New Moon Ethics – Musings on the Morals of Paganism


Well hello again my fellow pagans. Summer has greeted us finally, and, as is normal in many a pagan life, the magic of life is awake and stirring. With the celebrations and sacred rituals of Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lugnasadh and much more, summer is without a doubt an eventful time of year. In light of this integral part of pagan way, I felt that the topic of magic was an interesting one for this article.

Many people, upon hearing the word pagan, immediately reflect upon thoughts of magic. Why is that? Yes magic is an integral part of pagan life, but the magic that people view related to those who use it is sometimes a far cry from what it really is. With all of the flying around on broomsticks and turning people into toads, we have our work cut out for us! However, much of the tales of magic is far from the truth and sadly often misunderstood.

I was having a discussion with a woman a few weeks ago who spoke to me about a girl who believed that magic was simply a form of power. While magic itself can be very powerful, it is not used as a funnel for ones personal power, or at least, it shouldn’t be. The majority of pagans hold a belief of magic being something much more sacred and special than just a lead to personal power. It is a connection between you and the mother goddess, evident in the mystical as well as the mundane. But more on that in a little bit. For now lets focus on a few facts.

Wikipedia describes magic as being documented as early as the fourteenth century in Greek  and old French culture. In a generalized statement, magic is defined as the workings of someone to achieve a certain outcome. Scholars have tried to define it, scientists have tried to find answers explaining it, and many people have viewed it as a benevolent force not to be toyed with. Magic leaves many people in awe, both good and bad, because there is something within magic that cannot be put into words, much as the relationship between a person and their divine. To read more on what wikipedia describes as magic, follow this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_(paranormal)

Two words that always pop into a persons mind when they think of magic is the all famous Abracadabra and Hocus Pocus. But why are these two phrases so internationally known and related to magic itself? In days of old, as it is told by dictionary.com, abracadabra was a magical word that was not spoken but worn as an amulet around the neck to protect the wearer from disease or trouble. It was arranged in the shape of a pyramid. Now Abracadabra has taken on the meaning of gibberish, or unintelligible talk, often believed to be a word used in incantations.

Hocus Pocus is defined as a phrase used to describe trickery or deception. It also takes on the interesting meaning of a jugglers trick, or sleight of hand.

Now that we have the meaning of those two words put to sleep, lets talk about the Hollywood style magic. We all have been reading on magic since young children. Cinderella had a fairy godmother who transformed a pumpkin into a carriage, mice into horse, and even conjured up glass slippers. Snow white had to fight the forces of Maleficent,  an evil sorceress who would stop at nothing to have the girl destroyed. Other depictions of magic lay within movies such as Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, The mists of Avalon, and so many more. A great addition to add mystique to a movie, without a doubt. But what is “real” magic?

When  confronted with the question, what is magic, a moment to collect our thoughts is normally called for. Although we use it, know what it means to us, describing it can often be a much more difficult task. I think one of the simplest and yet most descriptive quotes on magic is Lord Byrons saying, “The power of thought, the magic of the mind!” This quote can often be found through any search engine, such as google. This quote points out one very powerful point, that magic is within the power of one persons individual thoughts. You cannot recreate one persons magic exactly the same, because each individual has their own connection the nature, to the mother goddess, or to their own divine. Their thoughts focus around the needs in their life, giving magic a very personal characteristic. Magic, for many a pagan, is the mundane, and the mundane is magical.

When watching  sunset, or listening to the gulls sing their song, or even watching flowers bloom, this is all magical. Life is magic. Watching our children play in the summer sun, learning to swim for the first time, this is magic. And when the need arises and we must perform magic to attain the greater good, this is a personal magic. It is much like a prayer is to many people, powerful thought, strong emotions and energy which are channeled at the specific need of the person, and a release of that energy. I would like to leave you with a poem that I found, beautiful and relevant to our discussion.

There’s Magic in the Telling

There’s magic in the telling
Watch your secrets closely
There’s magic in the telling
Choose your words carefully
There’s magic in the telling

Don’t crush the hopes and dreams of others
For they all hold a piece of you
Live life through rose-colored glasses
Seeing beyond what you see or do
There’s magic in the telling
What’s your magic telling about you?

Do you sit on mountains high
Or walk through valleys low?
Is there time enough for the song of birds
Or doing time on a sentence of what’s been sowed?
Do you feel the love of kin
Or backstabbing knives in your skin?
Does your money grow on trees
Or always begging on your knees?
There’s magic in the telling

See yourself upon the throne, spreading joy across the land
Share hope with others, allowing each to do all they can
Build castles in the sand together
Cheering as the ocean washes them away
Know there is time enough to build together on another day
Watch the nature of creatures for they have so much to tell
The wisdom of the ages has been passed down to you as well

You see there is magic in the telling
A story of power, love and might
There’s magic in the telling
Create beauty out of light
There’s magic in the telling
Stop thinking yee be so small
There’s magic in the telling
Know inside your words that you can have it all

Written by Priscilla Parham

This poem spoke to me because it is honest and simple, yet it speaks of life in various stages. Magic is life, within our own words, actions, thoughts and emotions. So, fellow pagans and faithful readers, lets gather our broomsticks and fly into the rest of the summer!

Most fervent blessings until we speak again,


If you are looking for advice on pagan matters write to Naiyeetu at [email protected]