Back in November I wrote What To Do When You Think You’ve Been Hexed. It begins with my rather strong opinion that effective hexes, curses, and psychic attacks are relatively rare. But they do happen, and when they do, we need to know what to do to break them. I listed steps to determine what’s wrong, what to do for first aid, how to break connections, and how to deal with more extreme curses.
But what if you need more than can fit into a blog post – more background, more methods, more ways to counteract baneful magic directed at you? For that, Diana Rajchel has a new book titled Hex Twisting: Countermagick Spells for the Irritated Witch. I read it over the holidays and found it to be a useful guide for dealing with these situations.
Rajchel begins by saying “cursing is becoming increasingly common.” I haven’t noticed that, but the emphasis of my practice and teaching is rather different from hers, so she’s in a better position to notice that before I would. What I have noticed is more people talking about cursing. And it stands to reason that if more people are talking about it, more people are doing it.
So long as jealousy and entitlement exist in the world, so will curses. Covetousness and rage are the fundamental emotional pulses upon which spiteful, rather than protective, hexing operates … No matter how kind you are and how cleanly you live, someone may try to send you some unhappiness.
Because of this, Rajchel says we should not be too quick to dismiss the possibility of a curse or hex. I’m inclined to agree. If you have reason to believe you may have been hexed (mainly due to “an inexplicable run of bad luck”), take the time to do a proper curse diagnosis. Hex Twisting devotes a full chapter to this process. While there is no PCR test for curses, there are numerous testing methods. If they’re all clear, you’re probably just having a run of bad luck (i.e. – random chance operating in ways that are unfavorable to you) that will clear up before too long. But if one or more of them hit, it’s time for countermeasures.
A catalogue of curse breaking techniques
That constitutes most of the rest of the book. It covers energy work, house cleansing, and protective magic – all in detailed recipe fashion. Even if you don’t know much about magic, you’ll be able follow the directions and do what you need to do. There’s a chapter on health protection and one on discovering who’s behind the hexes that are causing you trouble.
Chapter 9 has a rather unique title: “Hi, Here’s Your Butt Back – Hex Twisting of So-Called Irreversible Spells.” It begins with the proposition that any curse can be broken. A well-crafted, well-executed curse may take years to break, but it can be broken, because nothing in life is permanent. In my experience – which, to be clear, is much less in this area than Rajchel’s – breaking any curse rarely takes that much time. Recovering from its effects is another matter.
Is a curse not truly broken until you’re fully healed from it? That’s an interesting question to contemplate.
Demons and spirits, and the need for counterattacks
Chapter 10 “When Spirits Are Jerks” discusses what to do when someone sends a demon or other spirit to harass you. Demons are scary things (though mainly because we fear what we don’t understand, and the story of demons has been written by their enemies), but any spirit that can be commanded by one human can be countermanded by another human – if you know what you’re doing.
This chapter contains a section on faery hauntings. While what’s there is accurate and helpful, that section could be a book all its own. My advice is that if you think you’re being harassed by one of the Fair Folk, draw on resources specific to themselves.
The final two chapters deal with recovery from the physical, spiritual, and psychological effects of curses. Stopping the harm is the first and most important step, but then it’s time to begin healing – and to take the kind of protective measures that will keep the harm from happening again.
That may require more than protection – it may require counterattacks. If someone went to the trouble of cursing you once, they’re likely to do it again.
Angry sky rodents stop shenanigans far more effectively than wards that only block energy.
The final section of the book deals with a matter too many of us ignore: “Adversity Improves Witchcraft.” You can read books like this and learn a lot. But there is no teacher like necessity. Once you do the work to diagnose a curse, break it, and protect yourself against a recurrence (defensively or offensively), your magical skills will take a huge step forward.
Who should read this book?
Anyone who deals with magic or hangs around people who do can benefit from reading Hex Twisting. The book is very accessible for beginners. Even if you don’t know much about magic, you can follow the instructions and work the spells. If you’re an experienced witch you probably have your own curse breaking techniques, but there’s likely something in the book that will be new to you. There was for me.
The “love and light” crowd may have issues with the more aggressive countermeasures. But Rajchel makes it clear that “just be nice” only goes so far. Sooner or later you’re going to run into someone who means you harm. It’s best to be able to deal with them in an effective manner.
For those who care about such things, Llewellyn sent me a review copy of Hex Twisting. But my only obligations to Llewellyn are those dealing with my own books that they publish. If this book wasn’t worth your time and money I’d conveniently forget to review it. My honest opinion is that it’s a very good resource for dealing with curses and hexes.