Magic: Wild Power Colored by Intentions

The moonless night mirrored the emptiness filling his heart. He hoped the darkness could aid his magic. He took two black candles and placed one on each side of his travel size cauldron. He surveyed the rest of the ingredients:
     * A tiny glass bowl
     * A pinch of graveyard dirt
     * A sharp needle
     * A blank piece of parchment
     * And human blood

He covered his head with the hood of a black robe, and chanted… Dirt from a grave. Blood from a man. Take this message. To the Summerland. 

He sprinkled the dirt in the bowl, Dirt from a grave…

Used the needle to prick his ring finger, Blood from a man…

He mixed them together using the tip of the bleeding digit, and with the makeshift ink he wrote: I’ll miss you forever, goodbye.

He folded the paper and used a candle flame to ignite it. He dropped it in the cauldron and let it burn. Take this message. To the Summerland 

Is this black magic or white magic? 

Actually, the only thing a person should be able to tell is that it is Dark Magic, for I haven’t given you enough information to determine the Witch's intention.
Magic is raw power that can’t be evil (black) or good (white) on its own.
Its evilness or goodness is determined by the user’s intension. And we don’t know what this man’s intension is, do we?

What if I told you that this man was trying to send a message to his lover? Then the magic would be good, right? Wrong! We still don’t know enough about his intentions. He could be contacting the dead half of an illicit love affair that destroyed another person’s family. That wouldn’t be very nice, would it?

But enough ‘what ifs’, here is the story behind this spell:

Josué and Aida were each other’s first love. They got married in 2003 before he deployed to Iraq. Aida was involved in a car accident in 2004 and Josué didn’t make it home in time to say goodbye. He went to Louisiana for her funeral, and then went back to Iraq in early 2005. The pain of being alone, in the house he had once shared with his wife, was just too much to bear. 

Josué returned home after hurricane Katrina. His house was gone. He went to visit his wife’s grave, but it was under water. The man was heartbroken. He left Louisiana and visited his wife’s sister who had relocated to Virginia. He told her about going home to rescue anything that had belonged to his wife, but there had been nothing left. “I didn’t even get to say goodbye.” 

His pain touched her deeply. “I’m not sure if you're gonna find this creepy Jo” said his sister-in-law. “But I have some dirt from Aida’s grave. It’s on my altar… you can have it if you wish.” 

Josué didn’t find it creepy at all. He grew up with his grandma, who practiced Voodoo. She used to keep graveyard dirt too, as offering to her saints. He was not into showing emotions to anyone other than his late wife, but he hugged his sister-in-law anyway. That night he sat in his sister-in-law’s guest bedroom and used the dirt and his blood to send a message of love. He got to say goodbye in a magical way. 

I wrote this post in response to the comment of a young woman, who told me that she wanted to learn more about white Witchcraft. 
Like magic, Witchcraftby itselfis neither white nor black.
It is a set of beliefs shaped by its followers’ actions. If the Witch’s heart is evil, then it is very likely that everything that comes from such person would be just as horrible.

What do you think? Can magic, on its own, be evil or good? What about Witchcraft? And if you are not Pagan, or a magic user (not all Pagans practice magic and not all magic users are Pagans), what do you think of magic in general? What does the word ‘magic’ mean to you? 

Type your thoughts away…


  1. Hello There.

    I am Danae from Crafty's Cuppa Coffee. I was just browsing thru some of my reader's links to blogs...and I stumbled upon this one. I honestly haven't had a chance to read any further because wanted to comment on this post before I got busy and forgot.

    I LOVE this analogy.I have always felt that the whole White Witch/ Black magick thing is s silly! If anything it shows the lack of comprehension of the nature of magick by the people who make caims of such things. (I am not refering to your reader who inquired about that. I am talking about the general Pagan/Wiccan Community for perpetuating such nonsense). Although- I do understand that it came from so many years of having to explain to folks that while yes, there are people who practice 'bad' magick- that not all of us, no even most of us do!

    Your story was touching, and I cannot wait to read more.


  2. I come from a long line of self proclaimed natural witches who spent half the time taking credit for things I never believed they had the power to influence and the other half of the time making off hand remarks that had a horrible, and wonderful, way of coming true shortly there after.
    I think even if a persons intentions are evil they may still have a positive affect n another person or another system of things.
    I have found the universe, no matter how much power a person believes they have, keeps a very strict balance all its own that we seem to think we can sway but which, if we broaden our view, we can see was put in balance by something greater than ourselves.
    This can be both a freeing and a painful thing to contemplate in a world in which so many of us feel so powerless about so many things we often turn to religion, and indeed systems of belief, to help us cope with the abundance of evidence which seems to remind us on a dialy basis that we are not in control of anything or anyone, least of all our own fate.

  3. Danae (Crafty Chick)-

    You are so absolutely right! We have to thank some of our--very confused--own for a lot of the ugliness attached to Witchcraft. I get so frustrated every time I read 'warnings' about how a Witch can get her/himself into real trouble if one does this and that with magic. We don't have beware of bad magic, we need to watch out for people with extra BLACK hearts who go around thinking about harm. There are times when they don't even have to be magic users, but there "nonsense" can definitely leave you with a headache of magical proportions!

  4. Cogent Ascending -

    Your assessment is always on the money. Magic produces change. It rearranges things to make them better for the user, but if such user pushes too hard s/he faces another truth: Fate won't be denied, so She will set things in order.

    You said something that pretty much described why I'm a Nature loving pantheist "we often turn to religion, and indeed systems of belief, to help us cope with the abundance of evidence which seems to remind us on a dialy basis that we are not in control of anything or anyone, least of all our own fate." I believe that all things in these world are connected and that our fate affects that of other people and the things around us, so we need to leave in harmony with our surroundings. To give up (or condemn) something or someone or tag it as evil or different, is an ignorant mistake that pushes the idiot as well as everyone nowhere fast.

  5. passed by fro sits, witchcraft always binterested me though i admit i never researched it so far(too many things interest me) ans i liked your blog...will pass again to read more...

  6. Anonymous6/13/2009

    Hi Magaly,
    I don't know that much about white or black magic. Thanks for the insight. I love your story. It makes it easier to understand the whole concept.

    I've been reading and following along on your pagan culture.

    Sorry I haven't dropped in lately. I've been more busy than usual.


  7. Equidae-

    Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you find Witchcraft interesting and like my blog. I hope it serves to perk your interest a bit more ;)

  8. Melissa-

    It's so good to see you here!! I've stopped by The Dark Whisper every once in a while to see what you are up to and to get my Melissa-Twitter's updates ;)

    Any word on your last contest entry? I'm sending two stories out to try their luck at the end of this month. Fingers crossed.

    I'm happy you are learning from Pagan Culture. Don't be stranger, specially next week. I have a post I'm sure you'll love.


  9. Magic is neither black nor white and some think the appellations of black/white are steeped in racism.
    As for the graveyard dirt, it is a common ingredient in most hoodoo spells. However one would not put this dirt with their lwa (gods). I once was told by a Haitian Vodoun hougan (priest) that to put graveyard dirt where the lwa dwelled was taboo. Similar taboos exist in Santeria, Candomble, where ceremonies for the dead and the orisha are kept seperate. The exception is the goddess Oya, who as queen of the dead is the only orisha present where there are spirits of the dead. I once took a bit of graveyard dirt and put the offering for it from the local cemetery. I put it on my ancestral altar. My house began to be filled with negative spirits. My godfather called me and said "What did you do?" I think it is ok to use graveyard dirt from the graves of loved ones but not strangers because you never know what you're going to get.

    P.S I enjoy reading this blog because it is so positive and insightful. I am initited into Candomble (Brazilian Orisha religion) but I still on occasion practice witchcraft to honor my Italian and German ancestors. I am also Filipino.
    Blessed Be
    ~Dominick Guerriero

  10. Dominick (Filho de Logunede)-

    Thanks so much for such a detailed response! I don't know if you read my About page, but I'm from the Dominican Republic—right next to Haiti—and our traditions share many similarities. When I was growing up my mom used to keep two altars; one in the bedroom and that one I could use (to leave offerings to saints and pray for change and things of that nature). The other was to honor Anaisa (the young virgin). That was mami’s personal altar and I was not allowed anywhere near it.

    She didn't tell me then, why she wouldn’t allow me to touch that particular altar, but later I learned that it was because she honored Anaisa by offering graveyard dirt from the graves of young children. My mom believed that Anaisa would keep their innocent souls safe from evil and give them the needed strength to travel to the Summerland.

    Note: I used to think that mami didn't like me to touch the altar because it was "too sacred and personal", then I found out that she was just afraid I would eat the dirt, like my baby cousin had done in the past! Not very magical or nutritious—I know ;)