What’s The Difference Between White, Black, and Gray Magick?
Let’s dispel some rumors right from the beginning, shall we? Witches aren’t always like the Sanderson Sisters or the witch from Snow White. Most practicing witches use white and gray magick to protect themselves, bless others, and do good in the world. Witches also hail from different belief systems: some are religious, and others practice a more secular craft. However, for the beginner witch, practicing magick may feel like a slippery slope. You may feel like with one small mistake, suddenly you’re practicing black magick. Thankfully, that simply isn’t true.
While magick itself has no color, it's the intentions of the practitioner that lead to a general separation and use of the terms "white" magick, "black" magick, and "gray" magick. Magick itself is neither dark nor light, but it's the way the magick and energy is sent out into the world that we are discussing in this article, and especially for beginning witches, using "white", "black" and "gray" to describe the magick is an easy way to make it understandable.
Generally speaking, white magick is magick done for the benefit of ourselves or others by raising positive energy for a particular outcome. It helps us connect with spiritual forces, gain wisdom, and more enlightenment. Black magick is done to bring harm to others, and gray magick is exactly what it sounds like: the gray area in between the two.
As with most practices, though, magick is far more complex than this. We're here to just give you an overview in this post!
What Is White Magick?
White magick often relies on “natural” magick, that is, magick from the world around us. This might include deities, nymphs, fairies, using the elements, moon magick, weather magick, etc. There’s an ideal of harmony inherent to the practice, though, to do good always, or to use your magick in a positive way. It's this positive energy influx that makes white magick what it is.
What About Black Magick?
In the magickal world, there is always balance. If white magick is the practice of manipulating energy for positive outcomes, then black magick is the practice of manipulating energy for negative outcomes. The intention of black magick is generally to cause harm - either as the result of the spell or practice, or during the ritual or practice performed to raise darker energy.
Hexes and curses are the traditional components of black magick, and should be practiced with caution. You might hex an ex, for example, but that hex comes from a dark place within yourself, too. Many magick practitioners follow the generally accepted “rule of three,” which says that whatever energy you put out into the world comes back to you. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the exact same thing you curse someone else with will happen to you three times back, but it does mean that you’ll be attracting negative energies far more easily in your life. Remember, what you put your energy towards is what shows up in your life, so if you are on a path of destruction and chaos, generally speaking, that's what your life will be.
It's also important to point out here that there are many practices that sound ominous, but do not fall under the category of black magick. Shadow work, for instance, sounds like it might involve dark spells and malcontent, but really, it’s just addressing the Jungian concept of our shadow self – the part of us that’s made of “negative” human emotions and urges. Working with darker deities is also not necessarily a part of black magick.
Gray Magick – The Great In-Between
Most witches practice gray magick – a little mix of everything. They might hex someone as a counter-hex, or they may cast a spell with good intentions, but without the permission of the other person. They practice spells for self-improvement or life-improvement, but they also make sure they aren't messed with by others on an energetic level. Keeping your energy in balance is the key to being a gray witch.
As with any discussion of magick, things are never cut-and-dry. Even our definitions in this article of white, black, and gray magick aren't written in stone, and are based on our own personal experiences and research. No matter what type of magick you wish to practice, the most important aspect is the intent. If you want to remain a white witchcraft practitioner, but your energy is clearly in a negative space, don't practice magick at all until you clear yourself. If you really want to practice nothing but black magick, causing chaos and misfortune where you go, then understand how your intentions will affect the world and people around you, and the energy that will be headed back in your direction. Intention is 100% of magick, so by defining your intentions, you are defining the type of magick you wish to practice. Always keep that in mind!