Magick,  S. Connolly

Cursed: An Occult Drama

hexes-black-magicIt’s that time again. Time for me to step up on my soapbox and piss people off.

So here goes — I am convinced 85% of occult practitioners (regardless path or paradigm) should have pursued amateur theater.

Why? Aside from the constant pageantry, preening, in-fighting, shit-talking and rumor mills among more social types, every time I turn around I meet someone who *thinks* they’re important enough to be cursed by someone powerful enough to actually pull off an effective curse.

My response to that? Maybe. Depends who you’re pissing off I suppose. But let’s face it – not all of us are that important or that hated by anyone. Even as an occult author – I’m not important enough to be cursed by anyone competent. Otherwise I would have felt it by now.

The reality is that, for the most part, curses help the person doing the curse far more than actually hurting the person being cursed. It’s the nature of the beast. Then, people throwing curses will sit back and wait for something “bad” to happen to the victim. Like a bad day. Or old age. Then they smile triumphantly and brag about how it was their curse that caused something that probably would have happened anyway. We all have bad days and we all start aging and get health problems associated with aging. ::shrug:: It is what it is.

That isn’t to say some people can’t curse. Some can. But it’s been my experience that cursing – real effective cursing – requires a lot of genuine hatred and a shitload of magickal experience to be completely effective. Not just petty jealousy or hurt feelings. And most of us really don’t hate anyone that deeply, no matter how jealous or hurt we are.

This brings me to my point. Recently I oversaw a conversation in an occult forum where someone was bitching about how people shouldn’t post pictures of their altars or magickal items online because that would give enemies cursing fodder. I rolled my eyes and removed myself from the group. Not necessarily because of what was said. In a different way, I agree about not posting things like that. I rarely post pictures of my own altars or magickal work because I’m private like that (it’s an introvert thing) and in some cases I find it sacrilegious to post pics of sacred altars. Some people don’t think posting altars and magickal items is a bad thing and that’s okay. It’s their prerogative. On the rare occasion I do post such things, it’s usually for educational purposes. Or I’m advertising a magickal item for sale.

No, the reason I immediately removed myself from the group was because of the responses. All of the responders claimed they’d been victims of curses and a lot of their crap didn’t sound curse-like, but more like “day-to-day life challenges” or bad personal decision making to me. If what these people were saying was true – they’d all pissed off some pretty powerful magicians.  The thing is — none of these people were special. None of them famous or well-known. None of them seemingly worthy of a powerful enemy. None of them appeared to be anything more than dramatic.

I hate drama.

One person even commented how they didn’t know why well-known occult authors would post photos of altars and magickal items. I laughed out loud at that one. The reason well-known occult authors post carefully selected photos of altars and magickal items is usually for educational purposes, but they also know what it takes to ACTUALLY curse someone. Those of us who have been around the block a few times are pretty confident that the number of people actually experienced enough to curse us, or be *that* angry with us (hurt feelings and petty jealousies aside), is a pretty small number, if not non-existent. Not to mention adept magicians usually have protections and wards in place to thwart that kind of nonsense anyway. I certainly do. I think everyone should – if even to ward self-attracted negativity. Plus, the majority of curses can only hurt you if you think they can. Yes, a lot of it is psychological.

So if you’re dramatic and you constantly think you’re cursed — you probably are, but not by the hands of a competent magickal foe. And probably not because you posted a picture of your altar. No, if you are cursed it was probably by your own hand. A self-fulfilled prophesy. After all, tell yourself enough how cursed you are — that becomes the reality.

Don’t misconstrue this to mean I don’t think curses can be effective or real. They can be. Don’t think I don’t think curses can be cast – again – they can be. If you surround yourself with a lot of immature magicians – then yeah, you may have been victim to a curse or two (probably weak curses at that). If you’ve thrown curses at a competent magician – you may have had that shit thrown back at you.  I know people who have successfully thrown curses at others and I’ve been victim to a successful curse a few times in 30 years. I’ve thrown a few successful curses (generally in self-defense). But then I do have some competent magickal rivals just because I’m well-known. Well known folks also find themselves victim to a lot of negative attention, too, which can wreak havoc if it’s not properly dealt with. Actual curses that work are rare though. Most competent magicians have better things to do with their time and energy than run around cursing everyone who has wronged them. And if you are genuinely being constantly cursed by other magicians you might consider switching social circles.

I’m more inclined to believe some people, your average solitary magician with a few online pals, attract negative astral sludge (and possibly spirits) to themselves by virtue of their own negative thought patterns or bad decision making. I also see a severe lack of “coping” skills in people nowadays. All of these things combined, I suppose, could be a curse. But again — self induced. Not due to posting pictures of altars or magickal items online and not due to other magicians (unless you’re surrounded by a bunch of immature idiots, or you’re throwing curses at other magicians who might be sending them right back at you – in which case you deserved it).

On the rare chance you are pissing off some powerful folks, or enough people to throw negativity at you — then you’re likely not unknown and you’re likely doing something right. 😉  j/k   Even in that case – a photograph of yourself is more likely to act as a cursing agent than a picture of your new wand. Just sayin’…  ::shrug::

Feel free to disagree if you like.

To learn more about my thoughts on cursing (sending, receiving, etc…), check out my book Curses, Hexes & Crossings.

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at

One Comment

  • Kim

    Never thrown a curse in my life, but I’ve been accused of it more than once just because I could see certain things happening in people’s lives that came true. It seemed like common sense to me at the time. I’ve learned that most people who think they are cursed just don’t want to take responsibility for their own actions or are trying to create some kind of drama to get attention, like you mentioned. Not that it can’t be done, but I’ve never experienced or seen a real curse at work (although I know a few). As a solitary, only a few people even know about my spiritual practices. As you said, building up the amount of hate needed for a good curse is not as easy as it may seem. I’ve been plenty angry a few times, but pure hatred is another story, that’s a lot of energy that I’d much rather put into something positive. However, I do believe there are times that a curse would be appropriate.

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