Let’s Talk Witch – Black, White, Left, or Right?
The universe is our mirror. As we look into the world, something of self and the divine is reflected back to us. Where exactly do we fit in? What is the right or wrong way to walk our talk?
Physics tells us that energy is neutral. The application of energy, however, is not neutral. So humans, seeking definitions, start using terms like “good” and “bad,” “black magick” and “white magick,” and the “right-hand path” or the “left-hand path” to describe the results of applied energy and intention. Generally speaking, most practitioners define black magick as selfish, destructive, and manipulative. White magick, conversely, is giving, creative, and mindful of freewill.
Be aware, however, that black and white are only part of the spectrum. Left and right are only two directions or dimensions. These “extremes,” if you will, are easier to see by the contrast they create and consequently attract our visual attention. But our eyes and souls are capable of seeing a myriad of colors, shades, hues, blends from gray to plaid! We are aware in everyday life of several directions: left, right, backward, forward, up, and down.
Additionally, the terms “black” and “white” do not necessarily properly describe the ethical component of a magus. In fact, historically speaking, “black” implied forcefully interacting with hostile or hazardous beings to try and engender their cooperation. Perhaps it’s the forceful part that gave us modern folk the willies. After all, we talk about nonmanipulation. We’d be hard pressed, however, to find all of the spirits that we encounter willing to help out those in the mortal realm. In fact, many spirits have agendas of their own. White magick was traditionally defined as dealing with those positive energies and beings active and present in nature (like devas), inviting the voluntary participation of such forces even as we continue to do with the watchtowers of the cardinal directions. Interestingly enough, there are no moral qualifiers here – just who the magus invoked. So if an herbal magus evoked a nature spirit to create a lustful potion, it was not considered immoral since nature spirits are neutral.
A Witch’s 10 Commandments: Magickal Guidelines for Everyday Life