A question came up recently about whether it was okay to cast a love spell on someone without their consent. This struck me as an odd thing to ask, because it seems that if someone is in a position to ask the potential target of a love spell if they are okay with that spell being cast, there’s probably no need for the spell in the first place. The relationship between the two parties would have to be very close to even broach the subject.
But the query does lead to some bigger questions surrounding the ethics of love spells. Given that in 99.9% of cases a love spell is being cast on someone who has no idea it’s happening, let alone provided their consent, is it ethical to cast such a spell at all?
Those who say casting love spells is bad usually argue that a spell is manipulating the target. It changes the way they feel; it creates a love that otherwise would not exist.
They are exactly right.
But does that mean a spell is wrong? Cleary I don’t believe so, otherwise I wouldn’t have dedicated my adult life to learning and practicing the craft of creating love.
Here’s my take: yes, spells are a form of emotional manipulation. But there are many, many other forms. Indeed I would suggest that most couples became couples through at least one method of emotional manipulation, even if not a magical one. I mean, who hasn’t done something to try to impress a potential mate? We all do it, all the time. It’s not just part of human nature, it’s part of nature.
Watch any natural world documentary and you’ll witness emotional manipulation at work. The peacock who parades his impressive tail to attract a mate. The bird who sings a beautiful chorus to impress a potential nesting partner. Virtually every species has some form of mating ritual, and human beings are no different.
Dressing to impress, putting on make-up, styling hair, wearing smells that come from a bottle, choosing fancy restaurants to wine and dine a date, writing poetry or songs, even the simple act of flirting or trying to make someone laugh…they are all forms of emotional manipulation. In every case we are trying to make someone feel good about us, to make them feel an attraction and ultimately a love for us.
There’s nothing unethical about any of it, it’s the way evolution has programmed us to work. Rarely do two people fall in love without at least some kind of effort from at least one party, usually both. Sure, it can happen, but it’s rare. Love takes work. The only thing in question is the form of that work.
A love spell then, is just one form of emotional manipulation among many. But there is one considerable difference. Transparency.
Almost every other method of seduction I have listed above is visible for all to see. Fancy or revealing clothes, flashy displays of wealth, outrageous exhibitions of desire, these are all plain to see. The target of these machinations is well aware of what is going on and is (mostly) free to respond however they want.
A love spell is the opposite. It’s hidden, discreet, invisible to the person on the receiving end. They have no say in the matter. They feel themselves falling for someone and they probably have no idea why.
Of course it’s not all black and white, there are plenty of in-between cases too — situations that fall between the transparency of flirting and the opacity of a spell. A person who subtly changes their behaviour — perhaps the way they talk or dress — around someone they desire, is not always being transparent. If the object of their affections is unaware that these changes are not representative of the way the person normally dresses, talks, or behaves, then we could say there is an element of deception at work. Yet almost nobody would suggest it unethical to do so, because it’s just an accepted part of our culture.
Where a love spell differs is that it is a less common form of allurement and as such is not so easily accepted in some quarters.
The Eye of the Beholder
Where then, does this leave us? If you are considering requesting a spell but are concerned about the ethics, what is the answer?
A love spell is almost never cast with the consent of its target, and is a form of emotional manipulation. It is, arguably, less transparent than most other forms of courting, but the intention behind it remains the same.
Ultimately, only two people can decide: the person requesting the spell, and the person casting it. From my point of view as the person who does the casting, my position is clear. Given I’ve been doing this professionally for more than forty years, my decision a long time ago was that there is nothing inherently unethical about using magic to assist in an entirely natural process. The love that results from a spell is exactly the same as love that comes about in any other way, the spell is just a more efficient way of getting there.
That means that only the person making the request has to come to a decision about whether it’s right or wrong. Nobody else can decide for them.