Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Countering a Curse

I've received a couple of e-mails this week from people who were concerned about curses and negative magical influences. Generally speaking, when people send you questions about magick they tend to fall into four categories:

(1) How do I curse somebody who has wronged me?
(2) How do I cast a love spell?
(3) How do I cast a money spell?
(4) How do I counteract a curse that I think I might be under?

Seeing as I've already addressed the first three of these on this blog, I figure that addressing (4) should probably be next on the list.

The first thing that you need to realize about curses is that trained ritual magicians don't generally run around casting curses left and right. Most of us take curses very seriously and use them quite sparingly. I can only think of a handful of times over the course of more than 25 years of practice that I have resorted to such measures, and I would go so far as to say that if you find yourself under full magical attack by a genuinely skilled practitioner the odds are that you already know what you did to provoke it. In such a case you probably are best off trying to make amends with your attacker and come to some sort of truce, since a determined magical attacker can make your life quite difficult and the kind of advice I can give you about basic ritual techniques will only be helpful up to a point. But since there just aren't that many trained ritual magicians to begin with, such situations are extremely rare and most people will likely never encounter one.

The only real danger that most people will ever run into as far as negative magick goes is from untrained individuals with high natural magical aptitude. Like any other human ability, magical aptitude follows a normal distribution throughout all human populations. In ancient times approximately one person in 30 or so had the level of aptitude required to become a spirit worker of some sort, so there are a lot more talented people in the world than there are trained magicians. Magical aptitude is the talent that allows thoughts to influence the material world. When this aptitude is untrained, it means that things you dwell on or think about a lot have a greater probability of coming to pass than those of individuals without similar aptitude. Such people usually aren't aware of what their thoughts are setting in motion, but they can nonetheless create manifestations that resemble a low-grade curse.

For example, here's a more realistic situation that might result in magical energy affecting you in a negative way. Let's say that you have a work colleague who resents you in some way - maybe you got the promotion they wanted, or got a date with someone who won't give them the time of day, or landed a high-profile assignment or project that will favor your career over theirs. It might be normal for this colleague to feel anger toward you, but if he or she happens to have a lot of natural talent these thoughts and feelings may start to manifest and unlucky things might start happening to you. It's not that your co-worker is deliberately magically attacking you, and in fact he or she is probably completely unaware of magick and how it works. Still, you should deal with the situation in order to prevent those negative projections from harming you or those close to you, or just to get your luck back.

Another more realistic danger is that if you have high magical aptitude there are circumstances in which you may in effect curse yourself. Part of magical training consists of learning how to turn one's aptitude on and off so that every chance thought doesn't necessarily have an increased likelihood of manifestation. This is a good thing. When I was younger I was a real worrier, and let me tell you being a worrier with magical aptitude is no fun at all. I had unbelievably bad luck in just about everything I tried because the very things I worried about became more likely just because I was worrying about them. I had to spend a number years on a disciplined magical path before I was able to reliably use that same ability to improve my life. Anyone who finds themselves in this position can benefit from ideas like "the power of positive thinking" or "the secret" but in the end New Thought is no substitute for genuine magick and in my experience it is not nearly as effective.

So what to do? The first step should be banishing, which will often clear up inadvertant magical effects created by you or anyone else. This is where you use the banishing field, a banishing pentagram ritual followed by a banishing hexagram ritual. You can use the LBRP/LIRH, the Star Ruby/Star Sapphire, or any other similar combination of rituals that you normally use in your daily practice. The key is that both the pentagram and hexagram rituals need to be cast using the banishing form, with the hexagram ritual following the pentagram ritual. This should calm your mind, dismiss any unwanted thoughtforms, and also stop any magical effects that are centered on you, such as a simple curse. I usually recommend that you try it once and see if the curse appears to be broken. If it is not, try doing this combination of rituals at least once every day for a week. During this time, do no additional magical work.

This banishing series should neutralize the curse, whatever it is. If it doesn't, you may want to consider whether you are under a curse at all and if what you are perceiving as a magical attack could be your own imagination or simply a string of unlucky events. People do trick themselves sometimes, and the reason I mention this is that I have never come across a genuine curse that a banishing field couldn't break. There are workarounds that can prevent the banishing field from working properly, but if you're up against somebody who knows them and are yourself an unskilled magician you probably are in trouble. You can try evoking Saturn to counter the curse, since Saturn rules over curses and thus can be used to counter as well as create them. The ritual template for this is similar to my cursing template, except that your statement of intent should be to destroy anything that is cursing you and to protect you from any and all future curses.

Of course, the best way to avoid being cursed at all is to take up a daily magical practice. Practicing magicians are the "hard targets" of the spiritual world and for the most part are immune to the kind of inadvertant negative influences that can be unleashed by bad feelings, even those of the magically gifted. Furthermore, the unfolding of awareness that is facilitated by these practices helps to eliminate self-defeating thoughts and conditioning patterns and teaches you how to direct your mind to more productive ends. Finally, if you ever find yourself faced with a magical attack from someone who knows what he or she is doing, a solid and disciplined practice is the best foundation for an effective counterattack. But you know what? The more you practice, the less conflict you generally find in your life. It just seems to work that way.

To wrap this up I'm going to do something that I hardly ever do - recommend a book that I haven't actually read all the way through. The book is Jason Miller's Protection and Reversal Magick. I'm recommending it because the excerpts that I have read of it are quite good and because I've been reading Jason's blog, Strategic Sorcery, for some time now. I have found him to be a knowledgeable and pragmatic practitioner, and if his book displays the same qualities that I have seen in his online articles I'm confident that you will find its recommendations worth applying.

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12 comments:

Robert-Joseph said...

I never much saw the point of cursing, they always seemed the tools of a cowardly lot. I'd wager most trained magicians would go for a direct attack. If not a psionic battle, than an spell for pain or instant death.

You can actually see a curse. And they have a little string going back to whence they came. A trained magician can snuff it out with as little as a thought, but probably not before they send something back at the source, and probably not just a curse. I heard the proper way to go about this is to use a proxy, generally something powerful, so that if something is sent, it's an attack against a being of immense power instead of the practitioner. Never actually seen this done though.

Unintentional manifestation magick looks much different, and is even easier to deal with generally. I'd wager though that you won't see too many adults who are untrained. Natural adepts don't instinctively work with energy like normal people. Where as energy should pass through and influence, with a talented individual they tend to soak up energy, to hold it for long periods of time, and to produce it in higher than average quantities.

Energy and emotion are intertwined, and over time this combination tends to wreak havoc on the individual, resulting in both mania and depression, often times leading into a downward spiral of depression eventually. Unless the person begins training themselves at some point, it destroys them. If it doesn't drive them to suicide, it'll destroy their lives anyways.

I wonder how many potential magicians have had their abilities stifled by psychiatric diagnosis and antidepressents?

You can actually hit a zen point where any thought has an immediate 100% chance of manifestation. I've done it twice, but I have no idea how to force it or how to control what one thinks about in that state. One time I manifested a cop while I was doing 75 in a 35, and one time I manifested an exgirlfriend on valentine's day. I think maybe there's a way to mimic this situation via sex magick using physical ecstacy taken to the highest level. If only I had a suitable partner I could experiment with this! (hella fine blog readers note my email addy above)!

I think you underestimate the amount of people who can effectively curse. For example religions like Voodoo and Santeria love their curses, and they've only begun to be castrated and paganized. I think a lot of people may find themselves in danger of other types of negative magick too, such as vampirism.

And where as magickal training will definitely leave one strong enough to deal with a curse, it will also draw forth other nasty things that are much worse than a curse.

Ananael Qaa said...

I'd wager most trained magicians would go for a direct attack. If not a psionic battle, than an spell for pain or instant death.

I guess I would call a spell like that a curse. Would you call it something else?

I'd wager though that you won't see too many adults who are untrained. Natural adepts don't instinctively work with energy like normal people.

If these people are all out there getting magical training how do you explain how few magicians there actually are? Modern Magick is the best-selling occult book of all time, having sold a hundred thousand or so copies in the last ten years out of the whole US population of about 300 million. Surveys of ancient cultures show that about one person in 30 (~3%) was a spirit worker, and if you extend that to the US population you would have ten million potential magicians. I'm not trying to claim that every magician would actually buy a copy of Modern Magick, but only .01% (1 in 10,000) of them? Really?

And none of that touches on the fact that most people who claim to practice magick may work with energy but have no real idea of what they're doing.

Energy and emotion are intertwined, and over time this combination tends to wreak havoc on the individual, resulting in both mania and depression, often times leading into a downward spiral of depression eventually.

Seeing as 25% of the US population has a mental illness of some sort, I'm guessing most would-be magicians go crazy rather than get training. That hypothesis fits the observed statistics a lot better.

For example religions like Voodoo and Santeria love their curses, and they've only begun to be castrated and paganized.

It is true that there are cultures in which cursing is more common than what one usually sees here in the United States, so I realize that my experiences are not necessarily applicable everywhere.

I think a lot of people may find themselves in danger of other types of negative magick too, such as vampirism.

Maybe it's just me, but I've met a handful of supposed "psychic vampires" over the years and all of them were just emotionally needy and incredibly boring. It didn't seem like there was much magick involved there, honestly.

And where as magickal training will definitely leave one strong enough to deal with a curse, it will also draw forth other nasty things that are much worse than a curse.

I've heard this from a number of people over the years, but I've never seen much real evidence of it myself. I'm of the opinion that the "practicing magick at all is dangerous" folks are pretty much full of it. While there are mentally ill people who get interested in magick, usually the ones who wind up having problems working magick had messed up lives to begin with.

I mean, maybe my experiences aren't representative of what most magical practitioners encounter, but I fail to see any reason why they wouldn't be. I've never "drawn forth" anything "nasty" that affected my life in any noticeable way and I tend to be fairly experimental in my practices. I also know that most of my friends who are serious practitioners haven't had significant problems with anything like that either.

So are these stories urban legends or are a lot of practitioners outside my circle of friends really doing something horribly wrong? If the latter is the case, what might that something be?

Jason Miller, said...

First, thank you for your mention of my book.

Second, I think you are underestimating the amount of "trained ritual magicians" out there. Western occultists make up a very small percentage of the people who use magick. Most do not have the same bugaboos about hostile magick that ceremonial magicians do.

I think, but am not sure, that the Avon Press Necronomicon is the best selling occult book of all time

Ananael Qaa said...

Second, I think you are underestimating the amount of "trained ritual magicians" out there.

I'd be very interested in seeing some real demographic studies as far as the percentage of people who really practice magick of whatever sort. Without such research I can really only speak from my own experience, which I realize may not be representative of everything that's out there.

I think, but am not sure, that the Avon Press Necronomicon is the best selling occult book of all time.

You're probably right, now that you mention it - it was pushed by a major publisher with a much bigger distribution than Llewellyn. Still, I knew a whole lot of people who had copies of it mostly for the shock value, and can't think of more than one or two who actually tried working spells out of it.

Robert-Joseph said...

Ah. I'm going to assume that the Internet ate my last reply and it wasn't censored. I don't think I wrote anything offensive in it.


I guess I would call a spell like that a curse. Would you call it something else?


Although there isn't an exact definition for most magical terms, including curses, I think most would agree that a curse is something that takes place over time as opposed to something that is direct and instant.

If these people are all out there getting magical training how do you explain how few magicians there actually are?

I don't know if Modern Magick is the best selling ever. Personally I've never met a working magician who's read the book, and I only know about it from Internet people. I'd think that the classics like the Keys of Solomon, Agrippa's books on Occult Philosophy, and even Crowley's Theory and Practice have a much wider audience. I know I was raised on Bach's Illusions, which is a basic guide to psionic magick, and I think the book has done better than 100K. I've met many Bach fans, although most are new agers. I know a lot of the classes I've seen use a book by the Frosts or Saunders or Crowley as their basis, not Modern Magick.

And not everyone who practices is trained as a ceremonial magician. There are Voodoo and Santeria practioners, New Agers, Traditional Witches, Pagans, Eastern Religions, Reiki, Christian Mystics, Shamans, and many other valid systems.

All of this being beside the point that usually the most vital training a practitioner receives comes directly from their teacher, not from a book.

It is true that there are cultures in which cursing is more common than what one usually sees here in the United States, so I realize that my experiences are not necessarily applicable everywhere.

Voodoo has a very strong following in parts of the southern US like New Orleans and Florida. Santeria meanwhile has a strong following in much of the South Western United States.


Maybe it's just me, but I've met a handful of supposed "psychic vampires" over the years and all of them were just emotionally needy and incredibly boring. It didn't seem like there was much magick involved there, honestly.


I've met a lot of fakers. Sometimes you can find the real ones hiding among the fakers too. I've been told that the population by me is abnormally high, so perhaps that's why I've come into contact with several real psionic vampires. Nasty folk.

So are these stories urban legends or are a lot of practitioners outside my circle of friends really doing something horribly wrong? If the latter is the case, what might that something be?

Last Saturday, during meditation, a rat man was harassing me yet again. I astralled out and chased him, beating him whenever I caught up with him. He got a good punch in on my shoulder and it's still sore today.

So far I've been nearly raped by a mermaid, had severe chest pains for six months after an attempt to infect one of my chakras, been vampirically drained, had unsealy fae creatures attempt to suffocate me while I slept, been bitten, been cut, and even got shot through the heart with a revolver by a possessed friend, but miracolously got better, but it still hurt like a bitch for a day. This isn't everything, it isn't even the highlights, it's just stuff I remember happening. This shit didn't happen to me before I practiced. I can only assume it's because I practice that I find myself in these situations.

That isn't to say I preach caution. If I were cautious, most of that stuff probably wouldn't happen to me. I think to a true magician the dangers aren't a deterrent to practice, and if they are, you'll never amount to much of a magician. I've seen too many people who have spent a very long time, decades even, practicing and achieved very little due to caution.

Ananael Qaa said...

I think most would agree that a curse is something that takes place over time as opposed to something that is direct and instant.

I've never heard that distiction made by anyone I've known or worked with but I'll keep it in mind for future discussions. What term would you use for an instantaneous spell, then?

I know I was raised on Bach's Illusions, which is a basic guide to psionic magick, and I think the book has done better than 100K.

It has, but I've never come across a Bach fan who could do anything magical without having studied more rigorous magick at some point. It was a starting point for a lot of people, but most of them never studied at a deeper level and most wound up as generic New Agers, not magicians.

Sometimes you can find the real ones hiding among the fakers too.

I'm aware that it's possible and not even all that difficult - in fact in one of my old articles that I imported from the Internet archives I explain how to do it. It should be pretty hard to do successfully on a magician who maintains a daily practice, though, because those practices increase the coherence of the body of light substantially.

This isn't everything, it isn't even the highlights, it's just stuff I remember happening. This shit didn't happen to me before I practiced.

I guess all I can say is that your path has been a lot more difficult than mine. I've been practicing for years and nothing even close to what you describe has ever happened to me. I've used ceremonial forms the whole time, doing psionic/intuitive stuff only occasionally, but other than that I can't say that I've been particularly cautious in my spellwork. If anything, I try to keep on the cutting edge as far as magical experimentation goes.

I think to a true magician the dangers aren't a deterrent to practice, and if they are, you'll never amount to much of a magician.

I agree, but still am left wondering why our experiences of the path are so different. Is it just luck? Our respective circumstances? Some technical or stylistic difference? It seems to me that while a magician should push forward no matter what, maybe there are methods that could help mitigate some of the dangers and hardships of the work.

Robert-Joseph said...

I've never heard that distiction made by anyone I've known or worked with but I'll keep it in mind for future discussions. What term would you use for an instantaneous spell, then?

When Goku throws a Kamehameha at a foe, I don't think anyone would call that a curse. In the same way, I think if Goku felt the need to light a candle to help his focus when he throws the Kamehameha, most still wouldn't see that as a curse.


It has, but I've never come across a Bach fan who could do anything magical without having studied more rigorous magick at some point.


Which is true of everything.

It was a starting point for a lot of people, but most of them never studied at a deeper level and most wound up as generic New Agers, not magicians.

Which, once again, is true of most people, not systems. The first time I met a Wiccan who told me they had spent the last three years getting halfway through a book titled 'Wicca in a year and a day' I was floored not just by their stupidity, but by their complete ignorance of it. I've since found out that every Wiccan who has that book has been working it for years and has yet to complete it.

I'm aware that it's possible and not even all that difficult - in fact in one of my old articles that I imported from the Internet archives I explain how to do it. It should be pretty hard to do successfully on a magician who maintains a daily practice, though, because those practices increase the coherence of the body of light substantially.

I'd like to take a look at that article in the future, I'm interested in what you taught. I've noticed that real psionic vampires tend to drain differently from magicians using basic psionic attacks. I think a psionic vampire's attack can be mimicked successfully, I just think that most that try either lack the skill to do it, or don't fully understand the methods of attack that come instinctively to a psionic vampire.

Most drain attacks tend to target the outward energy of the person. They pull from the surface and suck the energy from there like a vacuum, taking more than what would typically be shed. Psionic vampires meanwhile tend to hit dead center into the chest and pull out at a much greater rate. The best way I can describe it (and others have told me this was correct), it's like having a scythe punched into your chest and then sucking out large amounts of energy. This method is far quicker and more effective, and it gives access to preferential energies that cannot normally be gotten through the first method. It's also far more detrimental to the victim.

Of course, anyone with any psionic skill can easily defend against psionic attacks with a little bit of knowledge and practice. It's not hard. Psionic vampires usually target those that can't defend themselves, or they go after certain personality types that will be reluctant to stop them until it's too late.

I guess all I can say is that your path has been a lot more difficult than mine.

I would say my path's more fun! I don't like the word difficult. I mean, I've been through all the trails and hardships like every adept is supposed to go through to earn their rank. But for the most part, I find this stuff fun. I like fighting things. I like solving riddles. I like seeing new astral things. I like hanging out with Fae. I like learning the tarot. I even like reading pompous overly wordy British authors. My spirituality is a very serious and important part of me, but it's also a lot like a hobby, and if I didn't find it extremely enjoyable, I don't think I would have pursued it because that isn't my nature, and I don't understand why people who claim not to enjoy it still pursue it.

I agree, but still am left wondering why our experiences of the path are so different. Is it just luck? Our respective circumstances? Some technical or stylistic difference?

I can think of a handful of maybes, but I don't know the exact reason why:

1. I use very few, if any protections. I don't shield, and actually work very hard to take down naturally occurring shields. I don't banish. I don't use barriers. I don't use circles. In fact, I created a new method of evocation that doesn't protect the magician in any way and pretty much gives the entity free reign.

2.I live in Las Vegas. I'm planning to, at some point, post what I know about the area and its peculiarities. But it is a very unique and hostile place, metaphysically. Most empathic people can't handle the energy here. Lots of things are very violent and hostile and angry. This whole city was, less than a hundred years ago, sacred land that's been desecrated. There's also a large vampire population and a lot of horrible stuff that was summoned and buried in the desert, and then people built houses on top of them.

3. It may be me in particular. For one, I like to fight things. Something about fighting seems very poetic and peaceful and right to me, and due to legal and social constraints its very rare that I get to fight physically. It may be that I seek it out to some extent, it may be that I expect it so it appears, or it may be that my path or soul is more aligned, at least in part, to that of a warrior.

Ananael Qaa said...

I would say my path's more fun! I don't like the word difficult. I mean, I've been through all the trails and hardships like every adept is supposed to go through to earn their rank. But for the most part, I find this stuff fun.

Well, that may very well be the difference right there. I can't say that what you describe sounds like all that much fun to me, but then what we get when we're walking the path tends to be whatever is in harmony with our individual wills and may differ considerably.

I'd like to take a look at that article in the future, I'm interested in what you taught. I've noticed that real psionic vampires tend to drain differently from magicians using basic psionic attacks.

Here you go. It starts off talking about the event but moves on to a basic technical overview.

Psionic vampires meanwhile tend to hit dead center into the chest and pull out at a much greater rate.

In my experience it depends on whether or not you center your psychic "rope" over an energy center like a chackra point. You can drain (or transfer) energy a lot faster at those particular spots on the body of light. If you target a person's general form, on the other hand, you tend to just pick up surface energy.

Dacia Pacea said...

Talk about hostile environments. I live in a geopathogenic zone. Hurndreds, if not thousands of people were buried here in common wholes without any religious ceremony during various plagues in the past. Then the comunists came and built whole neighborhoods of apartment buildings over the area.

People here are a mixture of different nationalities and races (romanian, bulgarian, gypsy), different edicational background and different mental faculties. I think there are definitely some inbreads and possessed folk here from what I've seen. In any case there are alot of physically and mentally handicapped people, more than I've seen in other areas.

You could feel uneasy when passing through if you'd take your time to quiet your outer senses.

People are cursing eachother openly and I don't think I've heard of an apartment building without at least one major conflict between neighbours. As you can imagine, gossip and intrigue are the local "national" sports. That leads to envy and hatred and worse. But this is fuelled by dark things from beneath that no moron here is aware of. There are alot of vampires here that feed of other and eachother in endless chitchat that has no real subject. Only self pity and whining about their real and/or imaginary problems.

And to cap that all, some of them even used various low magick techniques, probably adapted from gypsy magick. I've heard that in my building alone there were one or two such people.

Before I moved here I've never had problems going out in the crowd. Here, I could feel all the nasty stuff in people around me. I almost ended up colapsing mentally from the overwhelming powerful low vibes I was getting. Also, I've never had problems with succubi before i moved here. After that, i ended up getting attacked (hehe) by them no matter how often i've had real sex.

I started doing aura cleaning and shielding using intense visualisations. I've adapted an orthodox church style mojo bag into a more potent one to increase my protection. It seemed to work, but not to the degree I wanted to, for I was still highly affected.

Then Saturn (who is opposite the Sun in my natal chart) finally allowed me to understand how magick worksat the begining of last year. After a few months of daily LBRP and MP things started getting better. I even bought a fluorite stone to keep the low vibes away from me. I then moved up to the LRH a couple of months ago and found the LBRP-LBRH was just what I needed to keep the nasty away.

Now I can walk down the street without being affected and have the possibility to take the fight to whoever wants to hurt me in any way. Succubi still visit me in my dreams some time, but some force seems to banish them and even though I might get a quick lucid dreaming experience at that moment and want to get it on with them, they go away and stay gone :)

Dacia Pacea said...

The banishing field seems a perfect weapon to block curses. I'm wondering if it works on countering curses that are brought upon by (I'm not really sure how to explain this) more physical actions. For example stepping on hot foot powder, goofer powder, DNA and or photo being inserted into a vinegar jar, all sorts of string and/or coffin-box bindings and so on. Let's say the powders could be delt with easier if the target notices any trace of them, eventually. But having your DNA inserted into a vinegar jar seems way harder. Or by constant banishing on the self does the banishing transfer to the DNA in the jar, like the bad juju transfered from the jar to the self? Hope I made myself understood :) I'm writing in a bit of a hurry.

Scott Stenwick said...

It can be used to block curses, yes. If you've had contact with powders, anything that is stuck to you will be neutralized. The challenge is to make sure you don't walk through it again, because it only will neutralize the portion of the powder caught in the field. Spells that are connected to you by similarity or contagion links can be severed by the banishing field as well, though whoever is casting the spell could still use the link to recast. There isn't a good way to completely de-power that sort of thing.

According to Jason Miller, who has studied both standard ceremonial and hoodoo methods, the trick is to use some sort of material basis to counter hoodoo-type methods. In his experience, ceremonial on its own has trouble countering it. But that isn't necessarily a big problem. You can use an operant field and summon a spirit of the nature of Mars or Saturn, the two planets that rule cursing, and use a candle or some other physical object as your material basis. Call upon the spirit to shut down the curse as the candle burns, and you should be good, regardless of the type of curse.

You can also bind the spirits of Mars and/or Saturn to a talisman and charge them to protect you from curses. The talisman itself is your material basis and the spirit takes care of the energetic side of things.

Dacia Pacea said...

I was thinking about using talismans myself to protect from hoodoo-type methods. The other methods you suggested also seem great.

I only asked you this because if I were to be targeted by real curses they would mostly come in the forms written above. For spirits I think the banishing field would do the trick, but i think I would use King Bnapsen first :D

Thank you for your answer and for pointing me towards Jason's blog. Seems interesting already :)