On the Taboo of "Influencing" in the Occult

Firstly, I do not intend to say through this post that this taboo is wrong! But simply to open some discussion about this, and speak on my own views.

There is this taboo among some magicians that using magick to influence others is wrong. This is certainly an interesting view.

I’m not entirely sure where this comes from, but it may come from this idea of free will and that magick can mingle with a person’s free will. Free will is seen as good, perhaps as a gift from the universe, and so mingling with it is inherently bad. Seems logical!

However, we influence others all the time in every day life. We influence others through our words, whether intended or not. People may influence others to be attracted to them by wearing makeup or dressing well. We ourselves are largely a combination of influences impressed into us since childhood. Yet, interestingly this is not seen as taboo.

One reason I can think of how one may argue about that is that this is done unconciously, or at least it doesn’t directly influence the will of a person. This depends on one’s philosophy as to how magick works, since my view is that both methods influence the Spirit of the person, which makes them not much different from each other.

Another reason (perhaps a more uncommon one) is that we are acting within fate when we do this in “mundane” life, but magick somehow works outside of fate, and so that is interfering with fate. We certainly see parts of that view. But you would have to contemplate how fate even works. If mundane life is controlled by fate, it was fate that lead you to cast that spell or petition that spirit.


It is interesting that we’re “allowed” to manipulate everything else in the world, but somehow not other people? Doesn’t make sense to me, either. Sometimes I wonder if this isn’t part of some other self-limiting behaviors, mostly in the Love and Light crowd that seem to feel that you have to fear what you can do with magic, so you should only stay within a narrow band of acceptable topics to help achieve those limitations.


A good chunk of the magick we do is to influence or outright manipulate others. Get a job? Yeah, totally manipulating. Get a raise? “invisibility”? Getting the best decision from someone? Love life? All of it is manipulation, influence.

And is not all that terrible. I do believe, honestly, that nobody is truly defenseless. I think that the famous past of least resistance take care in itself of the darker implications of the word “manipulate”. But then again, so what? Being in the business of diplomacy implies a lot of cunning and influence. And the alternative is war. Again: so what, then? Is not all that terrible. Specially when people outright want to curse others worse than death for not texting them on their birthday or whatever.


My free will is bigger than yours…:straight_ruler:

Seriously though. I agree with the above posts describing nearly everything we do as manipulation in some way or another.

How is that inherently bad?

Babies cry to manipulate their mother to feed them. Children create emergencies adults must respond to.
Grown ups manipulate for employment, sex, food shelter.

Magicians learn to manipulate everything.


Like everyone correctly mentioned manipulation is everywhere, then why not magick?

Any type of spell or any work you do that involves a Spirit, rest assured there is mind control going on.

Not just your target, those around them and also the Practitioner, which is also us. All of this works in conjunction to give the practitioner the desired result.


Influence exists in every level and sphere of our life, including magick. To cut out influence would be to strip of ourselves of what makes us, us. There’s only so much we can do, and only so far we can progress without being influenced by someone or the other.

Now to influence others? If it gets you what you want, go ahead. Personally, I wouldn’t interfere in your business unless you’re someone who’s close to me. I’ve seen magick which has turned people’s brains to mush, and I’ve also seen magick give to someone what they’ve been fighting for for years, and they both included manipulating someone or something.

I’m someone who thinks very much insight the framework of “fate”.

like this :point_up_2:

There’s a witch that says, “everything is aligned”, and after experiences that have supported that statement I take it to heart.

The baneful spell, the love spell, the card you pulled or kept back in the deck, it’s all fate. Rarely have I seen empty chapters, and “fate” handing over it’s pen to the individual.

Can we manipulate or influence fate? I don’t know.

I believe that even with magick, we only cause influence to a certain extent. If, you’re supposed to reach a milestone, be it having a Tower moment or the Sun, nothing can stop it. No amount of magick, and no god. But, if it’s not that life-changing, then sure the situation is in your hands.

Now I’m not sure if I completely stayed on topic, but I hope my tiny ramble was worth the time :sweat_smile:


Same. We can influence probability, imo.


We CAN influence probability that’s a fact!


As someone who used to spend quite a bit of time on “Witchtok”, I think this line of thinking comes from the self-imposed limitation/fear of backlash one can receive when messing with a person’s free will. Or, they don’t consider the nuance that influencing the environment around a person is within the same vein of influencing said person (with intention).

That, and I feel like there is a “moral upstanding” in being a “ethical” witch by not tampering with people (baneful, domination, manipulation) and only focusing on illuminating yourself to your goals. As if making yourself more available for job opportunities, love prospects, “winner of the lottery” doesn’t already affect other people’s chances.