Spiralled Edges: To Take Responsibility
I’ve spent these past three months looking closely at what some call the Four Pillars of Magic: To Know, To Will, To Dare, and To Keep Silent. To be very honest, I have never really thought much on these nor felt it necessary to apply them to my own Pagan or witchcraft practices. However the task at hand was to discuss ways that they applied in my own life on my blog, and I have gained a lot of new insight into myself along the way. You can read all of those posts over at Writings of a Pagan Witch within The Pagan Experience 2016 (https://writingsofapaganwitch.wordpress.com/the-pagan-experience-2016/).
I mention that here because each of these pillars individually have shown me there is a 5th, or perhaps a central pillar that must be looked at: To Take Responsibility.
Responsibility, in my mind, can be separated into two words response and ability. My ability to respond. Looking at these words together, I ask myself – “Do I have the ability to respond to this situation? If I have the ability, does that mean I must or have to respond? What, in all truthfulness, and I really responsible for in this life?”
The answer is: Not nearly as much as I once believed.
As a Pagan, as a witch, as a mother, as a woman, as a human being I have the ability to respond to my own actions and to my responses to the actions and words of those around me. As a mother, I also have the ability to respond to the needs of my children, and to teach them how to respond to their own needs without taking upon themselves the responsibilities for the actions and words of others around them.
When we take responsibility for our own actions and words that means we can’t blame anyone else when things go right, or when they go wrong. Taking responsibility also means standing firm in our convictions of who we are, what we believe, and how we will be a part of the world we live in.
It means not taking away another’s ability to respond, but standing aside so that they can take responsibility for their lives, and stand firm in their convictions of who they are, what they believe, and how they will be a part of this world we live in.
Even when we disagree. Even when I think I know better than they do. Especially when I think I know better.
Taking Responsibility in spellcasting
When I create magic through spellcasting, I am responsible for the decision to do a spell, I am responsible for implementing it, and I am responsible for the results of that spell and any consequences that may come from it.
- To Know when and how and if I need to take responsibility for a situation.
- To Dare to take responsibility even when would be easier to lay the blame or the credit at someone else’s feet,
- To Will to take responsibility for my personal decisions and intentions.
- To Keep Silent when necessary and take responsibility for my words and silences.