern sense of karma is a valid and practical understanding of human interaction. Combined with the other approaches listed here it plays an effective role.
The Gods, are of course a Wiccan’s other great resource in regards to the dealing with life’s little turds and hiccups and their presence in one’s life includes help, aid, and assistance. If all else fails, don’t take matters into your own hands, simply talk to Gods and see how they can help.
See, simple! Dealing with situations without causing harm and without being a victim. Yet despite these very simple options some Wiccans still advocate causing harm. Why? I don’t know. Is it because of a naiveté they have for magick, the polarity of magick, and their understanding of their theology? Do they just enjoy the power trip? It’s possible, but who knows?
However, the problem with this trend of advocating harm, can potentially create a public fear for certain Pagan paths like Wicca, which, if this movement continues, may shoot the community in the proverbial foot. People have been devoting years to the message of Wiccans don’t do harm. Wiccans don’t sacrifice animals. Wiccans are not evil. Wiccans don’t worship the devil. etc. To now face a growing movement which is undermining the very message which has made Wicca more accepted and available to others is asinine. This movement is asking for trouble and I dare anyone who advocates harm to visit Ghana, Kenya or just Africa and tell the locals that they are a witch or practice magick. In fact, if someone reading this accepts my dare, please let me know so I can bring the marshmallows.
Now I realize some of you reading this may be thinking, “So what? I’m not Wiccan! How does this apply to me?” Sorry, I hate to break it to you, but regardless if you’re Wiccan or not, it doesn’t matter. If you practice magick, then the core of this problem and its potential long-term effects still relates to you and even your children so listen up!
It’s important to realize that those who are so open about using magick for harmful or vengeful purposes are merely revelling in the fact that they are living in a first world country. It’s also important to remember that gruesome incidents fueled by hatred, fear, ignorance, and intolerance could easily happen to any magickal practitioner if found in the wrong situation even in a first world country. Hatred and bigotry will always flourish in society and we ought not to provoke or attempt to test the extent of that ignorance or lack of tolerance due to naiveté, ego, arrogance, or self-delusion.
To know, to will, to dare, to keep silent are taught for a reason and it’s best that we not forget the reasons why. We have a responsibility to ourselves, our path, and the paths of others because that is what community is all about.