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Saturday, February 27, 2010

MIPC: How to Alleviate a Curse Cast Upon You

Episode Synopsis: After a heated argument, Suzanne's maid, Conseula, puts a curse on her proclaiming that she will be dead by midnight. Meanwhile, the ladies of the design firm agree to help Mary Jo with her daughter's slumber party, which allows the opportunity for bonding as Suzanne tries to make her final moments count.

Towards the end of the episode we find out that unbeknownst to Suzanne, her sister Julia has conducted some research on her own and learned from her friend Clarence Otto of the Museum of Folklore that […the best way to alleviate a curse is to put your own curse on the cursor…] and that she has used a small cloth doll to place her own hex on Consuela. When Suzanne refuses to allow Julia to sleep on the couch, Julie threatens to remove the pin from the doll saying that […removing the pin from the doll leaves you very little protection…] at which point Suzanne gives Julia the couch on which to sleep.

Designing Women
Season 1 Episode 10, The Slumber Party
Original Air Date: December 18th, 1986

Commentary: Curses are a malevolent type of spell the effects of which can range from bad luck to death. Curses can be placed on people (Longinus), places (King Tut's Tomb), and things (The Hope Diamond). The motivation for cursing can include Envy (Snow White), Revenge (Tecumseh), Punishment (Angel, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), to Teach a Lesson (Brother Bear), or to protect an object--mostly from theft (Religious Idols and other Holy Objects) or places (Shakespeare's Grave).

The belief in curses can be found in virtually every culture and they are mentioned in the sacred texts of many religions. Most religions forbid the practice of cursing, while others, citing the use of curses in their holy books, utilize them to protect their selves from their enemies and other forms of evil. Every religion has a form of blessings intended to protect people, places and things from curses. Non-religious individuals believe that curses are a product of the mind and are psychological in nature. In a sense, people "curse" themselves because they believe that they are cursed.

Some curses include their own cure, for example in the Fairy Tale of the Frog Prince; the frog had to obtain a willing kiss from a Princess in order to become human again. In other cases, curses remain through the ages despite attempts to remove them. Most methods of removing a curse will fall into the category of a Cleansing, a Reversing, or a combination of each.

Cleansings involve removing the curse from the individual/object and keeping it from returning. In these cases the negative energy of the curse is often transmuted into positive energy. Methods of cleanings include but are not limited to the following:

  • Ritual Bathing
  • Visualization
  • Smudging with Incense
  • Anointing with Oil
  • Energy Work
  • Transference
  • Ritual Banishment
  • Petition to a Higher Power
  • Counter Spells
  • Use of Amulets or Talismans
  • Other

Reversing involves sending the curse back to its point of origin where it will play out as it has been directed when it was cast. Methods of reversing curses back to their sender include but are not limited to the following:

  • Petition to a Higher Power
  • Counter Spells
  • Use of Amulets and Talismans
  • Other

Finally, there are those rare methods that fall into neither category such as in the example given at the beginning of this article. In that example a person who has been cursed has been instructed to put their own curse on the person who has cursed them. This method seems to be neither a cleanings nor a reversing because the method does not remove the curse placed upon them. Instead we have what seems to be the magickal equivalent of blackmail, except that you do not have the psychological advantage of informing them that you have cursed them.
However, it could be argued that the method of cursing your cursor is both a cleanings and a reversing as your curse constitutes a spell in and of itself and may or may not call upon a Higher Power for divine retribution. The act of placing a curse on your tormentor can be very cathartic and may represent a healing for the individual. Some may argue that sending a curse back to its point of origin is a curse in and of itself.

In my research I found at least one instance of employing a curse against someone who has cursed you, although I am sure that there are more examples. Denis Alvarado in her book, Voodoo Dolls in Magick and Ritual states that “[one] way to reverse a curse is to create a voodoo doll of the person that cursed you.” She then instructs the reader to ritually burn the doll with the intention that as the doll burns away the curse placed upon you by the person will be transformed into “something harmless.”

That being said, I believe that it is possible to alleviate a curse by placing your own curse upon the person who has cursed you, however, before I attempted to do so I would attempt to perform a more traditional combination of cleaning or reversing.

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