In the new trailer for Netflix's movie adaptation of the best-selling manga series Death Note, the main character, Light Turner, comes across a notebook with strange powers. "The human whose name is written in this note shall die," the book promises. Suddenly, Light has the power to kill anyone, as long as he knows their name. These powers are compared to playing God in the manga series, but we see a clear connection to black magick here, too.
Although regional definitions may differ, at its most basic, black magick is regular magick that's maliciously used to affect the physical world (the key difference is intent). Magick in general isn't considered "bad" or "good," but the person performing the magick can use it for bad or good. With that in mind, black magick is popularly associated with witchcraft, Satanism, and magick used to kill people, like in Death Note. (In case you were wondering, "magick" refers to occult spiritual practices, while "magic" usually applies to the tricks or illusions you might associate with a magician.)
So, if you're in the mood for revenge and happen to have a few death spells up your sleeve, what's stopping you from working a little black magick? Meet the Three-Fold Law. A religious tenet within forms of Wiccanism, this law basically states that what goes around comes around: Any energy that you manifest or put out into the world will eventually affect you three times over. This rule is meant to put a cap on witches' magical abilities for their own good.
Of course, not all who practice magick are Wiccans, so we'll offer this additional warning for believers: Make sure you've read up on your rituals and are confident about your intent before practicing any kind of magick. The occult corners of Reddit are full of stories of black magick gone wrong or, even worse, tales of malevolent forces attaching themselves to people as a result of black magick. Simply put, black magick (regardless of your interpretation) isn't for beginners.
Unless you're familiar with the manga series, you'll have to wait until Death Note's premiere on August 25 to see how Light uses his powers — and if he suffers any consequences. For now, check out the trailer below.