The most repeated and well-known slogan that gets tossed around when it comes to the craft is “there are no rules in witchcraft”. We’ve all heard it, we’ve seen it, we’ve probably said it ourselves or actively endorsed the idea. But have you ever actually stopped to think about the implications of stating that something as dangerous as witchcraft has no rules?
It’s easy to gloss over it, thinking that if we ourselves wouldn’t do anything damaging or evil with the craft, that others wouldn’t either. This way of thinking is sweet, but terribly naive. Not everyone is a good person. Not everyone has morals, and some people actively seek to destroy others. Handing out a loaded weapon like witchcraft and saying “no rules!” is a huge mistake.
Some of you are probably thinking, “well, no rules doesn’t really mean no rules, it means there’s more than one way to do things.” But have you ever actually explained that? Or have you just said “no rules” and left it there? Because a large population of witches are simply hearing y’all say “no rules” without any explanation or limitation and getting the message that there are no rules in witchcraft, period.
I work as a professional witch, both coaching other witches who want to learn more, and casting spells on behalf of clients. This gives me a unique perspective on what folks have been up to in their magical workings, and the lengths that people are willing to go to realize their goals.
The one startling thing I have learned during this work is that folks often do not care what kind of damage happens to others, as long as they get what they want. In my experience folks are willing to destroy families, marriages, and lives just to get a boyfriend or a promotion. So, I’m here to enlighten you on what exactly it is you are saying when you spout off with “no rules in witchcraft!” by using examples of behavior that I have seen first-hand. Let’s begin…
“It’s okay to secretly feed your boyfriend your menstrual blood without them knowing!”
Yessiree bob, you heard that correctly folks! I receive a surprising number of messages that detail how folks ages 16-45 have been secretly feeding their period blood to their boyfriends. This is done with the intention of making the victim absolutely “obsessed” with them. Yup, it’s no longer enough for a man to simply love them, it has to be a melodrama.
I regularly receive DMs from folks who are doing this saying that their relationship is otherwise happy and healthy, but they still need him to be unable to sleep or eat, and unable to think of anyone or anything else except them. So please remember, when you say “no rules” you are saying it’s okay for someone to secretly feed someone menstrual blood in order to ease their own insecurities. Which is illegal by the way and better known as “food tampering”, in case you didn’t know.
This branches into a similar topic of dominating love spells. I get frequent requests for love spells to make absolute strangers fall desperately, hopelessly, and obsessively in love with the client. I’ve even had several explicitly state that they want it done against the other person’s will. When I tell them that’s wrong, and they shouldn’t be enslaving others with witchcraft, several have stated “I don’t care, it will make me happy.”
I’m not even joking and I have the receipts (and for the folks who were really confused by this term in my last article, it means I have proof and screen caps). A lot of the time the victims they are trying to bewitch are happily married with kids. But no rules, right? Destroying families is all just fine and dandy and a simple matter of personal expression, right?
Now I know several of you are going “well magic strong enough to do that doesn’t exist, they’d never leave their families if they truly love them.” And that is where you are wrong. I come from the Latinx community where magic that strong does indeed exist, and is used regularly. My DMs are also full of the victims of this work attempting to put their family back together after their husband’s ex hired a bruja or did the work themselves. I’ve seen both the destroyers and the destroyed, and let me tell you it’s ugly.
“It’s okay to summon anything you want without training, no matter how dangerous.”
Anyone who is a serious practitioner will know that rule #1 is “don’t summon what you can’t banish”. But hey, who needs rules, right? Every sixteen-year-old with limited training should be able to exercise their “divine birthright” to summon as many dangerous entities into their bedroom (and our world) as they want. Sounds reasonable, right? What could possibly go wrong?
Well, let me tell you. I also work part time doing house clearings and resolving hauntings. A large number of malevolent hauntings are caused by uneducated people trying to summon things in their home. Others are caused by folks who have summoned evil entities and sent them after an unsuspecting and usually innocent person. If you’re saying to yourself “that takes a lot of knowledge and skill, and anyone with that knowledge and skill wouldn’t do such a thing”, I can tell you that you’re wearing some serious rose-colored glasses.
We live in a modern era and the idea that folks don’t receive this type of info until they are at a certain stage of training no longer holds up. These days you can find everything you need with a short google search. I see it all the time in my paranormal work; any teenager can summon a dark entity and send it after someone. Controlling it later may be a different story, but hey, no rules! This is perfectly fine… right?
“You don’t have to respect cultures of color while using their magic.”
One thing we’re seeing a lot of these days is the effect of mainstream trends on the spiritual traditions that come from cultures of color. These are sacred traditions that should be preserved and respected. But folks are “drawn to them”, and instead of following spirits’ call and putting in the work, they just skip all that messy “tradition” stuff and go straight to asking the spirits for handouts.
Initiation? Following ancient traditions?? That’s for squares! Why would you ever go through the proper divinations, initiations, and a year in white to receive your Orisha when you can just skip all that junk and decide it’s Oshun today? Seriously, I see this all the time. Folks become “drawn” to an Orisha, or a Loa, but they don’t want to do the work. So they just skip it, and start asking for things, or dabbling in areas they have no business dabbling in. This is how Kat Restin ended up dead.
Also something that is happening more and more these days is non-POC actively practicing the spiritual traditions from communities of color, while also engaging in racist behavior. I’ve even seen people state that saying you shouldn’t be racist if you’re going to practice an African Traditional Religion is “gatekeeping”. Yup, requesting that folks not be racist is now gatekeeping. But, if there are no rules, that means that it’s okay! Right?
“It’s okay to break up perfectly happy marriages because you want your crusty ex back.”
This one happens a lot. I get a DM about this at least every two weeks if not more. The story always goes like this: Girl meets boy, boy is a terrible human, they break up. Boy finds new girl, old girl decides she wants her crusty scrub back, so she comes to me. Why would she want him back after he ghosted her multiple times and then stole her hubcaps? Because he’s her “twin flame”, of course. Sometimes the guy even seems to have finally found the one, and is trying to be a better man and start a family. But then his ex wants him back and since there are no rules, we should destroy his real shot at happiness to go back into a toxic relationship, right?
Or better yet, the folks I have in my DMs who are shopping for other people’s husbands like eight-year-old girls picking out ponies. I’ve had MANY women in my DMs like “I want this one.” whilst pointing to a happily married man with children. Seriously, these families look like hallmark cards, and when I ask, “why this one” the answer is unanimously “because I want him.” Think it’s only women? It’s not. I’ve also had men wanting hardcore “commitment and obsession spells” done on their wife’s best friend. But I should totally do it, right? Because no rules! Is my point starting to sink in?
“It’s okay to change the definitions of terms to whatever you want them to be.”
Who needs to be educated when you can just make stuff up, right? No rules! It’s not like it would be extremely beneficial to the witchcraft community to finally be able to have a standardized vocabulary and language so that we could all know what we are talking about or anything. That would be anarchy! So instead of being educated you should definitely just change the definitions of terms to fit what you want them to mean because no rules! This may mean that our entire understanding of the craft and the science behind it will be completely and irrevocably changed into something fluffy, trendy, and unrecognizable, but who cares? Who needs ancient traditions when you have glitter and TikTok??
Seriously y’all, I see this one a lot. Folks make posts to “educate” other witches and define witch terms incorrectly. When confronted, what’s the party line? “I can do whatever I want. There are no rules in witchcraft.” But that’s fine, right?
“You can take on unearned titles.”
This one happens a lot too. I swear some folks just wake up in the morning and have a cup of coffee and decide “I am now a Voodoo Mambo”. They often have no real training or education in Voodoo, or whatever path they are walking. They have simply decided they are now a “High Priestess” or its equivalent. They usually have not been initiated either. However, no rules means no rules! So, if they want to be a Wiccan priestess or a Voodoo Mambo, or both, they can be one whenever they want with no training. They should also lead people under this title. That’s a good idea. What could go wrong? Isn’t this fun??
“It’s okay to kill people.”
No rules, right? I’m not even joking, either. Witchcraft can be deadly. If you think it can’t, you need to educate yourself and stop drinking the “love and light” Kool-Aid. In my years as a witch I’ve seen people have their brakes go out while driving, and cars flipped. I’ve seen diseases cast on others, and seen limbs lost. Witchcraft is as deadly as any gun. But why should we care? People should feel empowered to kill just anyone, right? Because saying “no rules” without any specifications or limitations leaves a lot open, including physical harm and murder. Are you prepared to take on the responsibility of what happened because you perpetuated the idea that there are “no rules” in witchcraft?
If you find that you are against any of the things listed above, then you agree that there are indeed rules in witchcraft that people need to follow. However, judging by the comments found online, a large portion of people are reading this like an angsty teen and going “you can’t control me!” and truth is, you’re right. I can’t. No one can. No one can force you to follow regular rules or laws either. If you want to go burn down a building no one will stop you but that doesn’t mean that there are no consequences for your actions, or that we should actively promote that no laws or rules exist in the world. Also, if your immediate response to suggested ethics is “you can’t tell me what to do” you are probably not mature enough to handle witchcraft anyway. But hey, no rules, right?
Here’s the deal y’all, I was brought up in the craft and when I was a kid I was also exposed to the “no rules” idea too. However, the difference is that back then it was given in context. I was shown that what they meant by “no rules” was “if the spell calls for rose petals but you’d like to use lavender instead, that’s okay. No rules!” Not “do anything you want, anywhere you want, whenever you want”. Those are two very different things.
Witchcraft does have rules, not just for the safety of others, but for the safety of the caster. It is indeed possible to cast a spell incorrectly and end up the victim of your own work. Telling new witches that there are no rules in witchcraft is dangerous, irresponsible, and will directly harm them and those they come in contact with. It says to them that they don’t need to follow any ethical guidelines, or be educated about the craft they are using. It says they don’t have to respect the traditions they are using to get what they want. It says they can destroy other people’s lives in order to get what they want.
If you are a witch who is still perpetuating this idea, you are directly responsible for the actions of those who listen to you, and you never really know who is listening. Stop the madness. Say what you actually mean and take responsibility for the things you say in person and online to new witches. It’s the right thing to do.