"The science and art of causing change to occur, in conformity with will. Magick is the science of understanding oneself and one's conditions. It is the art of applying that understanding in action". - Aleister Crowley.
Magick is a term heard widely in fantasy novels, movies and tv shows, often portrayed as currents of brightly coloured energy shooting out of the wands or staffs of fantastical witches and wizards, to fight of evil foes or create great feats and miracles. This is completely wrong! So if this is wrong, then what truly is Magick?
Magick has been around since the dawn of time, even before existence. Every group, religion and spirituality as well every practitioner, will have there own definition of what magick is to them. My theory is that there is a force all around everything, that runs through all plains of existence, linking everything together, much like The Norse theory of Ond or the Eastern Chi. The different paths and techniques are different ways of manipulating the force to your will, similar to that of Crowley's theory. Manipulating this force causes change in the plane you currently reside in, so creating Magick as you are now affects the physical world, but by performing it when In the astral plane you can affect that plane as well as bring it back to the physical. Whether you are healing, divining, evoking, cursing, they all use the same base process of manipulating the ruling force. Magick is also the ascending of the practitioner through practice of magickal pathways, from being a regular person to being something more, something unique. I also look at it as a kind of 'lost science' that although is not truly understood, more and more people are 'finding' once again and It is obtainable by anybody, with enough practice.
" One can not shape the world without being reshaped in the process. Each gain of power requires its own sacrifice". - Phil Hine.
Is Magick Good or Evil ?
This question has been asked almost as long as Magick itself has been around. Is it wrong for us to manipulate these forces to our advantage and use Magick to affect the world. In my opinion, no. When we do science experiments mixing together natural materials to form new compounds, is that evil ? when we create medicines or pharmaceuticals is that evil ? Magick is just an unknown form of science the only reason we question it is that we don't understand it. Not fully anyway. To the ancient civilizations it wasn't evil, it was in fact a way of life. They understood the importance of Magick probably better than we do today. For example Greeks, Romans , Egyptians all had pantheons of gods, which they communed with, worshipped and made central to their lives. They all had rituals and spells and sacrifices dedicated to the Deities and in return the Deities protected, helped and gave knowledge to these subjects. Even before this the Nabateans used to worship there own gods through the use of black rocks much like modern day scrying. Magick was never thought of as evil until the appearance of modern religion. To this I am referring to the 6 major religions of Islam , Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and of course Christianity. What these religions did was create a divide in people, through stories of fallen angels, demons and how evil the other religions were and if you didn't follow a particular religion you were damned or unsavable. Each had their own rules and gods and anyone outside these were called heathens. The traditional way of life changed and Magick slowly began to disappear.
At this point Traditional Magick was an almost secret art and the more and more religious minded and indoctrinated people became the more Magick became a threat. Around the time of the middle ages its notoriety was so high that suspected witches and Magicians were executed out of fear and the term Magick became the ultimate evil. Even those who practiced healing Magick and what we now call white magick, were subjected to humiliating and painful tortures and deaths at the hands of people similar to the Witch finder General Matthew Hopkins. A book was even written called the Malleus Maleficarum or Hammer of the witch to show the evils of Magick and expose witches and witchcraft.
" But devil's are subservient to certain influences of the stars because Magicians observe the course of certain stars in order to evoke the devils. " - Heinrich Kramer, Malleus Maleficarum.
Today Magick is still shunned by society and only practiced by a few, even though It runs through all of us. To ask is Magick Good or Evil? Is a unanswerable question as Magick just is, it exists to be used and we should turn our attention to the practitioner and ask, are they, in fact, good or evil? Because yes Magick can indeed be used for evil but Magick itself, it's neutral and in most cases can be used to bring about the most fantastical of outcomes and you don't need to go to Hogwarts to do it