Black magic and religion
The links and interaction between black magic and religion are many and varied. Beyond black magic’s links to organized Satanism or its historical persecution by Christianity and its inquisitions, there are links between religious and black magic rituals. The Black Mass, for example, is a sacrilegious parody of the Catholic Mass. Likewise, a staining, though primarily a practice of white magic, is a Wiccan ritual analogous to a christening or baptism for an infant.
17th-century priest, Étienne Guibourg, is said to have performed a series of Black Mass rituals with alleged witch Catherine Monvoisin for Madame de Montespan.
In Islam, al-Fatiha, al-Falaq, al-Nas, al-Ikhlas and other Surahs are recited to protect against sorcery.
Voodoo, too, has been associated with modern “black magic”; drawn together in popular culture and fiction. However, while hexing or cursing may be accepted black magic practices, Voodoo has its own distinct history and traditions that have little to do with the traditions of modern witchcraft that developed with European practitioners like Gerald Gardner and Aleister Crowley.
In fact, Voodoo tradition makes its own distinction between black and white magic, with sorcerers like the Bokor known for using magic and rituals of both. But their penchant for magic associated with curses, poisons, and zombies means they, and Voodoo in general, are regularly associated with black magic in particular.
Practices and rituals
During his period of scholarship, A. E. Waite provided a comprehensive account of black magic practices, rituals and traditions in The Book of Black Magic and Ceremonial Magic. Other practitioners have expanded on these ideas and offered their own comprehensive lists of rituals and concepts. Black magic practices and rituals include:
True name spells – the theory that knowing a person’s true name allows control over that person, making this wrong for the same reason. This can also be used as a connection to the other person, or to free them from another’s compulsion, so it is in the grey area.
Immortality rituals – from a Taoist perspective, life is finite, and wishing to live beyond one’s natural span is not with the flow of nature. Beyond this, there is a major issue with immortality. Because of the need to test the results, the subjects must be killed. Even a spell to extend life may not be entirely good, especially if it draws life energy from another to sustain the spell.
Necromancy – for purposes of usage, this is defined not as general black magic, but as any magic having to do with death itself, either through divination of entrails, or the act of raising the dead body, as opposed to resurrection or CPR.
Curses and hexes – a curse can be as simple as wishing something bad would happen to someone, or as complicated as performing a complex ritual to ensure that someone dies.