As I sit here in the glow from my desk lamp, a lot runs through my head. I’m playing a game online known as Ballot, which carries some similarities to Yahtzee.It’s scoring system includes four chances at each category: fours, fives, sixes, straights, houses, and choices (like the Chance option in Yahtzee). I guess my thought process as I play breaks down into three components, that all kind of link.
The first is rather simple, almost a cliche. Life can be like a dice game. We all have “the same nine months in the box,” as Stephen King writes in his short story, Fair Extension. And then the dice roll, and our odds are determined. There is a lot we can do to sway the game in our favor, but some of it is out of our hands.
One thing some of us choose to use to manipulate the circumstance of our “life game” is to use witchcraft. The Wiccan philosophy “harm none, do as ye will,” is employed by some as a way to regulate the use of the powers Wiccanit witches harness in their magic. Mine has always been “A witch who cannot harm cannot heal.” The path that I am on is that of the gray witch, neutral witch, or as I jokingly call it, the shadow witch, the witch who embraces both light and darkness with him or herself.
I’ll explain my path in a moment, and how it relates back to the “life game” for me. I got the name from League of Legends, a game my good friend enjoys. She is alluded to in the lore of the Fire Child as something as a dark witch. The thing is I don’t define myself as dark, as in harmful. I am like the dusk, a blend of light and dark, though more on the side of the bright moonlight than of the darkness trailing in the wake of the sun’s departure. I harness the forces of both light and shadow, and am called to work more with warriors like Athena, Sekmet, Maeve, and Scathach (pronounced like Scat-ock); crones like the Morrigan or Bronach (Bro-nock). I have my own six-element system. Earth, water, fire, air, light, and shadow, each with their own aspect to study. Earth and water are magical, and can be both light and dark, while air and fire are self-evolution and social consciousness. The light and shadow interweave with the other elements, even as the original four interweave among themselves. I harness the light and dark energies of the universe. In other words, I am a shadow witch.
Here’s how this relates back to our “life game.”A lot of people out there allow religion to dictate morals and values, and just accept them. It seems to me, though you are welcome to disagree with this as my reader, that some can’t, or won’t contemplate the things that popular culture, organized religion, and the government spoon feed us.It’s an uncomfortable and challenging process. However it is important for those who have the capacity to question their views to do so.
For me, karma is subjective. Ripples of every action we take come back to the shore at our feet. Whether they are good or bad largely depends on whether or not we did something that we believed to be right or wrong. So it matters that we stick with what we believe. I am largely a benign magical practitioner, unless someone is threatening or harming my family, friends, or our brothers and sisters in animal and plant form. I will work to deliver lessons, not to destroy out of hand.If I step outside of these self-created morals I live on in magic and mundane circumstances alike, karma can be the patch of black ice that stops me and recalls me to my path. I think this is why the gods grant it to us.
On that note it is important to define your moral values, and not just view everything with ambivalence. If you see wrong being done, either know that it is within your sense of honor to do so, or understand the reasons why you might not. If magic could be done to aid you in your current circumstances, either know in your heart that you wouldn’t do it for self-defined reasons, or figure out how to do it within parameters that make sense on a deep level. I try to word spells so that no one is unnecessarily harmed, or even inconvenienced, by gain I am trying to achieve. On other occasions, rare and desperate ones, I may think over the fact that the universe re balances itself, that rewards given me may be a burden to someone else, and these will balance out in due time.
My point in all this is that in the “life game,” you have to weigh the risks and benefits to yourself, and sometimes to others. It is best, then, that your self-defined morals and values serve you whether the task before you is magical or mundane.