Twice this week in conversation with old friends, the same sore subject bubbled to the top of ye olde witching-community cauldron: slanderous witch-burnings. More times than I’d like to count, I was the one lashed to that metaphorical stake. What’s hilarious to me is that I’m criticized in equal parts for either being too Love’n’Light-Fluffy-Bunny-Wannabe-Wiccan, or too Dark’n’Evil-Cursing-Cult-Leader-Witch-Smiter. Folks have accused me in the same sentence of being both an impotent magickal fraud and powerful enough to reek ruinous wrath on a whim. Inevitably, the cursing debate arises. Am I, or aren’t I? Am I a hexin’ legit witch, or a just a hypocrite? Le sigh.
“An it harm none, do as ye will” ~ The Rede of the Wiccae
For nigh on a decade now, I’ve taught, blogged and written a book about my four-part code of witching ethics. My very pointy opinions on the most effective way to live are hardly a secret. I call this code the Four Rules of Witchcraft for Personal Sovereignty. If I become well known for any of my contributions, I hope this is it:
- Don’t burn the Witch
- Don’t be the Asshole (Or, in my more refined texts: Don’t be the Problem)
- Don’t be the weak link.
- Must be present to win.
When I teach these ideas most folks chuckle. When I give examples of how I’ve defended boundaries by these principles in the past, most of the heads nod in support. It’s all good until somebody realizes they’ve broken Perfect Love and Trust, they’ve not lived up to these ideals with me, and their behavior may become my new teaching example of ineffective, self-sabotaging or baneful behavior.
Because I often write about issues of justice, balance and ethics…because I’m known in magickal circles for “Going Gandalf” as the enforcer of strong boundaries between benefit and bane, I can well-understand the fear some folks may have of crossing me.
“Soft of eye and light of touch, speak ye little, listen much” ~ The Rede of the Wiccae
I’ve also noticed that when some former witching associate of mine starts slandering me on-line about how I curse people, it is often the first time I’m hearing of this beef. They certainly were not present to win with me. Their accusations are pure fiction, and they know it. We all know it. Their shrieking antics are comically obvious to any witch worth their salt. However, I welcome how handily these shriekers ring the alarm bell for all to hear. Their projection upon me is a sure-fire indicator of their own guilt in some transgression that I’m going to find out about eventually.
“Oh, really?” I comment from a distance. “You’re just sure that I’ve taken time out of my busy day to magickally curse you? Interesting! What did you do to incur my wrath?” I wonder. Have they…
- Done something curse-able that they feel guilty about?
- Are they suffering delusions of self-importance that I’d waste my energy (and karma) on them?
- Or, do they have a woeful state of victim-consciousness that is fed by a vampiric need for attention?
The oldest tool in the abuser’s toolbox is to be the first one to loudly accuse their victims of committing the crimes they are themselves inflicting on others. This tactic of slander then ruins their victim’s credibility should they choose to seek justice, or even ask for support within their shared community. When an abuser makes a dramatic public accusation, they are really making a confession.
Hear this: I think there is a time and place for all kinds of intentional magickal intervention. You must know how to curse to know how to cure. Any cancerous bane that invades my sphere of influence? I will lovingly curse it into a greasy spot on the astral floor – to cure the wholeness of our shared interconnection. You have a physical infection? Let’s treat that with antibiotics and wage righteous destruction against the baneful bacteria. You have a spiritual infection? Let’s treat that sickness with the spiritual equivalent and destroy all baneful interference of Divine Love in your life.
“With no fool a season spend, or be counted as his friend.” ~ The Rede of the Wiccae
My hand to God/dess, here is the truth about 99.9% of all the bullshit I’ve ever had to deal with, from shoplifters, to disgruntled former students, to a covenmate embezzling our entire treasury, to random witches I’ve never even met working overtime to disparage my Witchcraft:
I don’t have enemies. I decline all invitations to social-media battles. Cursing people to ruin is unnecessary and ineffective, so I’ve never even considered it. I don’t have to lift a magickal finger, because guilty people get the effects that they cause themselves. Aphrodite taught me that Divine Love is delivered through both the spanking and the kiss, and I am her priestess. The Universe up-cycles it’s own garbage just fine without me, most of the time. When I’m called upon to serve Divine Love in the Middleworld, my magick is mostly like the swaddling pink light of Mama Goddess’s spiritual straitjacket, intended to bind you from doing further harm until proper balance can be restored. Sometimes, my magick is what my Covenmate Birdsong calls Love and Lightnin’. This may be felt more like a lightning bolt of Papa God’s spiritual realization delivered straight up the root chakra, as an undeniable, unavoidable catalyst for self-improvement. All are intended as cures to what ails ya, and I let the God/dess sort out the particulars.
“Keep pure your highest ideal, strive ever towards it. Let not stop you or turn you aside.” ~ The Charge of the Goddess
But know this: If I do discover evidence that grievous crimes have been committed against me and mine, and I suspect that felonious exploitation is likely ongoing, then I will use all my power in this world to bring that harm to an end, and I don’t care who doesn’t like it. I WILL go to the authorities. I WILL press charges. I WILL show up to testify against you, and I WILL put to proper use all the mechanisms of justice at my command. Beware the Witch’s curse of love and lightnin’.
That is the kind of “good” witch I am, and from that sovereign responsibility I will not shrink.