The Colour of Magic

I hear a lot of practising witches say, “There are no colours in magic—just energy.” This is true, to an extent. There are no colours in magic—even “green” magic is just another way of saying “eco” or “natural”— but when one speaks of “black” or “white” magic, these do not indicate colours, because black and white refer to the presence or absence of light. (Yes, yes, I know: without light there is no colour, and within “white” all colours are present, but the point stands that it’s first and foremost about light.)

I’ve also heard that there is no “negative” or “positive” energy—it’s just energy. As an empath, I strongly disagree.

Metaphysical energy is not the same as mundane energy—polarities do exist at each end of a tangible spectrum.

I don’t spend much time with other people. I find it tiring. Riding the bus, attending get-togethers, crowded shops, and going to restaurants exhaust me, sometimes so much so that I need a full day to recover. Some would describe this feeling as being “drained”. I describe is as “overloaded”. I can feel the tension, worry, annoyance, excitement, anxiety, neediness, anger, nervousness, happiness, boredom, confusion, impatience, elation, despair, jealousy, etc. of everyone around me. It all just wafts my way, like a stifling wave of heat, and before long, my head hurts, my stomach is bloated, I’m sweating, and after a few hours, I feel adrenal fatigue coming on. I probably won’t sleep that night, either. This isn’t merely shyness or introversion (although I experience both). I get this way even around groups of people I know well and care about, people I want to see and don’t feel shy around.

I have to psychically protect myself beforehand, which helps to an extent.

And yes, “positive” energy affects me differently than “negative” energy does. If I’m bombarded with negative energy, I will often feel nauseous and dizzy. If the energy is high and positive, I get the headache and bloating and lack of sleep.

This is how it affects me in crowds. In small groups or in a one-on-one situation, if someone is happy and excited, I soon feel the same way. The same is true if someone is crying. Many of us experience this form of empathy, and there’s no denying these energies are decidedly “positive” or “negative”.

However, most energy is more “grey”—middling. It’s neither negative nor positive, although it often leans one way or another.

Magic is similar.

I want to change gears slightly now. Words are important. They’re one of the ways in which we make sense of the world. We use them to understand things, and for that reason alone these terms have value and should not be dismissed.

So when someone mentions “dark” magic, a plethora of images come to mind. Some of them may be accurate, and some not, but they help us to understand, to some extent, what’s going on. Some of them are fairly universal. We think of demons, darkness, things that reside “below”. We do not think of rainbows and angels—that’s usually the realm of “white” magic.
One thing to keep in mind is that “dark” magic can be used to effect positive change and help others, and “white” magic can have very negative consequences.

To say that “dark” magic is necessarily evil, or that “white” magic is safe and good is inaccurate.

I know some witches who frolic with demons and they’re the nicest people who’d never hurt a soul; they consort with these beings because they get results. It’s not something I’d personally feel comfortable with, but to each witch their own.

Modern society has an abhorrence for labels, and while I agree that they can be detrimental and cause pigeonholing, in many cases—particularly when trying to understand something new and rather abstract—labels are useful. Ironically, some of the witches that I’ve seen dismiss those labels have, when asked about their practice, used those very same labels to describe it, because this was the most efficient way to summarise what they do.

As with energy, a lot of magic falls into a “grey” area. Binding, healing without the recipient’s consent, anything that even slightly interfere’s with another’s freewill, using blood, skulls, or animal parts…these all fall into the category of grey, with the exact shade depending on the witch’s opinion. Some might even say these things are “dark”, while others will laugh and say there’s nothing dark about those things at all.

What are your thoughts on the whole “colour” debate?

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