Maybe it’s just me, but lately I seem to be coming across numerous people spouting their moral superiority over those who practice what they refer to as “black” or “dark” magick. The common definition of black magick among people who use the term is magick that involves causing purposeful harm to others. Let’s leave aside the semantical problems with this line of reasoning for a moment, and take a look at it from a practical point of view.
Can any of us say that we have never or would never cause physical harm to anyone? What would you do if you found out that a loved one was being abused? What if you or a loved one were raped and the police couldn’t or wouldn’t help you? These are extreme cases, I know, but if there is an instance in which you would not curb a violent physical response, then why cringe at the use of a violent magickal recourse?
I won’t say that a curse should only be used in instances as those sited above. I believe that everyone needs to decide what their own ethics are. Every adult knows where the line that they will not cross lies – that is part of being an adult.
Does this mean that I think it is okay for someone to fling hexes as anyone who ticks them off? Nope, I don’t subscribe to the “Judge not lest ye be judged” type of morality. If I think that you are being a doofus, then I will tell you so. But just as I wouldn’t pull any punches when I think that someone needs a metaphorical smack up side the head, I also won’t presume to deliver that smack without knowing all the facts first. In my experience, things are rarely as simple as they seem.
That being said, I also want to touch a bit on the concept of “forbidden knowledge”. This, to me, seems to be a hold over found in many new seekers who were raised Christian. An all too common misconception of the tale of Adam and Eve and the tree of Knowledge is that the Christian God wants to keep his people ignorant. This is where we get the attitude that reading and learning about a subject will somehow make you unclean or unable to resist the urge to abuse that knowledge.
To put it bluntly, that is just silly. Common sense tells us that just because you know how to do something doesn’t mean that you have to use that knowledge. Knowing how to give someone bone chilling nightmares doesn’t mean that you have to do it any more than knowing what herbs are poisonous means that you have to poison someone. On the contrary, learning about curses and hexes can give you the knowledge necessary to protect yourself should you ever find yourself on the wrong end of one. For no matter how self-righteous you may feel because you do not cast curses, there will always be someone else out there who does.