Harm None & The Rule of Three
One of the most popular themes in Wicca (often confused with Witchcraft) is Harm None and the Rule of Three. It's the what I hear & read about most when talking to other Witches. However, my take on these two tenants do not coincide with the popular belief. Let me break down each one separately.
The popular wiccan tenant is Harm None, meaning we strive to harm no one in our magick and our everyday life, is a beautiful sentiment something i truly wish was attainable but I don't think it is; but most of all I don't think it's a healthy goal to set for yourself. Let's first define the word harm:
"Physical injury or mental damage; hurt." - dictionary.com(5/8/2017)
By this definition any action that hurts someone or causes them mental distress or damage is harming someone. How many times has someone tried to do you a favor or helped you out but instead has hurt you or caused you more pain than if they had just left it alone? Also there is a famous saying you can't please everyone.
Let me put this into context; the recent political state in the USA has a lot of witches doing magick for the earth, women's rights, and the overall state of the USA. However, that magick does indeed harm those who's intentions are not now the same as theirs; men who actively tries to take away a woman's right to choose what happens to her body, an oil companies desire to run pipelines through sacred land. These are just some examples but they illustrate the point clearly that our desire to create a specific reality will never 100% match up with another person's desire for their perfect reality.
Doesn't a murder never wish to be caught? Of course! Should we stop a murder? YES!
Now some of you may think this is reaching; but the truth is that no matter what we do in life, even taking a shower, harms something. Truth is we are going to do in the long run what we are going to do but trying to adhere to something that is unobtainable creates guilt something that many people are trying to get away from in other religions, and honestly this tenant in itself creates harm.
HOW I APPROACH HARM NONE IN MY MAGICK
When I have a magickal need; usually when someone is bothering me or threatening my safety or the safety of those in my family I try to look at the situation from every possible angle, i try mundane means first, then when all avenues have been exhausted or the threat level rises even further, I'll do what needs to be done.
The God(dess) helps those who helps themselves.
I try very hard not to curse or send back energy to someone.
I am a criminal justice graduate, that's what I went to college for, so i view magick like this. If someone breaks into your house with the intention of harming you & you have a gun and the opportunity to use it to protect yourself or those you love- wouldn't you? Sometimes we can't call the police, and sometimes we can't do anything else but to use magick that could potentially harm someone.
The Rule of Three
The Rule of Three states that "everything you send out into the universe comes back to multiplied by three." Wow that's pretty scary stuff there, so using the above rule of "harm none" if I have an abusive ex who has already put me in the hospital AFTER I filed a restraining order and i cast a spell; that energy not only harms him because what he wants more than anything is to control me and have me back, and clearly he's not mentally well because no sane person gets enjoyment from the pain of others. That spell creates him harm & that bad energy is going to come back to me three fold JUST BECAUSE I AM PROTECTING MY LIFE?
Ok, i'm sorry but that is absurd, we create our own reality, especially magickally.
What you focus on becomes your reality
If we think we are undeserving of wonderful things it doesn't matter how many people tell us otherwise we won't ever believe it therefor not have it. If we think that there's some magickal boomerang out in the universe that hurls back to us what we put out than that's what happens to us.
I don't believe in Karma, I don't believe in the rule of three.
Again I find these tenants to be very dogmatic and borrowed from other religions.
Witches In History & Other Magickal Practitioners
My first patron Goddess is Hekate, while I was researching her myths & history I was surprised to see just how many people in Greek & Roman times called on her for cursing. There are loads of spells and rituals from ancient times that involve hexing, cursing, and causing harm to ones enemies.
Spells from antiquity have plenty of harmful notes and sometimes downright evil intentions.
I watched a really interesting documentary about Witches in Romania. These witches not only charged their customers pretty high fees to get the results they wanted but they also performed magick that would harm or otherwise break another of their free will.
Hoodoo is a popular magickal practice that also has magick for taking another's free will away with love or influencing spells, and they have plenty of curses & hexes to go around.
Your Witchcraft Practice
Everything changes and evolves, do not be surprised if your beliefs change as you grow on your magickal practice. I know that mine beliefs and understanding of magick has changed and evolved within the last 20 years.