There are a couple of terms in witchcraft that you will hear probably more than the all others put together. The first one is “white witch” and the second is “black magic”. Both make me absolutely cringe…
The idea for both is purely symbolic, anything seen as white is good or positive while anything black is seen as bad or negative. Think of the colour of Stetson hats in old Spaghetti Western movies. The white hats were always the good guys; the black hats were always the baddies.
When people ask if I am a white witch, I say “no, just a witch” and most of the time they look puzzled with my answer. This is because true magic, old magic, has no colour. The magic itself is not black or white and neither should the witch casting it be either. So, does that mean I do both good magic and bad magic? Well that depends on your definition of bad…
I have performed quite a few bindings in my life. For those unsure of that terminology, a binding is a spell that is cast on someone to stop them doing something and usually against their knowledge or against their will. Each time the reasons have been valid and they have been cast in a protective manner, does this mean I am casting black magic because I am doing something against the targets will? No, it means I am using magic to protect people. The spells may be stronger than every day spells but that in and of itself does not make them negative. The intent of the caster sways which way the magic will work.
The term ‘white witch’ in the Collins Dictionary has the definition: “a witch who uses magic for benevolent purposes or without malicious intent” but many would argue that certain spells are never cast by a white witch, bindings being one of them.
As I said before, I am not a white witch at all and I think there are a lot of witches out there that feel the same, but they are comfortable using the label ‘white witch’ as it makes them sound more positive and, maybe, more accepted.
So then, what is “black magic”? According to Wikipedia “Black magic has traditionally referred to the use of supernatural powers or magic for evil and selfish purposes. With respect to the philosophy of left-hand path and right-hand path, black magic is the malicious counterpart of benevolent white magic. In modern times, some find that the definition of “black magic” has been convoluted by people who define magic or ritualistic practices that they disapprove of as “black magic”.
And with that we go back to the beginning… magic itself has no colour. We sway it, from our very beings, our souls, our hearts, and our intent. How many of us can honestly say that if we were told that someone had deeply or fatally hurt our children we wouldn’t feel anger and in that moment of anger, act upon it magically? This is all down to society’s perception of what is bad or good, black or white. I fully admit that if anyone hurt my children I know that I would do anything I could to protect them even if that meant using a ‘negative’ spell. And what’s more, that sits fine with me and I am happy to admit that. I am secure in myself enough to know that a) it would take one hell of a lot to push me that far and b) I know my way around magic well enough to deal with it. Just as in life, not everything is black or white, not clear cut. In the magical world ‘darker’ spells can be used in a positive and protective manner and in traditional witchcraft this is quite often the case. However many traditional witches, myself included, do work on ‘darker’ spells – there will always be good reason but we do the work in a very old fashioned way.
I realise that some of you reading this will probably think I am out hexing people on a regular basis but this is not the case. I do not have the time for a start but more importantly I do not have the inclination. However, if the need arose for me to cast a hex on someone or a situation then I would not have (and have not had in the past) an issue with doing so, as long as I knew all the facts and I was confident in what I was doing and the reasons behind it.
Some witches refer to their magic as grey; neither good nor bad, white or black, but they are still giving it a colour. It is just magic, pure and simple. Other witches refer to themselves as “green witches” – meaning they work with herbs, worship or work with nature and the like. A lot of us use colour IN magic as a focus, for example lighting a pale blue candle for a healing spell, however we are not calling the magic blue. I certainly couldn’t be a blue witch, it would clash with my eyes!
Having said all that, and as I step down from my magical soapbox, I do also firmly believe that magic and all things ‘witchy’ are a very personal journey that we undertake and that we all walk the path in our own way. You really don’t need a mad old witch ranting at you from inside your computer screen, but all I will say is this: don’t limit yourselves by giving yourself a colour. Magic has no limits, so why should we? Spread your wings, learn about it all and embrace every part of the magic and of you. Marvel at, and be glorious in, your white parts, your black parts, your green parts and your grey parts. Think of yourself as a rainbow – a magical combination of every colour and all colours – just doing what’s needed at the time.
And let’s be honest, we all know that if magic really did have a colour…it would be pink 😉