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White Witchcraft vs. Black Witchcraft

Nov 29, 2007
There are regularly much discussion within - and without - Wiccan circles on the practice of Magick and its ethical implications. During such discussions the topic of white and black Magick invariably arises. For the uninitiated it may appear that two completely different Magickal arts are addressed and that two completely different groups of practitioners are involved in its practice. This is, in fact, a bit of a fallacy.

Consider a pallet containing oil paints. The white oil paint is simply white, and whilst it contains all other colors, it shows none of the characteristics of other colors. The red oil paint on the palate is simply a primary red. When you paint a pair of lips, you could use just the red or you could mix the red paint into the white paint, to create a brand new color - pink - that possesses some of the characteristics of red. If more red is added than white, the ensuing color will be dark pink. If more white is added than red, the resulting color will be a light or pastel pink.

Magick, like the color white, is neutral. To be neutral, it has to contain both positive and negative without displaying characteristics of either. Performing Magick refers to the act of engaging with certain universal and natural elements to affect a change to other universal and natural elements. To this is added human intent or will.

Human intent or will is like one of the colors on the pallet. It can never be neutral and will subsequently serve to disrupt the neutrality of Magick. If the intent is positive, the neutrality in Magick will swing to the positive side or differently put, be positively charged. If the intent is negative, the Magick performed will swing to the negative side and negatively charged.

Now, painting is painting. It is an act. The picture painted will contain colors and form. The colors and form are decided upon by the artist and can either be pleasing and beautiful or offensive and ugly. Magick is Magick, too. It will contain neutral universal and natural elements. The result of the Magick, will reflect what the magician wishes to achieve and can either be positive and constructive or negative and destructive.

Positive and constructive Magick, is commonly referred to as White Magick, Negative and destructive Magick, is referred to as Black Magick. If we are really pragmatic about this, all Magick is white due to its neutrality, and black Magick non-existent because black is not a color. The choice of words is historic: perhaps the term "Black Magic" has its origin in the Burning Times and "White Magick" in the neo-pagan movement of the previous century.

Whether these terms are semantically correct or not, is an academic debate. The point is that practitioners of Magick prefer describing the path they follow in this way. Right hand path practitioners perform White Magick and Left hand path practitioners perform Black Magick. This is the common assumption. Strictly speaking this is not true either.
About the Author
Rose Ariadne has been practicing ancient forms of Witchcraft for over 25 years. Get more info about white and black witchcraft here: http://www.askroseariadne.com/editorials/white-witchcraft-vs-black-witchcraft.html
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