Is It Really Wrong To Use Witchcraft For Personal Gain?

One unfortunately prevalent idea that I see bandied about a lot in witchcraft circles is that it’s not ok to pursue personal gain through your magic. Many people think that it’s somehow morally wrong to use magic for yourself or “an abuse of universal power” as one particularly ardent witch told me it was. As though wanting a nice living situation, enough food to put on your table, and better opportunities were somehow wrong.

As you may have guessed, I’m not a huge fan of this idea. In fact, this concept of doing magic for yourself being morally wrong gets my hackles up pretty quickly for a lot of reasons. Today, we’re going to take a look at exactly why I disagree with this tenet and why I think you should definitely start doing magic that improves your life today.

Why is this idea so prevalent in the first place?

It’s not surprising that this idea is so widespread in our communities. After all, witchcraft is, for the most part, still a community of converts. We all came here from somewhere else. For those of us in the western world, this usually means some flavor of Christianity.

Now, we won’t be going in-depth on the subject of whether or not the moral teachings of Christianity are correct because this isn’t a religion blog, it’s a witchcraft blog. Instead, I just want to take a look at how a little bit of religious muddling has caused an entire generation of new witches to feel shackled in their craft. Think about it, our old religions often taught that selflessness was a good thing, that suffering was a way to get closer to god, and that if you were “greedy” and wanted nice things for yourself that you were a bad person.

Does witchcraft actually have any of these beliefs as a core part of its teachings? No, it doesn’t. And the primary reason it doesn’t is that witchcraft isn’t a religion! For many of us, the craft and religion go hand in hand but there are MANY religions practiced by modern witches, from Kemeticism to Norse Paganism, to Celtic Pagans or modern pop-polytheists, to yes, even some Christianity. Due to this, witchcraft comes with little to no moral teaching out of the box. It’s simply a way to take the energetic forces around us and manipulate them to achieve a desired effect. Religion sold separately.

Now, I’ll admit that witchcraft without religion can be really confusing, especially for those who are still in the transition period out of a previous religious framework. One of the things that I found to be extremely useful when I was going through this process myself was learning as much as I could about Magical Theory. You can essentially think of this as the “rules” of magical mechanics. Magical Theory is all about the HOW of magic. What makes it work, why it works the way it does, how to troubleshoot your magic, etc. If you’re ready to get much deeper into the nitty gritty of your magic and start really understanding it at a much deeper level, my Magical Theory Level I + II classes are the place to start.

For those of you who have a solid religious foundation in your craft already, you probably have your own ideas about how witchcraft should and shouldn’t be used and I’m not here to argue those points with you. Your religion and moral beliefs are your own. Rather, I’m hoping to speak to those who feel like they’re lost without a compass. Maybe you’ve recently jumped ship on a religion and haven’t found your bearings yet. Maybe witchcraft without any religion speaks to you but you’re getting all kinds of conflicting information about what is and isn’t ok. Maybe you’re just trying to figure out your own internal sense of moral direction and would like an opinion to counter the mainstream. Either way, I’m here to tell you that it’s ok to put down those outdated beliefs and pick up something far more empowering, joyful, and vibrant.

Is it really ok to use magic for personal gain?

Short answer: Yes.

At least I certainly think so! Honestly, the idea of magic without personal gain has never made much sense to me. I mean, awesome universal power but I’m not supposed to use it to create an awesome life for myself? What’s the point?! Sure I could use it to help the planet and make the people around me happy but this isn’t an either-or situation. I can have BOTH! It’s not like if I make my own life amazing I’ll run out of magical juice before I can do spells for my loved ones. In fact, I would argue that focusing on improving your own life first gives you vastly MORE resources to work with when you’re trying to help those around you! Wouldn’t you feel more prepared to work some juicy, badass magic if you’re happy, healthy, secure, and not stressed out all the time? I know I do!

Looking at this on a more mundane level, if we’re always neglecting ourselves to focus on the people around us, we’re actually doing them a disservice. By not taking care of ourselves, we’re unwittingly making our well-being the responsibility of the people around us. If you’re not taking care of yourself, the people who love you are going to worry, put in a lot more effort, and drain themselves trying to take care of you. That’s pretty much the opposite of what you were going for. That’s not to say that having people take care of you is bad, it’s definitely not, but it’s also not ideal to be entirely dependent on other people for your well-being. Giving to yourself first and meeting your own needs means that the people who love you can stress less AND you’ll have more to give to other people when you’re not at the end of your rope all the time.

This next idea is something that is not said nearly enough and is believed even less. We do not exist on this planet to be miserable. No, I mean it, that is literally not the point of us existing on this planet. People do not exist to be born, spend their lives miserable, and then die. We come here to create, expand and grow ourselves, to build relationships and experience love, to innovate, and to learn. That’s what nature is all about! And do you know what makes a particularly bad environment to do those things? Being miserable. In fact, I could make a pretty solid case for the fact that by not doing everything in your power to get out of misery and into a life that makes you blindingly happy you’re directly working against your own spiritual progression and your cosmic reason for existing!

We have magic for a reason! It’s no accident that we showed up here on this planet with the ability to change our worlds using intention, thought, and emotion. We’re here to use these abilities! And our happiness is the neon sign pointing the way. Think of it this way, pain and unhappiness are a sign from our bodies or minds that something is wrong. It’s how our minds communicate to us that we are in a situation that is bad for us. Much like touching a hot stove causes you to jerk your hand away, unhappiness is designed to have the same reaction. You are supposed to move away from your unhappiness. This means that your happiness, your joy, is meant to guide you away from the things that are bad for you into greater growth and well-being. You are supposed to follow your joy!

(As a side note, it’s important to mention here that in many cases the best way to get AWAY from pain, particularly mental pain, is not to move directly away from it but through it. This is why therapy is such an excellent option, it guides us through the pain and out the other side to happiness. Please do not think that running away from your pain is the same thing as running toward your happiness. Pursuing growth and happiness as a bonded pair is always healthiest.)

All of this is to say that using magic to make yourself happy and improve your own life is a GOOD thing. Your happiness and well-being can only make the world a happier and more whole place for all of us to live so please don’t relegate yourself to misery simply because someone told you that you couldn’t use magic for your own personal gain. You absolutely can and you should use every tool at your disposal to create the life of your dreams and become the badass, magical, happy-as-hell person that you’re ready to become.

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Updated on August 19, 2023 by Avery Hart


  1. I agree with you …. it is important to be using your power from a good place in order to get results …. I see nothing wrong with taking care of yourself ….. as long as you do not harm people for personal gain

  2. Yup, absolutely a left hander! I like you girl, you get it.

    Spiritual ascent through material gain. They aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s a lot easier to find enlightenment when all the rest of your maslow needs are met and you aren’t wondering what happened to all the time you wasted in your early 20’s. Nobody wants that, I’ll be using my power to build things that give back as well as make my life amazing.

    I’m not exactly all for the "harm none" thing either, I’ll bring my own sense of justice if it brings me inner peace yet my standards for that are a lot different than most people. It’s odd being a LHP Empath..

    If you haven’t explored servitors yet I’d highly recommend you enjoy a deep dive into them. Some of the best results I’ve ever had keep coming from them as they continue to get stronger. If you like Chaos Sigil Magick you’ll absolutely love these

  3. Thank you for this post, I know a lot of people (myself having been one of them) that think it’s wrong to seek genuine happiness and think it’s good to seek sacrifice. You use a perspective I haven’t yet seen to articulate the truth and it resonates with me. Thanks again!

  4. I have met this BS statement “never do magic for personal gain” too often and I do not know where it has come from. This isn’t even Christianity – Jesus has said “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:37–39)”. It is not a Buddhism either – Buddha has said if your compassion does not include yourself, it is not full.

    The same deluded people say, that except you shalt not use magic for personal gain, you shalt not perform magic against the free will or agreement of the others. And what happens, when the others not only do not like to have anything to do with magic, but they do not believe it and will laugh at those, who offer their “magical favors”. Magic becomes totally useless – because, if you can’t use it for yourself and most of the other people dislike and do not believe in it for whom it will be useful?

    Maybe this nonsense comes from some shitty theosophical sources. I am not fan of Peter Carol and Chaos magic, but he is right to tell, that “Magic will free itself from occultism, when we see the last occult master strangled with the intestines of the last astrologer”.

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