Friday, December 19, 2008

Of Course You Do

In the middle of this fluff piece about a New York City magick shop called Enchantments, I came across the following:

I had to ask: “Where do you guys stand on Satan?”

Eyes rolled. The Enchantments store policy is explicit on the Web site: “We DO NOT carry any items dealing with black magick.”

Some news for the Enchantments folks - of course they carry items that can be used for "black magick." That's because magick is a technology and whether a given spell is "white" or "black" depends on the intent of the caster, not the implements employed. This is one of those misconceptions that comes from Hollywood ideas of spellcasting. How many films have you seen in which the hero and villain in a magical battle conjure up different colored beams of light to show that one is good and the other is evil? I'm a big fan of occult themed B-movies, and let me tell you, it's very common in that genre.

I do understand why filmmakers do it, because (1) they really want to represent a magical battle as a scene where the two combatants throw beams of light around because an actual magical battle doesn't look that interesting, and (2) if both combatants' beams of light were shown as the same color the battle would be difficult to film because it would probably look confusing. However, this cinematic technique does reinforce the idea that "black" and "white" magick are two completely separate forces fundamentally linked to the conventional ideas of good and evil. In reality, magick is magick, and you can use the same wand to cast a healing spell or a curse - it all depends on what you want to do.

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2 comments:

AISh MLChMH said...

How many films have you seen in which the hero and villain in a magical battle conjure up different colored beams of light to show that one is good and the other is evil?

Here's a new one with a few folks we're familiar with:

http://www.beyondlemuria.com/ViewTrailer.php

Ananael Qaa said...

Very cool! Thanks for passing that along.