Is it ever okay to curse someone? If you took a poll in a multi-faith pagan group, you’d get many answers but most would cite some kind of “karmic law” as a warning. Most theistic pagans believe that curses are out of the question — with very few exceptions. So what do you think as an atheist witch? The following article will attempt to explain the concept of cursing, or “negative magic” as an atheist.

Most of us don’t believe in the western idea of “karma”
Most atheist witches don’t believe that a cosmic force is lying in wait to punish those who do bad, and bless those who do good. That entire idea sounds way too much like the idea of a vengeful god looking to punish those who commit “sins,” and it’s not really our style. We also generally don’t believe in any of the “harm none” or “threefold” nonsense espoused by many pagans.

Everyone defines “dark magic” differently, and every situation is different
Most can agree that curses are intended to cause harm on a target, but many pagans view a lot of different types of magic as “dark” and some have very rigid ideas on what constitutes a “curse” as well. Some pagans are so against the idea of cursing, that they won’t even curse someone who has terribly wronged them. How do you define a curse? Is your curse done out of malice, or are you seeking to get justice on someone who has harmed you or a loved one? With there being so many variables, each curse is different, because every situation is different. So it should go without saying that everyone should make their own moral judgments on what a “curse” really is, instead of relying too heavily on philosophical ideals and rules.

Not all of us even want to curse
Never mind the question on whether or not it’s okay to curse. The fact of the matter is that many of us don’t even want to curse or practice negative magic. We just don’t acknowledge any kind of karmic backlash in the event that we choose to do so. Atheist witches tend to practice self accountability, and most of us are just not malicious people. That’s not to say that there isn’t some nonbeliever witch out there spreading unnecessary malice, but in general, that’s not really our thing.

Again, that’s not to say that the option is completely off the table. An atheist with a thirst for justice after being wronged, totally has the right to do as he or she sees fit. Ultimately, every atheist witch has different morals and different magical needs, and the choice is up to each individual on whether or not it’s “okay” to curse.

If you choose to curse
Even though most of us don’t actively believe in the western idea of “karma,” a lot of us still believe that you shouldn’t disturb the balance of the energy in your life. If you’re someone who constantly puts out negativity, then eventually that’s all you’re going to attract in life. That idea can very easily be applied to witchcraft. Furthermore, even though we don’t believe in any threefold ideals, it’s always wise to acknowledge that every action has a reaction. That doesn’t at all mean the “universe” is going to punish you for committing an act of malice (or justice) against another person with your magic. It could mean any kind of backlash that results from the success of your spell.

For example: Let’s say you’ve had it with a rude coworker, and you’ve decided to just flat-out curse her, instead of doing any other number of things to settle the situation (i.e. non-negative binding spells, etc etc). Let’s say your spell is successful, and not only do you get your coworker fired, but she loses her spouse, her children, her home and her life goes into complete ruin. Now, you might feel triumphant, and that’s to be expected, but will her absence from the workplace and the resulting negativity in her life create any kind of ripple effect? It’s possible. This coworker could return to the place of business and cause even more trouble. Or, you could find yourself taking on double the work. All of your extra hours at work could negatively impact your social or family life, and you could find yourself in a situation that is not much more or less pleasant than simply putting up with your rude coworker in the first place. While this situation wasn’t put in place by gods or “the universe,” it was certainly created (albeit indirectly) by your own actions. Get it?