Friday, October 24, 2008

Ethics of Cursing/Hexing

There is great debate about whether casting destructive spells (like curses, hexes, jinxes, crossings, etc.) is acceptable or whether it should be avoided at all costs. When it comes to this question I always defer to ethical questions to test the situation. I ask myself the following questions:

1) Would it be what I desire, or what is necessary? (does it come from my own feelings of vengeance or is it because the person needs to be stopped for the greater good of the community?)

2) Is it just in the eyes of God? (A reading is done to determine what the outcome would be if the spell were cast and whether it is just in the eyes of God or not. God is just and will not stand to see the innocent hurt or taken advantage of. Psalm 18, Psalm 35, Numbers 14...)

The notion of "harm none" when it comes to magic is a recent evolution that comes out of the modern religion of Wicca, and has very little to do with traditional witchcraft or magical practice. This "witches' rede" isn't adhered to within the tradition of Hoodoo. Hoodoo (Conjure) is instead based on African-American traditions that are the result of a melding of original African magical practices and a Protestant understanding of a just and vengeful God.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting topic. I hope this isn't too long, but here's something I wrote on the subject not too long ago.

Carolina Dean

Curses are a malevolent type of spell the effects of which can range from bad luck to death. Curses can be placed on people (Longinus), places (King Tut's tomb), and things (The Hope Diamond). The motivation for cursing can include Envy ((Snow White), Revenge (Tecumseh), Punishment, (Angel, the Vampire cursed with a soul) to Teach a Lesson (Brother Bear), or to protect an object--mostly from theft (Religious Idols and other Holy Objects) or places (Shakespeare's Grave).

The belief in curses can be found in virtually every culture and they are mentioned in the sacred texts of many religions. Most religions forbid the practice of cursing, while others, citing the use of curses in their holy books, utilize them to protect their selves from their enemies and other forms of evil. Every religion has a form of blessings intended to protect people, places and things from curses. Non-religious individuals believe that curses are a product of the mind and are psychological in nature. In a sense, people "curse" themselves because they believe that they are cursed.

In the Christian Bible, curses are seen as a wish, which can only be fulfilled by God and only when the curse is deserved. Furthermore, it is believed that curses which are not justified or deserved have no effect (Proverbs 26:2) and in many cases the curse reverts back to the one who invoked it, or alternately, is turned into a blessing by God. In other instances, curses are used to prevent individuals from breaking certain laws. In the Bible, curses can be used with success by those who have been wronged and/or oppressed. In addition a curse which is both deserved and uttered by a person in authority is said to never fail.

In other cultures (most notably in Italian Stregeria) it is believed that only certain individuals have the power to throw the "evil eye" when in reality, all people have this ability. The power of the evil eye is tied to the emotions of the individual. It is normally activated by extreme feelings of envy and or hate, which rises from the individual and is channeled through the eyes at the target. Many people throw the evil eye and are not aware of the fact, while others have learned to do this at will. At its core, the evil eye exists to spread loss.

In ancient Greece, curses were inscribed on tablets; prayers were uttered over them naming the individual to be cursed, what form the curse would take, and why the person deserved to be cursed. The tablets were then buried in a specific place such as tombs, temples, or sacred space in order to activate the magick. The belief in the evil eye was, and still is, very prevalent. In Greek culture, sons are said to be more susceptible to the evil eye than daughters, and mothers pass their antidotes for the evil eye down to their daughters through the generations so that they can protect their sons and so forth.

Some curses include their own cure, for example in the Fairy Tale of the Frog Prince; the frog had to obtain a willing kiss from a Princess in order to become human again. In other cases, curses remain through the ages despite attempts to remove them. Just as there are many types of curses, many methods exist to remove them. The first step is to identify the cause and act accordingly.

cowriemoon said...

Dr. E. this a wonderful topic. I am actually about to post a blog about the same issue, from my own perspective as a root doctor.

I also wanted to thank you for posting my information on your blog.

Ms. Nadezda Karuna