A few days ago someone landed on the blog via google, searching for Druid curses, and no doubt directed to Community Cursing. If there’s an interest, that’s as good a reason to write, as any.
I’ve been pondering curses in the Druid tradition. There’s Arianrhod who curses her son Lleu with the fate that he shall have no name and bear no arms unless she gives them, and marry no woman of mortal race. There’s also the issue of geas, the taboos and rules inflicted on some mythic figures, which are not unlike curses, except that they require certain things to be done, or not done, to avoid incurring fate. The consequences of getting it wrong are grim enough for this to arguably count, as a curse. These are features from the mediaeval Celtic, so they may tell us something about the ancient Celts, and then again, maybe not.
For modern Druids, honour is a key issue. At first glance, honour and honourable relationship just do not go with cursing. Curses tending to be angry, vengeful, harmful things. However, there are ways, and I think it goes like this.
The first requirement in honourable cursing is that there should be no harm done where none is deserved. Sending back harm that has been done, or malevolence, seems entirely legitimate to me. The second requirement is that the curse should be good for the recipient. They might not like it, but that’s a whole other issue. Where someone really merits a metaphysical clip round the ear, I think these are wholly satisfying, and honourable things to hit them with…
May they have meaningful learning experiences.
May they have opportunity to grow, develop, and become better people.
May they come to understand how others see them.
May they come to understand the consequences of their actions.
May they have opportunity to learn what this is like from the other side, and so become more rounded and compassionate people.
May they have back everything they have given out.
You can carry on in this vein for some time. What I like best about this kind of wishing, is that it doesn’t feed your own bitterness, it enables letting go.