Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Debbie's Rules for Magic Use (And Life in General)

These are my rules.  They apply only to me.  These are not rules for anyone else unless you find them of value - that's up to you.   They change from time to time and I'm not perfect at following all of them all of the time.

1.  Own Your Shit.

Take responsibility for your actions.  If you can't take responsibility for something, then don't do it.  Take the time to consider the potential consequences first, so that there are no (or few) surprises when it comes time to be taking responsibility.

2.  Own Only Your Shit.

You are not responsible for other people's shit.  There are almost no circumstances when it's necessary for you to apologise for, explain or justify anyone else's bad behaviour.  Unless it impacts upon you personally, there is likewise no reason for you to fix it for them.  This is enabling their shit and isn't healthy for anyone.

3.  Obey The Laws of the Land (Or Your Workplace) - Everything Else is Your Choice.

When there are rules for the use of a thing or a building or for your continued employment etc, follow those rules.  This includes going into a pub, driving on the roads or joining a facebook group.  This means traditions - if you're going to use a tradition name to describe your practice, make sure you understand what their rules are and that you actually understand what they mean.  This also includes if you live under someone else's roof. 

You don't get to decide whether a rule is sensible or stupid, unless it's one you made for yourself. This also means that what you view as your religious right doesn't trump the laws of the land or a festival.  If an athame is classed by law as an offensive weapon, you don't get to claim religious discrimination when told you're not allowed to wear it on your belt.

If something is not covered by rules or laws, things like simple morals, ethics and values, these are your choices to make and live by.  It's important to understand that these choices only apply to you (Rule One) and that it's not really any of your business what morals, ethics or values anyone else lives by (Rule Two).

4.  You Will Never Know It All or Question Everything.

My Father has always said "the day you don't learn something new is the day you die".  I've found it a rule worth living by.  There is always something new to learn and researching things that you think you know very well is still a valuable thing to do.

5. It's Okay To Not Have An Answer.

When someone shares something huge or says something way out of left field.  It's okay to say "I don't know what to say to that" or "I don't understand what you mean/where you're coming from".  It's better go away and process it or make the effort to understand what they really mean than to jump to a conclusion based on a knee-jerk reaction.  As the saying goes, it's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

6.  Truth is Not Constant.

The world was flat and that was the truth, until it was proved that it wasn't.  The Earth was the centre of the universe and that was the truth until it was proved that it wasn't.  The atom was the smallest building block and that was the truth until it was smashed open.

Our entire concept of truth is based on assumptions - if a then b.  There is never a solid truth that holds for everything.  What is true for you, may not work for someone else.  See Rule 4.

7.  Fairness and Justice Are Human Constructs.

You have no right to expect life to be fair.  It's not.  The Universe doesn't care.  Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.  Suck it up and carry on.  Revenge does not equal justice.

8.  Everyone Is Entitled to An Opinion.

They're like arseholes - everyone has one.  It's not okay to state your opinion as fact and then fall back on "I'm entitled to an opinion" and it's not okay to expect your opinion to count for anything more than an opinion - it doesn't trump anyone else's feelings, beliefs, choices or their own opinions.

9.  You Don't Need to Be Liked By Everyone.

Not everyone is going to like you.  According to something I learned in a psychology/philosophy course, one third of the people you meet will like you on sight.  One third will dislike you on sight.  One third won't care either way.

If someone doesn't like you, it's not necessarily a failing in you.  Don't waste energy trying to change their like or dislike of you.  Remain polite if you can and let it go.  In certain situations (supervisory positions and parenting come to mind) if they all like you all the time, you're not doing your job properly.  If you need to be liked in those situations, you are going to make poor choices and not be able to do your job properly.

10.  If Shit Needs Doing, Then Do It.

This isn't just about procrastination.  If you need to justify an action, even to yourself, then some part of you thinks it's wrong.  If it needs to be done, then do it.  If you're not sure, work out why you're not sure - then do it or don't.  If it doesn't need to be done, then don't do it unless there's a valid 'improvement' type reason for it but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

How does all of this relate to magic?  

Run anything magical you might be considering through these rules and think about it some more.

For example:  I'm thinking of doing a prosperity spell.

Rule One:  I own it.  If I do it, then I did it.
Rule Two: Someone else's poor choices might mean they need the money more - but that's not mine to fix.
Rule Three: I choose to do it in a place that doesn't ban it.  I have no moral issue with using a spell to gain money.
Rule Four: Is there a different or better way to do it?  Have I considered everything?  Define what I mean by prosperity.
Rule Five: Isn't relevant in this case.
Rule Six:  My truth is that I need money, others may see it differently.
Rule Seven:  Prosperity isn't owed to me, I'm not doing anything because it's fair.
Rule Eight and Nine:  Others may have a problem with my spell.  That's their problem not mine.
Rule Ten:  It's needed so I'll do it.


  1. 7. Fairness and Justice Are Human Constructs.

    You have no right to expect life to be fair. It's not. The Universe doesn't care. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Suck it up and carry on. Revenge does not equal justice.

    We should take great conform in the universe being an unfair place, because then when terrible things happen to anyone, it isn't because they deserve it, it is just because... because

    1. Exactly! I tend to get really angry when people start in with the "Must have done something to deserve it" stuff. So kids with cancer did something sufficiently terrible and different from all the other kids without cancer?

      I think people use this expectation that the Universe will balance the scales when they believe themselves wronged as a way to feel good about doing nothing.

      It's quite self-important, completely humanocentric and against any sensible thought.