Many writers have suggested that White Magic is concerned with healing and things “spiritual”, while Black Magic is inherently evil, materialistic and destructive in nature . This is an overly simplistic assessment which often fails to define what exactly is meant by the term ‘spiritual’, and seems to favour an imbalanced perspective based on only one-half of the natural order of things. Creation and destruction, life and death, day and night, the complementary interplay of these naturally occurring opposites is crucial to the cycles inherent within all existence.
In reality Magic(k) is a tool or method and as such, is neutral… lending itself to whatever purpose the magician chooses, creative or destructive. Knowing this, the Black Magician cultivates a greater sense of personal responsibility… living life in accord with their own Code rather than simply adopting an ethical system dictated by the opinions of others, no matter how ‘divinely inspired’ such rules may be considered.
The true mark of Black Magic could perhaps be better described in terms of prevailing socio-political perspectives, in accord with the predominant religious opinion of the time. This was certainly the case during the Medieval era of the Church, when the differences between miracles and magic were distinguished by the terms ‘theurgia’ and ‘goetia’… Theurgia being the divinely approved Christian (and sometimes Qabalistic) methods of the Church and its priesthood, while Goetia referred to all other systems of devilish pagan magics and sorcery. Certainly the modern Black Magician and Satanist, is often positioned in direct opposition to the Church, Christianity, and mainstream religion.
The Black Flame
Not content to simply accept that one’s experiences are pre-destined in accord with ‘Fate’ or ‘God’s Will’, the Black Magician wields their magical skill to produce effects in accord with their own Will. In acts of practical magic, one way to produce results is to harness the emotional forces within oneself, unleashing these in accord with the magical intent. This is the domain of spells and hex-craft. Far from being devoid of feeling or simply consumed with hatred, the adept magician is able to access all the dark forces within their own person. Rather than experiencing bland and insipid emotion, one loves those whom one truly cares for with a great intensity and likewise hates the enemy with an inferno that will bring about their destruction. This is the Black Flame of Passion.
Curses & Hexes
Not limited by the “thou shalt not’s” and moralising of mainstream religion, the magician or sorceress takes a pragmatic approach to the practice of their Craft. Just as the natural world displays a healthy balance between its creative and destructive forces, they recognise that there are indeed times when it is appropriate to apply decisive action against the enemy. As practitioners of magic, it is sometimes an advantage to enter combat in this particular arena… hence, the infamous “Curse” and accounts of Battle Magic.
Numerous grimoires exist which describe the many entities which exist in dimensions close to ours. Magicians of all traditions have sought an understanding and communion with these entities, that they may thereby obtain occult wisdom, knowledge or power. This is the basis of Pact Magic, wherein the practitioner of the Dark Arts enters into a contract or collaboration with various forces who then assist in their magical work.
The Black Mass
There are in fact many types of ‘Mass’ and the Black Mass may be applied for varying purposes, depending upon the intent of those performing this work. In the Middle Ages, the Black Mass was most often used in one of three ways. Firstly, it was an attempt to harness the power of the Catholic Mass to obtain personal benefit, just as the Mass of St. Secaire was an application of the Last Rites given to a still living person to bring about their death. Secondly, it was an Act of Blasphemy which utilised reversals of the usual Mass as a way of magically attacking the Church and its god, and of proving that one did not belong to the Christian congregation… in this too, the proceedings were often devoted to various non-Christian entities or demons. Thirdly, some accounts of the Black Mass display elements in common with the revels of the old Sabbats as practiced by Witches prior to the arrival of Christianity in Europe.
Immortality & Godhood
Aleister Crowley states that “to Will anything but the supreme thing, is to wander still further from it – any Will but that to give up the Self to the Beloved is Black Magic”, a statement which implies that any practice which does not seek mystical union with God (or ‘Knowledge and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel) can be defined as ‘black’ magic. While certainly not representative of the Crowleyan system in total, this definition is one commonly held by many modern “white light” occultists. For the Black Magician, this could be defined as a simplistic and misleading perspective however. Yes, there is an expectation that one’s magic may benefit one’s life, as expressed in the application of practical magic toward mundane matters, however it may also provide a tangible way of fulfilling one’s hidden evolutionary potential… a ‘union with god’ through striving toward godhood oneself! For Crowley also states that “every man and every woman is a Star” and that “there is no god other than man”, both statements being indicative of the potential that each of us contains.