Anatomy of a magickal attack – Part I.


It is really seldom for Wiccan authors to write about anything even slightly connected to harmful uses of magick… except to say that those uses are unethical and fall under the retributive aspects of the so-called Law of Threefold Return, that are a violation of the Rede or some other politically correct comments.

Well, since I am not very politically correct, I will break “tradition” by describing what I have learned while fending off some pretty nasty “intrusions”.

Knowledge as a weapon.

It seems so obvious… but it never hurts writing it again: what you know gives you power. Any kind of information is a source of power. Think about it. You will notice you use this power every day. You use it to comunicate, to use other tools, to establish relationships…

In the same way that the knowledge of how to drive a car allows you to get a license and actually drive a car, knowledge about people lets you act upon them. In good faith (guiding, learning, teaching, counselling)… or in not so good faith (“pushing the buttons”, manipulating, etc.). I know, it is a blunt and crude concept, but it is real.

People adept to the magickal arts tend to be very keen observers, intelligent and quite sensitive. We cultivate our knowledge and our skill to use it with devotion and a focus that seldom seen nowadays. Curiosity often drives us, but also the need to learn for the value of the learning itself.

This adds up to a great capacity to do both good and to harm. The “classical” figure of the magickian as “the power behind the throne”, Rasputin-style, or the mean Witch who seduces and terrifies the villagers of many a story are examples of how, without moral and ethical guidance, knowledge and skill can be used as a weapon.

Weapons have no moral warranty.

Almost anything can be turned into a tool to do harm. Knowledge is no exception. Magickal knowledge is no exception. In fact, it may even be easier to use the power to harm than to heal. Healing, teaching and helping the bettering our peers requires not only knowledge but wisdom, skill, restraint, infinite patience and perseverance… flailing with a curse requires only hate, disregard for any consequence and the heat of a moment. The basics are covered in almost any classical magickal grimoire.

Of course there are consequences. Some are immediate, some are not. I am certain that the Law of Threefold return is not literal, but the consequences of harming others with the knowledge and skill of magick are there.

What we need to bear in mind is that, like a sword, magick comes not with a warranty that it will not be used to do harm. We teach others to use it only to keep balance, to heal, to evolve, etc… we “impose” our morals on the tool, but the tool has no morals of its own. It is as amoral as fire, metal, electricity or magnetism.

And yet, the source of magick’s power is the very same source that gives and sustains our life. We regard it as a sacred Art, in a sense, as a gift from the Divine. It seems sacrilege to use this very gift to disrupt life. A Wiccan will not harm other through magick if it can help it… It will not do so not because of some rule, but because of his or her love for life and the balance and beauty of the Universe. A Christian will not do so either, because his or her love for God extends to the rest of Creation as God’s children. Some people, however, lack such guidance, and are so blinded in their own evolutive path that are perfectly capable to lash out with offensive magick without regard for any consequence. Nothing in the act of casting magick prevents him or her from using it to do harm.

Natural immunity.

Most of the effects one can “create” with spells and enchantments are quite subtle in nature. It is not easy (and some may say it is impossible) to actually challenge the laws of science with magick. Most of the targets for spells are living beings, and it is “common knowledge” that some of the most easily crafted spells are those who affect the perception of reality, and not “reality” itself.

All sentient beings exist in equilibrium with the reality they perceive. There is a balance between the belief of we have in “reality” and how the Universe reacts to that belief. In a sense, reality is partially based on our perception of itself. It is a very interesting manifestation of the Principle of Correspondence. Magick can subtly affect that equilibrium when properly crafted.

One of the side effects of this conception is that there exists a natural barrier, an interface, between the personal “sphere of sensation” and the Universe at large. This barrier has many names, aura being one of the most common.

In people that are firmly rooted in the material life, with a strong belief in science, good mental and physical health and no interest in the realms of the spiritual, occult or magickal disciplines, this barrier in unusually high and thick… while it is fairly simple to disrupt it or to interact past it by mundane means, it is VERY difficult to breach it with magick. There is a very high natural resistance.

It is only for those whose soul has been weakened by diseases of the body or the mind, who have low self esteem and/or an unbalanced interest or sensibility towards the Unseen world that magickal attacks can easily target.

Also, we, the magi and witches who by our very nature are open to feeling and travelling through the world Beyond the Veil are very much open. Our auras are open, delicate and, when not properly trained, quite transparent to whatever astral nonsense is happening around us. That is why the first lesson one learns is to “clear and release”, to “cleanse the aura”, “balance one’s own elemental nature”, “building our body into our astral temple” or however you like to call it. Basically, we learn to ground both our excess energy and whatever we may have picked up, and to strenghten the barrier so that only those energies we allow to pass come through. Like a very personal circle of power, our aura is our line of defense against both naturally occurring astral low forms or artificially created attacks.

The key, of course, is perseverance. Grounding should be done everyday to be useful. Sensibility should be heightened so one is aware when something out of the ordinary is happening. The Will must be strenghtened so that we have the courage to avoid harmful situations.

Contrary to what some may have told you, initiates and adepts need constant protection against the harmful build up of energies that often happen around conflicting daily situations. That’s why a lot of them develop a quiet way of life, with plenty of time for contemplation and cleansing… and why some detach themselves from contact from others outside their Order or lodge.

In the next post on this series:

How to spot the beginning of a magickal attack, and how to differentiate it from more mundane disorders, basic precautions and part of the price of being “out of the broom closet”.

Stay tuned… Love and light.

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