An’ It Harm None, Do As Ye Will


The title of this post is one of the final lines from the Wiccan Rede. It is the most commonly quoted lines, and is often shortened to ‘harm none’. It is a basic tenet of Wicca, and is one of the most vehemently debated tenets, as well.

For the longest time I thought ‘harm none’ was one of those very important things I must hold myself to, despite not being a wiccan. I danced around the topic of cursing in my current pagan group; Nobody wanted to talk about it, and the conversation would usually end with “well, the rede says ‘harm none’, so cursing isn’t something you should do.” Bam. Nothing more said. Occasionally someone would chime in with “well a witch who can’t curse, can’t heal”, but usually only in the defense of learning how to curse, not actually putting your knowledge to good use.

The most irritating argument when it comes to the tenet of ‘harm none’ is karma. Karma will take care of everything, karma will bring your curse back on you times three, karma karma karma. My question is: If someone is threatening your livelihood, your honor, your job, your family- are you going to wait for karma to bounce back on them? What if it’s something you can’t go to the police for, or something you know is happening, but don’t have enough on paper to meet your burden of proof? What if your manager is getting his ducks in a row to have you fired just because he doesn’t like your beliefs, and you know its happening? Is karma really going to cut it when you need results immediately?

Newton’s third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This law is universal, and comes in many forms. When a gun fires, there is recoil, and when someone slights you, you have a reaction- either you respond by being upset, or by taking action and retaliating. In many cases there are mundane ways to retaliate- by reporting the issue, firing off a few words back, fighting back physically… whatever the situation warrants. But there are always going to be times where the best response is magical, and when those times present themselves, I’m not going to sit and fret about karma and ‘harm none’. I’m going to take action, do what I need to, and move on with my life. I will take responsibility for my actions, and I will prevent others from messing with my own personal shitstorm, thank-you-very-much.

Now, back to cursing, blowback, and karma. Karma quite possibly exists, in fact I’m going to go on a limb here and say it does exist. When you do something bitchy, it’s going to come back on you in some way or another. Maybe it’s guilt, maybe you get called out on your shit, maybe someone beats the hell out of you for it, whatever. It’ll come back, don’t you worry. But I don’t think karma has anything to do with blowback from curses. Yes, when cursing you will get blowback; that’s how you know your shit is working. If you curse someone with broken leg, you bet your sweet bippy you’re probably going to have some soreness in your leg, or twist your ankle, or end up smacking into something and get a nasty bruise on your leg. There is one thing I’ve noticed though; blowback is quick, and it is nothing more than a response to the curse- a magical way of saying ‘oh hey, the job’s done’. It’s a nuisance at worst.

So. There you are. I think ‘harm none’ is the biggest load of phooey, and blowback sucks. Rant done.

 

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