A friend came to visit this week that I hadn’t physically seen in about five years. He donated a book to our Temple library called, The Gray Witch’s Grimoire by Amythyst Raine. I admit to not being up on all that is being written about Wicca and Witchcraft in these modern times. So, not being totally closed-minded, I pick the book up to read it. I’ve only read a few pages, but what it stirred in me was something I was taught oh so long ago – “There is no white magick or black magick, only varying shades of gray.”
There is so much truth to that statement. It matters not whether you call yourself a Wiccan, Witch, Pagan, Magician, Sorcerer or something else, the truth is that all energy is neutral, it’s how it’s used – the intent – that makes it a use that is positive or negative.
In the outside world, mundanes/cowans/muggles, have mostly thought of Witches as worshipers of the Devil and practitioners of black magick. There are many magickal people who are highly offended at the thought of those misconceptions. “Why, we are white Witches!” they protest loudly. Not wanting to be lumped in with Satanists, they fight for recognition as light-workers and will get into heated debates with anyone who says otherwise.
The truth is, we are all human. On this Earthly plane, where we have come to learn and grow spiritually through the lessons of everyday life, we have our good days and we have our bad days. This is a place of duality and part of that duality resides within each of us. Being in physical bodies, our daily lives present us with the opportunity to experience joy and sorrow, compassion and anger, love and hate, etc. That’s all part of the learning process.
None of us lives totally in the light and none of us lives totally in the darkness. Even Jesus was known to lose his temper. We are like the yin-yang symbol – even in the light, there is a little darkness and even in the darkness, there is a little light. Most of us strive to primarily be light-workers, but there are those moments….
In this time of awakening, there seems to be a trend that if you feel angry or frustrated or even hatred, you should be ashamed for having those feelings. We need to understand those feelings and why we’re having them, not be ashamed or repress them. Yes, those are the shades of gray and they can teach us much.
I think this may be the reason that, for Wiccans, there are no multiple “commandments” concerning what is considered good behavior. Rather, recognizing that circumstances need to be assessed, we have the Wiccan Rede:
Bide the Wiccan Rede ye must,
In perfect love and perfect trust,
Eight words of Wiccan Rede fulfill,
“And ye harm none, do what ye will.”
Lest in thy self defense it be,
Ever mind the Rule of Three.
Follow this with mind and heart
We merry meet and merry part.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears looking at again, especially the part “Lest in thy self defense it be,”. Tell me that if someone threatened your life or the life of the ones you love, you would just stand there and do nothing because you are a light-worker. Shades of gray, my lovelies, shades of gray.
Oh, and let’s talk about words. Words have power and are colored by our emotions. Whether they’re spoken aloud or part of the never-ending dialogue in our heads, who can honestly say they have never expressed a negative thought in words? Certainly not I. Witches and other light-workers have bad moments, too. More shades of gray.
And it is always about intent and/or motivation. Why did you think that or say that or do that? Was it an act of love or an act of fear? We all have them both. Looking at what is/was behind that piece of negativity that just crossed our minds or came out of our mouths allows us to learn about who we are and grow. It provides insight not only into who we are but gives us the opportunity to step into another’s shoes and look at the world. Real wisdom can be gained in this manner.
Someone once said that without the darkness there would be no appreciation of the light. They are two poles, two extremes of existence and we are somewhere in between, doing the best that we can do on any given day, striving to reach the light. That is the mission for every spiritual being inhabiting a physical body on Planet Earth, no matter the spiritual path (or absence of one) they follow. Perhaps that provides the reasoning behind abandoning judgment of other people. Our journey is not their journey and vice versa.
For Wiccans though, this realization that there is no white magick or black magick – and, therefore, no white Witches or black Witches – is part of our awakening. As we strive to do good works and help others through the wisdom, knowledge and experience we have gathered to ourselves, we must recognize our humanity and realize that this incarnation, for each of us, is an exercise in the many and varying shades of gray.