A debate rages within the witching community, based on each person’s personal ethics, as to whether or not the use of magick to control the actions of another is permissible or acceptable. Some feel that casting spells to control the actions of others is a form of magick that is perfectly acceptable because it is the right of the magician to determine their own actions and they alone are accountable for their use of said magick. Others feel that casting spells to control the actions of others is inherently wrong because it affects the lives of those cast upon without taking consideration for their free will. Some others consider applying situational ethics to the question of controlling magick.
For example, casting love spells that target a specific person are acceptable to some witches and unacceptable to others. Let’s say you cast a targeted love spell to make a certain person (we will call him Bob) feel an attraction toward you, not intended by your original fate. By becoming entangled with Bob, you affect your current incarnation, as well as the incarnation of the person you are supposed to be with this incarnation. It avalanches from there. The person who is actually supposed to be with Bob (we will call her Mary) ends up with no one, or may even end up with someone else (Frank). The person that Frank is supposed to be with ends up alone or with another incorrect match. As you can see, with one controlling magick spell, the possible ramifications can explode exponentially to include untold numbers of people. Did you act correctly by casting the spell? Did your desire for a relationship with the gorgeous Bob negate the damage simply because you wanted him for yourself? Wouldn’t it be easier to cast an untargeted love spell to bring the correct love for you, instead?
On the flip side, was it your desire for Bob, or was it your dharma that caused you to cast the spell. If you were meant to cast the spell in order to learn something specific, was it wrong, or was it exactly how it was meant to be? Casting the spell may have affected multiple lives, but were the effects bad, neutral or good in each of those lives? You may never know the full extent of the magicks you work.
For another example, we will use good old Bob, again, to show a person who may be in need of controlling magick. Let’s say Bob has developed an addiction to gambling. He is otherwise a very nice man, but lately he feels compelled to take his paycheck every week and go to the nearest casino or track and place bets and gamble until he has lost a great deal or even all of his money. This causes him monetary problems, of course, but also causes him to suffer from stress due to the losses, he may become unable to pay his bills, and it may eventually cost him his job, as well. Add a family into the mix and now he has a wife and child who are suffering as well, from his addiction. Bob may or may not see his addiction as a problem because he always has hope that his luck will turn at any moment and he is determined to keep playing until it does. As we know, a gambling addiction is a disease. It is something that can cause physical, mental, and emotional distress. Is it right to withhold your magicks from Bob just because he wants to keep playing until he wins and you should not take away his free will? Is it right to let him and his family suffer if you can help him fight the addiction?
In practicing situational ethics, we are forced to judge each situation, decide what the best outcome is for all, or as many as possible, concerned, and then act accordingly. There is no “black and white” filter applied with situational ethics, only a decision based on analysis of potential benefit. We cannot say that all controlling magick is bad or good if situational ethics are applied. We have to use our best judgment based on each situation as we encounter it.
Now, we have to ask another, even more complex, question. What if Bob is supposed to learn a life lesson from his addiction to gambling? What if his gambling is supposed to break up his marriage so that his current wife ends up with the correct spouse for her incarnation? What if his children are supposed to experience having a father who gambles in order to learn something specific in this incarnation that helps him or her?
How do you judge whether to help someone? What do you think about controlling magick? Is it justifiable in some situations, or always unacceptable?