I saw a meme the other day about how given the culture we currently live in, that caring about others was revolutionary to the point of being punk. Given the amount of edgelords out there bragging about how they don’t care about anyone else but themselves, responsible magic is punk af.
That threefold law tho
I’m not into the “threefold law”. It’s not really a part of any of my traditions besides. And so much of how people have interpreted it sounds a lot like people wanting orthodoxy in their orthopraxy.
You shouldn’t need a “law” to know the following:
- What you do impacts other people, not just yourself
- With great power comes great responsibility
- Responsible magic should mean caring about others too
The best responsible magic advice I ever got
My dad once told me, “Never go to the dark side, but you can zap an a——.” Best responsible magic advice ever. A variation on this I’ve heard in the witch community is “Do no harm, but take no s—.”
In the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, they talk an awful lot about what goes into unbalanced mercy in addition to unbalanced severity. Unbalanced mercy tolerates intolerance. It allows evil to flourish. See also: the paradox of tolerance.
Some variety or variation of this philosophy can be found in a lot of magical communities, the idea being if you have the power to potentially right a wrong in a situation involving injustice that you should do that thing. This goes obviously for not just magic, but in the rest of your life.
This is why people get all heated over “privilege”, because if you have it you should do precisely that. Having responsibility shouldn’t be seen as punishing. If you have power, you should use it for good. Not to help continue to disenfranchise marginalized populations and groups of people.
Punch up, not down
We should be handling bullies but not become one. This means being brave enough to speak out against hate and bigotry. Yes, even your friends and especially your friends. If your friend is preaching hate on a social media account and you’re defending that, you’re not being a good person let alone a good friend. What you are in fact doing is signaling to others in those marginalized groups that you can’t be trusted.
The “punch up, not down” philosophy is to go after those in power in an unbalanced dynamic. In short, bullies. Not the bullied, AKA the marginalized populations.
Responsible magic means caring about others impacted by bullies and bigots.
Responsible magic also means having excellent boundaries
Self care is just as important as caring about others. Going out of your way to help others in need doesn’t mean self neglect. No one is asking for martyrdom. It’s also not healthy.
We need everyone at their absolute best. We are in a situation where we will be fighting for a very, very long time. Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting other people.
Get comfy with Saturn before handing Jupiter.
Civil disobedience is another form of responsible magic
And if you capable of doing it, I highly recommend it. For those of us in the LGBTQIA+ community, “Be gay, do crime.”
If you are not fully capable of doing it or at all, help support those who are. We have kids in cages, forced hysterectomies on people, and people are dying. We have literal Nazis taking up weapons against us. These things will not go away easily, and we must be vigilant.
Good luck to us all. Stay responsible, do responsible magic. And much love to you all.