ETHICAL HEXING: When Love and Light Isn’t Enough


Yes, yes. I know that this post is going to stir the cauldron. I beg you, dear Seekers and fellow Witches, to read this entry in its entirety, with an open mind, and with the tenets of boundaries, equilibrium, and healing at the forefront of your observation. SPOILER: this composition is not about the intent to cause harm, or allowing your emotions to direct what you feel is justified. If you want tips on playing dirty, I am NOT the Witch to ask.

Hexing. That word raises eyebrows and tempers in the occult community, as it usually should. But, I ask you to consider that “hexing” is not a catch-all term for all magick that does not seem, particularly by outward appearance, to follow the Wiccan rede of “Do what you will, and it harm none.” The origins of the word “hex” are defined as follows by the Online Etymology Dictionary…

hex (v.) 1830, American English, from Pennsylvania German hexe “to practice witchcraft,” from German hexen “to hex,” related to Hexe “witch,” from Middle High German hecse, hexse, from Old High German hagazussa (see hag). Noun meaning “magic spell” is first recorded 1909; earlier it meant “a witch” (1856).

“Hex” and “hexing” has gained a negative connotation in the last 100 years in North America thanks to the superstitious misunderstanding of those who practice magick, regardless of their intent or spiritual leanings. Granted, we may never be able to reclaim that word and set forth its true historical meaning, and it does not erase the stigma that hexing, as it is considered today, is a definition purely for those unbalanced
magickal workings motivated by fear, greed, ego, or vengeance.

I offer up for your consideration that there IS such a concept as ETHICAL hexing, and
that there are criteria to be met in order for it to indeed be ethical and righteous. Stick with me here. It’s a complicated set of rules, and requires nothing short of your COMPLETE lack of emotional entanglement in order to be correct and justified. It’s time for us to break apart the catch-all concept of this word, and explore the finer points of magickal balance, protection, and ultimately, the catalysts of healing and resolution that are the rights of every true victim.

For many of us, in these times of entitlement, materialism, fear, and division, there may come a situation where we become the victim of another’s pain, anger, and ego. We can often find ourselves the blameless target of another’s bile, violence, and abuse, when we strive to be kind, supportive, and non-judgmental. Our society is ungrounded in the tenets of live and let live and do unto others, and the value of goodness and empathy is often found only in the means to use them as weapons. The mature paths (both spiritual and face-to-face) that we unfailingly tread toward resolution, diffusement, and forgiveness are sometimes not enough to quell the anger and hatred heaped upon us by those who have decided to lessen their pain by misdirecting it toward us. Bullies, domestic abusers, frenemies, all reflect the illness of our society and culture, where our priorities are upside down, kindness is regarded as weakness, and the most damaging among us lash out in confusion and fear instead of embracing the journey of introspection and growth.

We’ve sent the situation enough love and light to power an entire continent. We’ve looked deeply and uncomfortably inside ourselves to root out any part we may have played in the blame game, and came up with nothing. We’ve wished for a miracle to be placed in their hearts. We’ve prayed incessantly for resolution, protection, and understanding on both sides, and perhaps even did a whopping good binding spell for good measure. We have begun to physically hide ourselves when we get so much as a whiff of their presence. We’ve turned the other cheek so many times we’re getting wrinkles. We’ve smudged ourselves so often the fragrance precedes our arrival. But still, the harassment never ceases, and short of moving to another planet, we cannot remove the bulls eye from our back. As a matter of fact, it seems the harder we work to soothe the flames, the more they rage, choking the other facets of our lives with toxic smoke and foul soot. And if someone tells us to “think positive” on the issue one more time, we’ll scream.

 What gives? Is Karma biting me for something I did in a past life? Am I such an awful person that I actually deserve this?

No, and no. Our society is so ill, you could be a living saint and be the object of abuse. Hate does not discriminate, and often, our open and giving natures make a convenient in-road for those who need someone to hurt in order to make themselves feel better. Call them takers, emotional vampires, narcissists, it’s all the same. They lack true empathy, and cannot, or will not, accept responsibility for their choices or who they have allowed themselves to become. For them, the external world is really the only one that exists, and so, their anger must find a home outside of themselves. It has nothing to do with you. It doesn’t matter what little thing you said or did, or didn’t. The one-way street of their perspective will find a way for them to rationalize their behavior toward you, and as far as they are concerned, they are absolved of any wrongdoing. You are a convenient excuse, probably not the first, and doubtless not the last.

Here’s where it gets sticky. Consider that, in spite of your exhaustive efforts to “take the high road,” so to speak, even with your concept of your personal boundaries, you have inadvertently ALLOWED this behavior. From a law of attraction standpoint, the Universe must always fill a vacuum. When you get handed someone else’s baggage, and take it on, whether you mean to or not, and deal with it with “grace” and “love,” the Universe notes that it’s been subsumed without struggle, and sends more of the same in an effort to fill the once-again empty void. Hand in hand with this idea is the possibility that you’re not identifying the life-lesson here, which is usually about porous boundaries and self-esteem.

That’s fucked up. You mean to tell me that I’m going to keep attracting people like this? WHY, WHY, WHY?!?!

I’ll tell you why. Our “love and light fixes everything” approach is unbalanced. Refusing to give space to, or even acknowledge our own pain and fury brought about by this steaming heap denies the correct return swing of the Universal pendulum. Without that full swing, we are stuck in a pattern of getting handed other people’s shit because we just take it and internalize all the toxicity that comes with it, giving it the home it was looking for, even when we tell ourselves we’re fine.

In other words, in order to stem the flow of sewerage, you have to get angry.  And I’m not talking the “I’m crying because I’m frustrated” type of angry. I mean the fully-formed, intelligently designed towering inferno that only the pain of true injustice and victimhood can produce. This, and only this, can arrest the trajectory of your abuser’s seek and destroy missiles, bring equilibrium to the pendulum, and in the end, bring you full healing and sometimes, the potential for an unexpected revelation on their part.

Sounds scary, yes? Well, it is. The vast majority of us have never even considered our potential for this kind of anger, let alone given a moment’s thought to actually allowing it to happen. We are not in the business of allowing rage, in any form, no matter how justified, to escape the bonds of ethics and prudence and level everything in its path. Not today, not ever. What we ARE here to do is to channel that anger into corrective measures, put the cork in the vacuum of bullshit, and truly empower ourselves by using our energies, both cool and hot, to facilitate balance and boundaries in our lives.

Anger and joy are sides of the same energy coin. One simply cannot exist without the other, from a Hermetical standpoint, and they are but varying degrees of the same substance. Can you pinpoint the exact spot where love turns into hate? No. They are shades of the same wavelength. By using only one or the other to fuel your magickal workings, you are creating a bottleneck of imbalance that will present you with frustration upon frustration while it strains to regain a natural flow. Does that mean, for every good spell, you have to do a naughty one in order to be balanced? Absolutely not. The Universe does not work in quantifiable, tit-for-tat data, but it DOES operate on the premise that there is a correct time, place, and circumstance for everything, including love and anger, and in that aspect, there is true balance.

Considering all of the aforementioned, in these instances, hexing is not a means of wishing equal or additional pain to your abuser. Let me re-phrase for those in the back row: WE NEVER GET TO DECIDE WHAT SOMEONE ELSE DESERVES. NEVER. FULL STOP. If you think you do, get your ego under control. I mean it! What hexing IS in this type of situation, is a gathering up of what’s been forced upon you, that did not belong to you in the first place, and using the power of your anger to send it back to its rightful owner.

You cannot propel massive baggage like this back to its source with love and light. It must be fueled with energy equal and akin to that with which it was delivered. 

HOWEVER… before you pop open that jar of wormwood or fumitory, there are RULES, Cupcake. Big ones. If you cannot apply all of the following rules to your situation, in their entirety, FIND ANOTHER METHOD OF RESOLUTION. 

RULE 1) You must be blameless in the events that lead up to your abuse. That’s right. You need to objectively scrutinize your actions and choices before blasting off. (We’re not talking about scrutiny for victims of sexual assault and similar heinous crimes. While those victims should still give time and space to processing the events that preceded those crimes, if there were any, it should purely be for the fullness of healing and grieving purposes.) This means that you MUST, MUST, MUST detach your emotions, ego, and personal perspective from the situation for evaluation purposes. If you cannot or will not do this, you cannot cohesively adhere to the concept of justice, which from a cosmic standpoint, is never a matter of opinion. Justice is not about what makes you feel you’re in the right, or what makes you feel better about your choices. It’s about a correction in balance, hence the symbolism of the scales.  Do the self-work here, and if you even THINK that you may have influenced that person’s behavior, double down on the analysis and own it if it’s yours to own. Then, find another method of resolution. Also, choosing to react with kindness is never attached to blame. You may feel stupid, in hindsight, for having done so, but that kind of self-deprecating blame doesn’t count.

RULE 2) YOU have to be the victim. You don’t get to hex someone on another person’s behalf, ever, no matter how they beg. It’s what they have allowed, not you, so they have to do the self-work to facilitate the correction. Case in point, the mass-hexing of President Trump. Granted, I am not a fan of his, to put it mildly. But, I personally cannot condone this group hex, because at the least, the majority of the hexers were not his direct victims. He had just been elected, had taken no action at that point on any policy, and so, at that time, his hexers had yet to be, or perhaps still are not, victims of his choices. Pre-emptive hexing is NOT a thing. Those efforts, in my opinion, would have been better directed in a binding spell, or a spell to shift his perspective, and perhaps to make him deaf to anything not motivated by love. Or, at the very least a personal protection spell to shield you from the rampages of his agenda. A tall order, at any rate. Moving on…

RULE 3) You have to mean it. Voldemort was right in this regard. In order for a corrective hex to work, you have to mean it with every fiber of your being. This means, you must, beyond the shadow of doubt, from here until eternity, in this life and all subsequent incarnations, be 100% comfortable with how you chose to bring a close to your relationship with your abuser and balance the pendulum. You must, again, and again, and again, to yourself, to others, and Source, be able to correctly justify and exhaustively explain your actions with the same blameless righteousness that you think you feel right now. If you think there might be one whisper of regret or shame SOMEWHERE in the future, choose a different method.

RULE 4) You only get to return what is theirs. End of story. You DO NOT get to dogpile your excess personal crap on this person. You can only send back what rightfully belongs to them. Make a list if you have to. If you can’t extricate your personal shit show from your situation with them, find another method and do the inner work. The one and only thing you DO get to add on to a corrective hex is a plea for their healing, so that they can have the opportunity to end their cycle of pain and find the happiness that they clearly are so desperate for. And no, that plea for healing is not burnt out by the anger that propels your corrective hex. As a matter of fact, when it is delivered with such powerful energy, and such forcefulness, it has the potential to cut through the layers of crap that would otherwise keep it from taking root.

RULE 5) YOU DO NOT GET TO CHOOSE WHEN, OR IN WHAT FORM IT COMES BACK TO THEM. If you have dirty little daydreams of them getting hit by a truck, living in a dumpster, or encountering someone who causes them the same or greater amount of pain that they have caused you, you’re still not getting the lesson here, and you MUST find a different avenue. Putting parameters on how a corrective hex, or any spell for that matter, will work or manifest, is potentially disastrous. At best, you’ll tie the Universe’s hands behind her back, and make her unable to do her work, and at worst, it will backfire in your face in all manner of horrific possibilities. It is imperative that you completely detach from any notion of how it arrives, what they do with it, and whether or not they really overcome their issues, which leads us into our sixth rule…

RULE 6) Do it and forget about it. You must go on about your business, and allow the Universe to do its work without your further input on the matter. Turn your attention to other (good) things, and rest knowing that you no longer have to carry this person’s burden. If you feel compelled to run off and tell your friends about your hex, or keep probing the Universe for confirmation of its success, find another avenue. Your self-doubt has no place in this process, and neither does your gossiping ego. If you cannot set either of those things aside, I will say again, this is not your method, and you have OTHER work to do on yourself.

RULE 7) This is the ONLY rule that is even remotely optional. Wherever possible, commit to a lifetime of full-on NO CONTACT with your abuser. It is understandable that you may not be able to change jobs, move household, or uproot your life in order to avoid them. Do the best you can, and take heart that they may find an open door to remove themselves, particularly if you have petitioned for them to have no further access to your physical person in your corrective hex. If you find yourself, in a weak moment of ego, gagging for the opportunity to tell them off or engage them in any way, reconsider your method of resolution, because your ego is wanting to perpetuate the drama.

I am not going to direct you on how to allow yourself to access your righteous anger as a victim. That’s highly personal. I am also not going to teach you how to compose and structure an ethical hex. If you can’t intelligently, carefully craft it yourself, chances are you have no business working with this method.

What I will say, however, is that on the other side of this flaming, cathartic method, is the open door for true healing and forgiveness for you. It’s impossible to knit the wounds of victimhood while you still carry, or are still getting handed a fistful of shit. You gave it back, as it is your full right to do, and it’s being handled. When you’ve had a chance to bind up your cuts and feel the relief, THEN you can choose to feel some pity for them, if you can do it without unwinding your resolve, and then forgive them fully and truly move on.

So, there you have it. I took the risk to put this controversial concept out there. I feel better for having done so, and I deeply hope it at least gives you some perspective on what can be done in an extenuating circumstance, while preserving what is balanced and equitable. If you’re all hot to get a move on with your own ethical hex, please slow down and do the due diligence outlined here. It’s not just a means to end the cycle, it’s a process for YOU, too. It’s not just about the mechanics of the hex, it’s also a means to expand your horizons on how you move about this reality, and your effect on others and yourself.

And out of respect for Rule 6, please don’t ask me if I’ve ever cast an ethical hex. I couldn’t and wouldn’t tell you, even if I did. 

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