I read a post earlier about the Threefold Law, and what was written rang so true for my spirit. I left a comment, that I will share below, regarding a specific experience that would, in all of the Law’s simplicity, indicate that negativity would come back to me:
I have always held the belief that the grey areas are where truth is – as a young adult, I watched my great-grandmother whither. She had had seven strokes within two months, and the part of her that was HER had already left, leaving behind a shell that had no concept of anything. When she was on her last legs, her daughter begged her not to go, saying that she could not live without her (it was driven by greed, not by love).
I asked for my great-grandmother’s death. I wrote and performed a ritual to bring about her passing, in which I broke down and cried for hours because I was in so much pain over her state at the time and knowing that I had lost her long before, knowing that she would never meet my children or see me married. She was in so much physical pain at that point, she was being kept in hospice on life support, and I was never able to say goodbye. Her body was failing her and her daughter refused to let her go. She passed away a few days after the ritual, eight days before her birthday.
Was I wrong to do it? Because it dealt with death, is it considered ‘evil’ or ‘bad’? In my eyes, and in my heart, I was not in the wrong. I did that ritual to ease her suffering, to let her pass when her daughter would not. I didn’t want to lose her, but I knew that she, the SHE that I had loved with all my heart, was gone. Did it harm her daughter? Of course, but her own greed and selfishness would have brought on worse consequences for her than what she suffered for a short while after Mahmuh died.
I believe that our intentions make our work ‘black’ or ‘white’, not the works themselves, and definitely not the deities we honour. If someone’s sole intent in doing something is to bring harm, that would bring about the physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual consequences of the Threefold Law. However, should the intent of a working be for the good of others, even if the consequences bring pain, I feel that the caster/practitioner is generally safe from harsh consequences – that is not to say that they won’t feel it on any or all levels, but it won’t be as much as an issue.
I have never subscribed to the Threefold Law of Return as Wiccan’s have described it. I do believe that what we put out into the Universe, what we give to other’s regardless of what we receive from them, returns to us. I do not necessarily consider this Karma, as that is an Eastern concept and the West has broken it down and oversimplified it, but it was inspired by it. Karma is intrinsically linked to Life and Death and Rebirth, whereas the Threefold Law, the Law of Three, or the Law of Return, are all rooted fairly deeply in Life alone – this is the most notable difference.
Because of my disconnectedness from the concept, I never could consider myself a Wiccan, as the Law is so deeply ingrained in all aspects of the Path. I also cannot agree with the existence of only ‘black’ and ‘white’ magic – there are grey areas in every aspect of life, including Magic. The otherwise ‘dark’ deed that someone performs could, in fact, be for the highest good of those involved.
My mother explained to me that those motivated by the self tend to perform ‘black’ magic, and those who are motived by selfless desires perform ‘white’ magic. This is all fine and dandy, as yet another oversimplified explanation. But, what of the people who are motivated by selfless desires that perform what most would consider ‘black’ magic, as I did with my great-grandmother? What of the people who perform healing rituals and circles on themselves in order to better their lives? What of the people who perform money spells, not necessarily out of greed but out of necessity, or to get what is due to them? As I said, there are grey areas in all aspects of life.
My mother repeatedly told me that Tarot, Numerology, and other forms of Divination were ‘black’ magic, as it stepped into the realm of the Divine where mortals were not supposed to tread. Gods forgive me if I ever happened across of Spirit board, as I would definitely invite something terrible into the world.
All of this coming from the woman who performed some of the darkest, greediest magic I have ever encountered. After years of this darkness, my mother lost her connection with the Divine. She has found it again, though on a different Path, and seems to be happy. But not after suffering so much physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual turmoil. She is cripplingly disabled, both in body and in mind, and suffers still from what I believe is a culmination of past trauma and her own actions.
My experiences with my mother have had a direct impact on my beliefs regarding the Threefold Law. Joanna van der Hoeven summed it up perfectly in the above-linked post:
I feel that when we do magic, or perform any sort of action whether on the physical or metaphysical level, we affect energy. This for me feels like a more appropriate definition of correspondence. That energy is not only external to us, but will affect us on three levels. Those levels are:
She goes on to discuss the example of cursing someone. This is where one’s intent comes into effect, in my opinion. Should I choose to curse my father for abusing my daughter, my intentions need to be in order and for the highest good of those involved. As there has been no furtherance in prosecuting him on the charges, and I fully believe that he stole my daughter’s innocence, I would be in the right to bring justice to the situation, in accordance with my beliefs. However, my words and my thoughts and my actions must all be carefully chosen to bring the proper brand of justice.
Does he deserve to die? No, therefore I would not work to end his life. Does he deserve to suffer? Yes. The best way, in this situation, would be to enhance the evidence against him and encourage the police to continue their work. Perhaps even performing a truth spell of some sort on my father would be beneficial, so that he admits to the crimes he has committed.
In the eyes of many Wiccans, all of this would be ‘black’ or ‘dark’ magic, because it is bringing harm to someone else, regardless of their transgressions and the harm they have brought to others.
One should, of course, exhaust all mundane courses of action available before resorting to the use of Magic, as the results affect more than just the physical plane. I have not done any of what I proposed above, primarily because I am still hoping for a mundane resolution, and we are working toward healing through therapy and skill-building, for my daughter, myself, and my son. However, I have not discounted the possibility of using Magic in the future, if nothing else but to further justice and healing for my daughter.