Is Magic evil?
If we are going to follow the demiurge's law (if in fact is not just the disguised law of the elders) than certainly it is,
"Let no one be found among you who... practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.."
Now it could be argued that magic is used repeatedly by the prophets and high priests in the form of dream divination and the gem encrusted breastplate with the divining urim and thummin or healing talismans such as the snake on the cross. By orthodox Christians in the forms of holy water,icons,and medals.
Putting aside the question of whether or not those objects and practices constitute "Magic" though are we as Gnostics (and indeed Christians) even bound by old testment taboos against it?
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."
Paul further said,
"Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died."
Those are only two short verses but it should be obvious from a purely orthodox perspective that the old law is death and now dead not because its was abolished by Christ but because it was fulfilled in his life.
Now specifically in regards to us Christian Gnostics we know that the demiurge is not our true father.
Our God is beyond material reality and beyond the soul stuff that Jehovah is made of.
Our Lord Jesus Christ said,
"The Monad is a monarchy with nothing
above it. It is he who exists as God and Father of everything, the invisible One who is
above everything, who exists as incorruption, which is in the pure light into which no eye
"He is the invisible Spirit, of whom it is not right to think of him as a god, or
something similar. For he is more than a god, since there is nothing above him, for no one
lords it over him. For he does not exist in something inferior to him, since everything
exists in him. For it is he who establishes himself. He is eternal, since he does not need
anything. For he is total perfection. He did not lack anything, that he might be completed
by it; rather he is always completely perfect in light. He is illimitable, since there is
no one prior to him to set limits to him. He is unsearchable, since there exists no one
prior to him to examine him. He is immeasurable, since there was no one prior to him to
measure him. He is invisible, since no one saw him. He is eternal, since he exists
eternally. He is ineffable, since no one was able to comprehend him to speak about him. He
is unnameable, since there is no one prior to him to give him a name.
"He is immeasurable light, which is pure, holy (and) immaculate. He is ineffable,
being perfect in incorruptibility. (He is) not in perfection, nor in blessedness, nor in
divinity, but he is far superior. He is not corporeal nor is he incorporeal. He is neither
large nor is he small. There is no way to say, 'What is his quantity?' or, 'What is his
quality?', for no one can know him. He is not someone among (other) beings, rather he is
far superior. Not that he is (simply) superior, but his essence does not partake in the
aeons nor in time. For he who partakes in an aeon was prepared beforehand. Time was not
apportioned to him, since he does not receive anything from another, for it would be
received on loan. For he who precedes someone does not lack, that he may receive from him.
For rather, it is the latter that looks expectantly at him in his light.
"For the perfection is majestic. He is pure, immeasurable mind. He is an
aeon-giving aeon. He is life-giving life. He is a blessedness-giving blessed one. He is
knowledge-giving knowledge. He is goodness-giving goodness. He is mercy and
redemption-giving mercy. He is grace-giving grace, not because he possesses it, but
because he gives the immeasurable, incomprehensible light."
- The Secret Revelation of St. John
But then who is the demiurge to us? The Sethites would say he is an evil taskmaster but I tend toward the Valentinian school in thinking that the demiurge is not evil but in fact he is a kind of shadow of the Unknown Father,
"He is the lord of all of them, that is, the countenance
which the logos (Sophia) brought forth in his thought as a representation
of the Father of the Totalities. Therefore, he is adorned with every name which
is a representation of him, since he is characterized by every property and
glorious quality. For he too is called 'father' and 'god' and 'demiurge' and
'king' and 'judge' and 'place' and 'dwelling' and 'law'"
The demiurge is worthy of esteem as is his flawed but beautiful creation. I do not believe that either he or his material universe is evil yet we are NOT meant to worship him and his laws are as nothing to us.
In a very real sense than we are NOT Judeo-Christians though let no one doubt we agree on one thing with our orthodox brothers (and I call them brothers because Jesus asks us to love our enemy and it is fitting that we should extend the christian hand of brotherhood to those whose fathers tried to exterminate our great tradition),
Jesus Christ is the center of our religion and our savior. Without the thought of the Unknown Father and His name becoming manifest in bodily form salvation through Gnosis would be impossible.
So getting back to the topic at hand with all that as essential background information our Gnostic forefathers practiced what I would call white magic. In fact our traditional founding church father is Simon the Magician or Magus so how could magic be forbidden to us?
Personally I think the inherent good or evil in Magic has nothing to do with its practice or rituals and everything to do with intentions. (Though certainly human sacrifice,necromancy, and invoking demons is evil. We are on the side of the light after all!)
In trying to divine God's will for you are your trying to mold that
will into what you desire or are you trying to listen and be lead?
In conjuring up an Angel are you trying to seek guidance in your life
with a pure heart or are you trying to have a grand vision tailor made for a
new age publishing house that will create wealth for yourself?
not wrong to ask God for things or even to write down your experiences
and share them but I think its wrong to manipulate whatever God's message is to you or to
use that message solely for financial gain.
If you have evil, purely selfish, or purely materialistic intent than you are very likely to conjure up something evil even if it appears as an angel of light.