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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Wicca

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  #1  
Old 17-11-2019, 08:57 PM
FoxTracks FoxTracks is offline
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The line between Black Magic and other sorts

I have noticed a current in witchcraft towards using dark symbolism, such as black clothing, horns like malificent has, skulls, etcetera.

However, I'm not certain darkness is the same as "black magic", which i'm thinking of as magic with the intent of harm towards another. Do you think that black magic is the same as magic which incorporates darkness?

From my perspective, darkness must exist on this earth for a reason. Personally, I employ natural magic mostly. But, people who use dark symbolism don't always seem to lack empathy, or be "bad" people. Although some seem to be a little too ego based for my taste.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 17-11-2019, 11:21 PM
55Degrees 55Degrees is offline
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I feel the dark symbolism has a lot to do with people reclaiming the title of witch. If you look at the way most people imagine what they believe the sterotypical image of a witch is, the modern day witch will happily embrace that and go with it. Given the rise of social media, there are many witches out there who play with the aesthetic.

The wearing of black clothing is because the colour black absorbs energy and light (it's also practical as it saves having to make complicated wardrobe choices ).
Horns are a symbol of deity, there are many pagan gods and goddesses who are horned, and skulls have many meanings in witchcraft, the deepest being a reminder that life is a temporary state.

None of it is dark symbolism, its actually very sacred to a lot of witches (although it could be misunderstood by those who don't fully understand the path and the history of witches and their craft).

To answer your main question I believe there is a difference, depending upon the practitioner (it can be a fine line) between black magick and magick that incorporates darkness, but wearing black clothing and horns or the use of skulls has no bearing on whether this type of magick is practiced.
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“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
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  #3  
Old 18-11-2019, 12:58 AM
Pastthemirror Pastthemirror is offline
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One thing I have learned in life is that the darkness is not necessarily evil, as the two are often mistakenly put together. Darkness has shrouded evil deeds, yes, but it has also protected the innocent from those who would find them and do them harm.

When I researched Wicca for a short time there was an unanswered question regarding the line between dark magic and lightwork that bothered me though. If you could cast some sort of misfortune upon one person that would prevent them from bringing harm upon many others, would you still suffer the three fold returns of the misfortune? Or would you gain the returns of the people you indirectly saved? Perhaps both? Nobody could give me a complete answer.
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  #4  
Old 18-11-2019, 02:30 AM
FoxTracks FoxTracks is offline
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Well, what I understand of the threefold law is that you receive good back threefold, and bad back threefold. It isn't some sort of equation where it's like Good - Bad * 3 = karma return, negative or positive. It's more like Good times three back, and bad times three back, done separately.

As far as your response 55, I think that's a pretty good one. I think social media and such and making witchcraft into a sort of fashion statement is as good as any an explanation.

The focus on natural cycles of life and death in Wicca make the skull images make sense, and thank you for explaining black clothing. I'm more comfortable with natural colored horns than black horns, and the focus on sexuality and what appears to me to be witchcraft that focuses more on the death aspect of Wicca seems a little disturbing. It seems I have been getting nudges toward understanding those aspects better though. Perhaps I need to be a bit more open minded about it.

The purpose of this thread was, though, to discuss some sort of working definition of that "fine line" which separates magic which incorporates darkness from magic that is harmful. I have thought, from my experiences dealing with darker energies, that using them in a constructive way could be risky as without care they seem to be difficult to direct properly.

However, for me, darkness is associated with rest, recuperation, chaos which leads to new life, none of which is evil. I have thought that incorporating darker energies into a spell which also incorporates light energies, meant to bring about transformation in your life, could be powerful. But I also thought it might be considered by some "base" or unethical. Many spiritual people seem to believe that we should only work with and live in the light, but practically, in my life, it's impossible to live solely in light. I have a hard time believing anyone could, or if you did, you would be akin to someone like a buddha or a saint. That's more thoughts on it, anyway.

I would have it said that I think doing something like cursing someone would be unethical.
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  #5  
Old 18-11-2019, 06:14 AM
Jenny Crow Jenny Crow is offline
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Interesting topic. What is the definition of that fine line which separates magic which incorporates darkness from magic that is harmful? I think that would all depend on your definition of "darkness". There are baneful herbs and oils and there are so-called "dark" deities. Is this what you mean by darkness? Also, by "magic that is harmful" are you talking about curses/hexes? In reality you can use a curse to heal someone. So I don't even know if there IS a fine line to be honest. I also don't believe magic comes in colours - black magic, white magic, grey magic, - they are all made-up names really because all magic comes from the same source, the same energy - it is the practitioner's intent that dictates what is done with that energy.
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Old 18-11-2019, 08:47 AM
55Degrees 55Degrees is offline
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I agree with Jenny Crow, its very subjective, everybody's 'fine line' is different so it's a difficult answer to define.
I know wicca has some hard and fast 'rules' about the threefold law and their 'and harm none' code, however there are many witchcraft systems that do not (and these are very old ways).
So to one witch, what appears to 'cross a line' may be acceptable and 'normal' to another witch.
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“What do we say to the Lord of Death?'
'Not today.”
― George R.R. Martin, AGOT


“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
― George R.R. Martin, AGOT


Please respect that I do not respond to reading requests via PM.
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  #7  
Old 18-11-2019, 03:05 PM
FoxTracks FoxTracks is offline
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As far as there being no such thing as black, white, or grey magic, etcetera, I feel like there are differences. What sort of energies I draw upon are the differences I think. I don't know what grey magic is, but when working with energies I can feel a distinct, definite difference between energies that are "light" or "dark". For me the symbolism isn't as important as the energies involved in determining whether it's dark or not.

While some old witchcraft may accept magic that causes harm, I don't. I think magic allows you to influence fate and using it to cause harm is irresponsible and egotistical all in one.

Jenny, when I say "magic that is harmful" I mean magic cast with the intent to bring pain or displeasure, or misfortune to someone. I don't have experience with healing curses/hexes, but I have been healed by dark energy, and while it was powerful healing, it was also painful. That seems to be playing with a dangerous line, at least if you do it to someone else without permission.

I suppose my working definition for black magic was simply "unethical magic", but since the term black magic seems to be getting in the way here, maybe I could re-frame the question:

What are your magical ethics? What is the line between appropriate and inappropriate magic?

In particular, if you know what I mean when I say "darker energies" and "light energies" do you think it is unethical to work with darker energies without intent to harm?

Jenny, I have to respectfully disagree when you say all magic uses the same energy. I can tell distinct differences between energies from different sources, be that a deity, a nature spirit, etc. etc. The energies we put in also influence what we get out, hence why, say, calling on certain deities truly is more effective for certain things, in my experience. If you want protection, you go to Thor, not Odin, correct? And I can feel the difference in their energies.

i also want to make sure you know I mean no offense. Your perspective will be different, and I've already gotten value from this thread.
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  #8  
Old 18-11-2019, 09:39 PM
Jenny Crow Jenny Crow is offline
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Again, it's all personal. What does "playing with a dangerous line" mean? What do you think the danger would consist of? I honestly believe (no offense) that you are overthinking here and dissecting things into tiny pieces. Why is doing magic to cause harm irresponsible? Would you call bringing down a child molester with magic irresponsible? So-called black magic is unethical to you but not to many, many others. Personally, I have no line between appropriate and inappropriate magic. I will do what I need to do to solve whatever issue comes up. However, I have not cast more than a handful of curses in forty years of practicing witchcraft. But if I'm threatened or someone threatens my family I have the knowledge and the training to perform some very nasty curses. I think part of the problem that many people have, especially new practitioners, is that they are bogged down by dogma and indoctrination from their previous religions and are, quite frankly brainwashed. I understand that calling upon and working with different deities will present different energies to you - but that is THEIR energies - not the magical energy of the universe (so to speak). But the river of magic energy that witches call upon to work their spells/magic is neither good or evil. It is akin to fire - fire can warm you and warm your food but it can also kill you.
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  #9  
Old 18-11-2019, 09:39 PM
Jenny Crow Jenny Crow is offline
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Again, it's all personal. What does "playing with a dangerous line" mean? What do you think the danger would consist of? I honestly believe (no offense) that you are overthinking here and dissecting things into tiny pieces. Why is doing magic to cause harm irresponsible? Would you call bringing down a child molester with magic irresponsible? So-called black magic is unethical to you but not to many, many others. Personally, I have no line between appropriate and inappropriate magic. I will do what I need to do to solve whatever issue comes up. However, I have not cast more than a handful of curses in forty years of practicing witchcraft. But if I'm threatened or someone threatens my family I have the knowledge and the training to perform some very nasty curses. I think part of the problem that many people have, especially new practitioners, is that they are bogged down by dogma and indoctrination from their previous religions and are, quite frankly brainwashed. I understand that calling upon and working with different deities will present different energies to you - but that is THEIR energies - not the magical energy of the universe (so to speak). But the river of magic energy that witches call upon to work their spells/magic is neither good or evil. It is akin to fire - fire can warm you and warm your food but it can also kill you.
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  #10  
Old 18-11-2019, 10:31 PM
FoxTracks FoxTracks is offline
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Well, I suppose what I mean with playing with a dangerous line is that people should, generally, have the right to choose whether or not to be involved in magic. In the same way you shouldn't use energy healing on someone, or give someone medical treatment, without their permission. Especially when that treatment is painful, I believe the choice should usually be given. After all, access to magic shouldn't give you the right to "play god".

The concept of a core magical energy separate from those of specific deities is interesting.

I think that the point here isn't dogma for me at least. It's more like cursing someone is, truly, no different than, say, punching someone in the face or stealing from them. I would consider it a crime in the same way, simply because it's unethical in the same way assault, theft, rape, etc. are unethical because they hurt people. In self defense I can see such a thing, and I have wondered about whether that's appropriate myself. I feel from my own experience, teachings aside, that being aggressive or harmful to another often invites the same back to you.

And that is another thing about it, the idea of the magical energy as fire. In my experience dark energies are more wild, as in, myself or even someone else is more likely to get "burned" if I use them. Light seems to be pretty safe in comparison.
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