A curse is a supernatural manifestation that inflicts various hardships and torments on the victim.
Curses are often inflicted in various ways, such as through divine punishment, pagan magic, witchcraft, or demonic influences.
Throughout most religions, folk takes and mythological stories, curses are depicted as having devastating consequences and are often permanent.
That being said, there are some methods through which a curse can be lifted, broken or at least have its effects nullified so it can’t harm the victim.
Complete the condition of the curse to remove it
It is rare for a curse to be completely irreversible. Such curses are usually godly in nature, and are provoked by the victim(s) who deeply offend their ruling deity.
Such examples include the cursing of king Lycaon, who was transformed into a wolf by Zeus because Lycaon killed his son and then cooked and served him to Zeus at a banquet.
By comparison, most curses inflicted through witchcraft or by demons are conditional in nature, meaning that the curse ends once certain conditions are met.
Returning a stolen item to its rightful place or owner. A typical example is returning an artefact to the tomb of an angry Egyptian mummy.
Find true love. This is the case of the “The Frog Prince” and “Beauty and the Beast”, where a curse transforms a handsome prince into a beast, and the curse can only be broken if they find true love.
Wait for the time to expire. Christianity has the story of the “Wandering Jew”, a man that taunted Jesus as He was carrying the cross on the way to crucifixion. As punishment, the Wandering Jew was cursed with immortality and forced to roam the Earth until the Second Coming of Christ.
Of course, the problem in this case is knowing the conditions necessary to end the curse.
In literature, folklore, and mythology, the one who inflicted the curse would sometimes communicate the end condition to the victim.
Other times, the victim had to figure this out by themselves or with the help of friends or allies, such as fairies, divine spirits, saints, etc.
Destroy the cursed object
The evil magical powers of a curse are often stored in a physical item, such as a pelt, doll, or even a needle.
This cursed item then channels the powers from the supernatural realm into the physical realm we humans inhabit.
Thus, destroying this magical item will also break the curse and end all of its effects, sometimes even retroactively.
There are quite a few examples of this in history, religion, and mythology:
Destroying a wolf’s pelt to end a curse of werewolfism. During the Middle Ages, church priests and common people believed a person could become a werewolf by wearing clothing made from wolf pelts.
The simple solution to this was to destroy the wolf’s clothing, ideally with silver objects.
The Portrait of Dorian Grey. In the novel, Dorian Grey remains forever young by having his portrait age instead of him. His curse is only lifted after he destroys the portrait with a knife.
Cleansing and destroying a voodoo doll. Black magic practitioners often use voodoo dolls to inflict harm on real people. To break a voodoo doll curse, the victim should ideally obtain the doll, cleanse it in holy water to break the magical connection to the victim, and then incinerate it.
The needle of Koschei the Deathless. In Russian folklore, Koschei is an evil immortal being that cannot be harmed or killed, because his “soul” has been transformed into a needle, that is then hidden in a needle, which is in an egg, which is in a duck, which is in a hare, which is in an iron chest, which is buried under a green oak tree, which is on a far away island. Thus, only by recovering and destroying this needle can Koschei be defeated.
Running a knife on a cursed sigil. In the case of modern pagan witchcraft, one way to lay a curse on someone is by carving or drawing an evil sigil on a victim’s object. This can be their car, home, clothes etc. In this case, the best way to break the curse is by “unwinding” it by running a knife on the sigil in the opposite way it was created.
Wear protection amulets
The magical powers of curses are strong but not unbeatable. In fact, the negative effects of many curses can be nullified by simply wearing a protection amulet.
Every culture and religion has its own specific protection amulet, usually connected to the supreme or warrior deity.
Cross and Crucifix
In Christian tradition, both the cross and crucifix can function as protection amulets, since they depict the sacrifice of Jesus, considered a moment when good defeated evil. On top of this, both crosses and crucifix are believed to contain Jesus’s love and holiness, which acts as a shield against evil spirits, demonic forces, and curses.
Originating from the Middle East and North Africa, the Hamsa Hand is a palm-shaped amulet featuring an eye in the center. It’s believed to protect against the “Evil Eye,” a curse cast by a malevolent glare.
Thor wielded Mjölnir in his wars against the Jotun giants, who in Norse mythology were personifications of the destructive side of nature but also chaos in general.
Thus, Thor and Mjölnir functioned as symbols of creating order out of chaos and defense against adversity.
Dara Celtic Shield Knot
The Dara knot is a type of Celtic knot that is shaped like a shield. The endless loops represent the interconnectedness of life and eternity. The Dara Celtic shield knot is often used as a symbol of protection against evil spirits, negative energies, or curses, based on the idea that the interconnected loops trap and neutralize these forces.
The Nazar is an eye-shaped amulet, usually made of blue and white glass. The Nazar protects against the “Evil Eye”, an evil malevolent stare that is believed to bring bad luck, negative energies or inflict curses.
Because of its eye shape, the Nazar amulet “stares back” at the Evil Eye, reflecting the malevolent energies back onto the person giving it.
Use protection runes and sigils
If one doesn’t want to wear protection amulets, then another option is to draw or carve protection runes or sigils on one’s home, such as on walls or doors.
If that is out of the question, then another option is to draw these sigils on everyday objects, such as bags, phone cases, etc.
Similar to protection amulets, many cultures contain various graphical symbols that can protect against evil spirits, negative energies, or curses.
A five-pointed star enclosed within a circle, with each point representing the elements (earth, air, fire, and water) and spirit. It is a symbol of protection, spiritual balance, and the interconnectedness of the natural world.
The Algiz rune, also known as Elhaz (meaning elk) or the “Z-rune,” is one of the letters found in the Older Futhark runic alphabet, a system of writing that is even older than the Norse runes more people are familiar with.
If the fingers were pointed up, the rune was a “life” symbol. When used as a life symbol, the Algiz rune was carved on weapons, shields, and armor as a talisman for victory and good luck, in the sense that “my life will not end here”.
Sigil of Archangel Michael
A complex design incorporating various symbols that are associated with Archangel Michael, the angel of protection in Christian and Jewish traditions. One can either wear this sigil as an amulet or draw it on an object. In either case, this sigil will create a connection to the Archangel Michael, thus protecting the wearer from malevolent spirits, curses, or negative energies.
In most religions, prayers and sacrifices to the supreme divinity are often enough to break a curse.
In Greek mythology, for example, the god Dionysus famously rewarded King Midas with the power to transform everything he touched into gold.
However, Midas soon realized that his blessing was more of a curse since even the food he touched became gold. Midas then prayed to Dionysus to be free from this curse. The god agreed and instructed Midas to wash his hands in the river Pactolus to remove the curse.
In another tale, the god Poseidon cursed the hero Odysseus to wander the oceans for 10 years for disrespecting him. Odysseus only lifted the curse after offering proper prayer and sacrifice to the angry sea god.
For Christians, prayers such as “Hail Mary” or “My Father Who Art in Heaven” can break most curses.
These prayers function as verbal protection talismans, and whenever recited, they will cast away the evil energies surrounding a person. Sometimes a curse may require multiple recitations. If the curse afflicts a house, it might be necessary to recite the prayer in every room and hallway.
Stronger curses or demonic possessions can only be lifted with exorcisms. An exorcism is a set of religious rituals and prayers performed by Christian priests as a way to get rid of a demonic presence.
Technically, an exorcism can be performed by any person (even the possessed one!).
However, an exorcism is most effective if performed by a priest who understands the full meaning of all the prayers and rituals involved and has a firm connection to God.
Consult a white witch to remove the curse
A magical practitioner can not only inflict curses, but they can also lift them.
It is for this reason that magic can be divided into “black magic”, which inflicts curses and harmful spells, and “white magic” that can heal, bless and remove negative energies surrounding a person.
Most magical practitioners dabble in both types of magic, meaning that any person with a firm grasp of magic can lift a curse. That being said, a white witch or white magician who specializes in white magic would be a better choice.
The problem, of course, is that finding an actual magic practitioner is easier said than done.
Outsmarting the one who cursed you
A common way a person can become cursed is through a contract with a supernatural force, such as a demon, fairy, or even deity.
Thus, the person obtains some sort of supernatural power, typically (but not always) in exchange for their soul.
Like with any contract, however, it is possible to wiggle out of the Terms and Agreements through subtle loopholes or trickery.
The Story of Rumpelstiltskin
In the fairy tale “Rumpelstiltskin,” a miller’s daughter is locked in a room by the king and told to spin straw into gold, or else face death.
She is aided by a mysterious imp, Rumpelstiltskin, who performs the task for her in exchange for her firstborn child.
The curse-like situation is lifted when Rumpelstiltskin offers her a way out: she can keep her child if she guesses his name.
After some investigation, she learns his name and says it aloud, causing Rumpelstiltskin to become so enraged that he destroys himself, thereby lifting the curse.
The Carpenter and the Shape-Shifting Demon
A carpenter’s workshop was cursed by a demon who was envious of his craftsmanship. Every object the carpenter made would transform into ugly shapes that were impossible to use.
Upset, the carpenter challenged the demon to a shape-shifting contest to lift the curse.
The demon transformed into a lion, and the carpenter transformed his work into a cage.
Then the demon turned into a bird, and the carpenter transformed his work into a birdcage.
Finally, the demon turned into water, thinking he had won. The carpenter then transformed the birdcage into a wooden bucket and trapped the demon inside it.
Stuck in his own watery form, the demon had to concede defeat and lift the curse from the carpenter’s workshop.
The Trickster Sisyphus. The tale of Sisyphus rolling a boulder up and down a hill is quite famous, although the story of how he ended up in this situation is much more interesting.
According to the story, Zeus initially cursed Sisyphus to be imprisoned forever in Tartarus. Sisyphus however, had other plans and asked Thanatos, the god of Death, to demonstrate how the chains worked.
Seizing his chance, Sisyphus then imprisoned Thanatos in his stead. What followed was a long period where Sisyphus was not only free, but everyone on Earth had stopped dying.
- Mythology of All Races by Louis Herbert Gray and John Arnott MacCulloch
- The History Of Witchcraft And Demonology by Montague Summers
- Man, Myth & Magic The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Mythology by Richard Cavendish
- Demons and elementals by John Gatehouse
- The Lesser Key of Solom
- The Key of Solomon
- The Kybalion by Three Initiates
- The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall
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