Baneful magic and hex work are parts of energy work that as magical practitioners we must engage with if we are to consider ourselves ethical practitioners. Hexing and baneful magic when used ethically and intentionally are forms of justice work; a way of protecting the more vulnerable and of combatting oppression.
Not everyone wishes to participate in baneful magic, and I’ve read more than a couple of blog posts and even published books by self-declared witches who actively advise against hex work. I think taking such a position betrays a naivety, lack of experience as a magickal practitioner, and most problematic of all, a certain level of privilege. You are extremely fortunate to never need to use magickal work to protect yourself or others, and sometimes protection work looks like incapacitating someone so they are unable to cause more harm. I firmly believe that by refusing to engage in hex work when the situation calls for it, you are positioning yourself on the side of oppressors. If you consider yourself to be a witch, I believe that with that title comes a responsibility to protect the vulnerable and be actively anti-oppression. If so, you need to know how to hex and to understand why it is so important. You need to know that it is not acceptable to just sit back and ‘trust’ in the universe that justice will be meted out. We are the instruments of justice. By doing nothing, you are not allowing justice to unroll.
Forms of Hexing
Reactive, defensive – This is when you respond to a situation and don’t initiate any aggression. This can involve simply reflecting back the negativity of another person oppressing or being violent and harmful towards you or another. Until you are attacked or threatened, you do not carry out any baneful magic, it is only when the situation arises, you react.
Active – This is when you do hex work without first being attacked. You decide to take justice into your own hands and hex a person, institution, or group of people before waiting for them to attack you first.. It could be argued that all ethical hex work is a retaliation of sorts. Perhaps hexing Trump is a good example – it is an active form of hex work because it’s unlikely Trump himself attacked you, but it is also reactive and defensive because of all of the multiple ways in which he has actively and indirectly harmed you and your community.
Here are the rules when it comes to using baneful magic…
For those of us who are in oppressed and marginalised communities, all baneful magic that punches up is completely ethical. Using magical and energy work to punch up, to draw power, energy, attention, and cause harm to those who are consistently oppressing and causing harm to those of us that are beneath them, is ethical.. In this position, you are aware of your structural privilege, you are aware of the many multiple ways in which who you are in the world contributes to the oppression of others. As long as you are not punching down and your baneful magic is only ever going to dismantle the privilege and the power of people that are harmful and oppressive, it is ethical. In fact, it’s not just ethical, it’s actually necessary to the dismantling of oppression
Anything that punches down, i.e, if you’re using your power, or your humour or anything to further oppress people that are more vulnerable and less privileged than you, is unethical
Using baneful magical hexing should never be the first step but when all else fails…
If you have tried to solve a problem by talking initially to the person and this goes nowhere, then using baneful magic may be your only option. The most simple way to do this is to pull the energy that’s already directed at you, and mirror it back, putting it back on to them. An example of this is lighting a black candle on a mirror with the clear intention that as the candle flame burns down, every single piece of energy that somebody has sent to you, it is reflected straight back up to them.
In terms of ethics and morals, this is an easy way to step into your power around hex work, without feeling as though you are doing something morally incorrect, as by using a simple reversal spell, you are simply returning what was sent to you to start with. (Note – It is never morally wrong to defend yourself or people more vulnerable than you) .
Where can I go for support?
If you would like to know any specific spells to disempower oppressors, you can find these in my Hex The Patriarchy Protection spell pack. There are some excellent practitioners that will do hex work for a fee. If you don’t feel as though you have the experience, or if you feel any sort of hesitancy about engaging yourself, you can start by engaging somebody else.
Dr Kate Tomas