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So, a bit ago I got two books of magic. One is the Galdrabók and the other is Scott Cunningham’s Earth, Air, Fire & Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic. The former is one of the few existent books of real Icelandic magic as it was practiced in its true form. The latter is a good book of minor magic by a very well respected author.

So, I read through much of the Galdrabók, and it’s an interesting mixture of Heathen magic with elements of Christianity through it. It’s a very practical spell book too. There’s something like four or five different ways to catch a thief, there’s spells to win friendship and love, to influence people, and even a couple for making people fart (one of which looks like it could be lethal). Several of them have to be cast without the target knowing about the spell.

How many of you see the issue here?

Then I started in on Cunningham’s book. And what’s the first thing I see? Don’t practice magic to annoy, influence, hurt, kill, win the love of a specific person, bind, manipulate, control, win sexual favors, don’t sell your magic, satisfy your ego, or without the consent of others. It’s on pages 15-16, under Why Risk It?

Well, Bully!

So it seems that not only is my Galdrabók an actual book of Icelandic magic, it’s a book of Dark Magic! Woohoo! Which means that by the standards of sooo many of my fellow practitioners, it should be burned and wiped out. How dare anyone work dark magic! It’s Evil!!!

Thank the Godkin I’m evil then.

See, we really need to rethink our ideas of “Black” magic and why we shouldn’t be doing it. One of the things we have to start changing our outlook on is just what is magic in relation to the user. A lot of people think that people shouldn’t use their magic, or shouldn’t use it in certain ways, hence the black magic issue. But there’s something I think most people aren’t thinking about.

See, magic is a part of the user/wielder. Asking a person not to use their magic in life is like asking a person not to use their eyes, or their hands, or their legs. You’re crippling them.

Now, I can understand people not wanting others to have power over them, or to use magic on them without their consent. But we don’t make people crafty with words not speak without consent. Or gifted with their hands keep them inside pockets till we consent to let them out. Do we hobble the man fleet of foot lest he outrun us? No, we don’t, so why should we make the magically gifted keep their powers locked away, channeled in only “acceptable” ways. We shouldn’t. We don’t have the right to tell the gifted they cannot be gifted, as much as society would like to do so.

After all, if the smooth talker can use his abilities to bed a woman, why shouldn’t the magi? If a person with a lot of money can hire lawyers to win a law case, why shouldn’t the witch use magic to do the same? If a person can kill with their hands, why shouldn’t a sorcerer do so with his spells?

The world is not fare. We Pagans and Heathens shouldn’t be hobbling those among us who can build and grow their powers and use them for our benefit. Yes, some will use their magic for themselves, and yes there will be some who will hurt others for the sake of hurting, but there will be those with the gift who will be able to deal with them. Everyone should be free to be who they are, and face the consequences. We shouldn’t limit them, just like we wouldn’t want them to limit us.