Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: It's Okay to be Wicked

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , ,

All of the occult has an element of the "dark" and yet we are taught to light it up, dismiss it, and--if all that should fail--turn away from it.  Yet the word occult, meaning "that which is hidden", implies this darkness.  We are immersed in the study of the parts of existence which
have not yet been illuminated.  What more could you want to speak in favor of the darkness?

The mystery of magic is part of what drew us all here in the first place.  No one comes to magic and witchcraft because it is the least threatening of all practices.  Some part of us was intrigued.  We saw the door, slightly ajar and with something moving behind it, and wanted to know more.  We knew there was something hidden and went forward full of that most beautiful human trait, curiosity, to discover it.

Don't Be Fooled by Pretty Magical Theory

There are those among us who, with the best of intentions, wish to take the fangs away from the serpent and show witchcraft as totally benign and safe.  They want outsiders to view us as regular people, soccer moms in mini vans, middle aged men with out-of-style pants.  Some of us are just that, of course, but it is their personalities and not their practice which dictate such things.  Inside we are very much a different breed.  Our outlook on life and its trials must certainly be different from the fatalistic viewpoint of the average individual thinking that there is no real influence he can possibly exert upon the world.

Witches are not helpless creatures, nor are we tossed by the idle winds of chance.  We step up and grab the ropes of our ship's sail and guide her home to the port of our choosing. Sometimes such bold gestures interfere with the course, directed or not, of other ships. When that happens--according to this witch, at least--it's just too damn bad.  If I am to be in charge of my own life, others around me will have to take charge of theirs because I might make things messy for them otherwise.  This attitude is called wicked and I embrace it completely.

Witchcraft has always had a side that was wicked: wild and untamed, unadulterated by societal norms because it sits outside of them.  It is not something that manners or wealth or the law can affect.  To be wicked is to work with your own set of morals and your own idea of normal.  No one outside can dictate this to you.  I say to you now that it is okay to be wicked.

The Bold are Rarely the Bullied

Those who speak openly about their practice of magic are the very last ones to receive ridicule for it.  When I was quiet about my magic (many, many years ago), I was rabidly scolded about the peril in which I was placing my immortal soul, the jeopardy I brought to my husband, and the waste of a life that I was leading.  That was when I was meek and
calm and the only announcement I made of my beliefs was the small pentacle around my neck.

But now I am proud.  I clearly speak my thoughts with outsiders as well as other practitioners, explaining my work and why it is the best option for me.  I have no fear of their anger and so they give me none.  I am completely removed from their opinion of me and so I rarely hear them.  This I find especially acute because I sell a wide variety of magical items in my shop, including cursing candles and powders, talismans designed to manipulate the free will of others, and black altar skulls covered in esoteric symbols.  All of these things have been red flags of alarm for occultists and non-occultists alike.  One would expect that if anyone were to receive static about maligning the upright and loving nature of magic, it would be me.

Yet, I have never had a complaint about selling such items, nor have I gotten bad reviews (thus far, at least) because someone's evil magic made evil things happen.  I speak freely on all topics which are posed to me because I believe with certainty that my practice is valid, traditional, and needed within the magical community.  And from the looks of the items that have sold especially well in the past, this is quite true.

We Need the Dark

I don't mean this in a "necessary evil" kind of way.  On the contrary, the dark side of nature is a good thing and one we crave.  Humans are free beings and yet we constantly exert our influence upon one another, in mundane as well as magical ways, that augment that freedom in one another.  The things which restrict are lessons of great value: like the shell which binds the baby chick, we learn to grow strong enough to overpower these ties and break free of them.  We then may go out into the world ready for anything.

Adversaries teach us, as well.  We learn what we are capable of when we are pushed to the brink.  Who are you when no one is looking?  Who are you when things go all wrong, when you have to strike back, when you are alone in the world?  Who are you then?  It will sting, but an adversary will teach you the answers to those questions.

Being the adversary for someone else tells us about human nature and the kinds of impulses which drive our actions.  We get the chance to see who we are when the tables have turned, when we have ultimate power, when we can do whatever we like.  Of course, the secondary part of being one's enemy is that, generally, the target has done something terribly wrong and is being made to pay for it.  I don't understand why it has become an unpopular thought but bad people deserve to be stopped.  Maybe I'm too much a matriarch, but if you mess with those I care about you must prepare to have your ass handed to you. Of course, if we want to look at this in the sense of "tough love," I might just be saving a person from a much worse fate that awaits them by stopping their string of poor choices before it truly gets started.

Because magical belief systems are autonomous we can experience these lessons personally.  We don't absorb the flow of the world through myth or rules or threats about the afterlife; we feel them directly and interact with them.  We are students of nature and teachers of one another.

Delight in All Aspects of Nature, Outside and In

It's been said that nature is cruel.  Things do not get dealt to us fairly.  The good die young while the hateful live on.  Justice is not served with equal measure and force for all crimes.  Some live in suffering and want while others frivolously waste their good fortunes.  But life isn't being mean.  Nature is indifferent.  These things don't have meaning to the natural world.  We are each dealt a lot and we live with it.  That is all.

There is something gutless and dull to my mind about a view of nature in which everyone is cared for and tucked up tight.  Nature is wild and uncivilized and it's best that way.  Within every living thing, ourselves included, is a spark of this untamed element.  It is our darkness, the part of the human soul that is free and unafraid.  It's the part of you which not only connects to the truest essence of the world, it is that essence.  You are a part of the unbound laws of nature.

The system was never intended to be fair.  You're not given "only what you can handle," you're just given something.  We're here to use that inequality to grow and become more than we were at our beginning.  Evil makes us evolve, inequality is the hull upon the seed of our potential.  If you want to put down roots and grow strong to reach the sunlight, you're going to have to break out with all the force you possess.  Your only other option is to rot.

Nature only realizes you're there by the influence you wield.  You needn't attempt to create a life of ease, only that you are able to create the best life possible and use your talents to their greatest effect.  You may discover that the trials of your life have given you a unique
view that would not have been accessible otherwise.  If, however, your woes do nothing to serve you, work now and work earnestly to rid yourself of them.  You are no martyr, you are a wonder worker!

Don't Fear the Dark

The short answer is as follows:  you're a grown up and you can handle to dark.  You're an occultist--the dark is your home.

Related reading includes  What It Feels Like to be in the Broom Closet, How to Get What You Want,  Black Magic Badass: Curses, Coercion, and Collateral Damage

Images from:
Amazing Science Fiction magazine for August 1973


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About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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