A very wise witch and a very good friend to me posted the following article about Karma in her organization’s blog. It got me to thinking a bit.
Being a witch myself, it is imperative that I am obscenely aware of what results my actions could have, not only upon myself, but maybe most importantly, upon others. This is not just something every witch should do. This is something every person should do, regardless of spiritual preference. Taking responsibility for one’s actions is a moral obligation.
One of the Wiccan credos’ is “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.” What this basically translates to is as long as it harms no one, you can do whatever you want. This can be applied not only to the daily practice of living, but is also meant to be applied as a guide to spellwork, and along with the Threefold Law, which states basically what you put out will return to you threefold, is thought to be a sort of rudimentary system of checks and balances for the Wiccan practioner.
Where this fails, in my opinion, is that it is too black and white when taken literally, and leaves no room for the greys of daily living. What happens should I need to protect or defend myself or mine? What about those things I do that may have an effect on someone indirectly, someone I’m not even aware I’m affecting? Where does karma come into all this?
The Threefold law is karma in action, more or less. While I don’t really consider myself Wiccan, I do try to remember karma, especially when I may be quick to action, spurred on by anger or upset. Very often, once I have time to think about the situation, I realize that I was running rampant on emotion, and any action I may have considered would have been not appropriate. It is precisely that sort of situation that results in a karmic punishment. On the other hand, when appropriate action is needed and called for, I really don’t feel the Threefold or Karmic Law applies in a typical kind of way. For example, if someone is stalking me and scaring me, I would not hesitate to bind him and possibly even mirror back any negative energy or thoughts he might be sending my way. Might I be doing possible harm? Yes, but it’s harm that’s intended towards me, reflected back to him. As for the karma involved, I believe any fall back would be on him, the person who intended harm in the first place. Even should I take a more proactive response, and send or do something directly to him, I really feel that the simple matter of defending myself will cancel out any karmic punishment for me, and would instead fall upon the offender’s shoulders. As a responsible witch, it is up to me to weigh the consequences, and own my actions, deciding and determining whether or not what the karmic debt will be and upon whose shoulders it will lay.
Lots of times, we hurt others innocently, without even realizing it, without intent. How does karma play out in a situation such as that? I believe in such circumstances, there will be no karmic punishment or reward. Why? Because the intent to harm was absent, the actions invoking the harm innocent of wrongdoing. This would be different from doing something thoughtlessly. Thoughtless actions that result in injury of any sort will most likely result in karmic punishment because the person involved was being irresponsible in his behavior.
To sum it up, the ins and out of karmic law are complicated, but if you live responsibly and think about your actions before rushing headlong into action, you may avoid collecting a karmic debt.