The Three Fold Effect of Magic
Overview: What influence does the three fold law have for Satanists? Exceptions to the Golden Rule. Magic without Morality is not Evil.
What influence does the three fold law have for Satanists
The threefold law is not a part of satanic practices. It originates from the religion of Wicca and other neo-pagan practices that teach this as moral system of guidance. This law or creed states that what the witch does will return to them three times, for good or for evil. Some also use the eastern beliefs of Karma to illustrate this idea. There is the threefold law which states "What you do will return to you threefold" and the Witch's creed: "An it harm ye none do what ye will". The three-fold law is a moral convention found most often in Wicca. It is not a 'lie', but instead it is a belief that is instilled within Wicca followers for the sake of social order, tradition, and religious belief.
It is known as the witch's creed, by these groups. Many authors in occultism have written about it, which may be why it is in the public perception that harmful magic will return to the sender. For an example, Timothy Roderick, a Wiccan author, suggests that the emergence of witchcraft in the 1950's lead Wiccans to adopt the principle of karma [from India], that they used in their magic practice. Roderick also suggests that "Witches [wiccans] avoid harmful practices because they know that harmful magic harms everyone"1. While this idea sounds great, its only a moral rule, created by the religious leaders who serve their followers. I think the use of the idea of karma also comes from the influence of ceremonial magic, The Golden Dawn, and Crowley, all of which included Eastern mysticism in their practices.
Exceptions to the Golden Rule
In my experience with discussing the Creed and the Threefold law with Wiccans I have discovered that some do not adhere to this witches creed as strictly as some others do. There are some neo-pagans who would use harmful magic, but generally it is intended for protection and not malicious casting. It gets further complicated when they add the element of 'Karma' to their deserving target! So there are exceptions to this rule, and it is a created rule like all other moral teachings of religion that are meant to be used as a guide.
Satanists are not neo-pagan or Wiccan so why should these same moral laws apply to them in the use of magic? For example, in Satanic philosophy, LaVey asked this same basic question, by stating 'When a man smites you on one cheek smash him on the other! ..Self Preservation is the highest law' and the Satanic version of the golden rule, 'do unto others as they have done unto you'.2 LaVey rationalizes these laws instead of moralizing them. Satanism is an individual practice and because of this there are no standards that fit for all people.
Magic without Morality is not Evil
This serves to illustrate a basic point that I think is common amongst all Satanists - that we have the option to take offensive actions using magic either for defense or manipulation because it is a matter of expediency, not morality.
Magic that is cast [as a spell, for example] has a specific purpose. It is sent in a specific direction and has a specific influence with a certain outcome; magic does not bounce around or multiply and return to the sender. Magic has a source, and when magic is properly directed it has a destination and a purpose that is intended to achieve a beneficial result.
Some choose not to moralize this process and bypass all the stigma, worry, and fear that comes with religious neopagan magic. So to answer the Question: the only influence that the threefold law has in Satanism is that it should be recognized for what it is - a moral teaching that some witchcraft and neo-pagan cults use as a religious and social convention. Taking this into consideration it is easier to see why the moral teachings of some occult groups do not apply to the practice of magic as a whole.
© 2009, Venus Satanas