It is at this time (whilst having a hard time dealing with her emotions) that Willow realises how to turn Amy back from being a rat (by using a “Reveal It” spell). For a time, Willow has a new friend to practice magic with, who unlike Tara, does not have any morality concerns regarding magic (and its use).
Darker Willow – Smiling (with the “fun” in magic)
Amy helps lead Willow along a forbidden path: using magic for fun/pleasure. When this does not prove to be enough (for Willow), Amy introduces Willow to Rack (a warlock), who helps her experiment with black/dangerous magic: eventually resulting in Willow summoning a demon. Shortly after, things come to a head when Willow nearly kills Dawn (Buffy’s sister), and Willow is forced to admit that she needs help with her addiction to magic. It is here that we find the concept of a “spring clean“, when Buffy and Dawn help Willow remove all magical items from Buffy’s house (such as candles, charms and crystals), thereby removing temptation (so that Willow stands a better chance of going “cold turkey”). For a while, the tougher approach works, and “old reliable/nerdy” Willow is back (e.g. using computers for research).
Shortly after, Willows character changes as she starts to use magic for non-essential purposes. For example: Willow conjures up confetti to decorate Buffy’s house with (after Anya and Xander announce their engagement), raising concern from both Giles and Tara (as she could have just gone to the local store to purchase some).
Darker Willow – My magic couldn’t harm a fly!
Willows character then undergoes a more serious change, as she starts to use magic to make things the way she wants them to be (without regard for others). For example: Willow deliberately casts a spell on Tara to make her forget about an argument that they have had (ironically over Willow using too much magic). When Tara discovers the truth, she gives Willow a stern warning that “you know how powerful/dangerous magic is” and that “too many spells is not good for you Willow”, eventually leading to Willow agreeing to go “cold turkey” for a week (i.e. not cast any spells). Unfortunately, Willow is so addicted to magic, that she casts a spell almost immediately, and when Tara finds out, she leaves Willow.
Willows character then starts to go off the rails – for two specific reasons. First: she starts to make use of darker magic (instead of just lighter/safer magic). Second: she starts to make use of too much magic (instead of accomplishing some tasks naturally). Initially, Willow has no choice but to play with darker magic, when she undertakes a “Resurrection Spell“, with the aim of bringing Buffy back from the mystical death that she suffered (after defeating Glory).
Darker Willow – At an early stage of the Resurrection Spell – With “sacrificed blood” upon her face
The spell involves Willow speaking several incantations, together with: using blood from a sacrifice (within a specific urn), enduring several tests (cuts, lumps, a snake emerging from her throat) and powerful red fires engulfing Willow (whilst she casts the spell). Willow eventually succeeds in resurrecting Buffy, although she is a “little drained” afterwards (and as such, is unable to cast any spells – for a while).
It is not until Buffy starts to battle Glory (a hell god who has been banished to Earth) that we realise just how powerful Willow is becoming. This is first evidenced when Willow (with the help of Tara and some magic dust) casts a “Teleportation Spell” on Glory: to remove her from a fight that Buffy was losing. In doing so, Willow again encounters concern from Giles, who advises her that the spell was “dangerous for an adept at your level Willow”.
Willow – with Darkest Magick and “revenge intent” Black Eyes
Further evidence of Willows growing power (and lack of emotional control) occurs after Glory destroys Tara’s mind. Willow seeks revenge, and after reading a book on “Darkest Magick“, goes knocking on Glory’s door. It is here that we first encounter the darker side to Willows character, as she uses black magic to cause Glory pain: Willow freezes Glory, then lashes out with powerful blue lightening. Willow also makes use of several other nasty spells in her assault against Glory: throwing of shards from a shattered mirror, throwing of a bag of knives and summoning of a serpent. Unfortunately, none of this has any lasting affect on Glory (as she’s a god), and Buffy has to intervene to rescue Willow (as Willow has tired herself out).