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By Spellbook & Candle: Cursing, Hexing, Bottling & Binding |
Author: Melusine Draco
Publisher: Moon Books (John Hunt Publishing)
Category: Witchcraft Level: Intermediate
Curses have given the world its greatest stories, and the more grisly and gory, the better we like them. But cursing, or ill-wishing, is not confined to magical practitioners - black, white or grey - it is a form of expression intended to do harm in reparation for some real or imagined insult. And can be ‘thrown’ by anyone of any race, culture or creed without any prior experience of ritual magic or witchcraft.
The dictionary definition is: To invoke or wish evil upon; to afflict; to damn; to excommunicate; evil invoked on another person but under what circumstances can we challenge this established way of thinking and ask ourselves: Can cursing ever be justified? And if we hesitate for just a moment, then we must ask the next question: Is cursing evil? The Christian priesthood obviously felt their cause was just and as a result, the Church’s curses are so virulent that it’s not just the ‘victim’ that suffers but their off-spring in successive generations. And if a curse is thrown at the perpetrator of some terrible crime, can it really be deemed to be evil?
Cursing, or ill-wishing isn’t confined to witches, but when dealing with magic, it is always advisable to have one or two tricks up our sleeve, as other folk may not be so reticent about demonstrating their magical prowess. We should also bear in mind a ‘price’ often exacted on those laying a curse, because if it should ‘misfire’, it will inevitably rebound on the sender. Think things through beforehand and do not fling a curse if a bottling or binding will do the trick. This has nothing to do with the belief in the ‘Three-Fold Return’ - all magic must be ‘earthed’ in order for it to work, and if a spell hasn’t been correctly directed, it will return to the sender just like a boomerang - because it has nowhere else to go!
This WARNING must be borne in mind by any potential curser. No matter what the books may tell you about spells for lifting curses … there is no such thing. Once sent, a curse cannot be lifted, called back, withdrawn or negated. It can, however, be deflected and, if the cause is not just, can be rebounded on the sender …
I really enjoyed this one. Well written, well structured and an absolute wealth of information framed by a nicely balanced argument. This book draws on historical detail as well as personal beliefs and scientific advances to support its theme. It hooked me immediately and kept me reading.
Lucya | http://www.badwitch.co.uk
Curses are a controversial subject among witches. Without doubt, the traditional image of the wicked witch has her cursing all and sundry - curdling the milk, blighting the crops and striking people down with horrible ailments just by muttering an ill-intentioned hex.
It is a depiction modern day witches have worked hard to overcome. Wiccans, and most other neopagans, like to see ourselves primarily as healers and helpers. We cast spells for good, not to cause harm. Many believe that cursing is not only pretty anti-social, it is also dangerous because the bad luck can rebound on the caster...
...Yet there are also those who say that if you can't curse, you can't cure, and that if you are going to master even the whitest of white spells it is useful to have a little knowledge of the darker arts. A new book due out this month, By Spellbook and Candle by Melusine Draco, explores that area of magic.
I'm sure this book will find critics who feel the subject matter is one best left alone - that curses are invariably evil and so it isn't sensible to publish a book on how to do them. Personally, I don't think such censorship is at all helpful. There is plenty of information on curses out there on the internet already for those who want to learn about them. Better to have a responsible book that explains the dangers of cursing and the ethical questions about them.
Personally, I hope I never feel the need to cast a curse on anyone or anything. But if I ever do, I want to know the best way to go about it. And this book would be a good one to turn to for that information.
Nimue Brown | The Druid Network
This is a book as fascinating for the ethical and philosophical questions it raises as for its content. It’s just under 100 pages of intensely delivered information, opening the reader to what is clearly a vast, complex and challenging subject. Melusine Draco puts cursing into its historical context – highlighting the widespread use across times and cultures. She offers examples of private, vengeful cursing, protective cursing, religiously underpinned cursing – as with excommunication, and formal, socially endorsed cursing. The ethical arguments for and against these variations could be discussed in a book several times the length of this one. The author makes clear that cursing has profound consequences and should never be considered lightly, but that there are times when to prevent harm or seek justice, it may be the only path available. The traps of self importance and anger are flagged up, but it does all come down to the judgement of the individual.
It’s good to see someone having the courage to take on this subject. Many writers on the subject of witchcraft prefer to say ‘we don’t go there’ and ‘just don’t and leave it at that. The history of cursing is a fascinating one though, laden with insights into other times and cultures. For that reason alone it is well worth studying. And the history of the topic makes clear that curses have been widely in use for a very long time, pretending they don’t exist won’t make them go away. In terms of how people perceive pagans, curses have always been part of the image. There’s much to be said for tackling that head on.
This is a thoughtful book, well written, full of interesting information and plenty of historical curses, as well as discussions of the context in which you may choose to use them. It’s slightly uneasy reading at times – and given the subject matter, it really should be. It asks some very interesting ethical questions of the reader. Would you? Have you?
I’m not a great user of spells of curses, but aside from wishing back any malice that has been sent, my preferences are as follows: To wish meaningful learning experiences on the person, to wish opportunities to grow and develop as a human being, to wish them insight and understanding, and an awareness of how others perceive them. I have also, at times, sought to invoke the forces of poetic justice. All things considered, the consequences of such wishing could be quite harsh on someone who deserved it, but would hardly touch someone who was doing well. In comparison, the curses in this book are a good deal more complicated, both in terms of method, and possible outcome. This is important work, for what it tells us about magic, history and the human condition. Even if you have no desire to hex anyone, there are a lot of reasons to pick up a copy.
Author's Notes: Melusine Draco originally trained in the magical arts of traditional British Old Craft with Bob and Meriem Clay-Egerton and is the author of numerous popular books on magic and traditional British Old Craft.. If you have any questions relating to any issues raised in the book contact the author at:
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