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          Date: 10-May-89 22:29
          From: Warren Stott
          Subj: Ethics in Magick

          A local group recently sponsored a  seminar on the ethics of magick. I
          was unable  to attend  but  heard the  tapes of  the session.  Several
          people on this  echo were present and  had thoughtful things to say as
          did the  others in attendance.   I would  like to address  a few ideas
          that came up there and, of course, are  significant to all people that
          work magick.

          The  question  of  hexing came  up.  A  rousing  chorus ensued  saying
          essentially  that many folks  there felt their own ethical  model does
          not allow hexing. Initially, I put myself in that group as well.  I am
          not a  bad person, I  do not  intentionally hurt people.   After  some
          thought, though, I asked myself this question.

          If there  is a conceivable ethical situation  where I might sucker    
          punch someone, why would there not be such a time to zap them with    
          the same magnitude of magick?

          If  I punch someone when  they have no known  defense against me, I am
          opening  the  serious potential to harm them. My  punch might not hurt
          them at all, it might surprise them more than hurt them, it might hurt
          them enough that they get the message I was sending, or it might blind
          or  even kill them. I would  not know until after the  fact. If I felt
          justified in punching them, I would probably do it. If they turned and
          destroyed  me, I  would  have  to  question my  judgement  afterwards.
          Likewise if I blinded them.

          Acceptance of the karmic debt was raised as part of this justification
          cycle. By going ahead and hitting them, I tacitly or implicitly accept
          the debt.  Personal destruction or  harming the other  guy, it  is the
          same, I accept the debt by my action.

          Now where is the ethical question here?

          I have  often done things, things  as simple as saying  something in a
          certain way, that I immediately want to retract. If I hit this fellow,
          I probably  would want to take it back afterward. Is it ethical to act
          in a  fashion that given a  little thought you would  realize you will
          regret later?

          Magick works  in the same  way. Presuming the  ability to  control the
          magickal  zap to  the  relative intensity  of  the sucker  punch,  the
          results are just as unknown. So you accept the karmic debt, so you zap

          "Do what ye will" as long  as you accept the debt makes it  ethical? I
          don't think  so, I think  it is in  fact unethical to  hit or  zap the
          person. But I  might do it anyway. It is not really so much a question
          of ethics as it is a question of responsibility.

                         Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 


          No doubt Ollie North thinks that it is unethical to break the law. But
          he  did. No doubt  Jim Wright takes  the ethics of  public office very
          seriously,  but he is now in deep  refritos over an ethical dilemma of
          his own making.

          Shit Happens.  (For those of  you with  new babies, Doo  Doo Happens.)
          Ethics is a  model of what we would like in  the ideal.  That ideal we
          measure ourselves against. We can parade case examples all day to test
          this  conclusion but it is still unethical  to harm another. But we do
          it, both physically and magickly.

          So,   ethical  hexing,   there   is  no   such   thing.  I   caste   a
          hurt-you-this-much zap  on the intended, I have acted unethically. "An
          ye  harm none."  No disclaimer  or release  for special  situations is
          given or implied. She will see me break this, karma will see  that the
          ripples in  the pool come back  to me. All  together, She will  see me
          take responsibility, ethics be damned.

          One more  time, the chorus swells  and this time  I am sure that  I am
          part of that group. There is no ethical justification for hexing. Just
          don't piss me  off though, I might  be willing to  take responsibility
          for my actions.

          Bambi died for us, kicking and screaming in torment!


                         Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 


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