Do witches practice dark magic?

Witches and witchcraft have long been a part of our psyches – from pagans celebrating Gods of nature to the wise-women and healers of middle-age communities, the term witch can mean many things to many different people.

For lots of reasons, including the attitude of certain religions and religious doctrines or beliefs, witches and witchcraft have frequently come under scrutiny. In some cases for having spiritual ideas which differ from the guiding principles of other religions, and in other cases there are scriptures considered holy by some religions as well as other sources which specify witches and witchcraft as evil, dark, or dangerous.

This has led many to question witchcraft’s associations with those same beliefs or ideas – are witches evil, or dangerous? Do they practice dark magic (or magick, as some witches prefer to refer to it)?

This is a complicated question to answer, not least because of the long and varied history of witches and witchcraft which can be found throughout the world, encapsulating as many different answers, beliefs, and experiences as there are different countries, cultures, and traditions. In this way, witchcraft is not so very different from many other, perhaps more well-known religions that could be considered as more ‘mainstream’.

Indeed, in many ways, witchcraft shares much in common with other religions and many witches incorporate their spirituality into their witchcraft, to a greater or lesser degree – however, there are plenty of people alive today who would consider themselves witches or as practicing witchcraft, who do not intrinsically connect their practices with spiritual beliefs or consider it a religion.

And there are many who engage in practices which might be referred to as dark, shadow, or black magic – this could be ranging from curses and hexes to reflection of ill intent – sending negative energies or intentions back to the person or group from which they originated. However, it is unusual for a witch (or coven of witches) to focus on practicing one type of magic to the exclusion of all others – for many, being a witch is a way of life and one part of their overall identity, with the individual holding ultimate responsibility for any actions or decisions they choose to take. This would include whether to choose to cast spells, create potions, or work with ill intent. Indeed, many paths which include the use of witchcraft emphasise the importance of the individual making these choices and decisions for themselves, and being prepared to then take accountability and face the consequences -whether good or ill – of those actions.

For this reason, witches and witchcraft come in as many shapes, sizes, and persuasions as there are unique individuals practicing witchcraft. As witchcraft is a practice built on the actions and choices of the individual, arguably it encompasses as many unique and varied practices as there are distinctive individuals who would call themselves a witch. Therefore the question: do witches practice dark magic? has as many different answers as there are witches across the planet.

To summarise this into a simple, short statement, the best answer to the question do witches practice dark magic? is: it depends, on which witch you’re asking.

If you’ve read any of my other blogs (such as this one: Top witches in books, film, and TV) you might have already figured out that I find witches fascinating – both fictional and in real-life.

That’s a huge part of the reason why, for my very next book, witchcraft and witches will feature very prominently – in fact, the two main characters are 2 sister witches.

So, if you’re as enthralled by all things witchy as I am, keep your eyes peeled – later this year, my new novel – A Song of Death: Nightshade Books Mystery 1 (working title) will be released. I can’t wait to share it with all my fellow witch-lovers!


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