“… For the Good of All, and Harming None.” Guarantee or Cop-Out?
“… for the good of all, and harming none…”
This is a fun little statement that many Pagan and magick books like to add at the end of a spell. Just in case? To hedge your bets? I can’t remember the last spell I did that used this statement at the end of it- though I’m sure at some point when I was a n00b, I did, since the books advised to. I think at some point, though, I started to actually think and analyze what I was I doing when I mentioned that little tidbit at the end. I believe that the authors had good intentions when they advised their readers to add this statement. I believe that they were probably trying to minimize blowback potential. However, going about it this way completely hinders the energy of the spell.
First of all, one should have a good sense of their personal ethics and morals before doing spellwork. A witch needs to know herself well enough to figure out what she feels is right and wrong (I use the word “feels” as some matters are completely subjective) before trying to create change using magick. Another thing that I feel a witch should have is the sense of self-responsibility that seems to be missing from many people coming of age in this new generation. If you do something that screws something up, one needs to be able to take responsibility for it (not blame others), and step up fix it. Too often, I see witches say, “Well, the Gods must have willed it this way.” Which, of course, may be true, but if it’s obvious to another witch that you’ve left yourself open to blowback- it could be your fault that your love spell generated your stalker.
Magick is change YOU create
What is magick? Magick is change generated by the witch.. It’s not prayer- which is by definition communion with deity– it’s action. It’s the energy of the witch manipulating energy (whether this is personal, elemental, deity, etc) to create a change on the energetic/astral plane that will be reflected on the physical plane. That’s a lot to say, and it’s a lot to do, at times. A Witch should have enough confidence in her spell to not feel the need to put a qualifier at the end of it.
Also, you can’t throw out a spell meant to harm someone, add the qualifier and release yourself from responsibility. That’s another case of “Oh, well, the Gods must have willed it. After all, I DID say ‘with harm to none’.”
It’s the equivalent to saying “Harm to none- If the Gods will that no one be harmed, may these blessed batteries not work” and zapping someone with a stun gun. If you have done the work (ie: checked the batteries) and you know how to use the stun gun, most likely the stun gun will work. Using the qualifier at the end of a spell does not release you from the responsibility of the end result. There are better ways to reduce the potential for spell fallout than a silly phrase at the end of the spell.
Of course, if the Gods decide that your intended result of a spell is not to be reached, then of course your spell will fail. You don’t need to add “if the Gods will it,” at the end of your spell. How pointless. It takes away from your focus, like the FTGOAAHTN qualifier. You are the witch. You are doing the magick, you are enacting change. If you aren’t confident enough in your intent and skill (and your ethical code), why bother doing it at all? It just gives the energy another thing to focus on besides your end result. Why set yourself up to fail? The point of magickal spellwork is to change something- to focus your energy in order to make a change. Why take away from that focus with qualifiers?
What goes around, will come around- even if you mention a cop-out phrase at the end of your spell. There really is no copping-out.