Practicing With Dark Energies
There’s too much confusion and misinformation out there regarding Dark energy workings, not helped by media portrayals from The Craft to Harry Potter’s “Protection from the Dark Arts” teachers. “Dark” does not automatically mean evil, bad, or nasty. It can just mean “Dark.” “Light” and “Dark” are just two of many dualities in the Universe – e.g., Ying/Yang, Birth/Death, Female/Male. Together, they form a natural balance – without one, the other could not exist. Learning to responsibly work with both is required by many traditions and recommended to make you a better Witch.
Energy is Energy
We believe energy is energy. There is no such thing as “good” or “bad” energy; it just is, much like electricity is neither good nor bad. What matters is the intent of the person or persons casting the spell.
Energy can be used for both creative and destructive purposes; however, “destructive” does not have to automatically mean “bad” or “evil”. As the Universe is balanced, and there must be both death and life, so both creative and destructive energies have their place.
Our standard example is healing. How would you possibly use Dark, destructive energy for healing? A friend has cancer and asks for your help; you have full consent and the person will be present in the Circles. You perform two Circles with them. During the first, at Full Moon, you raise constructive White Light energy and direct it to their entire body (less the site of the cancer). This raises their energy level, helps them overcome the side effects of the medical cancer treatments they are taking, and keeps them from developing secondary problems. Then, fourteen days later on New Moon, you have them in a New Moon Circle. This time you deliberately raise Dark energy — killing energy — and very carefully direct it at the cancer itself. An effective use of Dark energy for healing, and an excellent example of using both sides of the duality.
Another use is to remove obstacles or blocks. During Full Moon circles we’ll use each of the four elements’ positive properties to help us achieve a goal. During New Moon we’ll use each element’s destructive properties to remove or destroy what stands in our way or blocks us.
Care and Ethics
Keep in mind using Dark energy is not something to be taken lightly. It requires patience, experience, and, most of all, control and ethics.
In the above cancer example, what would happen if your control was off just a bit and your guidance in directing the killing energy was off by a few inches? Unless you can create, manipulate and direct energy very, very precisely (and know your anatomy), take great care. Otherwise you can end up doing far more harm than good. If you’re going to use magic for healing, take close note of the old medical ethics statement “Primum non nocere” – “First, do no harm”. You wouldn’t hand a scalpel to a child and tell them to operate. So don’t hand Dark workings to anyone not trained and prepared to work them.
Likewise, ethically, always differentiate between removing an obstacle or block and tromping on someone else’s will and freedom of choice. If you’re having a problem getting that cute boy to notice you, target Dark energy to destroy your shyness, not to destroy your competition.
All of life is a balancing act. Nature is full of balances; never exact but swinging back and forth. The length of day and night, equal at the Equinoxes and most out of balance at the Solstices. The Moon – going from Full to New and back again. The circle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. All of these are balances of dualities. Likewise, Light and Dark energies are merely balances of two sides of the coin of energy.
As you start to work with both Light and Dark energies (or, more precisely, constructive and destructive intents), keep in mind the balance. This doesn’t mean an exact balancing between the two all of the time, but if you find yourself getting too far one way or the other, stop and reflect and see if the rest of your life isn’t getting out of balance as well.
Practicing Light and Dark
The easiest way we’ve found to teach Light and Dark energy work is to start by doing Moon workings. Practice these on the days of the Full and New Moon. I used to have to find a Moon calendar once a year and then remember where I put it; now I just keep the U.S. Naval Observatory’s “Phases of the Moon” page bookmarked ( http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/MoonPhase.html#y2006) . Working on the actual day of is best, but we’ll go one to two days either way if necessary.
To practice, perform a Circle. After Casting, invoke each quarter and invoke the appropriate aspect of the element. For example, during Full you might call upon Water and visualize a soothing bath, or cool breezes for Air. During Dark you might call on earthslides (or mudslides, if in California) for Earth or a raging inferno for Fire (be careful of your candles if you do this latter one). Then raise a cone of energy – appropriately colored – and release it to accomplish your intent. But be very careful in your intent. It should be both specific and ethical.
Another practice takes the form of meditations.
As a Dark meditation, we teach an anger meditation. Sit in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Center and ground, and then visualize your anger. Take your anger to each of the four quarters and use the destructive aspects of each element to destroy your anger – burn it, bury it, drown it, blow it away. If all your anger isn’t gone, run through it again. At the end, take a long time to ground very thoroughly.
As a Light meditation, we teach an encouragement meditation. Like the Dark meditation, do the same, but visualize something in your life – part of you, your kindness, getting good grades, or the ability to succeed at your job. Likewise, take what you visualized to each of the four elements, but this time use the constructive aspects of each element to help, encourage and grow what you’re trying to increase or improve.
As you learn and continue to work both Dark and Light, hopefully your life will improve and be more balanced itself. Working with both gives you one more set of magical tools to help you in your life. It’s up to you to use them wisely.