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Author Topic: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?  (Read 2484 times)

RandallS

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Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« on: March 09, 2012, 07:24:06 pm »
Do you  regularly use "escape clauses" in your spellwork, like "with free will  to all, and harm to none" or the like? Why do you use or not use them? Do you think they work? Do they  even mean anything?

For example, if you really hate someone and want to harm them and you do a spell powered by those emotions is adding "and with harm to none" at the end of the spell going to override your emotional power and intent?
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stephyjh

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Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012, 07:35:05 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;45397
Do you  regularly use "escape clauses" in your spellwork, like "with free will  to all, and harm to none" or the like? Why do you use or not use them? Do you think they work? Do they  even mean anything?

For example, if you really hate someone and want to harm them and you do a spell powered by those emotions is adding "and with harm to none" at the end of the spell going to override your emotional power and intent?

That seems like a cop-out to me. My feeling is that I'm responsible for my actions, magical or otherwise, and that it isn't the spells' job to make sure they don't hurt anyone. I mean, if I swing a baseball bat and it hits someone on the head, that's my fault, not the bat's. If I need an escape clause, I probably haven't thought the act through enough to make it ethical.
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Annie Roonie

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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2012, 10:03:24 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;45397
Do you  regularly use "escape clauses" in your spellwork, like "with free will  to all, and harm to none" or the like? Why do you use or not use them? Do you think they work? Do they  even mean anything?


 
I use that very situation as a kind of guidepost for if I actually do need to do a spell or not. If I am so in doubt or lost in the myriad levels of doubt that I need to add codicils, then I have already lost focus on my original intent.

I'm easily distracted so such things would have to be rote words for me not to lose track and I don't know how effective rote words are. I said the "Hail Mary" every day for 10 years by rote and ... well I'll be darned. Perhaps it IS my fault that the fruit of her womb gets all the air time! Joking.

But really, my intents are not to do harm already, so adding words like that to spell have only happened when constructing something with poetic wording that represents my intent. Sometimes making a poem for a spell helps me hone focus. And some escape clause type words can save a metered line. I mean them, so they aren't rote, but they aren't exactly necessary either. No words are necessary if intent is all that matters. But if words matter, I like trying to make 'em purty, and they're all on the table for that. It's sort of like saying "thank you" when you know it's already understood. I don't think it hurts in the wording.

But big doubts are like big stop signs to me.  Still, I don't know if or how the escape clauses work for others.

nbdy

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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2012, 05:21:56 am »
Quote from: RandallS;45397
Do you  regularly use "escape clauses" in your spellwork, like "with free will  to all, and harm to none" or the like? Why do you use or not use them? Do you think they work? Do they  even mean anything?

For example, if you really hate someone and want to harm them and you do a spell powered by those emotions is adding "and with harm to none" at the end of the spell going to override your emotional power and intent?

 
Maybe that's just an extreme example, but I am alarmed at the idea of doing spell work based on hate and harm. I cannot see how any good will come of it.

As for the original question, I do. The reason is because I would never want the exercise of my will to cause suffering for another. To me it would be no different than wanting to sit down on the subway and so bludgeoning somebody to take their seat. It simply is not in my being to do such a thing.

Does it "work" or "mean anything?" These are essentially equivalent statements, in my opinion, for if it means nothing then it has no power. If it means something to the speaker it has absolute power over the working. Words are just words, it is the emotion and intention that matter. Frankly, much can be done without saying a word, the words just focus the mind. But focusing the mind on hate and harm will bring those things to you -- the fire you feed will grow.

For what it's worth.

nbdy

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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2012, 05:27:25 am »
Quote from: Annie Roonie;45410

But big doubts are like big stop signs to me.  Still, I don't know if or how the escape clauses work for others.

 
To me it is a hedge against unintended consequences. I am not all knowing and may not intend harm to anyone, but maybe the events set in action bring suffering that was not intended. I'd rather take a longer road than run somebody over.

Jenett

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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2012, 06:58:49 am »
Quote from: RandallS;45397
]Do you  regularly use "escape clauses" in your spellwork, like "with free will  to all, and harm to none" or the like? Why do you use or not use them? Do you think they work? Do they  even mean anything?

 
I don't use escape clauses per se, but I do usually frame things in the "May this work out the best way possible for everyone involved." (Which is not quite the same thing as "harm to none". Sometimes the best way possible is still not a whole lot of fun, because you're choosing from a bunch of lousy choices - or because at least one person in the situation has locked themselves into consequences they really don't like.)
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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2012, 08:08:32 am »
Quote from: nbdy;45430
Maybe that's just an extreme example, but I am alarmed at the idea of doing spell work based on hate and harm. I cannot see how any good will come of it.

Yes, it was an intentionally extreme example. However, I've seen people who believe that their actual nasty intent (even if not verbalized in the spell) can easily be overridden by adding such a clause to the end of their spell. This makes no sense to me asI see magic as an  extention of one's will and as such the magical result is going to be shaped by the intent and emotion behind the spell much more than by the wording of spell, especially if the wording in question is a pro forma phrase added to the end of every spell one does. YMMV.
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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2012, 10:04:21 am »
Quote from: RandallS;45397
Do you  regularly use "escape clauses" in your spellwork, like "with free will  to all, and harm to none" or the like? Why do you use or not use them? Do you think they work? Do they  even mean anything?

 
Rarely - by which I mean, I don't think I ever have, but I don't recall for certain that I haven't, and I wouldn't rule out something like what Jenett describes.

I don't think they're any sort of substitute for actually considering the possible consequences of one's spell, nor do I think they're capable in and of themselves of eliminating negative consequences.  If one doesn't structure one's spell as a whole to minimize unwanted consequences, it doesn't matter how deeply and sincerely and fervently one wants to have no negative consequences.  If, OTOH, one actually does the work of considering consequences and structuring the spell accordingly, the escape clause isn't necessary, but is probably harmless and might help bolster the overall structure/intent.  (Though it also probably won't act as much of a buffer against the consequences one didn't think of.)

I tend to be rather scornful of the concept, though that's mainly focused on as it's commonly applied.  An awful lot of people seem to use it as a way to disown responsibility:  "Well, it's not my fault thus-and-so happened as a result of my spell; I said 'good of all, harm of none'!  That shows I didn't intend harm!"  But people do (non-magical) things all the freakin' time that they don't intend to be harmful but that nevertheless are; lack of intent doesn't make the harm go away.  (And all too often, they too will claim, "But I didn't intend that!" as if it was a get-out-of-consequences-free card:rolleye::.)

There are no Magic Words, because all words are magic.

The ones phrased as the spellcaster's intent (however much I doubt their efficacy if they're not the culmination of careful spell construction) don't annoy me quite as much as the ones phrased to pass the buck to deity.  If you're working in a magico-religious paradigm in which spellwork is all about your intent and energy, it's not the job of your deity to check over every spell you do and cover your sorry arse.  (YMMV with other paradigms, but the original question isn't as relevant to them anyway.)

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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2012, 10:07:35 am »
Quote from: RandallS;45397
Do you  regularly use "escape clauses" in your spellwork, like "with free will  to all, and harm to none" or the like? Why do you use or not use them? Do you think they work? Do they  even mean anything?

For example, if you really hate someone and want to harm them and you do a spell powered by those emotions is adding "and with harm to none" at the end of the spell going to override your emotional power and intent?


Myself, personaly I do not use them or include them in any capacity.  If I have truly considered the need for a spell and the way I wish it to work then I hope I have been through enough to not need an escape or fool clause.  About the most I will include is a termination clause to end a spell after it has run for x amount of time.

For myself, while I may feel anger and frustration at a situation or person I will not undertake any sort of magical working while still in such a state.  Especially given that I believe it will boomerang back upon me in that my own anger and emotional unrest simply binds me to the spell and the spell to me.

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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2012, 11:09:38 am »
Quote from: RandallS;45397
Do you  regularly use "escape clauses" in your spellwork, like "with free will  to all, and harm to none" or the like? Why do you use or not use them? Do you think they work? Do they  even mean anything?

For example, if you really hate someone and want to harm them and you do a spell powered by those emotions is adding "and with harm to none" at the end of the spell going to override your emotional power and intent?

 
I don't think I've ever used that type of clause in spellwork.  I tend to keep the same moral outlook for both magic and mundane, so if it's something I wouldn't do in the regular aspects of my life, it's not something I would do magically.  I think that there are definitely times where there are hard choices to make, and it becomes not a question of what is right or wrong, but what is the least wrong.  And I also think that sometimes people put themselves directly in your way with no intention to move, so it becomes a question of harm to whom instead of harm to none.

I think the words themselves are a two edged sword.  If you believe the words you say give your spells power, then adding them in can definitely effect your results (my personal thoughts are it is the will of the caster that forms the push of the spell...but if your words weaken or alter your will because of your belief in the words, you end up in the same place).  On the other hand, if you always add those words at the end of every spell you say, I think you stop hearing them and they become just sounds and no longer have weight.
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Catherine

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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2012, 11:57:23 am »
Quote from: RandallS;45397
Do you  regularly use "escape clauses" in your spellwork, like "with free will  to all, and harm to none" or the like? Why do you use or not use them? Do you think they work? Do they  even mean anything?

For example, if you really hate someone and want to harm them and you do a spell powered by those emotions is adding "and with harm to none" at the end of the spell going to override your emotional power and intent?


Well, If I'm doing a justice spell or a spell to bind or curse someone, it's because I already believe that doing so will be for the greater good, or what have you. I acknowledge the fact that my target will be harmed, that's kind of the point. I only do those things when I truly believe that more people will be hurt/hurt more if something isn't done to stop it. So, it's already worked into the spell by my intent and belief that what I'm doing is the right thing to do.  

I have put clauses like that into money and prosperity spells before, though. Not very often, but there were a few times when I couldn't see a clear path for the money to find it's way to my door, and I wanted to make sure that the cash didn't come from an inheritance, injury or something like that.

r2squared

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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2012, 08:52:59 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;45397
Do you  regularly use "escape clauses" in your spellwork, like "with free will  to all, and harm to none" or the like? Why do you use or not use them? Do you think they work? Do they  even mean anything?

For example, if you really hate someone and want to harm them and you do a spell powered by those emotions is adding "and with harm to none" at the end of the spell going to override your emotional power and intent?

 
Well, truth be told, I feel like using spells for hate and harm is cheap and about as appealing as use sex to sell fast food burgers. just imo...

Further more, I feel as though those clauses are used to put more aim to spells. If I'm trying to conjure up a storm or some rain, I'm not trying to harm anybody in a potentially deadly storm's path.

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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2012, 09:27:13 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;45397




 Not really.  Sometimes things are complicated and I don't assume that the one way I can see as best IS best for me and mine.  So while I won't say "and harm none" or "work out the best for all", I will say "work out the best for...." with the .... being me and/or mine.  Sometimes I phrase things loosely - because I don't have a real focused thing.  I'll say "we will find the right place for us to buy" as opposed to picking one from the batch and assuming it is the best sight unseen (except real estate photos and google map).
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 09:39:35 pm by Marilyn/Absentminded »
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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2012, 07:05:55 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;45397
Do you  regularly use "escape clauses" in your spellwork, like "with free will  to all, and harm to none" or the like? Why do you use or not use them? Do you think they work? Do they  even mean anything?

For example, if you really hate someone and want to harm them and you do a spell powered by those emotions is adding "and with harm to none" at the end of the spell going to override your emotional power and intent?

 
No. When I am using aggressive magick there are basically two varieties. There is direct attack in which case I intend harm to the target. The key is structuring the spell so as to reduce the possibility of collateral damage.

The second kind of aggressive spell and the one I use the most is what I call a razorwire spell. Those are structured so that the target will only be harmed if they do something in particular or fail to stop doing something in particular. For example if someone is harassing me, then the spell might give them endless nightmares until they stop.

My spells are very carefully designed, and while there is always the potential for blowback and unintended consequences I've seldom experienced any such thing since the very early days when I was just learning.

Personally I don't think much of the "an it harm none" "if it be for the highest good of all" kind of stuff, but everyone has their own comfort levels and their own ideas about what constitutes ethical spell casting.

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Re: Escape Clauses In Spell Work?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2012, 09:18:27 am »
Quote from: Toriach;45660
...Personally I don't think much of the "an it harm none" "if it be for the highest good of all" kind of stuff, but everyone has their own comfort levels and their own ideas about what constitutes ethical spell casting.


This is how I feel about it as well.  

To me, spell work is about intent and being sure that the way forward is right for the situation (i.e. not going after a rabbit with a rocket launcher).  When I add in my personal belief that balance is everything and that not all situations can be "white-lighted" to satisfaction, I see no need for escape clauses.
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