This blog is me thinking out loud regarding a topic that stuck out to me in the book Craft of the Untamed by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold. It is a book I recommend for anyone new to the Traditional Craft for a variety of reasons, especially regarding what you're about to read. He also is the author to many other fantastic titles, like his recent publication The Canticles of Lilith, a must-have for the Lilithian devotee. I digress.
Very few things in this world sound as ominous as the term "black magic" - many argue that magic has no color, which I heavily agree with. However, what if on the flipside, we assigned such a label to magic based on the nature of the practice with morality removed from the equation? Frisvold alludes to this very idea at the end of the book.
Witches have been respected and feared for centuries not just because of Christian fear-mongering, but because they were on the fringes of society and possessed hidden, forbidden knowledge that most people couldn't understand. People came to us to find answers, to help create changes, and to learn more about life's Mysteries. They came to us because we had the cures and curses that could tip the scales even in the slightest. They came to us if they wanted to speak to loved ones if they couldn't themselves. They still do, if even as a last resort when all else in life fails.
We have these affinities with the Earth and the Universe, and while the reality is that we are far behind the actual truths that evade us every step we make, we were still associated with the term "black" because that is exactly what we worked with - soil, roots, plants, bones, seeds - you name it. Roots and soil are dark, nearly black in most cases. A seed, when planted, only sees darkness. As it grows into a plant and breaks out of the soil, it moves further toward the light. In this growth is also maturity, and when the plant dies, it goes back into that same darkness. We see the cycle of life within.
In this instance, "black magic" is more literal than it is about intention or personal vibration. In the same vein, it is easy to think that at one point, ALL magic was black at one point because that's all we had in ancient times at our disposal to carry out our Will - those which are from the black soil of the Earth. Let's not forget that before the Big Bang, the Universe may have just been that - darkness.
It also may raise the question - what may be considered "white magic"? My answer, based on this discussion on what stuck out to me in this book, is anything unearthly- for example, the grimoires written by monks and mages centuries ago had to do with unearthly beings, like Gods and angels. From here, it is easy to understand the dichotomy assigned to magical undertakings when intentions of "good" or "bad" aren't assigned to them.
You may ask in response to this discussion, "if I try to heal someone with herbs, is that considered black magic?" With this idea in mind, it is. That is because you're using things from the Earth, the tangible realm, to achieve a goal. If anything, it's more practical - if you don't slap labels on your magic, then it is irrelevant in the end what is considered "black" and "white". In general, there is almost always a gray area.
If you want to check out this book, support the author by purchasing it! This blog is in no way sponsoring or affiliated with the author, just expressing a view after reading it.