So I have had someone curse me. At least I think I have. It’s a long story and I don’t think the terror of the atmosphere comes across well in the retelling, so I won’t recount it here, but terrified I was. Basically, I felt quite certain that a stranger had directed focused negative energy at me because I did not do something he wanted me to do, and I physically felt this energy enter my body.
Although this encounter was only a few minutes in duration, afterwards I felt very frightened - short of breath, tense, and tingling all over. It didn’t help that it was nighttime and I was in a small, unfamilar town, very far away from home. I was with my husband, but he could not calm or reassure me, so convinced was I that black magic had occurred. This was a number of years ago, before I started practising magic of my own, but it’s interesting to me that I already had a strong enough belief in the existence of magic to be scared of it. I think I have always had a stronger-than-normal connection to the subtle realities - I believe this trait is what attracts people to paganism.
Anyhow, I felt the aftereffects of this experience for quite a long time afterwards, and went through a number of stages in interpreting what had happened. At first, I was convinced that unless I could personally convince this stranger to recant the curse, I would suffer terribly. I imagined all sorts of horrible fates, from brain tumours to the death of my firstborn child. I had completely given over my power to this person, and it was terrifying. I even expected my cats to be afraid of me when I got home, as if they could sense the shard of evil that had been thrust into my soul. But at the same time, part of my brain started to look at things a little more objectively. This incident occurred near the end of a very long and stressful road trip and music tour, which I never really wanted to go on in the first place, and during which I was constantly sleep deprived and usually totally stressed out. I wondered if I had created this terrifying experience because my body needed an out, an excuse to completely lose it and release this buildup of extreme tension.
After being back home for a while and still feeling strong anxiety, I sought the help of a naturopath whom my friend recommended. Dr. W was a very “talky” naturopath, her sessions feeling more like a visit to the therapist, except that she would give me homeopathic remedies at the end. She talked me through the experience, which invariably led to talking about other things that were going on in my life, and it was pretty interesting to see the connections. I began to realize how unusual it was that I felt like I deserved this curse I felt had been laid upon me. Because I had not given this stranger what he wanted, I thought he was perfectly justified in harming me, and I cursed myself for not just giving in to his wishes. Hmmmm, bit of a life pattern?
I started to see that there is always both negative and positive energy being directed at us - usually not in the concentrated form of either a curse or a blessing - but constant low intensity beams. We only let in what we think we deserve, either good or bad - this goes for compliments as well as criticisms. Besides, the number of times I had been intentionally blessed clearly outweighed this one curse, so why didn’t I take the blessings as seriously?
Three or four visits to Dr. W later, I felt a lot better, and then suddenly I felt a lot worse. The anxiety came back full force and I could not keep it at bay. Luckily this happened right around the time of my next visit, and I showed up to her office clearly upset. We talked for a while, but I just kept getting more agitated. Finally she pointed to her massage table and asked me to get on. This was new! She started doing reiki on me. My eyes were closed, but I think she started down around my hips or belly and slowly moved up my torso. I started to feel this pressure or energy building around my throat. It grew stonger and I struggled against it, not sure what to do. Dr. W noticed what was going on and quietly told me to let it out. I started to yell really loud. Not a scream, but a solid mid-range toning that felt really good. It felt like I was finally coming to my own defence and saying “NO” to whoever it was, whatever it was that was attacking me - even if it was myself.
I felt much better after that, even though I sometimes still feel scared or paranoid about what may or may not have happened. I usually consider myself a strong woman, but this experience sensitized me to the thousand little ways I injure myself by allowing negativity - inner or outer - to penetrate me. I also see this trait in family members and see how and where I might have learned to do so, how it can get passed down through generations. I think this gets at the essence of magic for me: developing an ever stronger relationship with our own will so that we can deeply decide what to keep in and what to keep out - and also to be in control of what we project! And even though I may forget sometimes, I now truly believe that no one can hurt us unless we allow it on some level. And if we stumble, as is our wont, and do get hurt, I believe that healing is always available to us, that we can lay down the burden of our curses if we choose to.