I hope to dispel some common misconceptions about the Dark Arts. True magic is neither light nor dark.
As some may know, I work with both dark and light because I believe balance is most important. Now do not get me wrong, you can choose either light or dark. That is your choice and I am not here to bash anyone's beliefs.
The terms "Dark Magick" and "The Dark Arts" both describe a category of occultism that involves interaction with the hidden, rejected and denied aspects of nature.
Nature refers not only to the stuff going on around you but includes human nature as well.
To be balanced, we need to understand and accept the dark aspects of our own nature. Another important point I need to make clear up front about Dark Magick is that, while often stigmatized by mainstream spiritual paths, it is a set of techniques that are useful to anyone interested in embracing their entire self holistically. The Dark Arts are best employed by those who also work with the "Light" sides of nature.
Light vs. Dark, in this context, is a false dichotomy.
The Dark Arts
Traditional "Dark Arts" include the practice of demonic evocation, summoning of incubi, the breaking of taboos, necromancy, sexual rites, treasure hunting, berserker combat, shape shifting, gaining and employing animal familiars, dealings with savage gods, the use of plant intoxicants/entheogens and the casting of curses, etc...
A Dark Magickian may practice any combination of these traditional arts as well as some more modern ones. Hypnosis, Chaos Magick, Neo-Druidism and work with extra-terrestrial (and otherwise alien) intelligences are some of the relatively recent developments which all include their own explorations of the dark and disturbing side of things.
Why choose the Dark Side?
I personally feel that "Dark Side"/"Light Side" is a false dichotomy. Dark Magick doesn't necessarily involve malevolent or evil goals. This popular misconception comes mainly from our fiction. It is true that some people get involved with the hidden, rejected and twisted forces of nature because their goals and greed demand that they seek out MATERIALISTIC GAIN. This is certainly not the only motivation for delving into the shadows. The truth is that you don't have to choose Dark or Light alone. The infamous Taoist Yin/Yang symbol is a useful way to express this concept.
There are many Dark Magicians who are first and foremost knowledge seekers, motivated to transcend all false dichotomies and move beyond good and evil. These "Dark Magicians" are simply those who have the courage and drive to explore their own shadow. Once inside the shadow, the demonic and bestial "entities" found there can be recruited into the magician's service. The results being that the entity's life force, experience and skills eventually become directly available to the magician with no more resistance.