I’m sure you can all imagine an old crone hunched over a small doll or figurine, muttering as she lays a curse upon her victim. Well, the thing is it wasn't just witches that cast curses. A curse is a type a spell intended to bring misfortune down upon someone else. This could be bad luck, harm, illness, and sometimes death. Though anyone can lay down a curse, the most dangerous were those laid by someone in authority, like a priest or priestess, someone with magical skill, or someone who had no other way to see justice done, like women of the poor.
Curses could take effect immediately or lie in wait for years. Some have even been laid upon families, affecting generations. Deathbed curses are the most effective, since the curser’s life force goes into it. A lot of victims are not told they are curse so they won’t find a witch to remove it for them. However, having the victim know can be just as deadly as the curse itself because the victim can cause his own demise.
|Witch Dall Curse by Malcolm Lidbury|
Curses call upon supernatural powers to effect a harmful change. The most known way of cursing someone is with a figure or effigy that represents the victim. These could be of wax, cloth, wood, or clay and had something associated with the victim attached to it such as hair, nails, clothing, or even dust from his footprint. The effigy was melted or burned and as this happened the victim would suffer and die when the figure was destroyed. Sometimes the figures were stuck with pins, knives, or thorns. I think most of us have seen movies with the voodoo dolls. In Ireland there were cursing stones that were turned over as a curse was recited.
Though Wiccan practitioners frown upon curses today, other practices still use them. My main character Gabby in A Prescription for Delirium had the curse of immortality put upon her. Have you ever heard of interesting stories about curses?