When the Science and Art of magic is submerged under the miasma of moral subjectivity—borne out of spirituality and religion—elemental demonic forces begin to prey upon the priest class and aristocrats of the tribe by infecting the weakest psychic links among them.
There is no such thing as 'white' or 'black' magic. There is only energy and outcome determined entirely by the personality, intellectual maturity, along with the compassion (or lack thereof) of the practitioner. It is only either 'black magic' or 'white magic' to the person on the receiving end of the ritual. From the standpoint of practitioner—be they from a specific school of magic—it is just energy and how this energy is actually manipulated and directed. Stepping beyond the microcosm, and on to the macrocosm, there are also no such states as 'black magic' and 'white magic' when it comes to any overriding notions of cultural morality. What is never considered—by moralising, religious individuals—when it comes to this topic, is that white magic at one point in history may well have been considered black magic at another point in history, and vice versa.
Take for example animal sacrifice. The vast majority of people who practice magic today would never consider hurting an animal, let alone sacrifice one during a ritual. Yet, this moral code has only come about because we live in an age whereby people no longer slaughter animals for their own food. The slaughterhouse takes care of this for us. Most people today do not even take a knife to cut individual pieces of meat. The local butcher does this for us. How many people reading this have ever gutted a fish or removed the entrails from a chicken? So from a standpoint of modernity and convenience, we can declare sacrificing an animal to be 'immoral', and then we allow the abattoirs and meat processing plants to slaughter and dissect animals for our own busy lifestyles. The past is always a foreign country when viewed from the present. The moral relativity concerning animal sacrifice today only exists because we have transferred it to someone else. In a different age an magician sacrificing an animal for a ritual, was no more immoral, evil or sadistic than him or her breaking the neck of a goose for their dinner.
THERE IS ONLY MAGIC - THERE IS ONLY ENERGY
How this pure stream of magical energy is, (or is not) decreed to being pathological is due entirely to the nature of the magician at that moment in time, along with the cultural framework we find ourselves living within. Consider the middle-aged, jealous and vindictive Wicca 'goddess' placing a curse upon her otherwise decent and kind ex after he left her for another woman. Within her own rationalisation she considers herself to be performing 'white magic'. But what if the man left her because of failings within her own personality, and the 'other woman' he left her for is (or over time, became) a more compatible match than she is? What if the relationship had run its course and simply ended? If the curse is successful, she will consider herself a practitioner of white magic. He would have 'deserved it' for leaving her...
Yet, try and tell that to the heartbroken other woman who is holding her beloved's corpse in her arms—after he just dropped dead from a heart attack, or was killed in an accident—due to the curse cast upon him by his vindictive ex. Would it still be 'white magic' to that woman and by extension to his children, family, friends or to an elderly parent who may be completely dependent upon him? Was the curse still borne out of 'white magic' to these people, or was it just some crazy and jealous failed woman unable to accept her own personal shortcomings?
By the same token, is a practising Left Hand Path magician who uses magic to kill an Islamic terrorist before he blows up a nightclub, still practising 'black' magic when his own directed curse saves dozens of lives? When posed with such dogmatic-acquired choices, our own comfortable moral subjectivity simply falls to pieces. There is only energy manipulated by the force of the magician's Will, and this Will is the determining factor of all magic regardless of the official framework of the school of magic being utilised. The outcome of all magic depends entirely upon the intellectual decency, or indecency, of the actual practitioner and nothing else. As with everything else in life, it comes down to individual choice.
This is the beauty of magic. It is a form of energetic anarchy which depends entirely upon the nature of one's personal responsibility. A decent person would never issue a curse because they are jealous, had a bad day at work, or can't get laid by someone who is not interested in them. This is why magic—as with spirituality—is not for everyone. I often wonder if hard-core atheists become this way knowing that if they were religious, they would most likely become extremists and blow up abortion clinics? So therefore, they self-regulate themselves by charging their own Will towards the other end of the spectrum? In the same manner we often encounter an addictive personality type who had to become a crusader against substance abuse because they know they would be the first to be lying on the floor of a filthy squat with a broken HIV-filled needle in their arm.
In some cases, some people can be forgiven for their intensity of personal identity. After all, the first magic circle is the cranium surrounding our brain. If that magic circle is neither healthy, secure nor integrated; then no other magical circle created from such will be safe and secure. The often-cited Aleister Crowley quote concerning a young, pure, boy being the most powerful form or human sacrificial victim being a good case in point. At no point, did Crowley instruct his followers—or anyone else—to perform this act of human sacrifice. He was just outlining a common belief pertaining to schools of magic going back to the dawn of man. Yet, the people who constantly bring this quote up as proof of Crowley being a 'Satanist', are perfectly content with their own 'loving' god ordering Abraham to sacrifice his own son Issac, or the same Jehovah entity to curse Job just for the sake of it. To 'test' him. Twisted people—and twisted gods—do twisted things. Magic, much like a knife, can be used to harvest fruit from a tree to feed a loved one, or used as a weapon to rob an elderly person.
STORIES, STONES AND SIGILS
Following a lecture I gave in early 2016 to a group of overseas visitors—who were on the Irish 'megalithic trail', so to speak—concerning the subject of the megaliths of Sligo, which also included the respective folklore and mythology connected with them, that I accompanied this group of mainly Americans and Canadians to view the horned cairn (as I prefer the older 'official' terms) at Creevykeel. While we where inside the 'court' area of this magnificent structure, and as we were considering its mystery and location within the landscape—one of the few Irish megalithic sites which most certainly remains energetically highly 'charged'—that one of the group asked me if it was true that the druids practice human sacrifice.
When I replied that, there is indeed some hard evidence beyond the Roman propaganda (which is often hyperbolic and overblown) that some druids did indeed, indulge in acts of human sacrifice during periods of extreme hardship, that I could clearly observe several members of the group wince upon hearing this. They did not want to hear that the druids—in some instances—took the life of another person (often a captured prisoner) as part of some desperate dark magical ritual. By “dark magic”, this term being used—within the common vernacular—to denote the last desperate measure when all other magic has failed. However, we must also bear in mind that these ritual killings—as far as we can tell—were a rarity and nothing like the industrial scale of mass blood sacrifice of the Incas and Mayans of the Americas got up to when their own magic failed, and their own gods completely abandoned them. Viscerally demonstrating that; when magic goes wrong, it goes very badly wrong indeed.
When the Science and Art of magic is submerged under the miasma of moral subjectivity—borne out of spirituality and religion—elemental demonic forces begin to prey upon the priest class and aristocrats of the tribe by infecting the weakest psychic links among them. From Nero to Caligula, to Chairman Mao and Pol Pot (secular magi, but magi none the less), the results are horrifically self evidence for all to see. When the single chain that links the dynamics of a tribe, or an entrenched concept breaks, the lower half of the chain crashes downwards as it is sacrificed to save the dogmatic top links of the chain.
Monotheism and dictatorships are chains from the top to the bottom, while polytheism and more anarchist-inclined social orders, are cables made up of individual strands, and therefore, one broken strand will do far less damage than one broken chain link. Hence, why ancient Irish society lasted so long, and remained in-tact for thousands of years. It was a European indigenous social cable made-up of many strands around a central, accessible core. Even so, now and again, one strand or more will break as a result of all manner of social factors. At times, this lead to human sacrifice, but always on a limited and localised scale. Druids were still human men and women and subject to the same light and shadow of the complex human condition.
To be honest, upon telling the tourists that some druids did perform human sacrifice, that I did not want to admit it either to myself either. There is something about the image of druid that wants us to see them as living embodiment of Tolkien's Gandalf, or even as a benign Odin in his simple robes walking the shoreline of the fjords in search of wisdom. The reason for this misty-eyed image of the druid in popular culture—from the late 1700s onward—is a result of a 'romanticization' of their image which has created a very unrealistic portrayal of who the druids actually were, and what was and their role within their respective communities actually was. This highlights another neurosis within the so called early 'celtic' and the later Roman version of Christianity which came intensely to the fore with the Norse raids on European monasteries during the Viking era; that being the arrival of the pagan Norse might return the Britons, Picts, Irish and others back to the 'old faith'. Indeed, this does seem to have happened to a degree, (at least culturally) as Anglo-Saxon scribes in the court of Charlemagne expressed dismay that not only did the Christian peasants living in close proximity to the monasteries failed to come to the aid of the 'defenceless' monks during the Viking raids, but soon afterwards began wearing their hair in the fashion of the Heathen Norsemen.
The reality is that the 'moral' monks—practising their own 'white' Middle Eastern magic—within these monastic outposts, also tended to be heavily armed and well-trained former knights who were generally despised by the neighbouring laity, and whom the 'humble men of God' treated hardly any better than the cattle or livestock on their monastic lands. We can clearly see in the Book of Ballymote, that even as late as 1400s, the Christian church in Ireland was still struggling to maintain their hold over the consciousness of the Irish people and any possibility of secret druids posing as monks, priests, and even bishops would have been of great concern to Rome. The pagan emerging from under the Christian veneer was an ever constant worry for the early church fathers. This era of the Middle Ages was a time when intolerance towards heresy—their own “black magic” du jour—was taken to an industrial level by the Roman church with the genocide of the Cathars by the Inquisition in southern France during the horrific—and 'hellish' in every possible sense of the word—Albigensian Crusade initiated by Pope Innocent III in 1209.
Almost a thousand years after its arrival in western Europe, Christianity was still only managing to hold on to its power—its white magic—over the population through oppression, cutting deals with royalty (along with other powerful nobles), and sheer militaristic brutality all wrapped up within an imposed moral totality. Paranoia was rampant and heretics, in the form of 'sons of devils, and servants of God.' returning the masses back to worshipping nature, pagan gods and especially goddesses, along with venerating the ancient mysterious stone structures, was not taken lightly.
As late as 2015, a Rev Dr Chris Hayden—a priest from the notorious paedophile-infested Ferns diocese in the south east of Ireland—embarked on a remarkable diatribe in the Saint Patrick's Day edition of the Irish Times against pre-Christian Ireland, which, if it was applied to any other religion or race would have been considered hate speech. Stating that our Irish ancestors were 'dark, terrible and savage' and that 'Druidism was based largely on human sacrifice' within an article condemning the rise of NeoPaganism in Ireland today. In actuality, there is far more evidence to suggest that Catholicism is based on raping children, more than there is evidence to prove that human sacrifice was central to the druid's practice.
This coming from an individual whose former, fellow cleric—Fr Seán Fortune—made pornographic films of himself raping young boys, while being protected by the same diocese. A 2002 BBC documentary entitled Suing the Pope discovered that several of Fr Seán Fortune's victims had committed suicide as a direct result of the Ferns diocese ignoring their complaints of sexual abuse. In other words, using them as human sacrifices to the infallibility of the Catholic church. When one distillates the behaviour of the all forms of magic down towards how they function at the street-level, so to speak—including Christianity—it is clear that the personal decency and pathology of the magician—be they priest, poet or necromancer—will always be the deciding factor, and always will be be. There is is only magic. There is only energy.
Thomas Sheridan is the author of the book Walpurgis Night Vol. 1 dealing with the occult and psychic forces behind the rise of the Third Reich, along with his popular Magic series of talks on You Tube.