hi mary-

in one of the groups I am in a lot of the members say that you can only be cursed if you believe in curses. And if you believe in them you just have to stop believing in them and it will go away. I hear the same thing about spirits too. That if you just imagine a white light and you don’t believe in evil spirits that they cannot harm you. What are your thoughts on this? Claudia

Hi Claudia-

This is actually a really common question. It is a common dominant surface belief (meaning a belief that many people hold without questioning and without any direct experience otherwise). The truth is that people would never accept the actual answer to this- which is that yes, you can be cursed even if you don’t believe in it, and there are all sorts of spirits and energies out there that don’t really care about your personally held belief systems… And positive thinking will (most likely) not stop them. Or white light. Or violet light (or whatever the trend is these days).

People love to feel like they are in control of everything. I cannot tell you how many times that someone has said something to the extent of: ” If you do not believe in curses (insert word- Hoodoo, Voodou, bad energy, evil spirits/demons, magic, etc) that you cannot be affected by them”. This makes people feel in control, and to be quite honest about the subject, not have to learn actual skills, nor have much talent, or have to do research about other religions, energies, and so forth because everything can be solved by positive thinking, burying your head in the sand, sage, and white/purple light. This sort of thinking encourages and allows for people to remain asleep… maintaining their surface-level understandings. Because to go any deeper they will have to surrender feelings of control and safety- both of which are frightening things. We love control, and to think that we know everything in the universe. It is simply too frightening for people to admit or even to recognize that there are spiritual forces and practitioners out there that are out of their control or conscious will. 

Especially in spiritual circles… it is typically the person with the least amount of understanding that has the most “answers” and holds the most rigid of cosmologies. Real spiritual workers know that you would need a reading or divination to look into your situation and do not freely give out their impressions or “solutions” to your issues on the internet. Spiritual work is complex and requires a great deal of know-how, and frequently individualized answers and healing. Sage, white light, and sticking your head in the proverbial sand or imagining your issues going away only take you so far. You wouldn’t expect a real, powerful, and knowledgable psychiatrist to give you a diagnosis or psychotherapy over the internet. The same is true for spiritual workers that are worthwhile.

The truth is that we are not as in control as we would like to believe we are. We can do a lot of good taking personal responsibility for our lives, but there are some things much bigger than us and people way more powerful than us. There are things outside of our control, there are things separate from us and our belief systems. And yes, these things can screw with us… and our lives.

The other rather significant thing to bring up is that unless you are immersed in cultures where curses are more commonplace, spiritual systems, witchcraft, folk practices, or magic(k) at a rather intermediate/deep level (and most people, even most practitioners, are at a fairly surface level) that you are likely to never have to worry about someone cursing you. And if you are cursed, unless you know about curses, you are likely to just think that your life has simply been terrible since a certain point in time (or has always if it is ancestral) without questioning if it comes from spiritual causes. I also can say that many people who contact me thinking that they are cursed, or are dealing with an evil spirit are not. They are dealing with something else- trauma, ancestral patterns, a former human spirit, bad life choices, etc. These things can all be worked with spiritually by the way, but when someone is actually cursed or dealing with actual evil/negative spirit it is very clear to someone like me that that is what is going on. Check out this for more on curses.

Let us look at this as pragmatically as we can. I say that I do not believe that an elephant can hurt me. Yet one is galloping towards me. I can choose to not pay attention or maintain my belief that an elephant could not hurt me (and very likely be trampled), or I could call out for help from a friend or practitioner who has no real experience with elephants and maintains the same belief that if I think really hard and believe that elephants cannot hurt me and imagine white light or sage the area so that the elephant will go away (or my favorite when practitioners say that they do not need to know anything about elephants to work with them because their “guides” will tell them what to do)… or I could go get an experienced elephant trainer- someone who understands elephants, what they are, their behaviors, and most importantly how to divert them from my path.

And to take this a step further… There are not that many practitioners with the power and know-how to pull off significant curses- meaning curses with devastating impact. Curses require reason (as in the practitioner will have a reason for cursing you… and the more power and know-how the practitioner has honestly the less likely they are to randomly curse people because they have better things to do with their lives), and many curses require tending (watching over and building up energy over time). There are death curses out there- but how many practitioners know about them? And what are the chances that they will direct such a curse against you?

Another great spiritual truth is that you are not that important, none of us are, and if you do not go around pissing people off and live your life treating people with basic compassion and fairness the less likely you are to have negative energy, negative thoughts, or curses coming your way. You are likely not worth the 20 minutes to few hours of time as well as the spiritual resources and cleanup time it would require to be cursed, typically. Yes, there are less significant curses, and they do have impact, but again… If you are not upsetting anyone why would they take time out of their schedule, however momentary, to curse you?

So yes, curses are real, magic(k) is real, and there are some spiritual practitioners and practices that can really mess someone up without their consent, without their belief in it, and without their knowledge. If you are in this situation, please do not go to a practitioner who believes you just have to think positive or imagine a white light to get rid of it. Find someone who specializes in the work at a rather deep level (this typically means they have studied with other spiritual paths and practitioners and are not “core” shamans… Look for someone deeply immersed in Hoodoo/Rootwork or Conjure, Voodoo/Vodou, Witchcraft, Magic(k) of some sort, Curanderism, or Folk practitioners of spiritual systems where curses and curse removals are part of their culture to help you). These practitioners will do a divination, or reading, to see if you are cursed, where the curse is coming from, and if they are the right person to help you.

I do readings as well as sessions for curse removal including instructions for spiritual bathing. If you feel you have been cursed, or your life has derailed since a specific point in time or your family has a long history of bad luck, it is worth it to have a reading to see if a curse may be a factor. You may contact me with interest.

P.S. – It is always worth a mention that some “Gypsy” readers, rootworkers, and other spiritual practitioners say that you are cursed and they are the only one who can remove it, typically for thousands of dollars. They will try to scare you about being cursed, and what devastating things will happen because of it. While good advice and help should cost money, trust your intuition as to unethical practitioners who are telling you that you are cursed so they can “cure” you.

I am catching up with my Spiritual Advice Column over the next few weeks. So if you have a question for me, you can contact me. Please put Spiritual Advice in the headline. Understand that I am not a medical doctor and my thoughts/rantings/advice are for general purposes (meaning that you may need an individual consultation to figure out what is uniquely going on with you), I reserve the right to edit for clarity, and I will choose emails that I personally resonate with to answer.