Magic is Magic—Black or Otherwise!

When one listens to the way the average St. Lucian speaks about the gadè (practitioner of black magic), one will think that there is such a big difference between those who engage in sorcery and the regular God-believer. Black magic is somehow seen as evil, mysterious, and frightening, and its practitioners are usually spoken about in derisive tones, while those who deal with the “good spirits” are regarded as devout, strong-in-the-faith servants of the most high. Maybe I’m missing something here but I find it hard to see any major distinction between what the gadè does and what the believer does; except the believer claims that his magic is being used for good, while the sorcerer uses his for evil. But is that necessarily the case?
Both the gadè and the believer attempt to communicate with the supernatural to request special favors of it – to ask it to bend the laws of nature so that what was not humanly possible before would supposedly come to pass with supernatural intervention. The gadè acts as a medium between his client and the supernatural to help the client succeed in some aspect of his life, or to put a curse on an enemy. The religious person relies on his deity to help him succeed in all aspects of his life and he also asks his God to intercede on others’ behalf. He also leaves his enemies and those who dare offend him in “God’s hands”. The gadè uses incantations, rituals, and certain resources, such as candles, oils, blood, animal or human parts, and psalms from the bible. The religious person recites prayers, uses candles, oils, incense, holy water, a cross, drinks the blood of Christ and eats his body, while reciting scriptures from the bible.
Those who deal with black magic are accused of seeing only after their selfish needs and agendas. The believer is no different. He expects God to bless him, protect him, help him, and provide for him – everything from the food on his table to a suitable wife or husband. The God that the believer prays to is capable of as much evil, suffering, and destruction as the “evil” forces that supposedly help the sorcerer. In fact, the Christian God is capable of a lot more and has a track record to show. How many lives have you known Satan to take? Can he even take a life without God’s permission? Where does one draw the line between the good and evil forces, especially when pagan and religious practices are so entwined? Christmas, Easter, most of the bible stories, the idea of a God having a son who will save the world, the Garden of Eden story – they all have pagan origins. Where was the Christian God’s originality and creativity?
Whether you call it black magic or divine intervention, both religious people and those who seek the assistance of the gadè believe in magic (“jès” in our local vernacular). They both lack the patience and discipline to allow life to take its natural course. They are devoid of the confidence, life skills, and tools needed to make use of the resources available to them to accomplish things on their own. They are both shirking their personal responsibility, denying themselves opportunities to grow and to build character, and trying to get short cuts in life instead. The next time a believer offers to pray for me, I will gladly accept the offer and arrange to get a goat or the head of a fowl, so he could shed some blood and do some hocus pocus while he’s at it.

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