The Definition of Evil
Article ID: 11294
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: April 22nd. 2007
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I light candles all the time. I’m sure the majority of you all do too. Light is a wonderful gift, as is warmth. To have such a gift in a package that is so convenient makes me believe that truly the Gods must love us. But I’d like you to take a closer look at that candle you’ve got on your alter.
If you notice, no matter what kind of candle you have, it casts a shadow. That’s right, even the wonderfulness that are candles cause darkness to linger around them. Is this some trick? Some misconception candles have of themselves because of continued Christian persecution?? No, that is the nature of light. Any light will naturally cast a shadow.
This applies to all areas of life. Think about anything. Think about the Sun. It casts light. I’m sure most would think of it as a positive force. But the Sun can burn your skin, give you skin cancer, and cause plants, animals and people to die… among other things. So should we shut out such a loving force? I wouldn’t suggest it since being without sunlight has been known to be detrimental to both psychological and physical health. But I don’t suggest ignoring the negative force either. This would be equally as dangerous.
So how do you go about dealing with the evils of the Sun?? I say, put on a little sunscreen and quit your whining before I slap that sunburn of yours and make it worse. Every thing has a bad side to it… even a Witch/Wiccan/Pagan/Whatever you wanna call yourself these days. In my view, the goal of every witch is to see and exemplify the balance of light and shadow, and not to shun nor ignore either one.
When people say that society is turning what was originally Samhain into an ‘evil’ holiday, the first thing that goes through my mind is ‘‘what is this person’s definition of evil?’’ Like all words, everyone has their own unique experiences that shape their own connotations of the word ‘evil’. And, of all words, I think this one may be the most misunderstood.
With some people’s vision of evil, I, being a teenager who has in the past done stupid things dangerous to my own and other people’s health and safety, may qualify. If I said that people who have the urge to hurt people were evil, then I’d be calling the vast majority of the human race evil – not to mention a few individuals that may want to hurt people in order to protect me. That, luckily, is not my definition of evil. I personally define evil as ‘a force that wants to hurt ME, ’ for a reason I will get to later.
So why is one’s definition of evil important? To most people in today’s world, it only affects people subconsciously. But to people like me who delve into the subconscious in order to bring it’s contents to the surface; those that practice magic in any way, shape, or form; the affects may be very great indeed.
About two years ago, on the day of a dark moon, I was going about things as I usually did on that particular Esbat – I cleaned. But, for one reason or another, I decided that day to do a magical cleansing of my whole house (I tend to be very spontaneous when it comes to magic…).
I had just come back from a glorious trip around Europe, and to be around things that were comfortable to me was something I was thankful for. There had been quite a few occasions before where, through sheer will, luck and favor of one God or another, I had succeeded in fighting off unwelcome entities from my domain. But this was always a dramatic experience, and I had no wish to test my luck. Because of this I had bought all kinds of good luck charms on my trip, and a couple that were supposed to ‘banish evil.’
Knowing that they were just as useless as anything else as they were, I decided to charge them to ‘banish negativity.’ I did this with the various items and placed them all over my house. That night, I expected to sleep very soundly. Of course, that didn’t happen (otherwise I wouldn’t need to tell you this story).
What happened was that I almost died… or some part of me almost did. But in the end, my physical body held in it a spirit* that was completely drained of any energy. Never, in the many ‘psychic*’ attacks I had been through, had I experienced anything like that. The next day I took back my charms, relieved them of their charge, and put them away in a box. …And the next night, nothing happened.
As it came to be, I had gotten physically sick and developed pneumonia from what I can only guess was either physical repercussions from the said attacks, or a really bad coincidence; so, staying home from school and being bed-ridden, I had a lot of time on my hands to look for the reason all of that had happened.
In communing with the things around me, I encountered a spirit that, though he felt horribly hostile, also felt strangely familiar. This spirit* felt like the stereotypical villain from some sort of fantasy novel... and he was angry with me.
Apparently with setting out the charms to banish evil I had unintentionally included him in the definition of what to banish. Not being too strong myself, the spirit could have easily withstood the ‘banishment’, but was offended and chose not to. Other beings, not caring, took advantage of his absence. I had a ‘guardian angel’ of sorts, who wasn’t an angel at all.
Looking at that, I realized that not only does every light have a shadow, but also that every shadow must have light to make it that way. ‘Evil, ’ as negativity is usually defined so casually by society, has just as much importance to our lives as anything else, and banishing negativity is a ludicrous thing to do.
In my eyes, Samhain then is a reminder to embrace the shadow that all of us have cast, and to revel in it’s complexities. Do not shun your candles because they cast a shadow; for even shadows can be gifts of the most amiable kind.
(I use the words annotated with an asterisk (*) loosely and generally - - Please do not bombard me with definitions or inquiries thereof.) )
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