Following the Ripples of Magic


John Beckett recently put up a quick Facebook post that sparked some fun conversation.  He said simply:

“Just had a scam call that left a voicemail, ‘this is the IRS.  We have filed a lawsuit against you.’
Delete.  Block number.”

The first comment was from someone who said to, “Delete.  Block number.  Hex the caller.”

I replied with concerns about that.  The number belongs to the corporation, but where does the hex go?  To the person that was just trying to do their job who put the robo-call together?  To the manager who also was just trying to do their job by telling the person to put the call together?  Or does it go to the CEO of the corporation?

The person who suggested the hex in the first place seemed to dismiss my concern, while another suggested it would just hex the machine.  That made the conversation degrade into a bunch of silliness regarding demons in computers and banishing emails and talk of hacking the entire conversation thread.

The hex comment however is an excellent point to bring up something I have been trying to figure out my stance on for quite some time. When you cast a spell for, or even against someone or some thing, how do you know you aren’t causing ripples that will have unintended consequences?

My personal belief on this for the longest time was that Divinity had a way of making things work through you.  So whatever you did was actually the will of fate, or divinity.  But that didn’t account for free will, something that most magic users believe exists, and something that I was forced to concede when I finally started doing energy work again.

So if we do have free will, we have to take responsibility for our actions.  But that means every bit of our actions, from what you wear to what makeup you buy to what you eat?

I realized that some do feel it goes that far when I was discussing doing a binding spell.  I wanted to do one on a certain coworker who had been known for significant bullying tactics and had me in his sights.  I was discussing the issue with a friend, a lineaged Peruvian Shaman.  He was surprised that I was concerned at all, because in his mind I was changing the fates of thousands of people each day by working for a medical device manufacturer that makes equipment for life saving surgeries.

How can my little technical configuration position affect the lives of thousands of other people?  I can see it, but I’m not directly working on the devices, nor am I in a position of making decisions as to what devices are made, how many, and how they are used by doctors.

So how far does the rabbit hole go on this?  Should you consider all of the implications of the work you are about to do?  What about at your job?  Eating (or not eating) specific things?  Or at that point do you just rest on your morals and do what you have to in order to make ends meet?

A final example to ponder – recently I was part of a discussion with a group of readers and clients at the local pagan store where I give readings.  Two of the readers talked about a gentleman that came in for a reading from both of them at two different times, always wanting to know about how an ex was doing.  Both readers got the feeling that the guy wanted to do harm to his ex.  So one of the readers, a British Traditional Witch (BTW), decided to cast a spell while doing the reading to force the man to forget about the ex.

I personally was appalled.  First, because I wouldn’t have handled it that way at all as a reader, but secondly I was appalled that he would force his will onto someone else, even if it meant to stop violence that may or may not happen.  The witch did say that he knew it was a risk, and accepted the consequences of his actions, but at the time he felt that it was the best course of action for this particular individual.  However, the entire issue was quite unsettling for me.  I think because it continues to bring up the same questions I have over and over.

I realize now that there are times when you can plan your actions, use divination, and carefully word your spells so that they do what they were intended to do.  However, intentions can backfire very quickly, even with the best divinatory tools.  So in those cases, do you just accept your losses, or is the magic let loose on the land, free to spread from person to person through the results of situations started by the initial intent of the spell?  Is it like money, which changes hands from one person to another for one intent, but the receiver then sends on, either through good or bad deeds, because he now had the money to spend?

If anything, the conversation on Mr. Beckett’s Facebook timeline just tells me that I am on to something.  Personally, I know I haven’t figured out my ‘black and white’ truth to this issue.  But I do think there is something else to this now.  Perhaps this needs to be brought up again for discussion as an issue in the pagan community today.  Perhaps in our day and age of throwing insults, watching our presidential candidates making derogatory comments about each other, and seeing how much people in the pagan community classify and judge others, perhaps we have forgotten that our actions and words carry just as much energy as a spell.  And that energy and can heal, or it can hurt.  And that perhaps that word that you say could be just as damaging to the world as a misplaced hex.

Photo by deviant art.





Author: Karlesha

I am a martial artist, historical fencer, yogi, runner, intuitive / empath, diviner and pagan. My passion is learning about myself, where I fit in the world and where I can do the most good.

5 thoughts on “Following the Ripples of Magic”

  1. Great post! The thing is, like your friend pointed out, everything we do is going to have unintended consequences, not just hexes. Even a completely altruistic good deed can end up getting somebody hurt; that’s just life. I believe there are situations where casting a hex on someone – perhaps even a full-blown death curse – can be totally appropriate, but it’s not something to be thrown around lightly. I wouldn’t do that unless I felt like there was absolutely no other option (e.g., this person is willfully harming me or my family, I have no normal means of stopping them, and they will not stop or be reasoned with). And even then, you have to decide whether you’re willing to pay the potential consequences. I don’t believe in the Threefold Law, but there probably is going to be some kind of fallout from using that sort of maleficia, and one has to decide if it’s really worth it or not. For some people in some situations, it’s totally worth whatever price they must pay to see their enemies defeated. I have to side with the left-hand path people and say that I don’t see that as necessarily being a bad thing, either.

    However, I definitely think that throwing that sort of energy at a phone scam company is a total waste of energy. If I’m going to bring down the wrath of the Gods/accumulate a shit-ton of bad karma/go to Hell when I die/whatever, it better be for a damn good reason, not just because somebody annoys me on the phone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and sharing very good points. The thing I struggle with is the balance. Do you make it a point to do as many good deeds as you can? What if you purposefully miss an opportunity for doing a good deed? There are hundreds of good organizations in the world that need funding and volunteers, yet you still need to save energy for yourself.

      I do agree about the phone scam, and the Comments about being defensive. Those do give me something to think about as well.

      I am hoping that the post will start more conversation on this topic, not just for my benefit, but like I said in the post, perhaps it is time to be more perceptive about how energy flows.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Hex the caller” is fine if less than brilliant humor, anyone being serious is an anole with anger management problems. Unintended consequences in magic of this sort is the rule rather than the exception. The hex’s power will follow the path of least resistance kind of like lightning looking for a good grounding to connect with. This means the CEO’s kid getting hit in a car accident is a perfectly plausible out come if the energy is not carefully binded and controlled, which of course will weaken the spell.


  3. One of my favorite quotes (and books):
    “But you must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow on that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. A wizard’s power of Changing and Summoning can shake the balance of the world. It is dangerous, that power…It must follow knowledge, and serve need.”
    ― Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are questions I too have come to ponder, at great length actually just around the anti- Boko Haram initiative. When is it ever ok to curse someone? To affect someone’s mind without consent? Even when our intentions are good, how do we know that X amount of steps down the line we won’t end up making things worse? And, as a friend reminded me as I was contemplating it all, do someone harm and you should be prepared for the same coming right back at you.

    But just as how one would interfere when seeing an assault downtown, and try to stop it by calling the police or even trying to physically stop it yourself, shouldn’t we help those in need? But who is really right in a conflict? It’s really not always that obvious. What if we get it wrong? What if our efforts backfire?

    It’s far more complicated than it may seem, really. When it came to the anti-Boko Haram initiative I ended up not actually doing a curse. I ended up focusing my will on defense of those that need shelter, and offering what I can give of strength to those that need it in order to defend themselves and their families against that vile organisation. I won’t say it was wrong of anyone to go ahead and full out curse them (definitely not, very worthy cause after all) I just felt that I should not risk conjuring up the negative energies involved in such an act, even with a worthy cause. At least not yet.

    That is of course only an example, but my point is that it might be wise to consider what energies we raise, and what methods are used even when the cause is worthy. The whole “the end justifies the means” thing does tend to lead to a goddamn dark path, after all. When there are less aggressive options, focusing on defense and healing rather than attack, it might be a good idea to stay to that side.

    Liked by 1 person

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