Minding the Fences

A while back I had a bit of a falling out with a friend. The nature of the dispute isn’t important: I’m sure we both think that we’re in the right and the other is wrong. Only three major points emerge: 1) We have worked together in magical setting before, and know how the other works; 2) we are no longer on speaking terms, although our mutual friends are being very good about not taking side or doing anything to exacerbate or (even worse!) resolve the situation, instead just letting it be and ignoring it like civilized people; and 3) do to statements the other party has made previous to and during the falling out, it is very possible that he considers me to be less-than-human.

Now, upon our falling out, I did what any good Scorpio magician would do in a similar situation with another Scorpio magician: I redesigned my house wards, buffed my personal shields, and awaited a first strike while preparing but holding back on launching my own (Partly because he was living with a friend of mine, who I did not want in the crossfire). That strike never came, and I can only assume that his response was either similar or identical to mine (which I actually find hilarious).

So I trusted the wards, put my wand away, and moved on. Why then, am I mentioning this at all?

Two reasons. First, while I believe this person to be hubristic, pretentious, and misguided in some of his beliefs, he has taken a position far more extreme, and has made statements to the effect that I no longer classify as fully human in his eyes. This concerns me greatly, for if I am seen as sub-human, many fates and punishments against me can be justified. Even considering this, I haven’t been concerned, until the second point arose.

See, being the brilliant magician he is, this individual has created a kind of spiritual construct. It’s more complex than an elemental, and more aware and free-willed than a normal servitor. And at the local pagan festival this summer, it buzzed by my tent. And on a few occasions in the past couple of months, I’ve felt/seen it testing the perimeter of my house wards. One time I think it actually got in, and my son had some nasty nightmares that night.

That first strike never came, but he has sent a construct to do surveillance.

So I have a few options. I’ve considered building a trap for the construct in case it comes by again. It’s possible I could feed it false information, reprogram it altogether, or simply destroy it. Or maybe keep it for ransom or something, who knows? It wouldn’t be that hard to tune the wards to more specifically block the construct, and I’ve got a pretty good idea the way it could have bypassed the wards and fixed the problem.

Should I consider this an act of aggression? If the construct did in fact penetrate the wards, that’s a pretty flagrant violation of my home space, especially if that was the cause of my son’s distress that night. But I am certain that the thing was hovering around the perimeter wards, and I’m not sure how aggressive I should consider that to be. Checking out my defenses is not an overly friendly act.

So I’m back to square one. Do I batten down the hatches, prepare a retaliatory strike, and rely on MAD to keep the first strike from coming? Do I escalate by sending my own construct to test his wards? Send a warning shot? He moved recently, and is probably still settling in to his new location. He’d be fairly vulnerable, but then again that may explain the recon. But does it excuse it?

And the construct hasn’t been by for a while (or it’s better at hiding now). Perhaps it knows I detected it and hasn’t bothered to come back. Maybe my ability to detect the intrusion was all he was testing. But again, that doesn’t excuse what I see as a hostile act on my home territory.

And or course, I could just ignore it, which is pretty much what I’ve been doing to this point. But I’m not Wiccan, don’t follow no Rede, and I keep thinking I’ve been served a bit. So I ask anyone who still reads this, should I lay a smack-down?


8 responses to “Minding the Fences

  1. Ave,

    Given the circumstances, why not do a spot of divination on the subject? Can you read into his intent? If so, I’d do just that, and make a decision once you have the appropriate information.

    The way my wards are constructed, if someone else intrudes upon my home with their energies, a servitor, familiar spirit, etc. by coming too close or actually entering the premises, a magickal warning shot is fired off. After this point, the intruding party is given a chance to back off, and if the aforementioned does not, it gets eaten or otherwise damaged. It is only after repeat attempts to do such a thing that I will lay the smack down on someone, as its possible that it is a mistake taken out of hubris, or some other sort of an “oops” moment.

    Its essentially like a sort of magickal Castle Law. Enter my home without permission, and you get a gun pointed at you. Stay after I tell you to leave, and I’ll unload the clip. Such a reaction might seem strong, but it seems like the stance would be of some use to you.



    • I honestly never considered a divination as to his intention. I did employ divinations to confirm the intrusion, however.

      My own magical ethics are based on the idea of “what would I do if this happened physically,” so I appreciate the home intrusion metaphor a great deal, and have thought of it myself. The construct buzzing my wards is equivalent to someone testing the locks on your doors and windows. Needless to say, I’m not happy about the situation.

      On the other hand, though, I can easily see how he might consider me to be a threat, and therefore may simply be re-conning me to see if I’m after him. Of course, that could be done without the whole intrusion thing, but its quite possible the construct was send for such a reconn job and the wards simply prevented it from doing so, hence the checking the wards.

      And here’s my real problem. Because this person was at one time a friend, I am still giving him the benefit of the doubt. If this were a stranger or confirmed adversary, I probably would have already struck back, but that damn Scorpio loyalty thing keeps kicking in…

      • Ave,

        Having been, unfortunately, embroiled in various magickal battles with others, thanks to the drama that’s been stirred up in the past, I’ve had a fair deal of experience here. Given the verbage of your post, I didn’t think you had done any form of divination. However, divining to see if it was indeed your “friend” is a wise starting point, given the circumstances. Now that you’ve ascertained that it is indeed him, if you divine to check the intent of his work, you’ll be able to see if it is simply him playing on the defensive side, or if he’s actively trying to do you and your family harm.

        This may or may not be of some help to you, as I am a Leo, Aquarius, Gemini (Sun, Ascendant, Moon – I figure this might give you an idea of where I stand here) and as such, loyalty is incredibly important to me. So too is protecting my family, and, in the case of an intruder, even if he once was a friend, the moment he means to do my family harm, my loyalty is gone. Perhaps the same mentality can be applied in your situation, given the circumstances.



  2. I suggest making your wards selectively vampiric. This will likely prevent his elemental from passing.

  3. I sent you a longer email about this, but I want to say the most important parts here in case you don’t check that email anymore. I also want to do it publicly so that you understand how sincere I am.

    I’m sorry Tsu scared your son. I didn’t send her. I didn’t even know she’d gone. I’ll talk to her about that. I’m sorry.

    We will probably never be friends again, but I have no desire to be enemies. Mutually assured destruction notwithstanding, we have too many friends in common, and we’ve broken bread and drank wine together too many times. Even if I did plan to go to war with you, I would not attack your children: that shit’s just wrong.

    • Received (and responded to) the e-mail, and I am satisfied we have come to an understanding – no harm no foul. I also want to state here that I was more interested in using the situation to explore an ethical question, not to actually threaten you, and I apologize publicly here if this post caused you undue worry. All ego aside, I’d wager that we’re fairly evenly matched, and despite my bravado I’m fairly opposed to most first strike situations, so I’d have sought to avoid any conflict if I’d been concerned one was coming anyway. And we’ve already discussed the issue at greater length than here: I just wanted these sentiments to be stated before the public eye.

  4. Can’t you free the construct? Let it live on its own? Elementary intelligence evolve being free to do drcisions on it’s own. It’s like creating life. You do an act of creation, positive thing and yours opponent would be mad too, because his intentions were to make you mad, and you made joy out of it. And a free soul in addition … 🙂

    • The construct is pretty well independent at this point, and apparently made the move on her/its own. I hadn’t considered that the construct had this amount of autonomy, although looking back I should have. In addition, I hadn’t considered that she may have just been stopping by to visit, or at least check up on me, and my reaction to the whole thing makes me feel a little like a dick.

      An intrusion is an intrusion, however: an acquaintance you met through someone who isn’t talking yo you peeking in your windows at night is still pretty disturbing. But I am not confident that no harm was intended by either party involved, and consider the situation resolved.

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