curse


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curse

an ecclesiastical censure of excommunication

Curse

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Also referred to as a hex, a curse is used in black magic to bring misfortune or even death to the victim. It is a spell that is usually spoken; it may take the form of a simple statement wishing ill on the person, or it may be in the form of an intricate chant or ritual. Since it is negative, it would be done only by a Black Magician and never by a Witch, whose creed does not permit the harming of any person or thing.

As with all magic, the intent is most important. To simply say "I curse you" is seldom effective. There must be absolute hatred to generate sufficient power to make the curse effective. A deathbed curse is supposed to be especially effective since the perpetrator literally puts every last ounce of energy into it.

Many of the witchcraft trials of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries contained evidence that someone believed themselves cursed after the accused was seen to "mutter to herself." At her trial in 1493, Elena Dalok was accused of bringing rain at her command, and it was said, "she has cursed very many who never lived in this world thereafter." Kittredge reports that in 1596, Goody Jones, of Barking, was approached by a neighbor to give her some medicine for the colic. Instead, Goody Jones "fell down upon her knees, and after many curses and evil speeches, prayed that (her neighbor) might never be cured. . . since which time (she) . . . doth lay in great misery, and can find no ease." Francis Moore of Huntingdonshire, England, said in 1646, "if she cursed any cattle, and set her dog upon them, they should presently die." At the same trial Elizabeth Weed of Great Catworth confessed, "whomsoever she cursed and sent her cat unto, they should die shortly after." Historically, there have been "family curses" in which a family has been cursed, perhaps "to the seventh generation."

Old wishing wells are found throughout Britain. Less well known, there are also cursing wells. Such a one is to be found at Llanelian-yn-Rhos, in North Wales,

near Colwyn Bay. At this well, ill-wishers could toss down the well a lead box containing the name of the one they wished harm upon. For a fee, the well keeper would retrieve the box. In similar vein, in Haiti a curse may be placed on a person, for a fee, by a Boko, or black magician. The Boko will then play perpetrator and victim against one another, removing or replacing the curse for the highest bidder.

Although the word hex is most often applied in a negative sense, like "curse,"

positive hexes can be found in the Pennsylvania Dutch form of witchcraft.

(see also Blasting and Poppets)

DAG H DA see GODS

Curse

Ancient Mariner
cursed by the crew because his slaying of the albatross is causing their deaths. [Br. Poetry: Coleridge The Rime of the Ancient Mariner]
Andvari
king of the dwarfs; his malediction spurs many events in the Nibelungenlied. [Norse Myth.: Bulfinch]
Atreus, house of
cursed by Thyestes, whose children Atreus had served to him in a stew. [Gk. Legend: Benét, 61]
Cain
cursed by God for murdering Abel. [O. T.: Genesis 4:11]
Eriphyle
dying at the hand of her son Alcmaeon, she curses any land that would shelter him. [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 20]
Family Reunion, The
the Eumenides haunt a decaying English family because the head of the house had plotted to kill his pregnant wife. [Br. Drama: Magill II, 321]
Flying Dutchman
sea captain condemned to sail unceasingly because he had invoked the Devil’s aid in a storm. [Maritime legend: Brewer Dictionary]
Harmonia’s necklace
brought disaster to all who possessed it. [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 442]
Maule, Matthew
about to be executed as a wizard, laid a bloody doom on the Pyncheons. [Am. Lit.: Hawthorne The House of the Seven Gables]
Melmoth the Wanderer
doomed by a curse to roam the earth for 150 years after his death. [Br. Lit.: Melmoth the Wanderer]
moonstone
wrested by an English officer from Buddhist priests, who place a curse on all who possess it. [Br. Lit.: Collins The Moonstone in Benét, 683]
Murgatroyd, Sir Rupert
he and all future lords of Ruddigore are doomed by a witch to commit a crime a day forever. [Br. Opera: Gilbert and Sullivan Ruddigore]
Thyestes
cursed the house of Atreus, who had served him his sons in a stew. [Gk. Myth. & Drama: “Atreus,” Benét, 61]
Tutankhamen’s tomb
its opening supposed to have brought a curse upon its excavators, some of whom died soon after. [Pop. Cult.: Misc.]
References in classic literature ?
Two years he had been yoked like a horse to a half-ton truck in Durham's dark cellars, with never a rest, save on Sundays and four holidays in the year, and with never a word of thanks--only kicks and blows and curses, such as no decent dog would have stood.
Everybody crossed himself in a grisly fright, for a curse was an awful thing to those people; but the queen rose up majestic, with the death-light in her eye, and flung back this ruthless command:
He said to himself that the curse of Ham was upon him.
Letters are no matter of indifference; they are generally a very positive curse.
Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you.
But he seemed to recollect himself presently, and smothered the storm in a brutal curse, muttered on my behalf: which, however, I took care not to notice.
My dear," she said, with an aspect of awful composure, "we are under a Curse.
The keeper of the wine-shop stopped to strike the wall with his hand, and mutter a tremendous curse.
Which when the Lord God heard, without delay To Judgement he proceeded on th' accus'd Serpent though brute, unable to transferre The Guilt on him who made him instrument Of mischief, and polluted from the end Of his Creation; justly then accurst, As vitiated in Nature: more to know Concern'd not Man (since he no further knew) Nor alter'd his offence; yet God at last To Satan first in sin his doom apply'd, Though in mysterious terms, judg'd as then best: And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall.
clear out, you and your robber, on the instant, or I'll curse every mother's son of ye, eating and drinking and sleeping
He will launch a curse upon the world, and as only man can curse (it is his privilege, the primary distinction between him and other animals), may be by his curse alone he will attain his object--that is, convince himself that he is a man and not a piano-key
Then I curse thee - a little - not greatly, but enough to remember.