Is Dark Magick Necessary?

Good Witch - Bad Witch graphic
artwork by Holly Golightly for newWitch

Dear
Good Witch/Bad Witch,

Blessed Be.

I have a question about balance. All of the universe, realms, Gods, Goddesses, even the human body have to be in balance. Light/Darkness Day/Night Yin/Yang Good/Evil Chaos/Order Good Witch/Bad Witch. This balance is necessary, for without it reality would collapse. (Ok here’s the question.) Is “Dark Magick” necessary? I realize that the laws of Karma apply and I’m not saying I go around cursing people but... In order to keep the balance do you think that it’s necessary for curses and hexes to exist?

Riku in Rochester

 

Dear Riku,

Well, that’s not a question I’ve heard before.

I’d say “no” because you are asking this question on a cosmic scale. On a human scale, I believe that because we humans are passionate, complicated, and flawed beings, there will always be a tendency to use magic for ill as well as for good. In my belief system, magic is a neutral force, neither good nor evil on its own behalf. (Just like the nuclear energy that powers the sun — which also can be harnessed to power a hydrogen bomb.)

That said, I can’t think of any reason why, on either a cosmic or personal scale, curses or hexes are necessary. That’s like saying that crime is necessary in order to balance all the people who are law-abiding. Part of our reality, yes; necessary, no.

Logically, this kind of thinking ultimately leads to the kind of dualism which posits that if there is a Good God/dess, there must be an equally important/ powerful Evil God/dess. Or, for that matter, a whole pantheon of evil/good/lawful/chaotic and miscellaneous deities and powers all wrapped in some grand universal design. That’s not part of my belief system. But then, I’m “Good Witch” after all.

P.S. We use “GW/BW” as a (we hope) clever way of putting forth the idea that there’s more than one Witchy Way to do pretty much anything, not because she’s “really” Evil and I’m really virtuous.


Dear Riku,

Once upon a time BW spent a great deal of time pondering questions about balance, Karma, and the nature of the universe. That was the summer she dated the guy who followed the Phish tour. After deep contemplation BW came to the conclusion that patchouli is no substitute for soap. She came to a few other conclusions but can’t remember them. Damn this short-term memory loss anyway.

BW believes that so long as human nature remains what it is, there will be curses and hexes. Before we made wheels and farm tools we created axes and spears. Once we master our innate drive for conquest, our penchant for aggression, and our desire for vengeance we should have no further need for hexes and curses. Until then we’re likely to have war, bloodshed, savagery, and people sticking pins in wax dolls. No need to blame karma, the universe, or anybody else: the choice between light and dark magic is all on us.


This article first appeared in the magazine newWitch #18
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