Some people regard black magic as a misuse of spiritual energy. Some define it as any act that interferes with another person’s free will and believe that no witchcraft, even healing, should be conducted without the permission of the subject. Some modern ceremonial magicians call it “the left hand path.” Some warn that it is karmically dangerous to the spell caster.
But, none of this is really relevant in traditional witchcraft. In fact, the purpose of most of traditional witchcraft is to affect the outer environment and those around us and what is commonly called black magic is only an integral part of witchcraft, itself.
The definition of “black magic” used by Winter Tempest Books authors is that it is simply malefic witchcraft, meaning it is witchcraft used for the purpose of causing harm or injury to another. Moral judgments and ethical considerations are withheld and reserved for the individual, who is the only person fit to judge his or her own particular situation. Moreover, we always advocate that, for your protection, such witchcraft should be done secretly and without violating the laws of whatever state, country or other legal jurisdiction you live in.
Some members of modern witchcraft religion state that no “real witch” would use black magic. But, if this were true, why is that that most of the documentation of witchcraft in Western Europe, New England and around the world is full to the brim with instances of curses and demonic visitations? Obviously, this assertion doesn’t hold water.
The dominant class of popular, modern religious witches often warn against the use of black magic because of a fear of it “recoiling” on the one who cast the spell. They have various names for this, such as the “Law of Returns,” and the “Three-fold Law,” and it appears that this modern dogma evolved from the Hindu concept of Karma.
The Doctrine of Karma
The ancient Hindu religious principle of Karma is similar to, but, also, differs from the modern New Age concept, which is described below. In Hinduism, which includes a belief in reincarnation, karma occurs after death and it determines the soul’s path in its next incarnation. Both this life and the next incarnation could be affected by your past deeds. At the core of the doctrine is the concept of cause and effect, the idea that your actions in this life and past ones have have effect on the present and the future. Suffering is seen as a “spiritual gift” by which a person learns and becomes stronger, so disease and other adversity is seen as part of life’s lesson.
This doctrine of karma has been recycled and revamped by Western New Agers and Christianized. Then, it was adapted by Wiccans. (Read more about the Christianization of Wicca in the U.S. in a previous article, “Differences Between Traditional Witchcraft and Wicca: How Wicca Became Mainstream Modern Witchcraft.”)
By contrast, in traditional witchcraft, suffering is not regarded as a spiritual gift. People do not need to learn cosmic lessons by disease, injury, violence, etc. There is no God or system that judges and rewards or punishes.
A danger of this kind of thinking is that it engenders the false belief other people want or deserve to suffer or that we, ourselves, deserve to suffer because of some imagined transgression in this or a past life. Crime survivors might internalize the abuses that have been perpetrated against them by others and imagine that they are somehow deserving because of some imagined bad behavior. For instance, an abused wife may be convinced that she deserves to be abused because she abused her husband in a past life – this is the kind insanity that can flourish when this notion of karma is taken to an extreme.
Karma is a religious doctrine that has no place in traditional witchcraft, which is not a religion, at all. Such thinking prevents people from looking for solutions to health issues, excuses criminal behavior and allows evil-doers to prevail.
Then, there is the negative psychological aspect of accepting this religious belief.
Wiccans believe that witchcraft and, indeed, all of life is governed by their version of the law of karma. They are constantly warning people about the dangers of bad karma and bad intent.
Among Wiccans there is a common belief that the things you do now can affect completely unrelated events down the road, either for good or evil, based on the nature of the action you have taken.
Wiccan belief is that if you send out negativity, this causes more negativity in the world, which will inevitably boomerang its way back to you. But, if you send out positive energy, positive energy will come back to you. (To that I say, if you’re a woman, try walking down a street in New York City beaming positive energy at everyone you encounter and see how much positive energy comes back to you. A word of warning: Don’t try this without years of martial arts training.)
This concept of karma within Wicca can become absurd, leading to Wiccan guilt, which is a lot like Christian guilt. Neither are mentally healthy. The New Age belief in past lives affecting the present one is similar to the the Christian doctrine of Original Sin. The Wiccan belief of being cosmically punished if you step out of line is similar to the Christian doctrine of Judgment.
Many Wiccans and New Agers swear this Westernized karmic dogma is true. This is because religious people often have a confirmation bias – if they believe a doctrine, they will look for proof of it where none exists.
For example, a Wiccan who gives a sum of money to charity, then experiences some kindness from a stranger in the next day or two might attribute the kind behavior of the stranger to having made a charitable contribution, when in fact, it was just an encounter with a kindly stranger and nothing more. If the same Wiccan had knocked down an old lady and stolen her grocery money the day before instead, he or she would still have experienced an encounter with a kindly stranger the next day. There is no cause and effect in this situation because there is no cosmic overseer judging and punishing your every move. This is simply a religious belief similar to those held by Hindus and Christians.
To further illustrate, if you think a bad thought about someone and then trip over a piece of loose carpeting and stub your toe, this injury is not a result of your “transgression.” Or, if you fail to adequately tip a waiter and a month later your house is foreclosed on, it is not reasonable to say this is because of a karmic law.
Wiccan guilt comes in when you do good, but good does not return to you – then, you may feel you have not been good enough. If some accident befalls you, a loved one dies or you become the victim of a violent crime, you may be encouraged to believe that this was because of some wrong action or thought vibration on your part. Karma-based beliefs engender a remarkable degree of self-blaming, victim-blaming and criminal enabling.
Letting Go of Harmful Beliefs
The doctrine of karma is simply a religious belief, the key word being “belief.” Such cultural and religious conditioning is a form of mind control.
Holding onto such unfounded beliefs is ultimately destructive. It leads to a state of being in which the person constantly fears they are doing something wrong. To let go of this programming, you only have to allow your rational mind to overcome this irrational and unfounded religious belief.
If you have had the misfortune of being subjected to either Christian or Wiccan indoctrination and consequently fear stepping out of line because of imagined cosmic repercussions, you may have to do some deprogramming before you feel comfortable using black magic.
The Power of Black Magic
Fortunately, black magic can help break the chains of religious conditioning. Traditionally, black magic rituals involving such things as the recitation of the “Our Father” prayer backwards or meeting a spirit in a cemetery or a crossroad at midnight mark a witch’s passage into the world of witchcraft.
Former Wiccans who want to make a break from their religion might perform a short ritual by writing the “Rede,” “The Law of Returns” or whatever other dogmatic belief on a sheet of paper and burning it in a little ceremony to break the psychological tie to this religious philosophy.
Of course, none of this is really necessary. Simply performing acts of black magic is enough to make the break.
The use of black magic (malefic witchcraft) is often a matter of survival. Sometimes violent crime survivors discover their ability to use it very spontaneously.
Sometimes using black magic is the right thing to do in a situation to prevent harm to yourself or someone else. Black magic can be a means of restoring justice and peace – and maintaining it.
Black magic can provide the ultimate form of protection. Once you begin practicing black magic, you will naturally require more protection, but the acquisition of this protection is part of the process of learning more about witchcraft, especially communicating with and employing spirits.
Black magic thinking has the power to release people from a sense of being victimized. It helps crime survivors regain control over their lives. If you have been through a terrible ordeal at the hands of some malefactor, black magic helps you heal, restore balance and re-establish more control over your own life.
Above all, black magic is a mindset. It is a strong self-defense mentality. It helps to undo some of the damage done to us by living in a victim-blaming society in which we are blamed for the failures and evil actions of other people. It helps to restore power and autonomy to the individual.
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