Throughout the years I have been a Pagan, I have often come across the term “white witch”. This appears to be the image of a witch who does all good things and uses “white magick” rather than “black magick” and is all manner of sickly sweet awesomeness.
I don’t use these terms, mainly because I don’t agree with them. The idea we can separate magick into black and white makes me shudder.
Most witches/Pagans/Wiccans etc understand that magick is neither considered one nor the other, it is neutral and it is the direction and purpose given by the caster that decides its position on the morality spectrum.
However this does not mean that the caster is a “white witch” or a “black witch”. They are simply a person, and if you feel the need to brand them a colour then grey would be more suitable. After all we all have our own varying scale.
I have known many witches who view banishing or binding spells as “black magick” but what if the caster of such magick did it to banish a person who was injuring or causing distress to another? Are they still bad? That question can only be answered by your individual conscience and perception.
Next the use of Black and White to define good and bad also annoys me. It creates that stupid conception of “light and dark” as if all things in shadow are somehow evil etc.
Since the world has defined balances and black balances white, light balances dark, day balances night I see no need to use these to describe good and bad. These two words “good and bad” are sufficient.
Let us take the Yin Yang symbol, the white and black pieces that fit in harmony. They show the masculine (white) and the feminine (black). This does not mean that the female essence is somehow bad and the male is good. They are equal but with different attributes hence they are shown in their difference by colour.
If a witch casts a spell to hurt someone and there is no justification or they injure a person or animal for their own reasons / spells / rituals…they are not black witches casting black magick. They are bad people who happen to be witches.
One final thought, if we must label ourselves with a colour then a witch should really be green. After all, we are caretakers to Gaia. At the end of spells and rituals with give offerings to the deities, the elements, the earth… and many of us routinely cast spells and perform rituals to this planet… whether as a whole or to a small section. Blessing what it has given us or just trying to rejuvenate a damaged area.
As we are meant to have a deep connection to this land, Green Witch would at least be more fitting.