A collection of ConjureMan Ali's thoughts about magic, the occult, and spirituality.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Uncrossing and Curse Removal

In the previous post I disucussed some points about curses, so in this we'll discuss the act of removing those curses.

Almost every magical tradition deals with the removal of negative conditions, curses, and other malefic magicks.  Folk magic in particular pays a great deal of attention to the idea of curses and how to remove them. In traditions like conjure/hoodoo, the idea of removing crossed conditions is integrally tied to the role of the conjure doctor who acts as a spiritual physician who diagnosis the magical ailment then proceeds to treat and undo the damage.

In conjure, this process is done in a series of steps. The client seeks out a two-headed doctor (interpreted differently by different people, but it generally means someone who is skilled at reading and conjuring, or someone who knows how to cure and harm), who then through magical means diagnosis what is wrong with the client. This diagnosis is the most important step in the entire uncrossing, or curse-removal process. With this insight the spiritual practitioner as able to to determine what needs to be specifically done. From there a series of rites are undertaken with the specific purpose of cleansing the client and restoring them to their natural state. This latter points to a purview that views healing not as a process like surgery, but rather a holistic approach that aims at returning things to their natural state of health and well-being.

Depending on what was done to the client, the conjurer will approach this work differently. If crossing powders were laid out for the client, then a footwash may be performed. If candles were lit on the clients photo then a spiritual bath in conjunction with a candle rite might be enacted. Or if a spirit of the dead was attached to the victim, then the conjure doctor may perform a cleansing rite that involves banishing, removing, and sealing a person and home.

What is essential is determining what exactly was done. This element is the same in spiritual practitioners world-wide. While there are instances where general cleansings and basic rites of curse-removal are given out, the professional who works in the spiritual field more often than not approaches the situation from the grounds of insight rather than going in blind.

This gives us a rather clear view of how uncrossing is done in African American conjure traditions, however an interesting question was brought up by Michael C., a prominant grimoire magician and blogger; can a curse or crossing from one tradition be dealt with by a system of magic other than the one that was used to enact the maelific work?

The answer is yes. However what I've personally found is that working with the system that brought about the curse to also remove it is highly effective. In my opinion, this has nothing to do with the power of the system, but rather the approach. As I detailed in the outline of how a conjure doctor removes crossed conditions, the key is using insight to discover the cause of the condition and then treating it accordingly.

By understanding the nature of the curse we understand how to deal with it, by understanding what is being effected, we can provide the proper remedy. To illustrate this point, consider: a doctor may perscribe asprin for a headache, but if that headache was caused by the ingesting of a poison then a different medication would be needed to treat the *cause* of the symptom.

In order to deal with curses from other magical systems it is important to understand what exactly was done to that person. With that insight the approach can be tailored to properly remove the malady.

For example, for those suffering from the powers of a gaze, like the evil eye, an apotropaic talisman can be fashioned. For someone who has been cursed by sending a spirit after them an exorcism can be performed. And for those who are suffering from contagion magic a rite can be crafted using magica materia.

I'll give an example. Roughly a year and a half ago I had a client who has been badly crossed up by Palero who has created a bilongo that was then buried at his house. As a conjure doctor I usually approach such cases by locating the object and working with it to undo and reverse the curse. Unfortunately the client had been forced to move across the country and it had been years that he was suffering from the effects of the curse.

My ancestors indicated that I needed to appraoch the case with my skills as a grimoire mage rather than a conjure doctor. So, I created a wash under the guidance of Michael who I invoked to help break the curse by consecrating the wash. I had the client bathe in the wash to remove any ties to the curse sent by the Palero, then anointed them with Holy Oil.

I fashioned a talisman with the seal of the Sun to help set things right in the clients life and performed an evocation of a chthonic spirit to send back the mess right to the Palero.

The work was extremely effective and the client who had suffered from ill-health, terrible night terrors, and worse had his life completely turn around. The combination of working with angelic and planetary to cleanse along with the chthonic to exact a reversal worked well.

Knowing that a bilongo was made using magica materia, personal concerns, and then buried so as to infect the client, the work I did targeted these issues. They cleansed away the mess that was put on him through phsysical contact with a physical bath. It brought in the proper energies and spirits into his life to settle down the turbulence and chaos, then finally worked with a chthonic power to match that of the Palero's necromancy and send it all hurtling back.

They key is tailoring your approach to address the underlying causes, just like any good doctor.


Unknown said...

Fantastic post, Frater! Very informative, and I think the cross-cultural work you mention is right on. It doesn't need to be the same system to uncross, but it sure does help.

Your multi-layered treatment of your client...wonderful. You should be teaching this stuff, brother, if you aren't already.

ConjureMan Ali said...

Thank you kindly, Frater! It is much appreciated.

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