Welcome Witches to another post in our Expectation vs Reality Series! Today, we’re tackling white magick, the common misconceptions and the actual reality of the practice. As always, I aim to write from a place of neutrality to really give you, the reader, a solid picture of these magickal paths. Having said that, let’s get started.
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 neutral and without connotation.
WHAT IS WHITE MAGICK?
The idea behind white magick is that it utilizes supernatural powers only for selfless purposes.
WHO PRACTICES IT?
Those who practice white magick and aim to use magick intended for their community and the greater good are known as white witches, white wizards, wise men, wise women, or healers. Many of these practitioners claim to have been gifted their powers/knowledge via hereditary lineage.
WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Gareth Knight wrote in his 1978 book, A History of White Magic, that the origin of this path holds root in traditions of ancient Egypt.
White magick has also been traced back to Cunning Folk, also known as wise folk or folk healers. These are European practitioners of helpful folk magick, folk medicine, and divination ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century.
These practices were recognized as the ‘cunning craft’ and included foiling and blocking witchcraft. Some Cunning Folk were condemned as witches themselves; however, there was typically a distinction between Cunning Folk and malicious witches.
WHAT IS IT USED FOR?
A white witch uses white magick for healing and blessing others. Prayers, incantations, and song are typical practices aligned with this path.
EXPECTATION VS REALITY
- Expectation: You have to be white in order to be a white witch
Reality: You can be any race and practice white magick
The belief that white magick is selfless and done only to benefit others can be subscribed to by anyone, regardless of their race. Admittedly, the idea between white and black magick does hold root in racism, meant to pit the ‘good versus evil’ narrative against ‘white versus black’.
When we look at customs and rituals that have the negative connotations of being “bad” they’re typically aligned with practices from traditions like Hoodoo. This division is only perpetuated further by the media. The idea that white magick is ‘good’ and black magick is ‘bad’ is pretty common amongst the layman.
When you think about it, we typically see white magick or friendly/nice/good spells being cast by the friendly/nice/good white women – read: Glenda the Good Witch. On the other hand, black magick or hateful/mean/evil spells are being cast by the hateful/mean/evil non-white women – read: the (green) Wicked Witch of the West.
Regardless of how it’s presented, white magick is practiced by many different people of many different races. If this is something you’re interested in, by all means pursue it!
- Expectation: White magick is good while black magick is bad
Reality: Magick is neither good or bad
For this expectation versus reality, let’s look at who benefits from the magick. It’s a lot harder to divide things into ‘good’ or ‘bad’ when you approach a magickal situation this way. For instance, when you cast a spell to impede a violent person, can that be considered black magick? That depends on how you view the situation. Is it white magick when you cast a miscarriage prevention spell?
We do not live in a black and white world. We exist in a multi-shades of grey world with many different viewpoints. From this stance, black and white magick is just another way to compartmentalize the practice of witchcraft. The colorization of magick aims to make esoteric practices easier to digest for some while facilitating understanding for others.
At the end of the day, intention is what truly ‘colors’ magick. Magick is a tool and energy is energy. Having said that, if dividing magick into categories of color makes sense to you, then by all means – go for it. I am not here to tell you how to run your practice or to preach one way is better than the other. That’s not my place. Instead, I want you to take in what I’m presenting and decide for yourself.
- Expectation: Practicing white magick makes the practitioner ‘better’ than others
Reality: There’s no superiority or hierarchy in magick
There’s something inherent in certain people that seek to be above others. The world of witchcraft is no different! Over the course of my practice I’ve come across a few practitioners who always had something negative to say about other members in the magickal community. I call them haters, and rightfully so.
This expectation is the perfect example of such thinking. Practicing witchcraft is a lot of things. From beautiful to frustrating to dirty to liberating, it has as many facets to it as life itself. To think that practicing white magick makes one practitioner better than another cancels out the whole ‘goodness’ of this path, doesn’t it?
For the practice of magick and witchcraft in general, there is no hierarchy. That’s not to say that there isn’t hierarchy in specific paths or belief systems, like those with a High Priest or High Priestess or any other coven-based structure. In the sense of one witch compared to another witch, there really is no comparison outside of the fact that they’re both witches.
Again, these expectation versus reality posts are meant to get you thinking. Let’s challenge the status quo, the stereotypes, the current belief systems that are in place about witchcraft. Comment below how you feel about white magick. Do you believe in it? Do you practice it? And as always, Bright Blessings and Happy Crafting!