Cursing 101: The 3 Types Of Curses You Need To Know
So far in this series, we've been focusing on fairly theoretical aspects of cursing. In Part 1 we discuss how to decide if cursing is the correct approach for your situation and in Part 2 we covered some aspects of the ethical debate surrounding the subject. In Part 3 we got a little more hands-on with curse breaking.
Today we'll be wrapping up the Cursing 101 series and talking about types of curses. Knowing the types of curses that are out there is helpful not only when casting curses yourself but also when trying to break them, so regardless of whether or not you're a cursing witch this information can still come in handy!
Many curses are too elaborate for use in day to day situations or by beginners. I often find that drawn-out curses that may take days or even weeks to perform aren’t always practical. Modern witches don't always have the time, tools or energy to perform such curses. While there is certainly a place in the craft for more elaborate forms of baneful magic it can be incredibly useful to have a few simpler methods tucked away in your back pocket for when you really need them. In situations like these, there are quite a few options available to a witch in need of a hasty curse.
Spitting is a powerful form of cursing, it takes a lot of effort to work up enough saliva to spit on something while not taking up a terrible lot of time so a lot of intent can be worked into one little action. Obviously spitting on someone would be the most direct form of cursing them but that’s quite an inflammatory move and is actually illegal. I don't recommend it. Instead, you can spit in front of or behind the person you're trying to curse. Alternatively, you can spit on something of the persons, preferably something they’ll make direct contact with like a door handle, car door, or chair.
The Evil Eye
The evil eye was traditionally a curse cast out of jealousy or envy and was thought to cause bad luck and injury to the recipient. It’s quite easy to branch from there and use the same principle to meet your own ends. Giving someone the evil eye is a method of cursing that can take a bit of practice. Essentially you’re directing as much ill intent into a quick(ish) glare as you can, it’s pretty difficult to miss your target as long as you don’t have a wandering gaze. Once you get the hang of it I’d advise you to be careful, it can be quite easy to give someone the evil eye without fully meaning to.
Quick verbal curses are easy and effective, I’m not going to go into a terrible lot of detail on this one as it’s largely self-explanatory but there are a lot of excellent and very creative ideas to be had over at Casual Curses.
Some of these curses can fall under the same general category as verbal curses. Simply writing an ill intent on a slip of paper and stashing it near/on your target can lend excellent results. There are other forms of curses that can be written though. Small curse sigils doodled innocuously on sticky notes, dirty car windows, walls, and so on work well, especially if the sigil is ready-made for use in such instances. Writing one or two vindictive words can be enough to effectively curse as well.
If you happen to know the targets name (even just a first name) There are a lot of available methods of cursing. The most obvious method is to write their name on a slip of paper and burn it. If you’re feeling more creative you could write it on the bottom of your foot so that everywhere you walk you’re stepping on them. Writing their name in an undesirable location (i.e. on a dumpster, toilet seat, car tire, etc) can have a similar result. If you use one of these methods you need to be very clear in your mind about the person you want it to affect. If you’re cursing Sam the evil barista you don’t want to accidentally include Sam your brothers girlfriend in the mix as well (or maybe you do, what do I know).
Long Form Curses
The long form curse is what most people think of when they think of cursing. It takes more time, is generally well thought out and planned and often requires the caster to hunt down materials to use in the casting. This is the form of cursing that most commonly involves taglocks as well. (for those of you who have never heard the term, a taglock is something that will connect the person to the spell like a bit of hair, a toenail, saliva, etc.)
This form of cursing is honestly no different from other forms of spell casting. There are as many ways to cast a curse as there are ways to cast a spell. It can be ritualized or not but the all of the components are the same. You use words, materials, and actions to assist you in directing your intention and willpower to cause a change through your magic. With cursing it’s always advised that you know what effect you’re trying to create, often cursing is a highly emotional endeavor and this added emotional current can make your magic more powerful than intended. To avoid things going further than you’re comfortable with it’s always best to be specific in these instances!
Object Bound Curses
Object bound curses are the type that I run into most frequently. These are curses that, instead of being directed at a particular person, are attached to an object and follow that object around affecting whoever comes into contact with it. I often find these sorts of objects at thrift stores, antique shops, and flea markets.
Object bound curses are quite often unintentional. These are items that, through some twist of fate managed to have some extreme emotion or traumatic event energetically tied to it and it carries those energies with it, bleeding that negativity out onto anybody who picks it up or uses it. This unintentional nature can make these objects extremely unpredictable! If you’re not experienced with handling and breaking these sorts of curses I would suggest steering clear of any such items you run across.
On occasion, I find that these items are not actually cursed but are instead haunted. Sometimes restless spirits will become attached to an object that was important or significant to them in their life. These kinds of spirits are rarely in a good place. Usually, they’re reliving their worst traumas on a loop and lashing out at anyone unfortunate enough to come near them. If you stumble across one of these please remember that it is in pain! Often they’re not aware that they’re hurting people and if handled delicately, the haunting can be resolved without any further harm coming to either the spirits and the humans involved. Check out my blog post about this kind of spirit work to learn a bit more about how I handle these sorts of spirits.
Of course, some cursed items are created intentionally but I would not advocate this kind of cursing. Cursing an object may at first glance seem to be rather like any other type of object enchantment and find appeal as a convenient delivery method but please keep in mind that once out of your hands you can’t control who comes into contact with this kind of curse. Instead of cursing only the person you’re trying to curse you might also curse their sister when she borrows that cursed necklace or you might curse some stranger who buys it from a thrift store later down the road. Things have a tendency to move and change hands and if you’re relying on an object to carry your curse then there’s no telling who you might wind up cursing.
Regardless of whether or not you're comfortable with the idea of cursing, knowing the common types of curses that may crop up in your path can prove very useful. You never know when you'll run across a cursed object or find yourself or a friend the target of an unfriendly witches ire. It also helps to know the best method to use if you do decide that a situation requires a curse, being educated on your options is far preferable to trying something and hoping for the best.
While the subject of cursing spawns many heated debates and has strong proponents on either side, education is never something to shy away from. Knowledge of cursing gives witches the tools to both protect themselves and make well informed decisions about their spell casting. This series has been a brief introduction to cursing but please don't let your education end here. There is so much more to learn on this topic than I could ever hope to cover and I hope that you will continue to read and grow in your magic.
Read the rest of the Cursing 101 series!
Part 4: The 3 Types Of Curses You Need To Know << You Are Here