ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Witch Who Cannot Hex, Cannot Heal: One Wiccan's Perspective on this Controversial Claim

Updated on August 12, 2017
WiccanSage profile image

A Wiccan of 25 years, Sage likes to put her background as a writer and teacher to use by helping people learn about this NeoPagan path.

Can't Hex, Can't Heal

A common saying that is hotly debated is the philosophy that “A witch who cannot hex, cannot heal.” This is especially true of the Wiccan Witch community, in which our religious ethics dictate what appears (on the surface, at least) to be very clear directives about our behavior and intents when working magic.

Some people get very defensive about this, arguing that hexing is never necessary, and certainly not a requirement to study magic. They invoke the Threefold Law* and the Wiccan Rede* as evidence that we couldn’t possibly resort to ‘dark magic’. I think so many Witches—particularly Wiccan Witches—are so afraid of being associated with ‘evil’ that talking about hexing or cursing causes a knee-jerk reaction in protest.

I myself agree with the statement, though I don’t think it means effective spell casting requires malevolence or unethical behavior. Allow me to explain.

Wiccan Witchcraft Ethics Argument

Source

Magic is Neutral

We are all too often are conditioned to think of magic being divided into ‘good’ and ‘evil’. Many use the terms ‘black’ and ‘white’ magic, which have gotten too tangled up in history as euphemisms for evil and good forces, respectively. These terms imply that magic comes from one of two sources: helpful, or harmful. I don’t see magic as being from a force of good or evil, but from nature. I believe it’s totally neutral—like fire, like electricity, like heat—it’s energy, and has no alignment of its own. It’s simply a resource to tap.

Rather than calling magic good/white or evil/bad, which perpetuates this notion that magic is either from gods or devils, I started searching for different terms that I felt were more applicable. At first I used the terms ‘positive’ and ‘negative’—which, to me, was more like the different charges of a battery. Even though it’s applicable, it seems the word ‘negative’ is too tied with negative connotations to be effective here.

I’ve come to embrace the terms ‘constructive’ and ‘destructive’ now. Constructive is not always benevolent (I can construct something to help you, or something to harm you) and destructive is not always malevolent (I can destroy you, or destroy something that’s hurting you).

Rather than being separate, or from separate sources, they are two sides of the same coin. Neither one of them are inherently benevolent or malevolent. Both can be used to help or to harm.

Balanced Forces

Neither good nor bad, both useful.
Neither good nor bad, both useful. | Source

Mother of Modern Witchcraft

Witchcraft for Tomorrow
Witchcraft for Tomorrow

Valiente was such a influential figure in Wicca/Witchcraft of the 20th century, but her perspective might surprise a lot of Wiccans who came to our faith post-1990.

 

Hexing Doesn’t Always Mean Harming

The word ‘hex’ often has negative connotations. The word dates back to the early 1800’s and simply meant ‘doing Witchcraft on someone’. It didn’t make any distinctions between good or bad magic. As Witchcraft was largely associated with malevolent magic at the time, the word took on negative connotations. Cursing is often seen like hexing—it’s associated with evil intentions. But if you look at hexing and/or cursing as means of destructive magic, you can see that you can use them for good as well as for bad.

After all, destruction isn’t always automatically bad, is it? Is it bad to destroy an old, crumbling, dangerous building to make way for a new one? Is it wrong to destroy the cancer cells running around in someone’s body? Is it wrong to thwart the efforts of someone trying to harm you, and act in self-defense? And let’s not forget one of the most valuable uses of hexing or cursing: breaking other hexes and curses! Without studying magic completely, it leaves people totally defenseless against those who would use magic for dark, evil, unethical and immoral reasons—you cannot effectively fight what you don’t understand.

Public Domain
Public Domain | Source

My Take on “Can’t Hex/Can’t Heal”

The notion that if you can’t hex you can’t heal does not say to me that I must go out and perform some kind of spells on people with mal-intent. I don’t have to hurt anyone to learn hexing and destructive magic, just like learning to defend yourself in karate doesn't mean you must hurt someone.

Someone who refuses to learn to work with destructive magic will have an incomplete base of knowledge and experience. This would be like a doctor who only wants to study preventative medicine, but did not want to learn how to cure and treat diseases. It’s like a police officer who only wanted to learn how to save and rescue people in trouble, but did not want to learn how to fight or defend against criminals. People who are afraid to explore the darker and more destructive forces of magic are, in my opinion, imbalanced, and thus less effective.

The creative force of magic, as we've seen, can be just as dangerous if someone would choose to misuse it. Likewise, destructive magic doesn't necessarily need to be harnessed for ill intent, it can also be used for beneficial purposes.

Whether you’re using magic for good intent or bad intent, it all operates on the same principles. If you want to learn it properly you need to learn it thoroughly. How you use it then is based on your own choices. Learning it through and through is not going to make you an evil Witch, it’s going to make you a better Witch. Whether you’re a good person or a bad person will depend on what you choose to do with it.

  1. Keep in mind, Witchcraft and Wicca are not interchangeable. Many Witches who are not Wiccan have entirely different opinions on magic and ethics than Wiccans do.

© 2013 Mackenzie Sage Wright

Popular

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      5 years ago

      Thank you Mysticmoonlight, I think a lot of people fear magic unnecessarily when a friend or family member studies it, or even if a person is interested but all those horror movies and rumors scare them off. It's definitely just a tool-- the outcome depends on how a person uses it. Thanks for commenting!

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      5 years ago

      That's a great point, Benjamin. Thanks for sharing, appreciate your comment!

    • profile image

      MysticMoonlight 

      5 years ago

      Excellent explanations here, WiccanSage! You really hit the nail on the head describing and explaining how magic really has no "label", that it is the practitioner's intent, not the magic itself that makes the magical result what it is/will be. Your explanation of magic being neutral energy is dead on. Very informative and you explained things so well and in a way that is uncomplicated, great work!

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 

      5 years ago

      Nice hub Sage. They say if you want o know a humble person give them power and money. If they will still be humble after that, then they are really humble. The same with magic, if it really exists, what you choose to do with it is what is right or wrong rather than the magic itself.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)