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Author Topic: Suggesting magic to a non-pagan – ethically, should one use the 'M' word?  (Read 1748 times)

MutantAccounter

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I'll put the TL;DR at the front: when suggesting that a non-pagan try a guided personal spell/activity, is it necessary from an ethical/moral standpoint to come out and say that I consider there to be an element of 'magic' involved, or is thoroughly explaining the steps of the activity beforehand enough disclosure?

Now the wall of text: my mother has been struggling to cope with the loss of her mother (nine months ago), and she is carrying around a lot of negative emotions and baggage that are definitely affecting her quality of life.  (I have suggested that she speak to a pastor (she is a Protestant Christian) or a counselor, and she is resistant to the idea - I'm working on it ;) )

I recently performed a spell that I think might be helpful to her - in very summarized form, it consisted of writing down my own emotional baggage on little bits of paper and burning them with intent.  Obviously this would not solve all of her problems, but perhaps it might help her start to come to terms with everything - it definitely did for me.  The problem is, if I say to her, "Want to try some magic?", she'll ... probably freak out, to be honest.

On the one hand, if I explain to her the process beforehand and she thinks it sounds like a good idea, then what's the harm?  It's not like hardcore energy is involved, and I won't be using any of my own intent on her - I'll just be talking her through it.  Heck, it's more of a symbolic exercise than anything else.  Who's to say it's not a 'self-reflection activity' instead of a 'spell' - isn't that really a matter of perspective?  Meaning, if she doesn't consider what she's doing to be magic, is it really?

On the other hand, that all sounds like flimsy rationalizing.  The fact that I know she is uncomfortable with the idea of magic is pretty good evidence that, hmm, perhaps I shouldn't be trying to get her to do magic.

Thoughts?  Feelings?  Thanks in advance.

Faemon

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Quote from: MutantAccounter;167421
On the one hand, if I explain to her the process beforehand and she thinks it sounds like a good idea, then what's the harm?  It's not like hardcore energy is involved, and I won't be using any of my own intent on her - I'll just be talking her through it.  Heck, it's more of a symbolic exercise than anything else.  Who's to say it's not a 'self-reflection activity' instead of a 'spell' - isn't that really a matter of perspective?  Meaning, if she doesn't consider what she's doing to be magic, is it really?

On the other hand, that all sounds like flimsy rationalizing.  The fact that I know she is uncomfortable with the idea of magic is pretty good evidence that, hmm, perhaps I shouldn't be trying to get her to do magic.


I believe that there's always going to be a loss of integrity when communicating an idea to another person. If that loss of integrity is something that you consider a willful wrong manipulation that should cloud your conscience...then, don't do it.

On the other hand, it is just an idea, it isn't the word itself. You say "magic" and your mom might think, "deal with the devil" when you meant "symbolic exercises"; say "symbolic exercise" and you mom might think, "symbolic exercise".

The difference between what's rational and what's a rationalization, to me, is...what are you losing? Or, how is the performance or idea corrupted through this translation?

This also comes off to me as one of those times where you want to help, but the only way (or at least the way you mentioned) to help would not be giving of your abundance or whatever's radiating beyond your personal boundaries. You're giving something that means something to you, so naturally you would want the person who takes that to understand fully and exactly what it means. It comes off to me as this practice is not something peripheral to you that the other person can take however they will. So, for that I'd also advise against doing that. Unless you're coming out of the broom closet.
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MutantAccounter

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Quote from: Faemon;167422
This also comes off to me as one of those times where you want to help, but the only way (or at least the way you mentioned) to help would not be giving of your abundance or whatever's radiating beyond your personal boundaries. You're giving something that means something to you, so naturally you would want the person who takes that to understand fully and exactly what it means. It comes off to me as this practice is not something peripheral to you that the other person can take however they will. So, for that I'd also advise against doing that. Unless you're coming out of the broom closet.

 
Your other points were really interesting, definitely food for thought, but I'm especially glad you said this part.  It's like when your friend invites you over to watch Starship Troopers/Citizen Kane/the Lord of the Rings trilogy (Extended Edition) because it's their favorite movie ever.  And the whole time they're like, "Isn't it great?  Isn't it just the best? Don't you see how BRILLIANT it is!?" and you're like "... sure?" :o

Like you said, that kind of sharing comes with an obligation on the other person, and is super not cool.

I'm not quite sure I feel quite that strongly about this particular exercise or magic/self-reflection in general, but ... I'm not quite sure I don't, either.  Thanks for pointing out that my first impulse was a bit more self-centered than I had realized - definitely good cause for some re-thinking.

Aisling

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Quote from: MutantAccounter;167421
Thoughts?  Feelings?  Thanks in advance.

 
I think the heart of this is whether you're willing to risk further upset by suggesting something that might make her uncomfortable.  Even if you simply explain the steps, she may put two and two together and realize that you're asking her to do magic.  

Could you simply suggest that she write out what she's feeling? There's nothing magical doing so, but it can be a cathartic process.
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