Monday, April 19, 2010

Cursing the Evil Bastards

Kenaz has an excellent post called "The Sacred Responsibility of Cursing" on his blog today. You should read it.

I have often struggled with whether or not to curse people, especially since I'm all Christian and "Turn the other cheek" was a freaking commandment by Jesus. Not to mention the times when I really wanted to curse someone and a vision of Christ appeared to stop me. Well, it happened once, anyway. That kind of put me off cursing for a long time.

But after a lot of Work with Sammael of Mars, and a lot of contemplation of Giburah, the Wrath of God, and Pachad, the Fear of God, I came to a similar conclusion about the role of cursing as a magician. Gardeners have to prune trees to get them to produce fruit abundantly. You pull weeds that choke out the things you want to grow. The First Commandment given to mankind in the Bible was to Tend the Garden, and sometimes that means chopping off the talking snake's head before it gets alone time with your wife.

Personally, my biggest problem with cursing is that once I feel justified, I'd start cursing everyone who pissed me off. I'm not an even-tempered kind of guy, even after doing a lot of Martial Work. I'm better than I was years ago, but I'm not someone I'd trust to keep a hand gun in the glove box. My kids need me out of jail, not locked away because some idiot cut me off in traffic. In the moment of my rage, I would feel perfectly justified calling up every spirit I know and sending them against whoever rubbed me the wrong way.

What keeps me from that temptation is a phrase I learned from an Israeli lawyer-magician who did a lot of work with the Lwa in his youth. "May the spirits judge between us," he said, referencing how he cursed people when he felt it was appropriate. It cleared things up for me a lot. By saying that, you're basically putting your own ass on the line. The ritual I use for cursin, if I ever find it necessary, is:

  • Divination - If it looks bad for me to curse the person, I wait. Chances are good that I'm just angry and it will go away.
  • Preparation - I put my case for cursing together, and weigh out whether I would feel comfortable saying "Here's why I think they deserve to be cursed, judge between us and may the curse fall on me if I'm out of God's Will." If I can't say that without getting nervous, the ritual is off.
  • Never curse angry. In your anger, do not sin, the Bible says. It's really good advice, even for pagans. It doesn't say don't get angry, it just says not to sin while you're angry. Cursing, in my opinion, is best done cold, not hot.
  • Oration to Source - Thou hast cleansed me with Hyssop, Oh Lord, thou hast cleansed me and washed me whiter than new-fallen snow. 
  • Conjuration of spirit - Saturn and Mars spirits are my favorites for this kind of thing, they're all malefic, but Mercury and Venus have been known to be of use.
  • Justification for curse - I make my case before God and the Spirit, go over the details that led to this decision, and specifically call out the things that pushed this matter to the point that required magical retribution.
  • Call for Justice - "May God the Source and [Spirit Name] judge between us."
  • Protection - "Let no harm befall any member of my family, mentally, physically, or spiritually as a result of this rite."
  • Closing - "As you came in peace, so go in power, and return to me should I call you by name, blah blah blah, World Without End, Amen."
If I can go through with that in good conscience with no fear, it's a go. If there is some level of Fear, I turn the rite into a Solar ritual for enlightenment and clarification, because I'm never scared to ask the Spirits to judge between me and the other guy and enlighten whoever has their head up their ass. Sometimes it's both me and the "victim," and plus lux never hurt anyone.
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