Tuesday, 28 July 2015

PDU – New Ideas

Or there lack of?

The Pagan community is an interesting place whereby everything old is new again. Whether it is traditional witchcraft, shamanism, making flying ointments or crafting an eclectic path – there aren’t any real “new” ideas; just old ones re-invented. It’s not a bad thing by any stretch, it’s an amazing thing, to take ideas seemingly lost to time and bring them back into the public eye, creating new traditions from old traditions, creating new products from old ideas (witch bottles, flying ointments, spirit traps). It brings a new depth and creativity to the Craft, preventing it from stagnating and becoming something that everyone is doing the same of.

However, these old ideas made new do become new ideas in of themselves and they create opportunities for growth on the path. I have found of late that so many are taking old traditions and incorporating them into their Craft, me being no exception to that. It is creating a rich, vibrant tapestry of witchcraft, giving every practitioner an individual path that is different from the next practitioner. We all interpret things differently; the ideas presented or created being no exception. I’m now finding myself moving into the art of shapeshifting (early stages) and have found a wonderful mentor and teacher to guide me on the journey. This is an old idea, but for me, it is a new one, a new road in my journey, a new art to learn and use.

Although, I do find somewhat amusing how when it rains it pours in the Pagan community, and with new ideas or repurposed ideas, more than one person seems to have them at the same time. An idea I had in August last year but didn’t act on immediately was an idea others had and have acted upon. It’s an interesting dilemma but also interesting how some of us think of the same things. I’m not sure if I’ll go ahead with my idea or not – I don’t really want to be accused of copying or imitation (which is also another issue with new or “old made new” ideas in the community), I think I’ll see how I get on (so many things on my plate right now).

I hope the continuation of new ideas continues, it offers a rich tapestry of information, practice and eventually history to furnish the Craft with. I’m proud to be some one who is contributing to that, in whatever way I may be doing so.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

PDU -Ethics

Ethics is always an interesting topic. A long time a go I wrote a lesson on ethics for part of a course I was teaching but I think, even now, my views have changed again somewhat.

So what are ethics?

Ethics:

1. (Used with a singular or plural verb) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture. 
2. The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics. 
3. Moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence. 
4. (usually used with a singular verb) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

From here.

I hold to ethical idea of personal responsibility. I don’t believe in, nor adhere to, the ‘karma’ or ‘threefold’ or ‘harm none’ philosophy. I find them quite unrealistic and honestly, a bit of a control mechanism. I do believe that the universe keeps a balance on its own, I tend to ascribe more to the ‘equal and opposite reaction’ idea. But I don’t believe that all magic attracts consequence or an opposite reaction. I think if you work magic for petty, mean-minded reasons then you more than deserve an ass kicking in return in equal measure, but if the actions are necessary, justified or for personal gain that is not at the (deliberate) expense of some one else, then there’s not going to be any sort of consequence or reaction. My personal theory of course, I’m sure there are many that would disagree. I do believe that some actions bring about our own destruction as much as they bring about good things for us – it depends on your perspective. To be clear, I do believe in cursing, hexing, binding and all manner of “black magic” (oh how I hate that whole shade thing – it’s just magic people, just magic!!) and I do believe that in some cases those actions are absolutely necessary.

Another of my personal ethics is never to discuss exact usages of entheogenic herbs in public, I’m a cynic, people tend to be stupid and not exercise much common sense (that sounds a bit harsh huh?) so to put that info out there where it could potentially end up in the wrong hands would be irresponsible of me. If I was to teach some one or was to work within a coven or circle I would share it, but not outside of that. I will discuss generalities though, it’s good to share some things, and information on certain topics can be hard to come by so if I know it, I’m happy to share it to the extent I’m comfortable with.

I suppose my ethics are pretty flexible, I’m not a malicious person so my nature isn’t toward magic of that sort, but I see no reason to not do magic to protect, gain or change. I’ve done all of those and will continue to do so.

What are your ethics when it comes to magic?