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Are there such things as White Witches?

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Are there such things as White Witches?
Users of magic, (specifically witches) are traditionally viewed as being either white - loving and gentle healers, or black - the evil bad guys. There is a significant question over why white is automatically associated with 'good' and black associated with 'bad', but I will save that for another article. Within the context of this article, I will simply accept the associations on face value. But are witches really split into 2 camps - good versus evil?

Of course not. In truth, all witches are probably varying shades of grey. But I think that people who call themselves 'grey witches' are probably being overly wordy and a just a tad 'pc'. Surely the statement, I'm a witch is enough? It needs to be understood that all users of magic (I will refer to all users of magic collectively as witches from here on) work with energy. Energy is a neutral force. It is not good, but equally it is not bad. It just is. The way in which this energy is then used it entirely dependent on the witch using it. If the witch chooses to use the energy for a good cause, then the energy takes on the properties of the good intention. However, if the witch chooses to shape the energy with ill intent, then the energy becomes a malignant force.

There is a saying that a witch who can't curse can't cure. I tend to agree with the sentiment. If you are a capable witch, who can raise, shape and direct energy, then you should be able to put that energy to any purpose you choose - including effective cursing. You can either work with energy or you can't. If you can, then you can curse as easily as cure, and if you can't then to my mind you have no business calling yourself a witch. Simple.

But its not quite as simple as it appears. For some reason, the vast majority of witches that I have met tend to totally disassociate themselves from the darker side of magical work. They vehemently deny that they are anything less than totally pure, and full of love and light (not to mention their liking of glitter and all things pink, oh yes, and their fondness for attempting to 'cleanse your aura'). But how can that be so? A key tenet of Pagan, and indeed Witchcraft and Wiccan philosophy is balance. How can totally denying the darker side of human nature be seen as a good thing? Surely it is better to look deeply within, searching out the darker sides of your soul that you may try to hide (even from yourself) acknowledge their presence and then consciously choose to not act upon them? That surely leads to a better sense of balance, than to simply deny their existence in the first place.

So, on the one hand we have the 'love & light fluffies'. On the other hand we have those who revel in the dark side. They seem to relish dwelling in the shadows. Threats of hexes for the slightest irritation are their stock in trade. They delight in scoffing at the 'lightweight fluffies'. They think that they are more balanced. But are they really any better? Of course not. Every accusation that they could possibly level at the 'fluffies' could equally be inverted and then levelled at them. They are at the opposite ends of the same spectrum. Where is their balance?

I cannot see why anyone would be proud to be on the outer extreme of magical work. The pendulum has swung too far in either direction. Yes, I admit, I find the 'fluffies' a bit immature and tedious, but I find the 'dark ones' equally so. Surely it is time that people realised that there is a middle way.

As I've stated above, balance is critical. No individual is completely good or completely bad. Everyone has their own unique combination of both, which makes them the person that they are. I truly believe that if people were more willing to face that simple fact, much of the extreme silliness found within the pagan community would disappear overnight.

Witches, more specifically Wiccans who abide by the Rede, often claim emphatically that they would never, even consider cursing or hexing. I sincerely hope that they are never in a situation to put that emphatic belief to the test. I do not place such constraints upon myself. I fully acknowledge, that under certain circumstances, I would intentionally set out to cause harm. It is not an aspect of my character than I am particularly proud of, but I accept it as being a part of me nonetheless. The circumstances which could provoke such an act would have to be very extreme.

Obviously, that kind of action would require some very serious thought and consideration, but I am not prepared to rule it out entirely. I would not enter into it lightly, but then I believe that that applies to any magical act. This kind of situation also raises the interesting point of what is more important - your motivation/intention for an act or the act itself? In despatching a hex to protect my daughter, I am acting out of motherly love and protectiveness. But, doubtless, the hex itself is not a 'good' thing to do. So what is the net effect of such an action? Things are not always as black and white as they seem, regardless of what the fairytales would have you believe. And human beings can frequently surprise themselves with just what they are capable of when backed into a corner. I don't like surprises and would rather know ahead of time, the kind of action I would be likely to take.

Clearly, as a general rule of thumb, it is preferable for all members of civilised society to err on the side of light rather than dark. It enables us to get along so much easier. And if push came to shove, I would rather be known as a little too nice, rather than as a little too nasty.

In summary, I would have to say that, 'No' there are no such thing as white witches. Equally there are no such thing as black

by Dobunni (who is a nice shade of mid-grey

An Indian Prayer

H. Kent Craig

My grandfather is the fire
My grandmother is the wind
The Earth is my mother
The Great Spirit is my father
The World stopped at my birth
and laid itself at my feet
And I shall swallow the Earth whole
when I die
and the Earth and I will be one
Hail The Great Spirit, my father
without him no one could exist
because there would be no will to live
Hail The Earth, my mother
without which no food could be grown
and so cause the will to live to starve
Hail the wind, my grandmother
for she brings loving, lifegiving rain
nourishing us as she nourishes our crops
Hail the fire, my grandfather
for the light, the warmth, the comfort he brings
without which we be animals, not men
Hail my parent and grandparents
without which
not I
nor you
nor anyone else
could have existed
Life gives life
which gives unto itself
a promise of new life
Hail the Great Spirit, The Earth, the wind, the fire
praise my parents loudly
for they are your parents, too
Oh, Great Spirit, giver of my life
please accept this humble offering of prayer
this offering of praise
this honest reverence of my love for you.