Black Witch: “Black Magick, White Magick”
April 29, 2011
Any decent book on witchcraft will tell you that despite what popular media say, there’s no such thing as black or white magick, just intent. But still, even among witches the term “black magick” is used in reference to hexes and jinxes, and is partly accepted. We as witches understand that magick itself is not evil – it’s just utilizing the natural energies of the universe to bring about change. But the colorizing of different types of magick (white magick, green magick, black magick), I admit, does make it a little easier to discuss. Especially to those who do not understand witchcraft and think all of it is evil, the explainer just has to include the “magick is neutral” rider.
Here are the different forms of magick as understood by witches, pagans and/or normal people:
Black magick – Most referenced to and most thought of when magick is discussed at all. This identification encapsulates hexes, curses and jinxes. If it’s considered wicked, evil, dark and potentially insurmountable, it’s here.
White magick – Barely ever discussed (unless around a herd of fluffy bunnies*) but this is supposed to be the opposite of black magick. It’s considered to be nice and neat and clean (and weak against big bad black magick (ugh)). White magick witches are suppose to have Glenda DNA and they are so pure, they’re almost not human.
Green magick – Mainly discussed within witchy circles, this acceptable term and form of magick refers to using only plants, stones and other materials found in nature to do magick. Green magick witches are good at potions, herbal work and tend to have a green thumb. Read any book written by Ellen Dugan for a good idea of green magick, she’s really cool.
These different ideas of magick differ in general knowledge and popularity depending on who is talking and in what social circle but usually the average person doesn’t know about green magick (or probably think it’s the Harry Potter overload version of a eco-hipster using recyclable bags to cast spells) but of all three color identifications, it’s the most accepted and understood. The other two are just pretty mainstream ideas of magick. White and black magick refer to intent whereas green refer to style of magick. As a matter of fact, if people want to strictly identify with color to magick, grey magick should be noted too.
Grey magick is middle-of-the-road magick. They are karmic spells and other spells that blur the line between good (white) and bad (black) but rides on enough technicalities that those who do not practice jinxes or curses can cast them as a form of retribution. For example, I don’t do jinxes or other versions of harmful magick because I think that’s wrong. Now, some of my friends may disagree and jinx when severely wronged but however, I do believe in retribution and feel that instead of putting additional bad energy on someone and be accused of being no better than the person who wronged me, I rather amplify and dredge the bad karma they already created themselves from their own wickedness. A karmic spell can also be used for good in the same effect of amplifying and dredging the good karma too. Karma spells are neutral; they just take whatever is there, good or bad, and use it in consequence. It’s not jinxing, more like a karma/life audit.
The essence of magic is like electricity: neutral. The same jolt that lights your home could shock you dead, depending on how it’s used and handled. Same with magick, neutral until intent is applied. Magick itself isn’t evil or wrong but how it’s used could be, something that all boils down to human choice. Another way to express this can be a doctor could kill a patient but they don’t because they feel it isn’t right and not what they’re in the business for (I consider that choice because even with the threat of malpractice suits and murder charges, that doesn’t stop someone wanting to permanently halt a heart.) It all depends on the person how magick is used, not the magick itself.
Now, the average witch isn’t out there to cause trouble and jinxing like mad because they clearly asked for French and not Ranch dressing and there aren’t any more bacon bits at the salad bar. Most witches (if not all) I’ve come across aren’t that shallow and generally have better things to worry about than someone being a mild and unwitting pest. To assume that any magick is most likely black magick is not only foolish but tells me more about the person saying it than the person hearing it. Why would I care so much about you, another faceless person I’ll meet, to the point that I would utterly waste my time and resources, which could be better used not getting emo over the pointless, to teach you a lesson that you’ll most likely dredge up yourself? Erm, no.
I would always ask people something along those lines when they would make reference to black magick in the form of “Oh, don’t piss her off, she’ll jinx you” or “I’m glad she liked my work, narrowly missed that one,” (I get that one after featuring folks) because, well, that’s like saying, “I’m happy she liked my shoes but I’m happier she let me keep them” simply because I’m Black. I just would outright ask “Now why would you think I’d waste my time jinxing you, especially since I don’t even do any of that stuff?” Based on the responses I would receive and my own experience, I believe it’s because people see magick get used in movies and TV as a form of revenge or to slight others. What people don’t see is the “main character gets jinx, gotta fix it” plot is a tired old plot that churns in a lot of money, hence why it’s used so much. It provides a story of formidable odds for the main character to compete against and rise above. Even in movies where both sides have magick, the bad side is always seen as the stronger side because again, if the main character was the stronger one, there wouldn’t be much of a story to tell and not so much of a cash cow for the makers of the film.
Now, I like movies like Harry Potter and The Craft (both favorite movies of mine) but they’re just that, movies. Just like Inception, The Matrix trilogy and Bewitched. Movies. Yeah they may have some inkling of truths (Nicholas Flamel was a real person and alchemist, for example (Harry Potter)) but that doesn’t mean they’re training tapes you’re watching in a theatre nor true depictions. So, yeah, assuming every witch is a walking vat of hate and wickedness when most aren’t is the same of assuming every Black person you meet is an uneducated mushmouth hoodrat that only knows how to make money through every illegal means you could think of (but usually as the gun-toting peons and pawns, never the mastermind) and even if they do have a job that doesn’t come with a federal sentence, it’s usually going to be in subservient roles. A Black man in the White House on the silver screen? Only if he’s cleaning the windows or screwing up worse than Bush. Now, it wouldn’t be right to assume that of Blacks but according to the TV and movies, we’re still vaudeville characters to be secondhand men and women to a White lead. We’re not people, just a race of plots hinges, obstacles, helpers and villains. If that doesn’t make any sense then why does thinking I’m naturally evil (for practicing magick, not because I’m Black) does?
At the end of the day, magick is just magick. It’s the people who make it what it is.
Okay peoples, a couple weeks ago, the nomination process for the event I have been waiting for since this blog began – the Black Weblogs Awards. I am very excited and happy to finally compete. Nominations began on the 18th so if you also are a Black blogger, take note now, it only lasts until May 7th. Voting begins on May 16th and lasts until June 17th and the winner for each category is picked on July 9th. Get yourself together if you have a blog or just vote for this one when the time comes around.
I have learned that some readers are timid to ask me a question for Ask Black Witch because not everyone is cool with the idea of knowing someone who wrote to a witch or are worried of being found out that they wrote to a witch. Plus it would make physical giveaways and letters and such easier to handle, so I got a physical mailbox for people to send to:
P.O. Box 2161
Baltimore, MD 21203
Oh, I love mail so this all makes me very happy! (NB: I love cell phone charms. Just sayin’) Also some of you saw on my Twitter and BW fan page that I have a new phone number strictly for the column. This is mainly just something additional and I thought, “Hey! This is a good idea! Derp!” and it will possibly be used for call-in for videocasts, interviewers (I have had a couple interviews about Black Witch already) and things like that. D’accord, I’m never comfy with just slappin any phone number up on the interwebz – plus I would have just about no time to take calls around now from potentially bunches of people – so for those that really feel some burning need to be able to contact me via phone, PM me but there’s no promise you won’t be met with a voicemail from time to time. Besides, there’s always email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Twitter, the BW Fan Page and the ABW submission form to terrorize me with.
* Fluffy bunnies are the newbies of Wicca and witchcraft. Verrrrry new agey in thinking to the point it showcases the absence of a working mind. They believe just about anything fantastical and spout just about anything fantastical. Most of their knowledge consists of Silver Ravenwolf, Twilight, Harry Potter, Hot Topic and godknowswhat. They’re not all bad, just a pestilence to be around.