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Hexing Cursing and Malediction in Irish Tradition

by By Socarie

Curses in Ireland come from the usual roots, folk magic and charms, mythology, and religion (the good versus evil model is simple and always popular) with famous examples of spell curses in folklore (eg the spell placed on Etain that turned her into various animals or the curse placed on the children of Lir.) These qualify as curses because they are malicious, inflict hardship on the victim, and are contingent on a set of extreme circumstances before they can be lifted. Every country area and every town has its own peculiar curses, ways of accidentally (by falling over a rath or fairy fort, or standing on a famine grave) attracting a curse or deliberately inflicting one. Thus far Ireland is like any other country, but our Filiocht (poets) bequeathed to us another rich magical strain, one which contains the rules for just and unjust curses.

The Filiocht, and their tradition of Satire: Anyone in any doubt as to our ancestors’ attitudes towards hexing and maledictions should take a cursory glance through the Celtic annals and literature: far from eschewing the so-called “darker” side they were only too ready to whip out a curse and fire off a “backward blessing”. The roots of revenge or malicious magic in Ireland is both ancient and surprisingly well chronicled and provides quite an insight into several aspects of ancient Irish life – including the fact that human beings haven’t changed very much over the years! Among the ancient Irish malicious magic had its roots in the power of words. like the Heka of Egypt, the magic of the spoken word was intrinsic to ancient Irish magical traditions, and like the Egyptian model it was heavily linked to the idea of truth and honour.

Read the original article at: Traditional Irish Witchcraft

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