One of the keystone in Wicca, but some apply to paganism in general is the concept of “An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will” but what is harm? And what happens if we only see it as harmful because of our faith? And how do we even know we have been harmed, will the “punishment” only happen to those causing the harm, if the receiver sees it as such? What if the receiver sees it as harm but was never intended as such? Some harms are obvious, physical abuse and bullying is wrong, but some feel it is only wrong if it is towards another human being. Pagans would say that it is also harmful to animals and to the environment but do we only see it as harmful because our faith tunes us in more with nature? Noise can be harmful but it is not due to our faith, unless it is disturbing a ritual. However, neither of these are intended to be harmful because of our faith, it is just a by-product that they are. Curses on a different hand are harmful and solely aimed at faith. The issue with a curse is does the individual being cursed need to know that they are cursed for the curse to work. Lets say that it does, therefore when I curse Mr X. and he does not know and therefore nothing happens, am I still harming him? On the flip side to that, what about healing? Many people are afraid of performing first aid on a person in the street as they fear if the person dies, they could get sued (which you can not as you would not be seen as contributing to their death, they were going to die anyway). Does the same thought stop healers sending healing? In my experience, no, but what if the person you are sending healing to does die and the next of kin blames you, have you harmed? In the next of kin’s eyes, yes, but your own? Harm is a very difficult thing to give definition to, but the easiest way is to treat people, animals and the e environment the way you would like to be treated and no one gets harmed.
July 20, 2013