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Dark Magic Skybrook!8MDcALmdno 475919

What is dark magic in the pony world? How do you define it? There have been many references to it that don't quite match up with traditional dark magic.

The notion that it's literally dark, like the eternal night, didn't really work after it changed a potion to white. Plus the fact that it's bright green, not black. Incinerated by green flames doesn't really scream "gosh it's dark in here" to me.

There's the tried and true fallback of it being powered by negative emotions, and I thought that was it. But… the latest episode totally blows that out of the water. There was no point in Rarity's entire tirade that she was feeling anything but positive emotions. Very…very positive emotions. In fact it was the negative emotion disappointment that broke the spell.

Then there was Twilight saying what a pain it was to clean up all that dark magic, when she could have said gold streets or crystal ornaments, or mariachi bands, or inspirations. Is there some problem with cleaning it up that wouldn't exist if somepony paved the streets of Ponyville with gold the mundane way?

Let's put on our overthinking caps! What is dark magic, why is it forbidden (or reserved only for alicorns), why is it more of a pain to clean up, and how does it work?

Anonymous 475927

In ponyland, if it's not pink and sparkly then it's dark.

The Person Who Posts As Fluttershy (Element of Self-descriptive Usernames) 475955

Dark magic is magic that invariably causes harm in some way. Hexes, curses ect

Smokeydapon3!L9hT7oDU1E 475956

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negro magic

Heavy Mole 475970

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For me, "magic" as a psychological element of narrative indicates a certain power to transcend the conditioned limits to which a character is "born" (so to speak). We've probably all had experiences of a teacher or an event reaching into our lives and changing how we see the world (and by extension act in it) in a fundamental way; it's easy to see how this could be reflected in a guru's apparent ability to manipulate the elements at will.

As a symbol, magic can take on different aspects. I've already mentioned the example of the teacher using magic (or perhaps bequeathing a magic artifact) to the hero; this is help from a higher source in a transformative process. The hero him(her)self could be the possessor of magic, and this is often a sign of contact with one's own individuality, or the realization of destiny (as opposed to resignation to fate).

Generally, "dark" magic is a kind that deprives the character knowledge of who or what they really are. The real life psychological correspondent to this is things like false attributions from parents/authority figures ("You're so clumsy", "You never do anything right")–curses–or things like gossip, which have the uncanny ability to alter an individual's perception of themselves (compare: label theory).

An excellent example of this symbol at play from MLP is in "Bridle Gossip", where magic is used effectively in many of its facets. The main characters, after pandering rumors about Zecora, are afflicted by dark magic which warps their contact with their own essences. Ultimately it's "The Little Professor" Apple Bloom who makes the breaking of the spell possible, acting as the intuitive and non-judging child-in-the-adult (with Applejack representing the judging adult or "pig parent", which is the real engine of "dark magic").

Hint: the fandom Awesome !EELxu4rwJY 476000

Dark magic in this universe pony land seems to be obsession/insanity.

Skybrook!8MDcALmdno 476106

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I think the obsession angle is pretty good. Dark magic makes its users, or… recipients obsessive. Though I think Twilight is a good example of how even ordinary sparkly magic can make you obsessed with, say, stopping an impending disaster.

So here's my theory. Magic can create all sorts of things, from crystals to moustaches. Whatever is created or grown with magic isn't as good as the real deal though. Either it disappears or is lower quality or explodes or something. But that doesn't change the fact that magic is creating it. Dark magic is magic that creates magic.

I think dark magic is what you get when you try to make a spell self feeding. Using magic to cast magic, that sort of thing. Its effects are all messed up and twisted because firstly recursion is a difficult concept, and secondly because magic created magic isn't quite "right" compared to the original, just like anything created by magic. And the reason it is cheap and immensely powerful is because the unicorn only need summon enough magic to start it, not needing any to keep it building.

That explains why it gets out of control, and why they don't want anyone using it. It's basically at risk of fork bombing the universe. Ponies get obsessed over it because the more you use the more you get back, a positive reinforcement loop. In a way they become part of the spell ever increasing in severity. Also explains why it's a mess to clean up, because anything created with dark magic is covered in the stuff, and trying to remove it could set off another cascade reaction.

Anonymous 477087

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Dark magic in pone terms might mean anything that can inflict chaos, harm, or death on anyone or anything. Why do you think only the Princesses are capable of using it? Anyone else that might consider using it will be taken over by it..

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