While I am at present in a state of exhaustion, having just settled in after a marathon 6 hour Saturnian working with 2 of the aforementioned students which commenced shortly after 5am, I wanted to take a few moments to follow up on the previous post.
While I originally imagined this second part to be exceed its predecessor in length by far, I find that in the conversation which ensued in the comments section, the majority of my own feelings were expressed, either by myself or my distinguished readers. Of equal relevance is the post by brother Inominandum, who in his usual forthright fashion addressed the issues at hand in a manner quite nearly echoing my own feelngs here.
This being the case, much of my argument has already been made. For the sake of brevity I will not parrot what they've already written, but will speak on what standards I hold MYSELF to, and my own "code of ethics"
First let me say again that I do not hold with the terms "Black" or "White" Magick. As I expressed previously and some of the readers echoed, Magick is Magick. Period. Or, to put it more eloquently, quoting ConjureMan, "terms like black magic and white magic may seem useful, but in reality are too simplistic, for they create a dichotomy that does not exist. Specifically they refer to types of magical practice. Necromancy, for example, is deemed a form of black magic, whether used for good, or ill. Therefore such terms are limiting by their very nature." Therefore the question here becomes "What Are the Ethics of Magick", rather than of Black Magick as S.R. asked. For the purposes of this response, though, I am referring specifically to Magick which would, by ones such as S.R. and likely the majority of society, be CONSIDERED Black Magick.
Use of Harmful or Malefic Magick
As expressed clearly in the former, I have in the past made use of Magick the intent of which was to cause harm to another. More than once. I have become somewhat adept in it, in fact, and that is not at all an admission from which I derive any measure of shame. We live in a very troubled world and indeed survival of the fittest has become law. For a Magus to limit himself solely to works intended to bring about self transformation and empowerment, forgoing the practice of all other sorts is akin to walking with his eyes closed through a minefield. While the mundane citizenry have recourse to police and courts, to arms, and other such tools on which they rely for protection, we as Magicians have been given yet another. While the corrupted teachings of Yeshua incorrectly assert that when struck we should simply turn the other cheek, this is contrary to human nature and to, in my opinion, "sinful." It is our obligation to defend and protect, using any and all means available to us, ourselves, our loved ones and our wellbeing. When another presents a clear and present threat to any of these, it is ingrained in our very soul and nature to defend, attack and remove the threat using ANY means available, and I find that to refuse to do so Magickally when applicable is foolish.
If someone, for whatever reason, be it intoxication, criminal intentions or what have you, accosts you in the street with a knife, are you going to stand there and let him do his Will, or are you going to take the gallon of milk in your hand and knock the bejeezus out of him? If you are at home at night in bed with your spouse, your children in their room, and you hear a downstairs window shatter and someone coming up the stairs, are you going to get the gun from your nightstand or stand idle while praying that the intruder be blessed with peace and a loving heart? Are you going to pick up the phone and call the police, or deem that to do so would be harmful to the intruder, depriving them of their freedom and thus a "Black" or evil action? I already know some will say that comparing any of the above tools of survival, a legally owned gun, a call to police or a gallon of milk, to Magick is foolish. To them I say, you're an idiot. Magick is a tool of which we can make use, like any other, and should not be deemed off limits for any application where it can be of use.
Knowing that the above will draw criticism from some, let me clarify in advance that I do not make a habit of cursing or magickally striking others, and I do not do so indiscriminately. I do so ONLY when mundane means are insufficient or logistically incapable of resolving the issue. When I do so, several factors are considered, including if the threat they pose or the offense they've committed against me is such that I would use other, mundane means to combat it as well. I find that for many who feel slightly jilted, or who haven't the testicular fortitude to confront their enemy face to face, resorting to Magick is all too easy, as it requires no confrontation. Therefore as a rule, one of the criteria I use in determining if such Magick is warranted is to ask myself if other means were available, such as introducing the offending individual to a louisville slugger or 9 iron, would I be as convinced that such direct action is necessary. If the answer is yes, if the subject were present before me I would deem it necessary to go Mike Tyson on his ass, then no, I have no problem doing it Magickally. I ask myself if I was NOT a Magus, would I still see this person as enough of a threat that I'd be willing to go back to prison to remove them as such? I consider if mundane, physical means of resolution would be more effective, and am far, far more likely to go this route than to employ curses. Magick is a means by which we can employ the most powerful forces in the universe to achieve our ends - to resort to its use to settle a lesser threat is akin to using a hand grenade to deal with a bees nest. Magick is the last resort, not the "go-to guy" If other, less "explosive" means of eliminating a threat are available, they should always be taken, but if not, then it behooves us to be unhesitating in our application of Magick.
Dont call a fucking demon to do what a good ass-kicking would handle just as efficiently. If your troubles are such that they can be corrected by mundane means as such, then, as Jason would say, fucking nut up and deal with it.
*Inominandum spoke at length on the idea that working Magickally to develop others spiritually, or to help them in the process of evolution, to be free of harmful traits, etc... without their consent is equally "evil", unless one is "a magician on the level of jesus" and I will therefore not do so here. I will, instead, simply sit here shaking my head and wondering how it is possible for anyone who has made even a basic foray into the practice of Magick to give any measure of merit to such a statement.
Dude? Really? Did you REALLY just say that??