Wiccans--not the original "Old Ones" but the modern witches--share a delusion amongst themselves, that they are skilled in what I like to call Universal C.

I've never met anybody actually skilled in Universal C, but I'm sure its possible. Universal C is the code that the Universe and all its servers are programmed in. Sane people understand that they do not know this language; therefore they attempt to operate their workstations by way of the proper interface, not by coding. Coding, these sane wonders know, doesn't work if you don't know the language. Wiccans....well, they haven't got that far yet.

A healthy person, when they wish to cause an effect, will always attempt to perform the action that should theoretically cause the desired effect. If they want to be dressed, they put on clothes. If they want to be full of food, they eat. Don't get me wrong; even Wiccans can do that much. But what happens when a person wants to do something that is impossible to do directly, like say, making it rain?

Indirect actions, like rain-dances or whatever else you might do to try your hand at rain-causation, are analogous in my book to Universal hacking. You're doing something you know the servers can do, you just don't have rights to the executable and you're trying to hack your way around that. I respect that, whatever way you'd go about it. Nobody stuck us on this Earth and told us we couldn't at least try to become superusers.

And then there are the Wiccans, who with one stupid exception do the same things as all the other hackers and script-kiddies. They add an addendum to their attempts at hacking, conveniently forgetting that you can't just say something and make it so--that's what gods do, not people--and, as far as I can tell, they simply pretend that their little spoken "An' it harm none" is just as good as the Universal C that the gods speak in. Well, it isn't.

Stop and think about it. My pipe breaks; I'm going to call the plumber. So before I pick up the phone, I look at my ceiling and I say reverently, "An' it not cost me money." Now, of course, no-one that I call will answer the phone unless the service is going to be free, right? Er...right?

Two major points here: One, what you probably call magick and I call indirect action works on one principle: The Will. The Will is the known part of the human soul that, unlike our ever-conflicted emotions and thoughts, only goes one way. If you can manage to point the will, it flat goes that way. If you aren't strong enough to point it, if you stay conflicted and whiny about it, the Will is not yours to control. If you put the Will in the same room as a wussy addendum, well, it LEAVES. And the poor Wiccan has just sabotaged hir own ritual--sHe might as well have just laid in bed and wished.
Two, if you *think* you want rain, but you can't handle the thought of it possibly ruining a farmer's crop or a little girl's birthday party, you don't want rain, now, do you? Not enough to be hacking with the Big Servers. No, if you aren't even that sure, you got no business fucking with the Universe, the weather, or magick, for that matter.

I don't know Universal C. But at least I don't wistfully mumble wasted requests over the LAN. At least I don't insist on believing that I can attach a disclaimer to an action, and poof! it will be filtered through the Universal Server's known set of functions for the term "Harm"...then the server will run a time-forwarding simulation to determine whether my action will cause harm...somehow it knows when to stop...and if it finds something that I would probably call Harmful, it will immediately know to cancel my last request. The Universe doesn't babysit, silly. If you want to play gods (which is what magick is all about), you'd better be more sure of yourself than that.

I am not a Wiccan, despite having noded a bit about Wicca. But on my searching path, one thing was made quite clear from the limited information available online -- the Wiccan Rede is an ethical standard, not some mystical undo command. Every time I've seen it explained, it's not something you tack on to keep bad stuff from happening; it's something you use to determine if you're going to do the Wrong Thing. Add to that the fact I've never seen it tacked onto a spell (unlike, say So mote it be), and I think PureDoxyk's hypothesis is unfounded.

Example 1:
Jane is lonely, and so decides to cast a love spell to get Billy. Jane does so. Said love spell is a bad thing and will result in bad mojo because it takes away Billy's free will away, akin to kidnapping him.

Example 2:
Jane is lonely, and so decides to cast a spell which will encourage love to be around her. Said love spell is acceptable because it doesn't force anyone into it; it's akin to her getting a (I hate this word) makeover.


Update (2003-07-25): I have since found that there are a fair number of Wiccans who do tack on things of the sort PureDoxyk indicates above. Though, depending on one's view of magic, that doesn't mean it won't work. It wouldn't for PureDoxyk, though.

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