White Arts? Black Arts? What does it all mean?
The White, Grey and Black Arts classification system is fairly well established. Although various people use different or proprietary classification methods, it tends to be the standard that sticks around. There are a lot of different conjurers, practitioners, and websites that all have their own opinion on what classifies as WA, GA, or BA. Since there have been increasing misconceptions and confusion, I am going to publish my own classifications.
White Arts -
Often represented as totally harmless and completely pacifist, White Arts beings are usually recommended for protection and healing. These beings are very safe, and will not lash out without reason. They will, however, defend themselves, their keeper, and their family- so they are capable of fighting if push comes to shove. A key factor about White Arts beings is that they will always avoid conflict and harm where-ever possible, so rather than fighting it out, they might try to use elaborate trickery or super strong shielding magick to circumvent having to fight at all.
If forced to fight, a WA being would stop fighting when their opponent was no longer an immediate threat. A WA would almost never preemptively attack.
White Arts beings are very emotionally stable, and usually quite understanding and patient. This makes them an excellent starting point for newer keepers.
Grey Arts -
A very broad category encompassing the huge range in between White Arts and Dark Arts. Grey Arts beings are often recommended for companionship, because their demeanor is quite similar to your average human. They are also very safe, understanding, and patient with their keepers. They often have similar lives to us, so they are quite relatable. They will be willing to fight in their defense, as well as the defense of others. They do not try quite as hard to avoid fighting, although many of them do not pick it as their first course of action.
If forced to fight, a GA being would stop fighting when their opponent was disabled, temporarily or permanently. A GA may preemptively attack if they sense themselves getting cornered or trapped.
Grey Arts beings are rather stable and safe, they have a hint of Darkness but just a bit, making them a great choice for intermediate keepers.
Dark Arts -
This category encompasses many beings along the darker side of the spectrum, and these beings can get very dark before being considered Black Arts. On average, Dark Arts beings are still safe to keep because they are capable of loyalty, friendship, and love, so they will honor their keeper and not try to harm them. They range from sweet and loving Pop-star personalities to gruff and hardened Military Commanders. They often have no problem with death and dying, and see it as part of the natural course of life. Their morals are comparable to some humans, though some people may find them too threatening. They will be willing to fight in their own defense, as well as the defense of others. They do not try to avoid fighting unless they have a specific reason that they should, for example, if they are injured. Some of them may eagerly hunger for a fight, and take pleasure in proving their superior strength.
In a fight, a DA being would stop fighting when their opponent was disabled, temporarily or permanently. They may kill their opponent, if their opponent initiated the fight with deadly force. Even if their opponent is disabled, they may still choose to kill them to prevent them from recovering and attacking in the future.
Dark Arts beings are a bit more emotionally varied, they can sometimes get really fired up about certain topics or issues. This intensity can accentuate strong feelings in their keeper, and may inspire people to give in to their 'Darker' impulses more. Dark Arts beings are best suited for an experienced keeper, or someone who knows themselves quite well and is comfortable exploring their darker side.
Black Arts -
Black Arts beings are the darkest of the dark. Black, as in the color, is the complete blockage, absence, or absorption or light. My classifications mirror this, as Black Arts beings in my view are completely devoid of any semblance of empathy or understanding. BA beings always hunger to fight, they love to hurt others, torturing, raping, and tearing them to pieces. Even smaller BA beings that are not very strong, such as lesser Dredge Imps or Black Arts Fae, spend their entire existences trying to be the biggest thorn in the side that they can. Their demeanor is more instinctual, like a creature backed into a corner, they may cower and allow you to pet them... but moments later as you turn your back they will attack while your guard is down. BA beings often test their keepers to see if they are worthy of respect. These tests can be horrible, as the being might attack the keeper or cause terrible things to happen in the keepers life to see how they react and if they are able to handle it,
In a fight, a BA being will be ruthless. They will never accept surrender, and will kill any foe, making sure to take their time when possible to savor the taste of their pain. They are not often used in Military deployments without augmentations, since they have no concept of loyalty and they will dismember their allies just as quick as their enemies.
Black Arts beings are extremely emotionally volatile. They have mood swings, and their feelings are very intense, this often causes emotional backflow which can lead to emotional extremes showing up in their keeper. It can cause worsening of existing emotional troubles, such as feeling depressed or anxious.
Black Arts beings are not suitable for binding as companions. They are not lovable, cuddly, and fluffy. Even a being that has killed people in the past may not be Black Arts. True Black Arts will be so ferocious it is as if they are purely ruled by their instincts to smash, destroy, and burn. They are like a force of nature, and can be worked with and benefited from, but they can not be controlled easily and they are always liable to lash out at their keeper.
If you are an extremely skilled practitioner with a few years under your belt, you may find a way to benefit from working with Black Arts entities and deities. That is completely fine... However, your average spirit keeper is not likely to be capable of controlling them on their own- without the help of bindings and beings.
In order to successfully partner with a BA, you must be able to meet any test they throw at you, and push back against them with equal force at least. This means you must be very strong, or very well schooled in bindings and protective rituals.
Even if your BA is bound 'with safeties', many beings are strong enough and smart enough to undo bindings if they wish. It may take them time, but I would doubt anyone who claims to make an unbreakable binding. As humans, we only live ~100 years, how could our energy somehow be strong enough to hold down a 100,000 year old ancient Black Arts demon monstrosity who eats baby animals for breakfast, lunch and dinner? If that demon truly wanted out, there'd be no stopping it.
As always, I encourage critical thinking. Please take a moment for yourself when you read something and ask if it makes sense. Black Arts, in my opinion, has become a buzzword and marketing term for something that is just really really dark.
If you do not think you could handle a being, there is NO SHAME in turning that being away, regardless of if they chose you or not. Taking in a BA being when you have doubts about it is just going to make it even easier for that BA to accentuate and feed off of those doubts- and a true BA being will always take the opportunities presented to them.
Stay safe <3