SnowCat wrote:I'm not personally in favor of causing harm. I have days when that becomes more difficult to follow. I agree though, that balance is a key component to everything. Surgery causes harm, in order to heal. When I give someone an insulin injection, I cause trauma at the injection site. But without the insulin, the patient could die. It's about balance and perspective.
I know discussing the finer aspects of cursing and hexing is generally frowned upon on this forum but, suffice it to say, the moral implications of going down that route are challenging for a lot of people to reconcile; especially with how they view Witchcraft from the wider social vista it inhabits.
Experienced witches and warlocks know that the balance factor simply goes in with the most appropriate and meaningful resolution to whatever you will into existence. Sometimes, a benign working causes harm – at this point, you need to decide whether the intent or the result is more important to you. The joke about two behaviourists having sex, and the man asking the woman how it was for him, is valid here. Equally, a curse or hex can appear to have a positive impact on the subject… At least for a while.
If you approach justification for workings in a way that trusts the balance factor, you’ll have little trouble sleeping at night. If I have the intellectual capacity to morally conclude that a person deserves magical help, then it logically follows that I can make the same judgement about people who deserve magical retribution. And because I don’t know how my working will turn out in any event, given the erstwhile discussed balance factor, it’s simply bad practice to assume that a specific morality is more appropriate than any other.
Magic works with nature, and nature doesn’t have the same social codes that we might apply. All we can really do is properly foster our intent, build it into a meaningful emotional working, and then let nature do its thing.
Sadly, a great many witches and warlocks are simply unable to accept that love and
hate are the two most powerful motivators. Dismissing one due to finding it morally questionable is a great loss to your magical repertoire.
Kassandra wrote:I don’t think these concepts exist in Hollywood. Whenever we’re talking about 'witchcraft in the media," we’d do well to remember to keep our (third) eyes on the invisible hand rocking this cradle, and be aware of how very much it likes to make money, lots of money. Ethics and responsibility aren't requirements for that endeavor.
I completely agree, but would probably go one further and say that they’re concepts that barely exist in today’s society at all
. Just about everything that’s provided by modern civilization is provided in a way that monetises it for people who already have more than they can ever spend. The current global economy is designed around funnelling more and more wealth to the top percentage that are likely to use it less and less.
Some individuals have enough wealth to cancel the debt of entire nations, or feed millions of hungry people. That very concept absolutely blows my mind. The media, unfortunately, works to make people consistently uncomfortable in their own skin, so that they consistently make consumers of them. The fashion industry is the most blatant example of this, but is far from the only one.
“You’re out of style”.
This isn’t an assessment, it’s a command to go and buy clothing or shoes that are going to be up to date for an already pre-determined period of time. Once that time has elapsed, you’re going to be looking at the next set of advertisements telling you to get new shoes.
Sadly, this inherently disposable society is creating almost wholly disposable people. I don’t mean that genocide is in some way a good idea, I mean that people are getting their heads filled with utterly transitory nonsense that’s of little or no value.
Look around you, see the video gamers, and you see that generation. It is here, and this has its pros and cons, lots of both. I’ll leave it at that, for now. As one of Hitler's buddies famously said, "Control the message, and you will control the masses." Books and televisions have been replaced by the computer screen as the principal tool of social engineering, for now.
I’m with you.
This is, ultimately, where I think the most harm has been done to the Neopagan movement as a whole. The “message” has been contaminated by popular culture, which sends youngsters into the hands of “authors” like Silver Ravenwolf who offer little of actual relevance or value. They do, however, make money for publishers… Which means a market for that product needs
to be sustained.
The big question, ultimately, is how do you present the message properly, and in a way that competes with what mainstream media can vomit into existence? Publishers and studios aren’t stupid – movies like The Craft
were so successful precisely because
they presented a version of Witchcraft that, very clearly, very much appears to be the real thing (although superficially).
Forums, blogs, pods and video casts are all very well, but the lack of moderating means that the signal to noise ratio is always terrible and there appears no obvious way to deal with that. Everything Under the Moon is a prime example of how challenging this is, because the people who know what they’re talking about on this forum are overwhelmingly outnumbered by those who don’t.
Those who already know something about Witchcraft can differentiate the wheat from the chaff. Those new to Witchcraft… Well, they struggle.
If you, or anyone else for that matter, have a means of solving this then believe me - I’m all ears.
My own personal view is that the better ways of dealing with the issue are wildly unpopular.