Black Magic is the name given to those magics that are evil and dark in nature, or done in a negative or selfish manner.
Defining the Black
Black magic can be defined on several criteria.
- Magical workings that impact the free will of others
- Magic performed to bring about destruction or harm
- Magic invoking the spirit realm for a negative purpose
- Magical workings that are baneful; i.e., that restrict or eliminate the actions of other people
Other definitions include raising or communicating with the dead, binding a person physically or emotionally, or even gain immortality (especially if this comes at the price of harming others).
A Historical Look
The definition of black magic has changed over the centuries. At one point, shamanism was considered dark since they communicated with the spirit world. At other times, like during the Inquisition, any magic at all was considered evil. Invoking demons has pretty much always been taboo.
Now, though, the line between dark and light, black and white isn’t always so easily defined.
Writing the Dark Arts
So, sound like a good starting place for your bad guy? Or maybe, your good guy reformed?
Let me know about your experiences with the dark arts in the comments.