As a professional working magician and, more importantly a devout practicing Roman Catholic, I run into this question or questions concerning magic a lot. In fact, I usually just lurk on this forum, but I was sent a link to this thread by a friend.
There is no such thing as black magic. There is no such thing as majick. It is all just magic. To magicians, conjurers, illusionist, mentalist - - I am a practicing illusionist and mentalist - - magic is all the same.
True magic is the ability to manipulate the supernatural, no one can do that, save Jesus Christ and the saints the Holy Spirit have endowed with such graces. Everyone else relies on the fundamentals of magic, sleight of hand, black art (not to be confused with the dark arts… black art is a magical technique that deals with the manipulation of sight and color I will not elaborate any more on that as it will give away some closely guarded secrets), and more notably mis-direction. Mis-direction is actually a lay magic term. In our close circles, magicians refer to it by its more apt title, attention focus. Attention focus is the real magic, as it is the performer getting the audience, in unison, to look where he or she wants them to look, see what he or she wants them to see, when he or she wants them to see it.
There is no difference between a busker on the street corner performing cups and balls, the magician at a child’s birthday party producing a rabbit from a hat or a box, David Copperfield making the statue of Liberty disappear, a mentalist reading someone’s mind and a voodoo priestess trying to animate a supposedly dead corpse or someone trying to summon satan to do his bidding. All of the above examples rely on a fundamental or set of fundamentals of magic that is going to also incorporate mis-direction… attention focus.
When Houdini made a live African elephant disappear in front of a packed house at the Hippodrome in New York it was nothing more than a fundamental of magic and mis-direction… attention focus. The people were too busy watching the elephant, by watching the elephant they were already light years behind the power curve. Essentially, by getting everyone to watch the elephant, Houdini had already accomplished the feat. When Copperfield made the statue of liberty of disapper he used the same principle. If you were watching the statue of liberty…again…you were already beind the power curve… Copperfield had accomplished what he set out to do. No difference between Houdini, Copperfield and that voodoo priestess.
All magic is cheap… actually, at times, pretty expensive… conjurer’s tricks.
The only true magician is Jesus Christ, the magic He worked was actual miracles, the control and manipulation of the supernatural, His control over time and space, His God power.
In short, the only thing that makes magic by man (illusions, tricks) black magic or majick or “white” magic (performance magic) is the motive behind it. Are you using it to exercise control over a person, to pass yourself as having god like powers or to bilk people out of their savings and retirement by telling them that their deceased spouses, parents, children and other loved ones have a message for them from beyond the grave. OR learning card magic (tricks) so that you can cheat at the card table… which is what card tricks are… they were originally ways to cheat at cards, then you have serious culpability issues. If all you are doing is asking someone to simply pick a card then there is not a problem. Again, it’s your motive.