By Patricia: Most, if not all, spiritual paths have a moral code people are expected to follow. The most commonly known moral code is the Ten Commandments. The commandments layout specific rules of behavior for those who follow the Judeo-Christian path. Those who follow the older, pagan paths generally try to adhere to the Wiccan Creed.
The short form of the Creed is “An’ it harm none, do what you will.” Most pagans also believe that whatever you do comes back to you threefold. (This is known as The Rule of Three.) This seems simple compared to the more complex rules of other spiritual paths, but its simplicity is deceiving. One radio psychologist said that “An’ it harm none” meant you could make up your own rules, and change them if they became inconvenient. Nothing could be further from the truth. This code is actually more difficult and complex to follow than any other moral code I am familiar with. Because there is not a set of behavioral guidelines (don’t murder people, don’t steal, etc.), you have to think about each decision and try to determine if anyone will be harmed by your actions.
The first and most obvious question is, ‘What constitutes harm’? Sometimes it is pretty obvious. To do a love spell or to pray that a particular person falls in love with you, is obviously doing harm. You are taking away that person’s free will. You are binding them to you in a forced relationship, and that never works out well. First, you have to keep renewing the spell or prayer, which takes a lot of time and energy. Sooner or later, the spell will fail, and that is when the Rule of Three takes effect. I know of one situation where the spell created a love triangle, and when it failed, one of the men involved ended up stabbing the other man involved. One ended up in the hospital, one in jail. The woman ended up with neither man.
Sometimes, it is less obvious if harm is being done. For example, if I were to do a spell to get a particular job I wanted, and I get it. That’s great, right? No harm done. But what if that particular job was better for someone else, who needed it just as badly as I did, and I can’t do the job as well as they would have. Then the employer is harmed by not getting the best person for that position, the person who would have gotten that job is harmed, and, in fact, I am harmed because I have placed myself in a less-than-ideal position.
Sometimes, it seems like you are doing good, when in fact, you may be doing harm. Doing a healing spell cannot possibly do harm, right. What if the person does not want to be healed? But, some people feel they need to be sick or wounded in order to get attention from others. If you heal that person, you have taken away their tool for getting attention, thus harming them in their eyes. Some conditions are karmic in nature. If you heal someone with a karmic condition, you take that karma onto yourself. You have harmed the other person by depriving them of the opportunity to learn the lesson that came with the condition, and you have harmed yourself by taking on someone else’s karma.
So, by not considering the ramifications of what we are asking for, we can to harm to others, and we can do harm to ourselves. If we do this very often, our life seems to be in a downward spiral and we don’t know why. How do we avoid doing harm? People pray or do spell work all the time. How do we be sure we are doing no harm. First, if your spell or prayer involves anyone besides yourself, you need their permission. If you are praying for healing for someone, ask them first to be sure it is what they want. If you want to do a love spell, do a very general love spell; one that asks that your eyes be opened to the love around you. That way, you are the only one affected, and you will open your eyes to what you already have, or to what is being offered that you may not have noticed. If you do a spell or prayer to get a job, ask to be led to the job that is right for you. That way, you are not bumping anyone out of the job that is meant for them, and you get the job that will be best for you. Everyone wins.
“An’it Harm None.” Four little words and a world of meanings. If you start applying this rule in your life, you will find that you are also following the moral code of most of the other religions in the world. You will not murder, you will not steal, you will not covet anything your neighbor has, as all of those things cause harm. You will give to good causes that use their donations wisely. You will be kind; you will be generous. You will be able to be honest – even if the truth hurts, you do more harm by lying to your friends. You will be all of those things that make us happy, healthy people, because anything else does harm, mostly to ourselves and our families.
Love and Light,