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A curse (also called execration) is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to some other entity -- one or more persons, a place, or an object. In particular, "curse" may refer to a wish that harm or hurt will be inflicted by any supernatural power, such as a spell, a prayer, an imprecation, an execration, magic, witchcraft, a god, a natural force, or a spirit. In many belief systems, the curse itself (or accompanying ritual) is considered to have some causative force in the result.

The word "curse" may also refer to the resulting adversity, e.g., "the curse of Eve" (menstruation).[1]

The study of the forms of curses comprise a significant proportion of the study of both folk religion and folklore. The deliberate attempt to levy curses is often part of the practice of magic. In Hindu culture the Fakir is believed to have the power to bless and curse[citation needed].

Special names for specific types of curses can be found in various cultures:

  • African American voodoo presents us with the jinx/Haitians and crossed conditions, as well as a form of foot track magic, whereby cursed objects are laid in the paths of victims and activated when walked over.
  • Middle Eastern and Mediterranean culture is the source of the belief in the evil eye, which may be the result of envy but, more rarely, is said to be the result of a deliberate curse. In order to be protected from the evil eye, a protection item is made from dark blue circular glass, with a circle of white around the black dot in the middle, which is reminiscent of a human eye. The size of the protective eye item may vary.
  • German people, including the Pennsylvania Dutch speak in terms of hexing (from the German word for witchcraft), and a common hex in days past was that laid by a stable-witch who caused milk cows to go dry and horses to go lame.

Contents

Cursed places

Certain landmarks or locales are said to be cursed. Babinda's Boulders, Babinda township, near Cairns, Queensland on Australia's mid-north coast, is a place known for the Devil's Pool, a group of waterholes known to be dangerous to young male travellers, but never claiming the lives of locals or females. There is some dispute about the dangers, that the geography of the place is naturally risky with the rocks and fast moving currents – yet an Aboriginal legend exists giving it the context of a historic curse.[2]

Curse to the United States presidency

Tecumseh's curse was reputed to cause the deaths in office of Presidents of the United States elected in years divisible by 20, beginning in 1840. This alleged curse appears to have fallen dormant, since Ronald Reagan, (elected in 1980) survived an assassination attempt and George W. Bush (elected in 2000) survived his eight-year presidency.

Sports-related curses

A number of curses are used to explain the failures or misfortunes of specific sports teams, players, or even cities. For example:

The Curse of 27

The Curse of 27 is the belief that 27 is an unlucky number due to the number of famous musicians and entertainers who have died at the age. Robert Johnson, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Janis Joplin, Jonathan Brandis and Kurt Cobain are all believed to have been affected by the curse of 27.

Cursed objects

Cursed objects are generally supposed to have been stolen from their rightful owners or looted from a sanctuary. The Hope Diamond is supposed to bear such a curse, and bring misfortune to its owner. The stories behind why these items are cursed vary, but they usually are said to bring bad luck or to manifest unusual phenomena related to their presence.

Egyptian curses and mummies

Limestone donation-stele from Mendes, 3rd Intermediate Period, Dynasty XXII. The inscription celebrates a donation of land to an Egyptian temple, and places a curse on anyone who would misuse or appropriate the land.

There is a broad popular belief in curses being associated with the violation of the tombs of mummified corpses, or of the mummies themselves. The idea became so widespread as to become a pop-culture mainstay, especially in horror films (though originally the curse was invisible, a series of mysterious deaths, rather than the walking-dead mummies of later fiction). The "Curse of the Pharaohs" is supposed to have haunted the archaeologists who excavated the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, whereby an imprecation was supposedly pronounced from the grave by the ancient Egyptian priests, on anyone who violated its precincts. Similar dubious suspicions have surrounded the excavation and examination of the (natural, not embalmed) Alpine mummy, "Ötzi the Iceman". While such curses are generally considered to have been popularized and sensationalized by British journalists of the 19th century, ancient Egyptians were in fact known to place curse inscriptions on markers protecting temple or tomb goods or property.

Curses in politics

In Israel

In modern Israel, the Pulsa diNura (a controversial Kabbalistic prayer taken to request God to block any further forgiveness of sin for an individual, causing death or some long-term misfortune to shut the individual from functioning in society) has allegedly been used against politicians by religious conservative opponents: one was claimed to have been used against Yitzhak Rabin one month prior to his 1995 assassination, and another was reportedly performed against Ariel Sharon six months prior to a catastrophic 2006 stroke that placed him into a persistent vegetative state.

In the United States

In the United States, California Baptist pastor Wiley Drake achieved notoriety for boasting that he had prayed for the death of current president Barack Obama; he had previously used such prayers against employees of the Internal Revenue Service,[5] Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and George Tiller; while serving as a party for the plaintiff in a 2009 case regarding Obama's citizenship, he later retracted his prayer, and called for other Christians to abstain from similar action "until [Barack Obama] can be tried for treason"[6].

Similar prayers requesting a divinely-sanctioned death for Obama were publicly pronounced by Tempe, Arizona Baptist pastor Steven L. Anderson and LaPorte, Colorado Baptist pastor Pete Peters.

See also

References

  • The Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.
  • Curse tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World by John G. Gager ISBN 0-19-506226-4
  • Maledicta: The International Journal of Verbal Aggression ISSN US 0363-3659
  • Supernatural Hawaii by Margaret Stone. Copyright 1979 by Aloha Graphics and Sales. ISBN 0-941351-03-3
  • The Secret Obake Casebook Tales from the Darkside of the Cabinet by Glen Grant. Copyright 1997 by Glen Grant. ISBN 1-56647-183-4

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Up to date as of January 22, 2010

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki


denounced by God against the serpent (Gen 3:14), and against Cain (4:11). These divine maledictions carried their effect with them. Prophetical curses were sometimes pronounced by holy men (Gen 9:25; 49:7; Deut 27:15; Josh 6:26). Such curses are not the consequence of passion or revenge, they are predictions.

No one on pain of death shall curse father or mother (Ex 21:17), nor the prince of his people (22:28), nor the deaf (Lev 19:14). Cursing God or blaspheming was punishable by death (Lev 24:10-16). The words "curse God and die" (R.V., "renounce God and die"), used by Job's wife (Job 2:9), have been variously interpreted. Perhaps they simply mean that as nothing but death was expected, God would by this cursing at once interpose and destroy Job, and so put an end to his sufferings.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

This article is about the mystical curse. For other uses, see Profanity

A curse is a word which threatens the other person to have bad luck. Nobody knows if it really works or become true. Some people believe in them even so, that they become true by magic. For example, for fairy tales, the princes are cursed to become a beast or a frog (i.e. frog prince) by witches because of their bad behaviours. But in the end a princess saves them.

There's also something called a "curse tablet" which most Romans used to curse people they did not like. They would often let them drift to the river so that the curse will be carried to where that person who has the curse. But many curses are made when people are jealous and they want that person who has the curse to not do well.

The opposite of a curse is a blessing.

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