What is Black Magic? An IntroductionCoven of the Goddess
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Unfortunately in contemporary times we seemed to have developed two perspectives about magic: White Magic is good and Black Magic is bad. This often arises due to some confusion about what Black Magic really is because the distinctions have been broken down in to the most basic, and easily understandable, forms.
The problem tends to arise because often Black Magic is automatically associated with Satanism or Devil Worship and often this misconception has been perpetrated and exaggerated by modern media such as TV and film.
Black Magic is not something which is always considered to be bad, although it is sometimes interpreted as taking the left hand route, the route toward badness, rather than the right hand, or benevolent route. This we know because there are further distinctions between Black Magic itself and Satanism, which neither Wicca nor other essentially White Magic or Pagan forms of worship, associate themselves with.
Yet, as a stereotype of a practice, some people often refer to magic as being black or bad, simply because they view all contact with spirits as something involving bad practices.
When we look at the distinctions between Black Magic and Satanism, we can see that one in particular is a magic arising from bad or selfish intentions, whereas Black Magic can sometimes refer to magic which is used to call down spiritual entities from other dimensions. This is opposed to White Magic which, although not exclusively, calls upon the Nature spirits for assistance.
Others view White and Black Magic as calling upon the same spirits for assistance but, quite possibly for different purposes. Where White Magic is used the intention is often to reinforce the relationship between natural world spirits. This is in comparison to the Black Magic intention which is to ask the same spirits to benefit themselves personally.
As Wiccans, one of the basic principles is to be self-governing in their moral behavior, therefore using Black Magic for selfish reasons obviously contradicts such codes and therefore would not be available for them to use. This situation is not without exception, however many traditions and covens do bar the use of Black Magic completely in an effort to maintain one of their main principles.
Satanism, either when it is associated with Black Magic rituals or otherwise, is seen by Wiccans to be a pure selfish form of magic and practiced with the desire of the practitioner in mind or to cast spells with negative intentions. Thus, this is not something that will be ever practiced by Wiccans or in any genuine Wiccan coven.
There have been many attempts to interpret the real motivation of Black Magic practitioners through the ages and some still declare that White and Black Magic can be distinguished through their either good, or bad, intentions. However, sometimes that line can be blurred rather than distinct. A spell to cause harm might be considered something bad and therefore placed firmly in the category of Black Magic. But a spell which returns harm upon the spell caster is considered to be White Magic. So too might we, in the name of White Magic, call upon nature spirits to protect us from attack, but some of those spirits practice revenge in a form which is meant to act as a deterrent to the attacker in future. Would this then be considered White or Black Magic?
This is why often it is better to simply distinguish between Black Magic and Satanism and let the cards relating to White and Black Magic lie where they fall depending on requirements. Proving there is no bad intention meant without provocation and that the spell is thought through carefully before being cast, then this would be in the spirit of right hand magical practice.