"Last night, while under the influence, my son confided to me that when he was 13 he was given much alcohol and marijuana on a regular basis by one of his friend's mothers. He learned over time that she was a witch and a very dangerous woman. She had a reputation for evil. One of the things she did was set fire to a barn full of valuable thoroughbred horses killing them all and destroying a hundred year old farm. She blamed all of this on her son who was 13 at the time. Over the years, she has lost her two sons to 'accidents' and ruined her husband's mind and soul as well as several of her son's friends who were the cause of the accidents. I never knew this woman was influencing my son as he had many friends and was very involved and busy in sports. I am just now learning after 20 years just what impact she's had on my family. I understand thoughts of her and past experiences still terrify my son. He confided to me that he's been depending on drink for 20 years now. I never realized these things were going on because unfortunately most of it happened on overnight stays at other kid's homes where they would go over to her house for fun.
"He said that she was always putting curses on them as a joke and they were to young and stupid to realize the seriousness of it. " . . . I believe my son needs a release from any curses put on him and a healing from the residual damage."
Unfortunately, we receive letters like this all the time from people whose lives have been impacted by a suspected curse in one way or another - and it's never pretty.
Are curses for real? How do we get them? What should we do if we suspect that a curse has been put on us? And what can we do to protect ourselves against them?
In the next two blogs, I will attempt to answer these questions.
The only true experts on the nature of curses are exorcists who deal with the reality of curses every day. In the recently published book, The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, an American priest full of doubts about the whole process spent months apprenticing with an exorcist in Rome who treated hundreds of people who were suffering from curses in one way or another.
Apparently, curses come in a wide variety. For instance, as Father Gabriele Amorth explains in his book, An Exorcist Tells His Story, some curses are called "illness" and are used to make someone sick. Another type of curse is called "divisive" because it's meant to divide people such as spouses or families. Death curses are called "destruction" because they destroy the recipient. Father Amorth says that almost always, when one of these curses is particularly powerful, "it also includes diabolical oppression, or even possession."
Exorcism is necessary to break these curses.
Most people believe all curses come from spells and witchcraft, but there are actually four different types of curses that can be invoked in different ways:
1. Curses imposed through the use of black magic, witchcraft or satanic rites that culminate with black masses are considered to be the most powerful. "Their common characteristic is to obtain a curse against a specific person through magic formulas or rituals - at times very complex - by invoking the demon . . ." explains Father Amorth.
2. Curses that are spoken between people who have a blood relationship with one another are particular damaging. For instance, in one case, a father who did not want a child wished evil upon his newborn son and continued to do so as long as the boy lived at home. As he grew up, the boy suffered every kind of ill fortune in life - poor health, chronic unemployment, a difficult marriage, sickly children. The exorcism helped him spiritually, but nothing more. His life remained a train wreck.
3. The spell (also known as malefice or hex) is another means and is the most common way that a curse is imposed. The name malefice is Latin for male factus which means to do evil, and involves creating an object out of certain materials such as burned powders, animal bones, herbs, etc. that symbolize the will to harm. These are offered to Satan to be imprinted with his powers.
A spell can be cast directly, such as by mixing the object used for the spell into the victim's food or drink. People who are afflicted with a curse in this way often have a characteristic stomach ache with which exorcists are very familiar. A spell can be imposed indirectly by hexing objects that belong to the target such as photographs, clothes, or dolls that represent the person. In the latter case, pins are thrust into the doll in various locations causing victims to suffer from intense headaches, stomach aches, etc.
4. The evil eye is a spell cast just by looking at someone with evil intention. This blog gets into more detail about the evil eye - which is not just someone who looks at a person the wrong way. "The evil eye is a true spell," Father Amorth writes. "In other words, it presupposes the will to harm a predetermined person with the intervention of demons."
The good news is that authentic curses are not as common as we might think.
"Curses are often unsuccessful for many reasons, for instance, because God does not allow the evil, or the intended victim is a person of deep prayer and union with God," Father Amorth explains.
"Additionally, many sorcerers are inexperienced or unable to follow through; others are simply swindlers; or the devil himself, 'liar from the beginning', as the Gospel brands him, fools his own servants. It would be a most grave error to live in fear of falling victim to a hex."
Monday's blog will give helpful information for those who suspect they are victims of curses, and offer advice on how to protect oneself against a curse.