To some people, ethics in magick is simple. A good deal of people follow the rede, "An it harm none..."
I don't necessarily believe in the rede when taken at face value. I believe it's okay to defend myself if necessary. In fact, I don't really believe in any laws except everything you do comes back to you, magickally or physically. I think this applies whether or not you intended the effect or not. Mistakes made by carelessness or thoughtlessness still apply.
Because of this, I have thought alot about the ethics of various types of spells. The possible repercussions, their usefulness and how they may affect other people. These are just my opinion.
Love spells: A good majority of the emails I get requesting spells are for this type. Not that I work for anyone I don't know, but I still get asked. And this is one place I won't go! the way I see it, there are two types of love spells. Ones that are cast on a specific person and ones to find love in general. I believe the type that are cast on a specific person are never positive. From what I've seen, most people wanting this are driven by desperation and/or obsession. These are not healthy emotions and they need to be dealt with. Until they are, healthy relationships cannot be established. If that were the right person, you wouldn't need a spell, it would happen on it's own. In fact, it might happen and you may alter events adversely if you interfere. There might also be a person more suited to you that will appear in your life soon. By tying yourself to someone that is not right for you, you could be sabotaging a better relationship. Finally, think how you would feel if someone you didn't want forced you to have a relationship with them. Worse, what if it were someone you found to be obnoxious or repulsive. I believe what comes around goes around and if you force someone to have a relationship with you, you might end up with someone you don't want later on. Another thing to consider is, you could be taking that person away from someone else that was meant to be with them.
The other type of love spell is of the variety that enables you to find the right person. It may seem like this couldn't go wrong, but it should not be done without careful thought. What if you find the right person at the wrong time? Is there room in your life for a serious relationship? If not, you might find the right person, but end up in a relationship that simply will not work because of other circumstances.
Revenge spells: I don't really understand how any gratification could come from this type of spell. It is my opinion that revenge spells are useless and harmful under any circumstances. A person might think it will make them feel better to see someone "get what they deserve". If someone has done harm to you, the damage is done. Whether or not something happens to them in return will not change that. In my opinion, it's better to try to learn from the experience and move on. Further more, how are you going to decide exactly what they deserve? Different circumstances affect people in different ways emotionally. What effect a certain event has on one person could drastically differ from the effect it has on another.
And finally, I am saying this based on my belief that everything someone does comes back to them. Whatever it was they did to you will come back o them. If you add additional harm to this, it will come back on you. Is it worth it? Probably not.
Money spells: Another one of those annoying spells everyone seems to want. So many try to convince me that they "need" a million dollars or so, even after I tell them it won't work unless they truly need it. And I believe there is a question of ethics here. if you spell to win the lottery for example, you are taking it away from the person that would have won to begin with.
If you spell for a specific job, it's pretty much the same. I think it's best to assess what type of job or money you truly need and spell for what's best for you, without targeting anything specific. I had success with this several years ago. I was in desperate need of a job, but with a 4 year old and a baby, the childcare expenses would have eaten up any money I would have made. The whole situation seemed impossible, so I went to work, asking for the best thing. 2 weeks later, I got a phone call. A woman 2 streets over had been looking for a baby-sitter for her 2 children. She was desperate as she was in danger of losing her job if she didn't find one soon. I accepted cautiously, as I had bad experiences with people not paying me in the past for baby-sitting. And it worked out perfectly. She paid me what I considered a fair amount, and her children were very easy to get along with. I had that particular job for 4 years, and I had fun with it. My point is, there may be the perfect job out there for you, someone may need you to do the job as badly as you need it. Focus on that rather than one specific job.
Bindings and Banishings: This is another area where caution should be used. I have heard people say that they think someone might be trying to hour them, so they want to bind or banish them. If you're not sure who is causing you problems, you should never target a specific person. I also don't think it's okay to bind someone simply because they annoy you or because they are keeping you from having things exactly as you want them. I think these spells are best saved for truly dangerous or harmful situations where you know who or what the problem is. Otherwise, it's removing the free will of another person, and this could possibly be done to you in return, particularly if it is used frivolously.
These are just my opinion. Some of it may sound overly cautious, but I strongly believe in thinking through every spell very thoroughly before it is done and looking at all possibilities. There is always an alternative to hurting someone or taking what belongs to them, you just have to find it.