Question for Pagans, Wiccans, Occultists — is Magick always either "Black" or "White"?

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So, is Magick really only Black and White? Is it always Good or Evil? Or is it more complicated than that? Are certain styles or traditions of Magick always necessarily Good or Bad? Or is it the intent of the practitioner that gives it its moral leaning?
And, most importantly, is there a place for Absolute Dualistic Morality in Neopaganism, or is it an idea that we should — must — outgrow?

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arcanum70

Magic is neither good nor evil. All magic is is the redirecting of energy and energy is (for lack of a better word) neutral.
Like many things in life it is what is done with it that is good or evil.

jools4fools

Magic is a neutral tool, like a hammer. You can use it to build or destroy depending on the will of the user.

skywise012000

Power is neutral – it is the uses to which power is put that are “good” or “evil” so your intentions in utilising power of any kind are of the utmost importance.
I don’t believe in White or Black magick, only magick as a whole and consequently very rarely use spells of any kind and only when I have thought through the possible consequence of my actions – good and bad. Even then you cannot always be sure of the consequences so it’s best to avoid ritual magick as much as possible and only use it as a very last resort IMHO

merlin

It depends on the use, white magic is a recent term meant to counter the Christian epithet of black being applied to magic.
So about 1970 you started getting people claiming to practise white magic. It is a very Christian thing to claim. It splits magic into a dichotomy of good and evil. This agrees very nicely with Christian theology.
Yes, I think this concept of dualism should be handed back to the Christians and the Zoroastians they stole it from.
If you want a wholistic faith I don’t see what use cutting it (or the world) into two makes.

James B

Absolute Dualistic Morality in Neopaganism? You betcha.
Magick is very versatile, it can be black, white, green or pink. It can be good, it can be evil. It can be happy or sad. It can be spelled with a “c” or a “ck” or just a “k” without the “c”. But there’s one thing that magic(k) always is and that’s…..BULLSHIT.

Jakero Evigh

Magic is magic. Is electricity good or bad? No. Then why is magic?
There is no such thing as “black” magic in a real sense. Sure a death spell might be considered evil. But to use it on a serial killer or rapist would actually be considered a good thing.
Morality in and of itself is subjective, it all comes down to the individual. There are those who are unafraid to use magic in all forms to ANY purpose be it positive or negative. Philosophies regarding magic and spirituality both are sometimes divided into a sort of dualism. Those like described above are considered LHP or left hand path. RHP or Right hand path are those who try to only use magic, and do just about everything in their lives, by utilizing only the “positive”. The Wiccan rede is the most common example of an RHP philosophy. But as good and evil are unique to the individual RHP types are bound to disagree. This can blatantly be seen in the various religions of the world.
I’m getting a little off track but that’s pretty much how it works. There really is no difference. The problem only truly arises when you actually make the division. Energy is energy. Everything else is a personal, cultural, or religious definition.

elder_moon81

Magic, (notice I do not use the “k”, archaic spellings), is neither black nor white, it simply is.. much the same as prayers from a christian to God, magic is molded to the use of the practicioner. It is their intent that makes it black or white, good or bad.

Tahuti

Yes and No. Any colors we give magick are mind-sets, framing, or maps we use to understand magick. They have truth to them, but do not encompass the idea itself; magick. So, one spell may be black, another white, another black and white. Another Red, another Ocatrine. Dualistic Morality has no place in Neopaganism. If people want strict Dualistic Morality they can find it in most, more popular, religions available to him. (As well as most politics, philosophies and psychologies out today)

LabGrrl (InAFunk)

I would say that magick is never either black or white.

mad cat

mystical JESUS RAISED THE DEAD -good thing or bad ?
he mystical turn water to wine -good or for the bad ?
mystical he cured the blind- good or bad ?
good or evil + black and white = same value to yin &yang
remember jesus went to the church had a fit for them gambling ? was it a good thing or bad? +shows we have the same quility as to be both good and bad for say we can both be good and bad we are not perfect
so magic is neither black or white +it = dualistic maders to how it is used

maiingan2

Magic is neither color. Magic is just magic. If it must have a color, then the color is placed by the intent you have in the magic. If you intend to show the jerk at work the errors he has done, that could be interpreted as dark, whereas a spell to heal your friend could be interpreted as white. Its all in the intent. Personally I do not believe in dark or white magic, just magic.

BlueManticore

What is good or bad is a matter of personal perspective. What you do with magic is what might make it lean one way or the other. But until you act, magic is neither good or bad, it just is.

~Heathen Daughter~

There is no such thing as black and white magic. That’s like saying a hurricane is good or bad. It is niether, it simply exists. What you do with it can be good or bad, but that applies to most things in life I think. Look at Asatru. Most do great and wonderful things with it and apply the honor of it to thier lives. Then you have Nazitru that massacre the lore and beliefs to fit thier own needs.
Cowards.

Jewel

I don’t think there’s room for any kind of Absolute Morality in any faith. To apply an absolute morality indicates that whoever came up with the standards for that morality–whatever it may be–has all the answers. Common sense and observation will soon prove -that- idea false.
As for “black or “white” magic–I think there are certain spells that never have positive consequences. I think there are other spells which have universally positive consequences. But there’s an awful lot of stuff “in the middle”–where intent and practice and result all have to come together to determine whether a spell is “good” or “bad.”

Diane

magic is neither black or white.I would say the intention of the practitioner is very rarelt wholly black or white either!

Stephen

It has always been my opinion that Magick is neither “black” nor “white”. Magic is but a tool, it is how it is used that determines if it is baneful or beneficial.
Too answer your second part, Neopaganism doesn’t have a place for absolute polarity of morality. We leave that for the Abramic faiths. Neopaganism, for the most part, is concerned with the partnership between dualities. You cannot have one side of a coin without another and even then both sides most likely have a shade of the other. There are no absolutes in my opinion.
Blessed Be )O(

Raji the Green Witch

Magick is magick, period. The good or evil comes in with the purpose and intent of the user. If the user intends to cause harm then it is bad, if good is the intention then it is good. Magick is merely a tool (a process, in this case), through which the user is able to focus one’s energies in a directed manner to accomplish a goal that is accomplished by non-natural means. As a tool, it is neither good nor evil, in and of itself. Just as guns are not evil, just as drugs are not evil, just as anything else is not evil, in and of itself. What makes anything evil is the intentions of the user. Therefore it is the USER who is good or evil, NOT the tools that are used to accomplish the ends.
Brightest Blessings,
Raji the Green Witch

bad tim, yeti's bf

there are no absolutes. ‘black’ and ‘white’ magic are relative terms. ‘white’ is drawn from emotions that are generally considered constructive: love, compassion, etc; black magic is drawn from destructive emotions like anger or fear.
even ‘white’ magic can have negative effects, and in the hands of the ethical practitioner, ‘black’ magic is used for the greater good.
if dualism were absolute, there would be no common ground and no equilibrium in which life could thrive, and no magic would work because if everything were black and white, there would be nothing to manipulate.

Mr. Therapy

I’ve been told that its not black or white, its how you use it. Intention, intention, intention.

Oracle Blackrose ( Pagan )

look to the Chinese on this. Yin vs. Yang

Janet L

I don’t think it’s black or white, nor is it always good or evil. Magick is just energy, our intent is what makes others class it as black or white. The problem with that is that good and evil are really hard to define because people have different beliefs of what is good or evil.

Leith C

Magic comes in many various shades of grey. I dont believe in absolutes.
I dont think in terms of good and evil. If asked if Im a “black or white witch” I smile and reply “Im a GREEN witch”.
People who refer to what they do as White Magic are usually fluff bunnies that feel the need to suck up to the standards of other religions. I govern and judge myself by my own standards and morals.

Joe Garry

Magic aside, the absolute black vs white sort of thinking is why Pagans are lumped in with “worshiping Satan” by Christians. THAT’S a black/white concept that we can readily recognize as extreme and not logical. Do we as Pagans really want to emulate this type of behavior?

I'm.a.witch

we are the ones at fault when it comes to defining what is good magick and what is evil
I believe evil only exist in the individual it is what the intend is not what the act is
simply intent over act

Gandalf Parker

Its the intent.
Just like any other black/white reference there is usually gray. Such as with hackers there are black hat (break laws), and white hat (security people), and grey hat (break laws but feel its for a good reason, like in the movies).
Magic is magic. A spell is not black or white. Its the use of it which defines it. In Wicca the phrase is “An’ ye harm none, do what ye will”. That means you cannot play with wording and do “white magic” with a twist putting it to a dark purpose.

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