I ended up prattling on so much yesterday about the history and interpretations of these two ethical rules, I thought I’d be halfway to a novel if I continued on with Roderick’s exercises. Here then, is the work after the theory. Roderick has given us a list of questions to respond to.
Describe a time when you wished for something either positive or negative and your wish came true. What were the results on your life?
This is really reaching back into the archives, but when I was in fourth grade I started noticing a lot of my classmates starting to pair up. A boy would ask a girl to “go out with him”, and they’d basically be considered an item. In retrospect, this was completely ludicrous because all it really meant was you’d maybe play together at recess or your parents would start arranging play dates for the pair of you. You didn’t really “go out” anywhere, and the most sexual thing that might possibly happen was you’d give each other a peck on the cheek–on the lips if you were really adventurous. Still, no one ever asked me out, and I felt left out. So I really wished that someone would.
Well, about the end of fourth grade, a boy named Chad asked me for advice on asking a girl out. He wanted to ask a girl named Jessica out in the worst way, so I gave the kid a few pointers and tried to build up his confidence. A couple days later, he phoned me up and asked me. Of course, after a whole bunch of “Are you serious?”-s, I said yes. Immediately I felt terrible about it. I suddenly felt like he owned me or that I owed him something. It was very confusing. Subsequently I did my best to avoid him for the next few weeks before I ran into him at the community pool and we broke up.
Here’s the thing: as innocuous as that experience was, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to repeat it. I’ve totally sabotaged every relationship I’ve been in ever since…and that’s not exactly a huge number of boys. Subsequently, I’m now completely flummoxed by the whole dating thing. I simultaneously want the intimacy of a relationship, but I’m terrified of how to go about getting into one. I think I’ve also trained my brain to just not think of anyone ‘like that.’ I am attracted to pretty much no one. This is weird, and I can’t say I like this existence.
An old Gypsy saying warns, “Be careful of what you wish for; it may come true.” Why might this saying be important for us to consider?
Well, I suppose my story above might just be an example of this saying. I wished for something pretty intensely, and then when I got it I had no idea what to do, and it was uncomfortable, and it’s had a lasting effect on my ability to develop any romantic relationships at all. I suppose the other excess would have been that poor Chad would have become smotheringly attentive and I’d never have been able to be rid of him.
I think the idea is that desires have some power, and you need to be away of your desires motives and their potential, or you might end up hurting yourself and other people who get involved.
Spend time today considering a positive spell you would like to cast. Consider all of the possibilities and outcomes of this spell. Is this spell truly positive for all concerned? Is there an element of “controlling” in this spell? How might this spell advance you spiritually?
Well, I guess it would be a good idea for me to do some spell work to help me get a job. I should probably do one intensely focusing on myself–to give me the courage and motivation to put out the applications and revise the resumé and CV. To be honest, I’ve developed a bit of an anxiety about all this rejection, and I’ve not been putting out the applications like I should. I guess this is controlling myself…but I think that’s okay, and I think the overall working would be just fine. I could also do something along the lines of asking the universe to bring interesting openings my way, and I could maybe do something like charm an application. The last one maybe might have a little bit of controlling to it–it’s basically asking someone else to look upon my documents favorably. I would probably have to do some sort of caveat where my charm wouldn’t exclude a better candidate from getting the job…maybe.
Can you think of a time where a negative magical working would be necessary? Why? What would it be? What might be the result?
If I knew that someone was hurting another person, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to do a working to bind their negativity or maybe to better direct their negative karma to manifest on them more directly. But, you know, I’ve definitely learned that a lot of the hurt people put out in the world is because they’ve been hurt, too. I think it might be nice to couple some sort of binding spell with a working that would help the tormentor’s inner demons come to light and become resolved. This might be something of a powderkeg, though. For example, what if that person was dealing with being sexually abused as a child and part of his ‘resolution’ path was reenacting his abuse on another child? This is definitely a proceed with caution area, and I’d definitely have to have something very specific in mind.
How might you rework the negative spell in a positive way?
Well, a binding is a fairly acceptable curse. I guess another way to achieve a positive outcome in that scenario would be to ask for good things for the tormented party. Who knows? Maybe he or she would win the lottery and be able to move away from their tormentor or something?
Do ethics belong in magic? Why?
I think ethics do belong in magic. Ignoring all the mystical powers of the universe, you could say that magic is another way of interacting with the people and creatures around you. That’s sort of what ethics are for–to help guide our interactions in a way that respects all parties involved. I don’t think we need ethics to learn how to raise energy or cast circle, but when it comes to applying those lessons towards a specific goal, I do think we need a grounding in respectful comportment.