When people talk about Magic, there are always two sides to it. The first side is the one that focuses on entertainment, something you see in a magic show where there are card tricks, or pulling out a bunny from a hat. The other kind of magic refers to the belief and use of spells, charms, and supernatural powers.
Nowadays, you can see and access these types of magic everywhere, they’re present in TV shows, Movies, and birthday parties as well. Magic is pretty accessible to almost anyone, and anywhere in the world, so how can this be regarded as a sin? Is Magic a sin? Well, let’s dive a bit deeper and find out!
Before we start anything, let’s look into the definition of Magic. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary,
mag·ic | \ ˈma-jik \
1a: the use of means (such as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces b: magic rites or incantations
2a: an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source both pitchers, although they are older, haven’t lost their magic.b: something that seems to cast a spell*:** ENCHANTMENT all the mystery, magic, and romance which belong to royalty alone— J. E. P. Grigg*
3: the art of producing illusions by sleight of hand entertainer with acts of jugglery and magic
1: of or relating to magic
2a: having seemingly supernatural qualities or powers b: giving a feeling of enchantment
Looking at these definitions of Magic, we see the two types of magic that we mentioned above.
The Catholic Church and Magic
We checked out the Catechism of the Catholic Church to understand the Church’s view on magic. We uncovered that in parts 2115-2117 the Church states its regard on divination and magic.
Divination and magic
2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.
2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.
Based on that definition, the Catholic Church clearly views any sort of practice and belief of magic attached to supernatural, extraordinary, enchantment powers and forces as something obstructive to the virtues of religion. It is also condemned when done with ill-harming intentions.
Is Watching Magic a Sin?
If you are just attending a magic show for entertainment at a birthday party, that shows card tricks, juggling, and sleight of hand illusion act, then attending such an event is not a sin. Given that of course, you are aware that these shows are just for pure entertainment. There’s no harm in being entertained by such magic shows.
Is Reading and Watching Stories with Magic a Sin?
There are many books, movies, and shows that feature the theme of magic and witchcraft that are widely available and accessible today. There are even some children and young adult books on this theme, and you might be wondering if it’s safe for your children to engage in such books and movies. The important thing here is that these materials are categorized as fiction therefore, they are made purely for entertainment. It’s important to spread awareness, especially to young viewers and readers that these stories are merely just stories and written for amusement. To an extent, it depends on the context of the stories, but if it is labeled as fiction and is set in a very obvious made-up magical world, then it may not fall under the belt of sin.
When is Magic a Sin?
Magic becomes a sin if you practice it. This is in the sense that we are talking about Magic with the supernatural, using spells and charms. It even becomes much more of a grave sin if you engage with this type of magic while having intentions of harming others or practicing it in a form of cursing someone, and wishing them ill.
If you are talking about practicing magic by learning a couple of sleight of hand illusion acts as a hobby and to entertain people, then magic in that sense is not seen as a sin.
Learning More about Sins
We hope we were able to answer your question is Magic a sin? If you’re interested to learn more about the depths of sin and how it can affect your relationship with others and with God, we suggest you check out our post on the Catholic 7 Deadly Sins. We also recommend that you check out our post on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as that is a great way to combat sin and live a life dedicated to God.