It’s a funny thing, having lawyers in the family – I always seem to pay more attention to the legal ramifications of issues in Pagan life, whether that’s the debate about religious observances at city hall, or parental custody battles during divorces, or chaplains employed by the prison system.
So no surprise that today a family member sent me an AP article titled “Toil and trouble: Romania rejects tax on witches.” Well, those lucky Romanian witches and fortune-tellers are still off the hook and don’t need to pay taxes on their magic-related earnings.
But what really struck me in the article was that the proposed bill, if accepted, would not only have taxed witches and fortunetellers, but would have also held them liable for “false predictions.”
Now I can see that there may be (and should be) laws in different municipalities protecting people from scammers, fraudulent mediums and other ill-meaning ilk — you know, the type that immediately says there’s a curse on your head and only they can remove it, but each step towards removing it, and each visit back to the “magician” uncovers deeper problems and requires more and more money.
However, I still don’t agree that a good-intentioned witch should be held liable for false predictions. If we did that, we’d have to hold the medical profession to account (‘false positive’ being an oft-used medical term, of course), then the weather forecasters, then the business journalists, then the high school counselors, then the Las Vegas bookies… everyone who’s ever attempted to make a prediction about anything.
Because when it comes down to it, anyone (including witches) can make a prediction based on the best of their current knowledge, whether that’s a stock portfolio analysis, a tarot card reading, or a message from a spirit guide. But predictions, no matter where they come from, are never set in stone. People can steer their destinies with free will and right action, can nudge the outcome in their favor with magic or prayers, can work with their wyrd or their karma or their HGA and influence the end result. So much for liability of the fortuneteller.