Dark Magick for The Greater Good
An interview with Gordon Winterfield
The following interview was carried out informally over several hours, and has been heavily condensed.
Q: So what is dark magick?
Gordon: Dark magick does not imply dark deeds. This probably sounds facetious, but I think of it as magick that frightens people. It needn’t, but it does, and it is a label for a brand of magick that uses demonic forces, or other entities, to radically shift reality, for yourself and for others. I write books of dark magick, but do we really need the label ‘dark’? Magick is magick.
Q: But don’t some people think this magick is evil?
Gordon: There are occultists, some of whom I respect greatly, who believe that magick should only be used to heal and share, that you should never work for yourself or influence the life of another, but this is such nonsense, because you can not have a conversation with your friend without changing the course of their life. Every minor brush with another soul changes their life through a cascade of effects. If you choose to walk down to the park, you could get run over by a bus, or you could meet the love of your life. Tiny decisions that unfold into the big picture. When you look back at your life, all the momentous changes came about because you made a series of small decisions that added up to create the life you have now, and those small decisions probably have more effect than the huge choices you make or your goals. Life is chaos, and magick is there to tame the chaos. But the point is that everything we do, no matter how small, will change the course of many lives. We influence others by virtue of being in the world, and it’s my belief that we should influence others in order to see our will carried out. Using magick to extend that influence does not make one evil. And if I eat my lunch today, am I doing that for the good of society, or for myself? The most selfish acts can be the kindest. We are no use to others until we have taken care of ourselves. Choosing to change circumstances through an act of will is your divine right. We are given this power and so we should use it, but use it wisely.
Q: Why would a good person ever perform dark magick?
Gordon: For the greater good. Dark magick is not about being sinister or parading around like a psychopath. Dark magick, or black magick as it was once known, is nothing more than a flavor of the art. Whether you drink coffee black, white or add sugar and froth or essence of hazelnut, it’s a cup of coffee. Dark magick is still magick. As occultists we urge reality to change, we compel it to change, and the method is almost irrelevant. The results of dark magick can be kind and gentle, or pleasantly destructive, but they are not evil. I think I said this in the book, but doing nothing is often the greatest evil. Stopping somebody from causing harm, now that is a result.
Q: And yet your first book is about attacking people?
Gordon: There is evil in the world, and most of it takes place without magick. The front page of a newspaper will give you a taste of that evil, but so will a conversation with friends and colleagues. In all workplaces there are power imbalances, and in relationships, and this power imbalance can lead to other things. Neglect, cruelty, bullying. Do I ever go a week without hearing about another boss bullying the workers? I have run many businesses and I know that I have a choice. I choose the better way. To help myself and those who work for me. Exploitation is objectionable. And thus we attack. When others exploit we can stand idly by, or we can make change. I am perfectly at ease using magick to stop the cruel and to bring justice. But just because I am writing books on these subjects, it would be wrong to mislead people into thinking I’m a dark occultist wreaking havoc on the world. If you read the book you can tell that I’d rather climb a tree to save a kitten than send out a curse. I want all magick to be an act of kindness, even a curse. Get your head around that, if you can.
Q: How long did it take you to find the occult path you wanted to pursue?
Gordon: Far too long. My initial foray into magick was spontaneous, as is so often the case, but I was taken in hand and restrained, guided down a path of initiation and repetition. The wonder is that I continued with magick. There were no results.
Q: So why did you continue?
Gordon: It’s said that occultists are born, not made. I don’t subscribe to that point of view, at least not entirely, but I acknowledge that when you have an inkling about magick, a knowing, there is nothing that will take that away. Before you ever see a result, you know that magick works. Like most boys, I would lie in a field on a summer’s day and try to melt clouds with my mind. Some clouds disappeared, others grew. I could gently fool myself into believing that it worked, magick was at hand, but only with a nod and a wink to myself. That game echoed my belief that the mind can change the world. Where that belief came from I cannot say, but it is something I believed and something that made magick necessary. To answer your question, I continued to study the art of magick because I had no choice. I climbed my first mountain when I was nine years old, and never again looked at a mountain the same way. Once you know that thousands of careful steps can take you to the summit, you aren’t willing to stay on the ground.
Q: What has been your biggest mistake in magick?
Gordon: Indecision. With competence came confusion, and I pored over my problems for months, constructing elaborate rituals, creating unnecessary props. Sloppiness was the only sin, in my eyes, and I overthought the process. I have learned to simplify and that makes indecision less of a risk.
Q: What’s been your biggest magickal success?
Gordon: It sounds rather dull, but I helped to shift the culture in a corporation. Being associated with this corporation, and its workers, I was compelled to change the working conditions of those on the floor. Had I been younger, I might have attacked the board of directors or brought the company down, but that would have left my friends out of work. Changing an organization, to make it kind instead of cruel, was the most challenging and rewarding magick I have ever been party to.
Q: What attracted you to dark magick in the first instance?
Gordon: It was another aspect of the art, and that is all. I was not fascinated by demons, as such, and had no lust for power. That’s not altogether true, but at the time that I came to dark magick, I had no lust for power.
Q: What can you say to reassure people that dark magick is safe?
Gordon: Nothing. Things may go bump in the night, but nobody ever died from hearing a strange noise. You can make more of it than that if you want to.
Q: Are demons real or a creation of the mind?
Gordon: They are creations, but they are most certainly real. You can work with angels without believing in them. The same with demons. They do what they are asked.