This is a myth that never seems to go away. It is a widely held belief that magick is black or white, good or bad. Pagans have been trying to dispel this one for ages.
Magick is a tool. Like any tool, it is neither good or bad. You can use a hammer to build a house, or bludgeon someone to death. The hammer isn’t what’s evil, it’s the person wielding it. Magic is precisely the same. It is a tool, and as such, it can be utilized in whatever way the user sees fit. If someone wants to use it for good, they will. If they want to use it for evil, they’ll do that instead.
For large portions of history, and even now by some, magick was thought of as pure evil. Evil was associated with black and good with white, and thus the term “black magick.” Many have thought that all magick was black, or evil, while others thought it had to fall onto one side or the other, being purely destructive, or purely beneficial. In reality, magick itself is neutral, and can be used for all sorts of purposes covering a wide scale of gray.
What magick is used for all comes down to the intention of the practitioner. Magic can be used to heal or to curse, to help or to harm. What muddies the issue more is the fact that what’s seen as evil by one, may be good to another. For example, if someone casts a healing spell, they may think they’re doing good, but the person being healed may have been ready to pass on and find the healing to be torture. So even so-called white magick can be negative depending on perception.
It’s best if everyone drops these antiquated ideas of black and white, or light and dark magick. Everything falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, nothing is absolute.
*Disclaimer: I no longer practice Paganism, but I’ve left these Pagan Myths articles active because I believe they’re still valuable in helping people to understand Paganism and reduce negative stereotypes.*