In the earliest of societies, the practitioner of white magick was the shaman, the medicine man, the herbalist—the individual sought out by the village when it was necessary to receive a proper potion to dissolve an illness or a proper charm to drive away an evil spirit. In these same early societies, the roles of priest and magician were often combined into a man or a woman who had the ability to enter a trance state and commune with the entities that dwelt in nature and the spirits who lived in the unseen world. The priest/magican knew how to appease angry entities whose sacred spaces were violated, how to eject an unwelcome possessing spirit from a human body, and where to find the herbs that could banish illness. All of these tasks were accomplished with the good of the tribal members as the priest/magician's primary objective.
By the Middle Ages in Europe, magic and religion remained intertwined for those who would practice white magick. Although black magick certainly existed as a power and claimed those dark magicians who succumbed to personal greed and were paid to use their craft against others, the practitioners of the higher magic attracted such gifted minds as that of Eliphas Levi, Agrippa, and Paracelsus, all of whom considered magic as the true road to communion with God and believed that the fruits of such communion should be expressed in service to their fellow humans. Levi believed that the white magicians who devoted themselves to faith and reason, science and belief would be able to endow themselves with a sovereign power that would make them masters over all spirits and the forces of the material world. Paracelsus proclaimed that the white magician did not need to draw magic circles, chant spells, or practice rituals. In his belief construct nothing was impossible to the human spirit that linked itself with God. All magic was possible to the human mind expressing itself through faith and imagination.
White magicians continue to practice their traditions on a high level of mystical ideals and devote themselves to transcendental magic, rather than the occult. While the darker applications of magic and sorcery receive the greater share of popular attention, those adepts of all traditions who practice white magick continue to do so quietly and secretly, serving humankind by working in the light, rather than the darkness.