Anger can work like a drug. It intoxicates as it compels one to obsess on how they have been wronged, and how glorious it would be to execute revenge on those who are perceived to be the source of the injustice. It is said that anger is a shield, typically hiding fear. When we perceive we have been wronged it is easy to imagine cultivating the perfect revenge. What happens when a practitioner of Magick becomes angry and begins to imagine the perfect revenge? Unlike “keying” someone’s car, students of Magick know full well that they have a resource literally at their fingertips which mundane authorities may never connect to them. It becomes tempting to want to unleash anger through Magick with the goal of revenge.
This is where spiritual and Magickal ethics become paramount. If one has absolutely no spiritual ethics or code of conduct this becomes concerning, as this is the equivalent to anarchy in the spirit realm and is beyond the scope of this article. Assuming that there is a core desire to live in harmony with others, to not act in destructive ways, and to promote spiritual growth and development, we can explore how impulsive reactions prompted by fantasies of revenge and harmful Magick can actually sabotage one’s spiritual growth and cause more damage than good in the long run.
The belief that all life is energy and that energy remains attached to living and nonliving things for at least some time is the basis of most Magickal practices. It therefore makes sense that thoughts, imagination and words carry a subtle energy as well. When this energy is of a more primal nature and is fueled by anger, jealousy, or resentment, it carries a vibration that is synchronized with these states. These states naturally are temporary emotions, but nurturing these states can lead to an increase in the energy given to the emotion. One begins to cultivate a garden of anger, possibly even hatred. Even fantasizing about revenge and punishment to those who seem to have done you wrong breeds an increase in this energy. Suddenly, the fixation on these people, events, and the emotional states that one associates with them, results in a narrow focus, a mission to seek revenge or spread the anger and hurt to others. The energy accompanying these thoughts and feelings is not healing. It does not refresh or rejuvenate. In fact it may be heavy, oppressive, bitter, leaving one feeling hollow and resulting in despair and the reinforcement of a “victim” role.
To direct one’s mental, spiritual or physical energies toward seeking revenge through Magick would therefore intensify the energy that contributes to a great deal of the pain one is already experiencing. Compare this to someone who is unhappy to be covered in mud, but digs deeper and deeper into the mud puddle to find a source of water with which to clean themselves. The process becomes counterproductive. This is before one even considers Karma or beliefs about retribution and return. This is solely looking at the quality of energy one exudes by becoming too immersed in reminiscing about their loss or grief and seeking revenge as the solution.
Now as to the consequences of using Magick for revenge or to harm, even when one feels justified; many practitioners of Magick operate with some code of beliefs regarding actions and consequences. In our modern societies we mistake natural consequences with value judgments. We have developed such elaborate systems of justice - often based more on illusions of righting wrongs than on realities of bringing order and maintaining peace, that we forget the core concept of consequences. When a choice is made, it sets into motion a progression of next steps. If one spends the rent money on a vacation, then one faces eviction. It is an objective process made only moral or subjective by one’s human interpretation. If one feels a sense of entitlement to a vacation regardless of other obligations, then one may feel a personalized sense of attack at being evicted for not having the rent money. It is not a matter of one choice or another being “good” or “bad.” It is merely a matter of one choice leading to one act followed by an outcome. Bring this concept back to Magick, if one expends energy, the vital life force, on negative, angry, hostile causes, then one will have little energy left for creating growth, healing and positive. Likewise, the energy spent on the negative will also breed more negative, in the long run creating an abundance of raging anger and resentment with very little inner peace to serve as a buffer or to refill a depleted system. Perhaps this is why many simplify this process by acknowledging that the type of energy one “puts out” is the type they will “get back” usually at a greater intensity. Well, it is only natural, is it not? If I have a potato garden and a pepper garden and I tend to the peppers to a greater extent, I will logically have more peppers than potatoes! The same goes for the type of energy one cultivates through focus and intention.
Potential consequences of not heeding this conventional wisdom and pursuing revenge through Magick can be disastrous. By breathing life into powerful negative emotions, one potentially sets the stage for the return of such emotions in force. This return of negative energy not only has the potential to harm the practitioner, but to also bleed into other relationships or goals which one holds dear. This happens on both an energy and mundane level. By focusing on the negative one fails to cultivate much else therefore mundane blessings and opportunities are missed or vanquished. In a spiritual sense, the use of Magick to bring harm to another even out of revenge, returns the quality of the energy to the sender. In the end choices remain; however, one must remember that in battle if one chooses to throw flaming sticks at an opponent, expect to become burnt as well. By and large one must ask; “Is it worth it?”
Anger and pain can serve as great teachers and motivators and it is not suggested that they not be used to influence Magickal working that can have the outcome of personal growth and transcendence of obstacles. If a painful situation brings anger and resentment, but these emotions are dealt with on a human level, but inspire one to use Magick to enhance one’s own healing process, bring greater understanding, or help achieve growth from crisis, then the energies have been channeled to bring benefit rather than harm. It is also not uncommon for some practitioners to appeal to higher spiritual manifestations of Justice, be it Goddesses such as Ma’at or Gods such as Jupiter, to allow the Deities to intervene as they will. This can be helpful because it allows a sense of connection to the Divine to foster the security of knowing one can let go of the need to control or “fix” the situation and allow higher forces in the universe to take charge. It also allows one to regain perspective on their personal role in the universe as part of a greater framework.
Article by: Angela Kaufman. Angela is a Priestess for the Dragon Warriors of Isis Coven in Upstate, New York, and the co-author of Wicca: What's the Real Deal? She is a professional tarot reader. For more information about Wicca: What's the Real Deal? visit http://www.wwtrd.webs.com.