curse

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curse

an ecclesiastical censure of excommunication
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

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

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

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.]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Julie, who lives in the village of Welton, near Carlisle, said: "I was utterly amazed that this curse had been made on the Reivers and the superstitions that had grown up in Carlisle about the Cursing Stone.
Regarding the furore over his Cursing Stone in Carlisle he said he was amazed people in the city and local councillors there ever considered removing it.
The bad luck began shortly after the city council erected a 'Cursing Stone' inscribed with a 16th century spell condemning the work of evil-doers.
The bad luck began shortly after the city council erected a Cursing Stone inscribed with a 16thcentury spell condemning the work of evil-doers.
'If people think the cursing stone is at the root of these problems, and that's a view I share, it would be better if it was removed.'
When cursing harms the innocent, I think it's wrong.
Cursing is an essential part of language, and we come neurologically equipped to do it well.
The T-shirt told the fictitious story of a man with an Italian accent so thick, his attempts at conversation were taken as cursing. For instance, when he said "Norfolk, Virginia," others thought he was saying he didn't you-know-what with a woman named Virginia.
In bad times we wail and bemoan our fate, cursing the darkness; in good times, we ignore our Creator from whom all good and perfect gifts come.
This study deals with the cursing services in Sinhala Buddhism in Sri Lanka which some gods offer to the people.
Some insisted that it was but a manifestation of hysteria; others suggested that multiple tics and cursing (coprolalia) were a subset of movement disorders known as choreas and which were caused by a prior attack of rheumatic fever.
of reading difference either to erase it or to resubscribe to Western cultural hegemony or to confirm the universality of dominant cultural phenomena and literary texts or human subjects." An emblem of this tendency, in Shakespeare, she finds in Caliban's cursing Prospero in the language Prospero gave him ("You taught me language, and my profit on't / Is I know how to curse").

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