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Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
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Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
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On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
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The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
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Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
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A Child's First Yule
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On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
An Open Mind and Heart
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Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
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Faery Guided Journey
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The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
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Revisiting The Spiral
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Coming Out of the Broom Closet
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Magia y Wicca
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Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
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Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
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Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
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Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
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Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
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A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
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13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
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A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
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On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
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Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
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Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
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Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
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Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
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The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
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What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Article ID: 15853
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 951
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Posted: July 13th. 2016
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Let's talk about curses. I'm not referring to four-letter-word cursing, or gossiping about someone who dropped the F-bomb and contaminated the room where everyone gathered for a properly civilized meeting.
I'm not even talking about old Irish curses. Nothing like: "May you marry a gold digger who farts odor faster than bullets from an oozie."
What I am talking about is the good old fashioned hexing and cursing that witches have always been feared for in history and literature. I'm talking about the kinds of curses that some Pagans still fear today. That same kind of cursing that *fake* or *charlatan* psychics use to extort money from clients by scaring them with statements like: "You are very cursed. I can remove it for you for $600 dollars."
Little Curses Uttered Every Day
The mere act of suggesting someone is cursed can become a type of curse to them. As a clinical hypnotist, I call this the "power of suggestion." Suggestion is a tool hypnotists regularly use to induce trance. "You are getting very sleepy. Sleep!"
Suggestion is also the way young children become damaged by their dysfunctional communities. If we tell a young child they are ugly, time and again, it's very likely that child will grow up and FEEL very ugly (no matter how perfectly formed or beautiful that child may be) .
Complaining can also be a form of a curse, especially if we're complaining about a particular person. That's because complaining creates a negative energy that depletes the bubble of positive energy others might have previously generated by puncturing it as with a needle or pin.
As adults, all of us have undoubtedly dealt with negative messages sometime in our lives. Experience teaches us that it takes a lot of soul work to move beyond those reoccurring invalidating and harmful statements. So the mere utterance of the simplest kinds of curses can cause a lot of fear and regret in anyone who has previously been hurt by such.
Yet for the sake of this article, and for the education of the masses, I'm now going to present a much more serious charge of cursing that's far worse than whatever negativity or spiteful gossip can imply. I'm talking about the kind of curses that cause folks to fear witches and Pagans as a group since our culture, and the practice of magick, tends to introduce its practitioners to much more than just the power to utter insults and draw symbols in the sand.
Why Many Modern Witches And Pagans Don't Know Enough About Curses
Way too many people attending our public rituals, and freshly joining our community today, simply do NOT know enough about hexes and curses to understand how moving energy (positive or negative) works. Because of this ignorance, good folks with great intentions can become vulnerable to believing lies, or suggestions, that can too easily be spread further by mean spirited, or weak-minded, or well-meaning but misguided folks. A perfect example of that is when such a misinformed person claims a group leader is CURSING people with positive ritual energy.
It happened to me, recently. I was leading out in a public Sabbat and while I'm on a rather tight budget, I spent a good deal of my money investing in cakes, honey mead, apple juice (for those who don't drink alcohol) and other necessary ritual items. My goals were simple. I wanted to provide a huge blessing for all who came. My intention was to gift everyone who participated that night with something important and significant to take home with them so the blessings from the evening of raising energy together would benefit them in the weeks to come.
I was not the only leader this night. I was merely helping as one of three and this combined effort from the *Power of Three* made for the most beautiful Spring ritual I've ever seen decorated. For my part, I spent hours and hours creating crafty planter-pots out of recycled cans and various art supplies. I also provided hollowed out egg shells for purists who wanted to plant their *potted* seeds directly into the Earth via that eggshell. I bought the flower seeds and organic potting soil, among many other ceremony items as a gift to my Pagan brothers and sisters who I consider my tribe and community. My two counter-parts (leaders) contributed equal or more energy to the ritual as well.
For this ritual, I directed everyone, in that loving and supportive environment, to call upon their ancestors, the faeries, gnomes, the elemental spirits and all helpful and healing energies who were willing to support them as each participant started their planting. The idea with planting the seeds was to help each individual to manifest their own aspirations and dreams - ideals and situations they wanted to grow for themselves - over the next couple of months, along with the growth of the flowers.
The item my misguided accuser (who I think was trying to educate me - but it didn't really work) charged me with? The leftover potting soil, full of positive, nurturing, growing energy. She accused me of *stealing* ritual energy by keeping the excess potted soil, left over after every single participant had used and planted seeds in their share of it during the ritual. Everyone who came had taken some of that potted soil home with them. Because I took home the leftover bag of soil, that I had purchased, and had more soil than other people - I was blamed for being a thief.
Let's back up a second here. I took that soil home to nourish other plants that I work with via Native Plant Society rescue efforts. I'm Pagan after all. I walk my talk. So? When any forested plot of land is going to be bulldozed for building a new cul-de-sac, I get authorization by local governing bodies to go dig and salvage as many native plants as I can so they can be replanted by a non-profit native plant nursery instead of killed by the bulldozer. I also bring some of those native plants home and they (obviously) need soil to nourish and sustain them.
According to my accuser, that potting soil put me in the position to curse all the people who came to that public ritual because their energy was supposedly in the dirt. Also in the message that this woman sent me, she being someone I had never met before, she blatantly accused me of not merely STEALING everybody's energy from ritual for my own personal use -- but she also declared that she was never coming to a ritual that I led, ever again, because my practices violated her occult sensibilities.
On a certain level, the woman's complaining and accusations effectively cursed me. I had been so full of residual positive thought and energy after that ritual I was buzzing from the ceremony's splendor and my comrades admitted they were also enjoying that buzzing sense of connection as well. Yet once my accuser complained to me - it all dissipated. It felt as though a needle had punctured the amazing bubble full of after-glow.
Soon as I realized that I was allowing that positive energy to leak away (that's the thing about us magick-workers, we take responsibility for our emotions and actions) I changed my mindset. I decided to use the energy from that complaint and take up the charges made against me, and I intended to use it as a positive learning tool for others.
I started to immediately write this article and regained my wits and enthusiasm for leading out. I regained that fantastic energy buzz from ritual the night before.
What A Real Curse Is - The Basic Ingredients
At the most basic level, a curse does NOT use positive energy at all. It's intended to block, or hold, or harm someone so it really requires a lot of negative intention and energy. Usually a curse is enacted to prevent someone from causing more harm or for sending the appropriate karmic debt his or her way faster. To examine whether ritual soil could possibly be used to enact a curse against anyone, I think it's important to first examine whose energy went into that soil during ritual.
It's very true, that we (in a unified effort) had invited the Faeries, the Goddess and God, the Elemental spirits and all kind and loving ancestors, together. The entourage of contributors to the night's magick included all kinds of healing and nourishing souls. They came and blessed the potting soil so our seeds and affiliated intentions would grow.
For anyone to use that soil for ill purpose later on would mean they'd not merely be cursing the human participants (comprised of my friends, peers, and friends-to-be) but they'd also be offending all the other energies and demigods who blessed our ritual. If a curse could be chanted over that soil, it would be worse than throwing mud at Universal Life Force Energy because beyond cursing the very deities who blessed us that night, the curse would also be affecting Mother Earth from whom the soil came.
Anyone who knows anything about curses, and especially how they're made, would laugh at the accusations made against me with my potting soil. Yet it's been made very clear to me in the aftermath of that charge that some people really did not have the knowledge base to make that educated assessment.
Why So Many Pagans Are Ignorant About Curses
One of the reasons Pagans (people who practice earth-based spirituality) might not know if a curse is legit or not is because there are groups, like Wicca and some variations of Shamanism, and other Pagan traditions, that follow the "harm none" principal. Those groups tend not to use curses or hexes in their spell work at all so they might not study that negative juju enough to know exactly how energetic harm is made. That means they might also not know how to stop a curse, or protect themselves from one, once one has been enacted against them.
Yet even those groups that practice "harm none" know that curses in the Pagan community do exist and either by experience or observation they tend to believe they can cause great harm. Most practitioners of the above mentioned philosophies greatly FEAR curses for the mayhem, disease, and destruction they can cause someone. That's part of the way they shun such teachings.
PERSONAL ADMISSION: I used to be of a similar mindset. I actually believed I was such a powerful person, energetically, that curses could never affect me. It was very naive on my part; similar to someone thinking a spear could not pierce him or her, because they had never been stabbed with a knife before.
Then, one day, on a normal physical plane, I decided to take care of a problem I had with a new neighbor who kept parking all of her children's, cousins, and entourage of Stoorish Hobbits cars on my property. She clearly did not want those people parking in front of her own house, as her place was free of cars. Yet in her mind, my yard obviously seemed like the perfect parking lot for her minions.
As a result, my home started looking like a used car lot. It was so very ugly. So I decided to improve the landscape and changed the way my property looked by digging up all the pea gravel and I installed beautiful plants, beauty bark and other garden items and I protected the new native design with attractive boulders to keep cars away.
As a result - I became an obstacle to my neighbor who wanted to continue parking her many cars there. She pursued me legally (and lost) and grew all the more angry over time.
To try to heal the relationship and get along better with my neighbor, I invited her over but she refused to sup with me. So I bought rose quartz (stones) and sprinkled supportive, loving, relationship herbal fragments around my yard in a very white witchy way.
When my neighbor's dismay continued to escalate, and she continued to demonstrate hatred, I began to practice protective magick and planted guardian herbs like rosemary along my fences and borders.
When birds in my yard started to die I had already been finding cursed objects around my property. Next to my back patio I found a rusty old 4" square Swastika. Along the back fence I found a goat's bottom jawbone. In the front patio there was a segment of hornet's nest with live hornets in it loosely placed inside an empty pot that hung over my koi pond. I also found many other strange-looking objects familiar to Santeria curses on my doorstep and at the gates around my yard. Suddenly? It was more than a wild bird at the feeder that died. My chickens were dying. Then two of my canaries (who lived isolated from the other birds, indoors) kicked the bucket.
Each bird that died had feed or seed in its mouth at the moment of death. It appeared as though each feathered friend had been completely healthy and actively eating when, *wham, * the bird keeled over from something like an electrical shock.
Following my own intuition, I gathered all the foreign cursed objects that I had found in my yard and hurled them back over the fence, into the yard from whence I felt certain they had come. I also imagined the energy going BACK to my attacker and while I had never had anything to do with curses before, I admit I wasn't completely sure how I should handle this particular scenario but having my pets die was just the biggest wake-up call I could have received.
That same hour, when that neighbor lady discovered the items returned to her property, she let out a blood-curdling scream that truly sounded like a cry of great anguish and mourning. It was at that moment that I realized how very powerful she thought those objects to be and I felt (in spirit) that the curse on my property had not merely been lifted, but returned to its sender.
From that experience onward, I took it upon myself to learn HOW to conjure curses solely for the purpose of knowing how to undo them so I could protect my loved ones and myself in the future. I never wanted to feel so vulnerable or helpless in the face of an energetic and spiritual attack ever again.
One Way To Curse Someone: Use Their DNA
Before someone chastises me for teaching *curses* on the Internet ... I am only mentioning a few principals here. This is definitely NOT a "how to" guide and a newbie could NOT create a curse based on the limited information I present here. This is for basic community understanding only.
Over the years of studying, I learned that to curse someone ... if you follow the Santeria, Vodou, Strega witchcraft, or any of a number of Pagan philosophies ... you pretty much need to collect something with a person's DNA on it to craft an elaborate spell to target that particular individual. As an example, in the old days, a slave might collect their master's fingernail clippings, or hair from a brush to act out a curse. Their goal might be to hold that slave owner accountable for rape, physical abuse, or any of a number of other crimes exerted against humanity and/or their family.
The idea behind using a person's *sheddings* is so the DNA found in their bodily objects could direct the bad juju or conjured entity to attack the precise individual to whom it was intended. Short of fingernail clippings, a hair sample or lost tooth, an item the person touched could be used. That item would have their fingerprint, or skin cells from eating/drinking, which, again, would have their DNA or fingerprint or other self-identifying information on it.
Another Way To Curse Someone: Go To Their Residence
Beyond having someone's DNA to curse someone, you could possibly go to their home and leave hot foot powder or other cursed objects at their doorstep or on their property (as my neighbor did against me) . That's another way a conjurer could prevent the Juju spirits from having to guess about whom the cursed energy or metaphysical attack should affect.
Beyond having someone's DNA or going to their home, perhaps less effective spell casters and many modern-day practitioners might use a person's photo, their name written on a page to enact a harmful spell. They'd be hoping the picture or name would be enough to identify the person to whom the negative energy or conjured metaphysical creature should visit.
Cursing. It's A Lot Of Work!
POINT IS: Cursing people requires a designated target and a whole lot of conjuring work (time, energy, money for collecting the needed supplies) . It also requires a whole lot of stamina and focused thought. As a result, spell-casters would have to really dislike someone quite a bit to expend all the energy, intention, creativity, money spending and gathering of supplies, and they'd have to be willing to lose sleep after midnight (the cursing hour) to create obstacles for harming the intended.
NONE of those elements (available for cursing) were in the soil I took home with me after ritual. Not only did I not have anyone's DNA in my potting soil, but I had no soil from their personal property. All I had was the organic soil that I had personally brought to ritual myself. So to create a curse, one could say I'd be cursing myself.
Yes. After ritual there was definitely a bunch of positive energy in that potting soil ... energy that is free flowing and fluid and not attached to any one person, elemental, goddess or entity exclusively. It was positive energy that belonged to the Cosmos. Beyond that, the energy could leave my soil as easily as it came into it and I'm convinced that it would escape should I have ever violated the blessing or tried to do something irregular with it.
Conclusion: Why Most Pagans Don't Create Hexes Or Curses
Most Pagans, myself included, have a rather strong belief in Karma. Most of us realize to craft a curse means a fate much worse can too easily return to us and some traditions claim that the return of negativity is nine times the strength of what was sent out. That means, individuals who don't want to lose good life points or suffer depravity tend not to want to inflict curses on anyone at all.
While I do believe education is KEY to building a strong, supportive, network of Pagans who participate in ritual together, creating a safety net of support for one another and a thriving, fun and celebratory community of support, I genuinely hope this article is seen as the positive effort that I intend it to be.
I really hope it makes people who are drawn to discover Paganism through public ritual less fearful about suffering harm there. I hope it also empowers folks who already come to ritual to increase their own base of knowledge so they can avoid silly gossip should negative topics against community volunteers ever reach their ears.
SunTiger, legally named Tami Jackson, often teaches metaphysical classes and provides readings at http://SunTigerMOJO.com. See the latest announcements on the community blog: http://southsoundPagan.blogspot.com
Copyright: c 2015 SunTiger MOJO
Location: Tacoma, Washington
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Bio: SunTiger lives, works, and often teaches metaphysical classes, in the greater Puget Sound region. She is a regular contributor at SouthSoundPagan.blogspot.com. Visit her website at SunTigerMOJO.com. Or? To send her an email, write SunTiger at SunTigerMOJO@gmail.com!
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