Grey Magick: Expectation vs Reality

Welcome back Witches! In this installment of the Expectation vs Reality Series we’re tackling the subject of grey magick. What is it? What are the common misconceptions surrounding it? What can you truly expect if you were to practice it?

Let’s dive in!

PREFACE

Before we get into this post, I want to clarify my personal stance on the “colorization” of magick – magick is magick. White, black, or grey are all ways to categorize the intention behind the magick. Admittedly, it does lend a certain ease when exploring or discussing witchcraft with a noninitiate; however, as an active practitioner I believe magick to be without color.

WHAT IS GREY MAGICK?

grey magick is neutral magick

Also known as neutral magick, grey magick does not align with either black or white magick. Instead, it falls between the two. A grey witch works in-between the duality of magick. What this means, however, depends on how said witch sees it for themselves. As such, a true definition of this path is difficult to nail down.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHITE, BLACK, AND GREY MAGICK?

black white grey magick

The terminology between these three paths can be broken down as such:

  • Grey Magick is Neutral Magick
  • White Magick is Beneficial Magick
  • Black Magick is Harmful Magick

While there are those in the magickal community who aim to steer clear of speaking of different paths in terms of color, it is still commonplace to do so. What terminology you use to define the paths of witchcraft is up to you.

WHAT KINDS OF MAGICK FALL UNDER WHITE, BLACK, AND NEUTRAL MAGICK?

black and white magick

White magick typically involves selfless charms and incantations intended for healing and blessing. On the other hand, black magick involves acts that employ things like curses, hexes, vexes, and jinxes. Finally, grey magick falls within the entire spectrum of white to black, influenced by the intention of the witch.

What makes a grey witch is their ability to remain neutral even while casting spells and workings that can be identified as white or black.

EXPECTATION VS REALITY

When something is difficult to define, the accumulation of misgivings and misconceptions is typically quick and hard to be rid of. I find this to be especially true of grey magick. The following points are to enlighten and hopefully start a conversation surrounding this particular path.

  1. Expectation: Grey witches cause harm on purpose
    Reality: Pain is a natural by-product of ALL magick
pain is a natural byproduct of magick

It is common among grey witches to work with energies considered to be positive and those considered to be negative. However, all magick has benefits and consequences – regardless if the witch only subscribes to the “light and love” mantra.

For instance, if you were to cast a spell to gain favor for a job you were interviewing for and it succeeded, the result would cause pain to the other potential candidates. Thus, harm is an inevitable by-product – even when you think you are acting from a place of white/beneficial magick.

As far as grey witches go, sometimes they do set out to cause harm on purpose. And that is totally fine. As practitioners, they have accepted duality in nature and in mankind. Who am I to tell another how to practice? Do I personally condone the act of cursing? Not for my path, but that is MY choice. Only I can control what I do and believe.

Some practitioners of grey magick only utilize beneficial magick up to the point where a situation requires the use of harmful magick. On the other hand, there are grey witches who use whichever magick they want without regard for whether it is considered to be “good” or “bad” in the eyes of others. Again, it is THEIR path and ultimately THEIR decision on how to practice.

  1. Expectation: All grey witches cast hexes
    Reality: The modern use of the word ‘hex’ is wrong
a witch who cannot witch cannot heal

Amongst the small coterie of grey magick practitioners, there is a saying that goes “a witch who cannot hex cannot heal.” But what does this mean? When the connotation of the word ‘hex’ carries notions of baneful magick, it’s no wonder that any mention of it conjures thoughts of curses. Having said that, “hexe” is German for “witch”, with “hexen” meaning “to practice witchcraft.”

The separation of hex from witchcraft and the eventual mistranslation to mean “baneful magick” garners the “all witchcraft is evil” mindset. However, in regards to the saying “a witch who cannot hex cannot heal” really means “a witch who cannot witch cannot heal.”

In all reality, any witch or mystic who participates in witchcraft needs to understand the full spectrum between extremes. To heal a disease, you must KNOW the disease. To curse another, you must KNOW their personal brand of happiness you aim to deny them. A blanket statement of ‘ALL grey witches cast hexes’ is mob mentality.

  1. Expectation: Practicing grey magick makes you an evil witch
    Reality: Just because you don’t employ the “harm none” aspect doesn’t make you evil
practicing magick does not make you evil

I want to talk about Wiccan Morality for a moment. We see this mainly expressed in the Wiccan Rede – “An’ it harm none, do what ye will.” Interpreted into modern lingo it essentially means that as long as you aren’t harming anybody, do what you want. It’s a nice thought, but it doesn’t apply to every situation. This is because the world that we live in is not black and white, but grey.

As a practitioner who does not subscribe to Wicca – and I’m not knocking those who do – I find this statement to be rather restrictive. And as it applies to this particular expectation, no, practicing grey magick does not make you an evil witch.

As you can see from expectations one and two above, the ideas surrounding practitioners of grey magick seem to lay on the negative side of the street. I believe that because of how difficult it is to nail down what grey magick is, it can be hard for people to fully grasp the complete concept. I also think that there are a lot of people out there who like to feel like they’re better than others – the witchcraft community is not immune to this!

While I’ve only met two grey witches to date, both of them were not evil, menacing, corrupt, or wicked. They were actually very advanced in their practice, extremely empathetic, and had an enviable understanding of humankind. In our talks over the years, I have learned much more from these so-called “evil witches” than any interaction I’ve had with practitioners who proudly claim they only work “good magick.”

IN CONCLUSION…

Well there you have it! Another day, another Expectation vs Reality for the books. Grey magick is definitely an interesting path and one that holds many facets. I believe that those interested are in for a lot of research and soul-searching to come to terms with what they believe to be true for their own practice. What about you? Do you practice grey magick? Let me know in the comments! And as always, Bright Blessings and Happy Crafting!

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