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Ah, the great cautionary tale of Paganism! This one has been around for ages, the idea that you should never use magick for personal gain as doing so would result in horrible consequences. I have to say that a lot of Pagans do believe this, but there’s no proof that it’s a law or rule of any kind.
Once again, this concept is held to largely by Wiccans, but some others believe it as well. Generally, you’ll find that Pagans have no issue with using magick for personal gain, so long as you don’t abuse the privilege. The idea that you can’t use your abilities to help yourself seems downright silly to most Pagans. Magic exists for everyone to use, and there’s nothing wrong with using it to improve your own life. By doing so, you make it possible for you to help others, and that’s a good thing.
Think about it this way: How much good can you do in the world if you’re sick, poor and miserable? So, you may use magic to get a good job, heal yourself, or bring happy circumstances into your life. When you’re connected to the source of magic you’re empowered, and when life is good you’re more likely to do good for others. So long as you don’t reach to magick to solve every problem, and you think about your magick carefully before using it, you should be just fine.
I think that more than anything, this idea that you can only use magick to help others, and with their permission, is cautionary, to keep people from using magick for truly selfish reasons. One can go overboard if they use magick for everything and only for themselves. By saying it’s “wrong” to use magick for personal gain, it keeps people who might go astray in line. In the end, you have to decide this one for yourself.
*Disclaimer: I no longer practice Paganism, but I’ve left these Pagan Myths articles active because I believe they’re still valuable in helping people to understand Paganism and reduce negative stereotypes.*