A fairly repeated saying in certain witch communities is “Witches don’t believe in ‘karma’; we ARE karma.” While a chunk of this gets into conflict with those who have a personal investment in ideas such as the Threefold Law, Rede, etc. this also gets into the necessity as a witch or general occultist in not just taking responsibility for yourself, but also knowing that in certain matters, there is no middle ground and inaction is often just as bad as siding with the oppressors. Then there is the notion of “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law“, a Thelemic principle which is sometimes misinterpreted as just doing whatever the hell you want, but really means to follow whatever your True Will is. And anyone who has read a particular passage of The Neverending Story knows that it is both the most important and the most dangerous journey you can possibly take.
I personally have often stated the phrase–which is a riff on the oft-repeated original quote–that “with great power comes the need for great adulting.” I’ve blogged on the past on timing and when you should and should not do magic, and while I touched on some subjects there are others that require a deeper dive. Those get into philosophy, morals, ethics, and personal responsibility. As much as people would like to believe that certain situations will just resolve on their own, it’s often an irresponsible position to take. There are matters where they cannot be resolved on their own and require both practical and even magical intervention.
So how does one determine whether or not they should meddle with events versus “let things play out”? Often this is left up to your conscience and your intuition. We’re not about to get struck by lightning, but we are far more likely to be the victims of our own backfired spells, unforeseen events as a consequence for altering something in the world, or even our own self doubt getting in the way of doing the right thing. And while not everything we do is necessarily on a large scale such as hexing public officials, everything we do beyond the simple things we do daily can lead to unforeseen consequences.
As a result of all of these examples, we need to adhere to our own laws, principles, and ideals and be as consistent as possible with them. If that’s the Rede or any other particular creed, so be it. We can modify them as need be and/or make exceptions, but we must be mindful of why and how. We have to take into serious consideration the consequences of our actions and own them, all the time. And if we screw up, we hope that it’s only us that bears the weight of that fallout and not those who are essentially innocent bystanders. A lot of us are still learning, and will likely learn the hard way. The best you can do is to just do and be your best, and if you screw up to own it, properly atone, learn from it, and take that with you in your future spellwork.
And that is what I consider to be “magical adulting”. While our world may at times appear to be lawless, consequences always exist and in some situations more so than others.