The Dark Arts are certainly not for everyone. In fact, most people shy away from the term, preferring to ignore it, in hopes it will go away. The dark is scary, unknown, and evil, right? No one who is good has any ‘dark’ traits. If you are nice, you are light and good. If you’re bad, you are dark and evil. I think, however, that if these same people were being truthful, they would have to admit that even they too, have a ‘dark’ side to their cheery, nice personalities; that ‘naughty boy or girl’ who comes out, say, after a few drinks, or if someone cuts them off in traffic or if they’ve been gossiped about at the office.
The idea of mere ‘duality’ existing in the Universe is utter nonsense, fed to us by monotheistic religions who wish to control, dominate, subdue and persuade. There are, in fact, multiple shades of grey; progressing from the most blinding, eye piercing white to the dankest, most hollow, soul-sucking black. Nothing on the Web (in the created Universe), is ALL good or ALL evil. NOTHING. The christian mythos of an ‘all pure and loving god’ versus an ‘all evil and hateful devil’ is deceitful and a distortion of the truth. If it goes against the grain of monotheistic teachings, it is wrong, baneful and beastly, dark, sinful, unholy, unclean, negative and deserving of punishment and retribution.
The simple truth is the Universe just doesn’t work this way. It never has. No such thing as justice, fairness or morality exists in Nature. That is not how the macrocosm works and thusly, that is not how the microcosm works (as above, so below).
The Web is made of Strands (currents) which fluctuate second by second. The Web has no sympathy. It has no feelings of sorrow or pity. It moves by the dictates of the Mother and the Three Sisters of Fate; She who creates the Strand, She who weaves it and ultimately, She who cuts it. They work indiscriminately, without mindfulness of justice, love, peace, or forgiveness. They care not. So-called ‘negative’ currents such as death, decay and destruction are as necessary to the running of the Cosmos as life, abundance, and construction. Life is cyclical, “What goes around, comes around”. The only constant is change; “This too, shall pass”.
When something bad happens to you, it is not ‘karmic punishment’. It is not a holy god’s retribution on you for being sinful. It is life. LIFE is happening to you. Illness, want, disease, heartbreak, despair, desire and ultimately death, come to us all. Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people. The Universe is not fair, just or kind. That is why, as Pagans, we cannot just embrace ONE side of life; we can’t just take the pleasurable things and never experience or acknowledge the painful. We can’t just take the light and never embrace the dark. That goes against the natural order.
For me, the only true Path can be that of acceptance and acknowledgement of dark and light and the myriad shades in between. The Power is always neutral, non-judgmental, and impartial. The goal then, for any Worker of the Old Ways, is achieving one’s own end; using the neutral Power of the Cosmos to attain personal and public goals and to influence outcomes; the Dark Arts.
Left, right, middle hand path, it doesn’t matter. The Web is being shaken by your motives, your intent, your spells, rituals and incantations. Every word you utter, every thought you think, every desire in your heart are co-creators of life, of destruction, of change. We influence the Web by our mind and our actions, and in return, It influences us.
The cost of accessing and using this Power can be great. Many fall to insanity, to ruin, to degradation of self and others. Every act of crafting, every curse or blessing, every petition, rocks the Cosmic Web. The Strands undulate, blowing with every exhale of the Mother. Each Strand; a soul, a current, a hex or a healing, a friend or a foe.
Be wary then, of asking for too little, of asking for too much, or really, of asking for anything at all. There is always a payment due. What the Gods give with one hand, they take away with another. There is always a reaction, a ripple effect, from the Web. Nothing is free. Even for the Dark Arts, this is true.