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View Full Version : The Sacred Responsibility of Cursing: for Noira



KenazFilan
April 19th, 2010, 04:08 PM
[from http://kenazfilan.blogspot.com]


Recently one of my fans in the Czech Republic asked for my input on the subject of baneful magic. This is, of course, one of the great controversies in modern magical thought. Some have claimed in the huffiest of terms that no REAL Witch would EVER cast any kind of curse on an opponent. Others, by contrast, say that the Witch who cannot hex cannot heal.

Whatever the case, few serious magicians will admit to casting a curse. Boast about it beforehand and you give your target time to formulate a defense. If your efforts fail you look like a blithering buffoon: if they succeed the skeptics will claim coincidence and the believers will think you're a sociopath. And if you tell people about the curse after the fact it looks like you are taking advantage of your opponent's misfortune to bolster your reputation as a Mighty Lord of Darkness. Like most magic, curse-work is best done in silence and secrecy. This, of course, means that nobody really knows how many modern magicians are doing baneful magic and what sort of success rate they have achieved.

But a quick look at the historical record suggests that "real Witches" had no problem with casting curses. Archaeologists have found many Greek and Roman curse tablets (http://www.amazon.com/Curse-Tablets-Binding-Spells-Ancient/dp/0195134826?ie=UTF8&tag=kenfil-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969)http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=kenfil-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0195134826 designed to afflict the troublesome with problems ranging from impotence and boils to slow and painful death. In Norse legend Egil Skallagrimson (http://www.amazon.com/Egils-Saga-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140447709?ie=UTF8&tag=kenfil-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969)http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=kenfil-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0140447709 used his knowledge of runes to curse the King and Queen of Norway: many Egyptian tombs were guarded by the promise that horrifying fates would befall tomb robbers in this world and the next. European witches used poppets made in the likeness of a target to inflict pain and suffering, while Hoodoo and other African Diaspora traditions have never hesitated to call the wrath of the spirits upon those who tormented their servants.

For those who were dispossessed and powerless (in other words, just about everybody in the pre-modern world and a goodly share of the people in contemporary times), curses offered a chance to level the playing field. In a feudal society the church and lords held absolute sway over the lives of the peasants. If you were a serf, a noble could steal your crops, rape your wife and daughters, and send you off your lands on a whim. Should you protest too loudly, the instruments of church and state would punish you for your presumption. Untrained field-hands armed with flails and clubs stood little chance of winning a battle with armored knights and professional soldiers. Those who tried were likely to meet their end by burning at the stake (http://www.amazon.com/Devils-Special-Uncut-1971/dp/B000SEFWL0?ie=UTF8&tag=kenfil-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969)http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=kenfil-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=B000SEFWL0, breaking on the wheel (http://www.medievality.com/the-wheel.html), drawing and quartering (http://www.amazon.com/Braveheart-Sapphire-Blu-ray-Mel-Gibson/dp/B000NQRE0K?ie=UTF8&tag=kenfil-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969) or some other equally gory and creative doom.

But those who could not rise up in arms could call on magic for their vengeance. With a few forbidden imprecations that arrogant lord could be laid low. His fields and his wife could be made barren: he and his family could suffer as you and yours had suffered. The church and state sought to stamp out witchcraft because they feared the great equalizer by which the wicked might be cast down. Of course, it could also be used for more prosaic ends, such as killing an obnoxious neighbor or a relative who had the temerity to be more successful than you. And so it was feared by rich and poor alike. Those who might have called on their cunning-men and sorcerers for liberation instead joined forces with their oppressors to kill those they suspected of trafficking with spirits.

(French historian Jules Michelet wrote at some length about this in his La Sorcière, a volume which has been translated into English as Satanism and Witchcraft: The Classic Study of Medieval Superstition (http://www.amazon.com/Satanism-Witchcraft-Classic-Medieval-Superstition/dp/080650059X?ie=UTF8&tag=kenfil-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969). While some of his historical contentions are dubious, his thesis is thought-provoking and highly recommended).

I believe that every competent magician should know how to cast a curse on those who truly deserve it. That doesn't mean the girl who stole your boyfriend or the guy who flipped you the bird on the way home. But we all know that there are people who pollute the world by their very presence. Often they have the financial or cultural capital to get away with their misdeeds. We can sit back and wait for the universe to right itself, or we can take matters into our own hands and assist the universe in flushing the cosmic toilet.

If we have the power to neutralize these threats and we fail to do so, then what shame do we incur for our inaction? What role do we play in enabling their future misdeeds? Does our "forgiveness" and "turning the other cheek" come from our higher evolution or our cowardice? What is more frightening, being powerless or powerful? All these questions must be addressed by those who will work curse magic - and by those who will not. Cursing is not something to do for boasting or petty reasons. This is the magic we work in darkness and silence, the spells which we do to right the world. This is the responsibility that comes with wisdom. The ability to cast curse magic gives us the power of Nietzsche's superman - the ability not only to suffer for our beliefs but to make others suffer for them as well. It takes us down a dark, thorny and terrifying path. Real magic often does that.

(I am indebted to Clifford H. Low (http://www.necronomi.com/) for many conversations on this topic. If you get a chance to attend one of his presentations on Black Magic, don't miss it. And keep bitching at him until he gets his notes into manuscript form suitable for publication).

Cassie
April 19th, 2010, 04:38 PM
Some thought provoking ideas Kenaz. Just picking out one of the many points in that post, I wonder why you feel the following?




I believe that every competent magician should know how to cast a curse on those who truly deserve it.

I am not saying I disagree, but for the sake of discussion I am curious why you think that.

KenazFilan
April 19th, 2010, 05:20 PM
Cassie: I believe that cursing should be a part of every competent magician's repertoire for a few reasons. The first is that it's good to have the ability to defend oneself and one's circle of family and friends. The second is because historically it's been one of the core services provided by Witches, shamans, cunning-folk and other magical practitioners. And another reason would be that accepting your ability to curse, and the responsibility that goes along with that, helps you to understand your power and to wield it wisely in other aspects of your life.

Cassie
April 19th, 2010, 05:59 PM
Cassie: I believe that cursing should be a part of every competent magician's repertoire for a few reasons. The first is that it's good to have the ability to defend oneself and one's circle of family and friends. The second is because historically it's been one of the core services provided by Witches, shamans, cunning-folk and other magical practitioners. And another reason would be that accepting your ability to curse, and the responsibility that goes along with that, helps you to understand your power and to wield it wisely in other aspects of your life.
Yes I agree, especially with the last sentence which I have bolded. Oh well, I guess that doesn't advance the discussion very much! ;)

Newbieoffractals
April 19th, 2010, 07:03 PM
I'm not sure if you're suggesting people call on their deities to right wrongs done to them, or practice magic to right wrongs. I'm all for praying to a deity for wrongs to be rectified, but the other... Ehhh... I'll be polite and say that I'm not a big fan of the idea that magic could on it's own cause infertility etc, or even prayers to a deity on their own. Also, I highly doubt most medieval peasants were cursing their lords. Not all were unhappy, and many were happy for the protection, no doubt. Lords weren't immune from poverty by any means, just slightly better fed.

The RedLion
April 19th, 2010, 08:23 PM
This is absolutely perfect! I love how you explained it! Too many people have been 'brainwashed' so to speak, by Wicca and many other new age religions. One would have to feel even more responsible to take action if they had the ability to right a wrong and help the powerless. We must realize that we are working with what nature has granted us and nature herself uses baneful 'magic' so to speak in the form of natural disasters, disease and so on. So if we claim to be in tune with nature and fully and truly accept her gifts, it would have to include the more aggressive side of things. Just my 2 cents. And btw, I have nothing against Wicca or it's teachings, I just think that one aspect is flawed and doesn't work for everyone. :D

David19
April 19th, 2010, 09:12 PM
Really good post, Kenaz, and thought-provoking, I think cursing is something that magic users need to know about, even if they don't intend to use it themselves (a review of Paul Huson's 'Mastering Witchcraft (http://www.ecauldron.net/bkmwitch.php) said that if you want to know how to undo a curse, you have to know how to do a curse, so, it's good magical self-defence).

I think that's why 'Mastering Witchcraft', and other similar books, are so good, they don't white-wash concepts (also, one reason I like them is 'cause they leave the religion out of it, for the most part).

KenazFilan
April 19th, 2010, 11:04 PM
I'm not sure if you're suggesting people call on their deities to right wrongs done to them, or practice magic to right wrongs. I'm all for praying to a deity for wrongs to be rectified, but the other... Ehhh... I'll be polite and say that I'm not a big fan of the idea that magic could on it's own cause infertility etc, or even prayers to a deity on their own. Also, I highly doubt most medieval peasants were cursing their lords. Not all were unhappy, and many were happy for the protection, no doubt. Lords weren't immune from poverty by any means, just slightly better fed.

For most of recorded history (and presumably well before that), people have believed that magic could indeed cause infertility, disease and even death. I don't think that it's unreasonable to at least consider the notion that they weren at least partially correct. The approach of Reconstructionist Judaism may be in order: tradition doesn't get a veto, but it certainly deserves a voice.

And yes, there were many lords and nobles who treated their serfs with some degree of kindness. But they did that out of the goodness of their hearts, not because those peasants had any power to enforce their rights or demand justice. Those who were unfortunate enough to labor under a cruel lord could call on magic or they could shrug their shoulders and bear their lot. It's difficult for those of us who were raised in a prosperous and democratic society to understand just how disenfranchised and powerless they were, or to understand the spells they might cast out of anger and desperation.

Chaos Hawk
April 27th, 2010, 07:00 PM
Fascinating.

I have a question though.


But those who could not rise up in arms could call on magic for their vengeance. With a few forbidden imprecations that arrogant lord could be laid low. His fields and his wife could be made barren: he and his family could suffer as you and yours had suffered. The church and state sought to stamp out witchcraft because they feared the great equalizer by which the wicked might be cast down. Of course, it could also be used for more prosaic ends, such as killing an obnoxious neighbor or a relative who had the temerity to be more successful than you. And so it was feared by rich and poor alike.

I believe that every competent magician should know how to cast a curse on those who truly deserve it. That doesn't mean the girl who stole your boyfriend or the guy who flipped you the bird on the way home. But we all know that there are people who pollute the world by their very presence. Often they have the financial or cultural capital to get away with their misdeeds. We can sit back and wait for the universe to right itself, or we can take matters into our own hands and assist the universe in flushing the cosmic toilet.

I think is a large grey area here.

Why isn't it ok to curse someone who stole your boyfriend/girlfriend? Would it be ok to do if they stole your spouse? Or if the person who did the stealing was one of influence? If the original purpose was so that they could suffer as you had, what level of personal suffering would justify a curse?

Kalioppee
April 27th, 2010, 07:22 PM
I'm not sure if you're suggesting people call on their deities to right wrongs done to them, or practice magic to right wrongs. I'm all for praying to a deity for wrongs to be rectified, but the other... Ehhh... I'll be polite and say that I'm not a big fan of the idea that magic could on it's own cause infertility etc, or even prayers to a deity on their own.

I don't think he is suggesting at all the one call upon their deities to do their bidding for them. I would not even think of asking a deity to do something I can do myself. As a witch I take responsibility for all of my actions, good or bad decisions I made along the way. It doesn't take a deity to work magic, spells, curses, hexes, jinxes, healings or even divinations. You can add deities, with or without adding the religion aspect to witchcraft. I see witchcraft empowering to the person, rather than sitting there meek where they have no power and can only ask a deity for help, and its one that is a popular concept within Christianity. I wonder do you believe in healings, prayers, spells to bring on healings etc ? If you do, I would think that if you believe that one can heal then why would you not believe that one could stop healings or cause sicknesses, disease, or even death? And you don't need to call upon any deity to do any of these things unless you chose to.

Kalioppee
April 27th, 2010, 07:48 PM
Fascinating.

I have a question though.

I think is a large grey area here.
Why isn't it ok to curse someone who stole your boyfriend/girlfriend? Would it be ok to do if they stole your spouse? Or if the person who did the stealing was one of influence? If the original purpose was so that they could suffer as you had, what level of personal suffering would justify a curse?

IMO, if someone stole my spouse which one did, I didn't curse that person, but rather understood that he was not truly happy and loved me as I did him. If your boyfriend/girlfriend can be swayed away from you than they don't honestly feel the same way about you that you feel for them, or they can not be swayed away or stolen away from you. Now did I curse him, my X you bet I did! But I took into consideration what he did to our family, the doors he opened, legally - I could have lost my daughter to the state for the person he decided he fell in love with, the hurt to both me and our children, 20 years of hard work together and have him take it away not just from me but our children too, and the harm it did to our kids by the way he did it.

I cursed my rapist that was never caught, I even did a curse on the Sheriff of our small town because he was a stoner (smoked and dealt drugs with my son) because of him the investigation was all botched up and I knew that they would never find the person, last thing I wanted was this to happen in our area or to another woman again.

KenazFilan
April 28th, 2010, 02:09 PM
Fascinating.

I have a question though.



I think is a large grey area here.

Why isn't it ok to curse someone who stole your boyfriend/girlfriend? Would it be ok to do if they stole your spouse? Or if the person who did the stealing was one of influence? If the original purpose was so that they could suffer as you had, what level of personal suffering would justify a curse?

I was trying to focus on the use of cursing as a tool for the greater good. I have no particular objection to people using curses for "selfish" ends, but wanted to cast a distinction between that behavior and i.e. neutralizing someone who has proven to be a threat in the past and will continue to be a threat in the future.

As far as when it becomes acceptable to use a curse against someone who has caused you suffering, that is a decision for each individual caster. As you said, it's a grey area. Magicians must bear the consequences and responsibility for their actions. It is not my place to judge when one is or is not justified in returning injury for injury.

Kaliel
July 4th, 2010, 02:52 PM
Hey Kezan,

I thoroughly agree with your theory on cursing. It has been seen as the wrong thing to do but in certain situations, it's not a bad thing. I think what a lot of people forget is that cursing is like binding. You are energetically stopping a person from behaving in a way that is harmful to themselves, others or the world at large.

That being said, there is also a time and a place to curse, and it can't be taken lightly as there can be some nasty side effects.

Lilac Moon
December 26th, 2010, 07:12 PM
I was trying to focus on the use of cursing as a tool for the greater good. I have no particular objection to people using curses for "selfish" ends, but wanted to cast a distinction between that behavior and i.e. neutralizing someone who has proven to be a threat in the past and will continue to be a threat in the future.

As far as when it becomes acceptable to use a curse against someone who has caused you suffering, that is a decision for each individual caster. As you said, it's a grey area. Magicians must bear the consequences and responsibility for their actions. It is not my place to judge when one is or is not justified in returning injury for injury.

Excellent original post and totally agree with the above.. as practitioners, it is our responsibility to own our path and practice... I have never been comfortable with another placing value on my actions...(i.e. good/bad, right/wrong)

Umbress
December 31st, 2010, 01:42 AM
If we have the power to neutralize these threats and we fail to do so, then what shame do we incur for our inaction? What role do we play in enabling their future misdeeds? Does our "forgiveness" and "turning the other cheek" come from our higher evolution or our cowardice? What is more frightening, being powerless or powerful? All these questions must be addressed by those who will work curse magic - and by those who will not. Cursing is not something to do for boasting or petty reasons. This is the magic we work in darkness and silence, the spells which we do to right the world. This is the responsibility that comes with wisdom. The ability to cast curse magic gives us the power of Nietzsche's superman - the ability not only to suffer for our beliefs but to make others suffer for them as well. It takes us down a dark, thorny and terrifying path. Real magic often does that.

Turning the other cheek a christian concept I left behind with the religion itself. I abandon all ideas of a universal of "good" and "evil", to me they are perspectives.

I do not comprehend magic in terms that most use - hexing , blessings healing although do understand the concepts in general life application. I feel that the initial post has many good points most of which I agree with.

I comprehend energies I manipulate in terms of productive, destructive and neutral.

What I produce may been seen as evil, but it is a productive energy I use to create said desired unpleasant result on the target. With that being said I would use the same type of productive energy differently to create a healing.

Destructive forces can be used to cut off a hex at the source and two birds are smitten with a single act - designed to not only destroy the access to cause harm but destroy the power to do so - however destruction can also be used to destroy anger and malice.

I guess I find transitional energy most useful for I am a transitional being so that is the what I do as a first line of defense or offense.

I hope this makes sense - I know I used energy very differently than most, it is just the way I was taught.


But we all know that there are people who pollute the world by their very presence.

Call me daft but I do not know people who pollute the world by their very existence - this again would be perspective based.

I find actions to be destructive, unpleasant or cause other to be sad to this most attach the label evil - I understand the concept but universal evil does not exist for me.

The act of rape on a preteen harmful - well it probably does effect outlook for a life time but it is not all bad. When others are raped who else to understand than one who has been there themselves - there are those who look pat their own pain and helped others over come hence what is bad can become good if the energy is transitioned properly.

Love becomes an addition, antibiotics creating bacteria that is resistant to cures both example of good {productive} transitioning to bad {destructive}

Old Jewish proverb the best revenge upon your enemy is to live well You want to cause anger upon those who curse you purposefully - bless yourself after destroying their ability to curse any thing ever again.

Sequoia
December 31st, 2010, 04:28 AM
Will admit I skimmed a bit...

Cursing, to me, is like throwing a punch - you don't throw the first punch, and you only do it in self-defense.

In my adult life, I have yet to encounter a situation in which I felt inclined to, or had to, "throw" any "punches" so to speak.

When I was a teenager, I ate that "witch wars" drama up like candy. Couldn't tell you how much of it was real, and how much of it was imaginary. Now that I'm older, and have grown out of that petty childish stage, I really don't see the point of "cursing."

Am I capable of "cursing" someone? I'm sure that I am. When push comes to shove, I can get sh-t done... pretty well, in fact. But someone would have to really f-ck my sh-t up for me to even come an iota near having the desire to direct all that negativity toward them.

Really, I have better ways of spending my energy.

Gaudior
December 31st, 2010, 12:48 PM
Cursing is, in my opinion, something very much like a gun. You can use it to go out and harm innocent people, or you can use it only in certain things, such as self defense. And the more that I think about it, I can't see why using a hex or a curse on someone would bring about negative karma (mind you, I'm speaking from my own world view, which is probably different from yours) if used in that way. If someone was trying to break into my home or harmed my loved ones, I would defend them and even inflict harm on them if that is what it took to stop them from harming me or those I love. So, cursing, in my own worldview, would be okay for me when used very much like that, in self-defense or in defense of my loved ones.