A curse, or hex, is the willful direction of negative magic towards another person. Typically a curse or hex will develop slowly and gradually, increasing the individual's suffering over time. A Pagan or Wiccan who is adept at shielding and magical self-defense is far less likely to become a victim of a curse or hex.
Many magical traditions forbid cursing or hexing, but in some, it is perfectly acceptable. If you're not sure if this applies to you, be sure to read about magical ethics.
Also Known As: Smiting
Willow refused to direct a curse at the person who insulted her, because she was concerned about retribution.
Breaking a Curse or Hex -
History of Curses:
Many new Wiccans and Pagans are initiated with the cautionary words from their elders, "Ever mind the Rule of Three!" This warning is explained to mean that no matter what you do magically, there's a giant Cosmic Force that will make sure your deeds are revisited upon you threefold. It's universally guaranteed, some Pagans claim, which is why you better not EVER perform any harmful magic... or at least, that's what they tell you.
However, this is one of the most highly contested theories in modern Paganism. Is the Rule of Three real, or is it just something made up by experienced Wiccans to scare the "newbies" into submission?
There are several different schools of thought on the Rule of Three. Some Wiccans and Pagans will tell you in no uncertain terms that it's bunk, and that the Threefold Law is not a law at all, but just a guideline used to keep people on the straight and narrow. Other groups swear by it.
Background and Origins of the Threefold LawThe Rule of Three, also called the Law of Threefold Return, is a caveat given to newly initiated witches in some magical traditions, primarily NeoWiccanones. The purpose is a cautionary one. It keeps people who have just discovered Wicca from thinking they have Magical Super Powers. It also, if heeded, keeps folks from performing negative magic without putting some serious thought into the consequences.
*** Find out how Wicca witches can cure a bad temper on The Science Channel's "Ten Ways to Lift a Curse."
There's an old saying that if you ask any ten Wiccans about their religion, you'll get at least fifteen different answers. That's not far from the truth, because with nearly half a million Americans practicing Wicca today, there are hundreds of different Wiccan groups out there. There is no one governing body over Wicca, nor is there a "Bible" that lays down a universal set of guidelines. While specifics vary from one tradition to the next, there are actually a few ideals and beliefs common to nearly all modern Wiccan groups.
Do keep in mind that this article is primarily focused on Wiccan traditions, rather than on the principles of non-Wiccan Pagan belief systems. Not all Pagans are Wiccans, and not all Pagan traditions have the same set of principles as the core beliefs of modern Wicca.
Origins of Wicca:
Wicca as a religion was introduced by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. Gardner's tradition wasoathbound, initiatory, and secret. However, after a few years splinter groups began forming, and new traditions were formed. Today, many Wiccan groups owe their basic foundation to the principles laid out by Gardner. Wicca is not an ancient religion, but Gardner did incorporate some old esoteric knowledge into his original tradition, including Eastern mysticism, Kabballah, and British legend.
Who Is a Wiccan, and How Do You Find Them?:
Wiccans come from all walks of life. They are doctors and nurses, teachers and soccer moms, writers and firefighters, waitresses and computer programmers. In other words, anyone can be Wiccan, and people become Wiccan for many reasons. In fact, a recent study estimated nearly half a million Wiccans in the United States today - and frankly, that number seems inaccurately low. As to where to find them, that might take a bit of digging -- as a mystery religion that doesn't proselytize or actively recruit, it can sometimes be difficult to find a group in your area. Never fear, though -- the Wiccans are out there, and if you ask around enough, you'll bump into one eventually.