The term black magic seems to freak almost anyone out. It has become a term that is a taboo in our society and rightfully so. Black magic has roots in many cultures – from African cultures to Middle Eastern cultures and can be found in history, as well as all over the world today. The literal meaning of the term black magic refers to magic used for selfish or evil purposes. This entails using magic to harm someone, to take revenge or to generally cause issues and problems for someone.
In the history of black magic, unlike white magic which was done to benefit others, was done to benefit the person practicing it, by harming others. During the Renaissance period most magic was declared black magic and was shunned from society. People who practiced magic or even had attributes that made them similar to those who practiced magic, were killed for being witches and wizards. They were burned on bonfires so that the magic died with them. This inhumane treatment of women (but also men too) is evidence of how negatively the term black magic was taken at the time.
Another common misconception that comes with black magic is the concept of Satanism. Satanism is the worship of the devil instead of a God – the devil is considered their God – and is the practice of invoking evil demons or spirits.
Another main part of black magic, which has now become popular by the influence of popular culture, is voodoo. This is mainly practiced in African countries. This is a type of magic where a figure of the person who you are trying to harm is created and when you harm the doll, the person also feels the pain.
Black Magic has been found in many different religions like Islam, Hinduism, and African cultural-religious philosophies. In Islam the Holy Prophet that the Muslims believe in was affected by black magic which was then resolved through the verses of the Quran. This magic was done by knotting the hair while reading verses of magic. While in Hinduism, black magic plays a huge role. Chathan Seva is a type of magic that is performed by Hindus to please Chathan who is most popularly worshipped in Kerala, India. This is also where the majority of the temples dedicated to this god are located. The ritual they perform is said to either harm or be beneficial to the person whose name is being taken. This is one of the oldest and strongest beliefs in the South Indian region.