Daily Archives: February 19, 2014
Lately, I’ve seen the question asked if it is all right to cast a spell for yourself, for a new job, money, etc.
Why wouldn’t it be?
As long as you are harming none with your actions, why wouldn’t it be?
You are as valuable as anyone else.
Your needs are as important as anyone else’s.
Not less than.
Not more than.
The same as.
Where does the thought that it might not be all right come from?
I had my own suspicions as to the origin of that thought, but I ran the question past some Pagan friends of mine to see what they said.
Caro, a traditional Witch (not a Wiccan!) believes that it is a “recent” development that grew from Neo-Paganism’s desire to get away from the image that witchcraft is “evil.” Many modern Pagans are still strongly influenced by Christianity and its moral code and seem to have just replaced the (Christian) God with a Goddess without making a real break. Scratch the surface of many Pagans, she says, and you’ll find that their Paganism is only skin deep – the concept of divine punishment is replaced by a form of “karma” or the “rule of three.” Real witchcraft is still frightening to many who claim to be witches and they seek to sanitize and emasculate it. Adding the gloss of altruism made witchcraft less frightening, both to its practitioners and to those outside of the Craft.
But, I argue, the Bible basically says what I said above. It says to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Not more than, not less than, but the same as.
Brandon’s response to that is that most of the dogma of the last two thousand years is not based on the Bible, and part of the non-biblical dogma includes a denial of self, not for the greater good of the group, but for the divinity. Being “selfish” – even in a healthy sense – is seen as “bad.” In fact, we are still fighting the “evil” of masturbation because it is a “selfish” act.
In addition, he points out, our media and daily culture are all about stories of selflessness, of people risking their own lives for others, of putting others ahead of themselves, of giving “selflessly” to others.
This is reinforced by Becky’s experiences. As the oldest of three children, she was expected to be the more “responsible” one and help take care of her siblings, take on more chores around the house, etc.
She says that she still doesn’t know how to put herself first, and feels that putting oneself first is looked upon as being selfish by society. And especially so for women, who are taught to be everything for everyone, whether it be for our children, spouses, other family members, etc.
Thus, casting spells for oneself would be considered selfish by society in general, regardless of any religious overtones.
So, how do we get past this?
Well, for starters, by accepting that we are as worthy as the next person. There is no need to feel guilty for wanting to better yourself and for using your skills – including magical skills – to do so. It doesn’t make you a bad person. Honest!
And by understanding that there is a huge difference between the God of the Christians and the deities worshiped by Pagans. It’s not easy to cast off a lifetime of indoctrination into guilt and fear, but that is not what our deities are about.
You are worthy, not worthless.
“You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.”