In an earlier post about not thinking things through before "whipping up some magick", I warned that simply asking "for rain" to help with the dangerous wildfires being experienced in Colorado and elsewhere would lead to flooding and mudslides. Unfortunately, it's now happening right in the areas burned away by the Waldo Canyon fire, the one that got so much attention for actually burning into the city of Colorado Springs.
Now an area which suffered loss and the costs associated with it are going through some of it all over again. Pagan are a well-meaning bunch of people, we really do want the world to be a better place for many, and we fight an uphill battle through internal strife, outside cultural and religious oppression and discrimination, and all the issues of other groups into which Paganism has been woven over time like women's rights, gay rights, etc. This problem is a giant mass of uncoordinated, well-meaning, positive intention-blasting Pagans et. al. with no scope or restraint can wreak havoc in the form of what are known as "unintended consequences".
Just remember to pause before rushing into a magickal working, even if it's for something as good as stopping a wildfire. There is always a price to be paid with magick, and because it manifests itself in the physical world, that cost can be pretty ugly if we're not careful. Personally, I try to think the thing through before acting, which isn't always easy or convenient to do, and I also like to include the cost in the working, hoping to avoid an unforeseen expression of the price by injecting where that price should be paid, or even paying that price up front and making sure I'm letting the gods know I'm paying it up front.
I'm sure if I conducted a poll of the Pagan community to discover how many people asked for rain to be sent to Colorado to help with the wildfires I'd get a pretty large number, but I bet if I asked for respondents to answer whether they sacrificed something (paid a price) to make that outcome during their magickal working, the number would be much smaller. I wonder what the people who could answer 'yes' to that second question would write if I asked 'what sacrifice did you make or offer?'
--source Gazette July 31, 2012