Execrations and Curses: Can you perform them? What are the ethics behind them, if any? How and when can you perform them?
For this round of the Kemetic Round Table, we are discussing the nuances of casting curses and utilizing execrations. Curses are a sticky subject amongst certain groups of the Pagan umbrella due to perceived ethical implications of performing magic with the intent of harming someone, and since execrations are very similar, we lumped them together for this post.
In short, the answer is yes, you can perform curses and execrations (as not to be redundant, I recommend looking at this post for execration basics). It was not uncommon for the ancient Egyptians to perform execrations daily (by priests in temples and by laity) and we’ve got records of curses and other hexes being performed as well.
The ethics doing such is less than clear, and I personally believe that the ethical implications of what you are and are not willing to perform or do in regards to magix is a completely personal thing. Much like morality in general, I don’t think that it is a topic that anyone but yourself can truly dictate for yourself. In antiquity, it seems that many people were okay with doing all sorts of curses and love spells and other “questionable” magical acts in order to get what they wanted. I touched on this briefly in my last KRT post about threatening and bribing gods. The ethics of what was okay magically then doesn’t necessarily reflect how many Kemetics feel about ethics now. You can look to the past as an indication of what is okay and what isn’t, but I think that you have to consider that times change and our ethical systems can change with it.
Basically: You have to sleep with yourself at night. If you’re uncomfortable performing any particular type of magix, you probably shouldn’t perform it until you feel secure in what you are doing. Being unsure about your magical acts will only serve to weaken your magix.
I personally try not to sling curses left and right, but I’m not above cursing in the least. I tend to execrate and bind things before I curse them. But again, my ethics are not your ethics. I can’t hold you to my ethical standards, nor should I.
The logistics of when and where you should perform such magix is also up to you. I perform execrations regularly because I feel that they help to keep me balanced and remove blockages before they get too large. Much like someone that cleanses regularly- I feel like execrations help to keep the metaphorical “ball” rolling in my life. I do perform larger, more elaborate execrations when I get the feeling that I should. And on occasion, one of the gods will tell me that I need to perform an execration- at which point I normally do.
Curses are less common for me. I usually only curse someone if I am completely and utterly fed up with a person, persons, or a situation. However, I do know of people who curse regularly, or at the drop of a hat. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. There is no right or wrong time to perform these acts. It is a matter of personal preference.
If you wish to get some ideas about what you can do with curses and execrations, here is a list of resources to get you started!
Magix and heka in antiquity:
- The Mechanics of AE Magical Practice: Ritner
- Magic in AE: Pinch
- Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts: Borghouts
Resources and examples for modern Execrations and Curses:
- Devo Magix: Execrations
- Shoe execrations
- Formal Execrations
- Spell ya Later
- Eternal Egypt
- A Tale of Two Magix
- Aggressive Spell Crafting
- Heka for everyone
To read the other entries for this topic, visit the master list here.