“The Dark Arts are so many, diverse, ever-evolving, and eternal.” I’ve always known this, but it never bothered me until recently. Fighting them seems like fighting a thousand-headed monster, and each time you cut a throat, you get another head cleaver. Like with a machete with an endless blade. And if you’re not careful, you can wind up with your hand almost sliced off at the finger tips. Just saying this gets my blood boiling.
“But the Dark Arts aren’t necessarily black magic, are they?” I cry, waving my arms in the air. “There’s a lot more to black magic than meets the eye!” says Joe Coffey.
Joe Coffey is a long time practitioner of both witchcraft and the darker arts, and he says there’s a lot more to black magic than meets the eye. “White magic can be as corrupting as dark magic,” he says. “Just as liches do things that are not in their nature, evil spirits can do things that are beyond normal moral bounds. Black Magic rituals are just the start of the corruption.”
I asked him what he meant by ‘corrupting’ and he said that it was like taking the high degrees of ritualistic ecstasy offered up by religions like Satanism and then going even further and practicing sexual rituals with the dead. “I see this all the time in various strains of Satanism,” he said. He told me that Satanism was essentially the worship of the dead. “How could any of those who claim Satanism are not corrupted by the things they believe?”
It seems that after centuries of practice, black magic is coming back into the picture. “The dark arts are really the cutting edge of human civilization,” says David A. Aguilar, author of White Magic: The occult science of magical thinking. “It has been refined to perfection by the most powerful minds ever to walk the face of the earth. What we are now talking about here is pure evil, not just rituals and spells and hexes, but murder, torture, sex crimes, stuff you wouldn’t even think about normally. This really isn’t the dark arts, it’s the cutting edge of human civilization.”
In the modern world, people have learned to use white magic for good, while the dark arts serve as a dark force of destruction for those who are willing to abuse their power. But isn’t it possible that such evil is ingrained in our culture from birth? Couldn’t we just say that good bad comes from bad as an underlying theme of voodoo? After all, many religions tell us that the universe is good and evil is bad, that there is a war going on between good and evil, but between good and evil people are performing rituals and doing acts that just don’t match up to the principles they espouse.
Could the concept of witchcraft rituals be that evil people use spells and charms in order to torment others? While the concept of the dark arts as a whole is still largely a mystery to modern scholars, there is one form of the arts that is common in a variety of different cultures, and that is magic. It is the one form of magic that can be performed by anyone, anywhere, and without special training. Black magic, on the other hand, is much more difficult to perform and requires the use of highly trained, expensive practitioners with access to mystical knowledge. (There is a difference between the normal practice of magic and the theatrical forms of it.) For example, in the television series, Law and Order, the magic of Michael Jackson is very difficult to perform because he had to learn the skills to perform it well.
In the same way that the theatrical presentations of magic can be misleading, so can the ideas that many people have about black magic and white magic. The confusion surrounding these two forms of magic is what helps the misconception grow. In the same way that the sun is sometimes mistaken for a shining star, voodoo is often confused with white magic. But the fact is that there is no reason to think that they are somehow similar or even related, when you look at the facts on their own.