I have been wanting to write a little bit about the dark side of ritual and magic for a while, but I was unsure where to start.
I thought ethics might be a good place to start but to be honest the ethics of magic is pretty cut and dry:
If you are performing a ritual to hurt someone, then you are performing a ritual to hurt someone.
That's about it.
The ethics of such things are somewhat over analysed in my opinion. Curse someone and you may as well punch them repeatedly in the face.
When is it OK to punch someone repeatedly in the face? Some would say never, others would say in extreme circumstances. The more unhinged of us would say whenever you please. Morals are morals, and we all have our own values as we are all adults with independent minds, therefore I'm not going to discuss or lecture on ethics.
If you do something you know in your heart is evil, then you are a shitty human being, there is no two ways about it.
Now that's out of the way, I feel I must say why I want to write about the dark side.
Simply because to not do so would be to give a false account of magic. People perform rituals to harm others out of spite, hate, fear, revenge or because they want justice. It happens all the time, so I'm going to relay it for the sake of interest.
Having said that I am not going to be giving away too much detail, just so my conscience is clear and I get to sleep at night ;)
In this particular post about the dark side of magic I specifically want to talk about ingredients; roots, minerals and the like used in the work of crossing and cursing.
This list is far from exhaustive but I think Ive managed to nail some of the most famous ingredients used in the black art of cursing.
Look in the cupboard someone who works with both hands and you're bound to find a jar of this nasty stuff.
A sickly greyish-yellow colour and smelling faintly of musty old coffins, Goofer Dust is the cursing agent par excellence.
The word "goofer" is supposed to come from the Congolese word "kuffar", which means "to kill". Goofer Dust is quite literally "killing dust". You use it to kill people with.
Ingredients for this foul little concoction varies from person to person, with a few staple ingredients that always remain the same, among them sulphur, dried snails and crushed snake skins, though I'm not going to give you the full list here :P
Optional additives Ive seen in other peoples recipes vary from anything like dirt from an infants grave to ground up pieces of human bone.
Goofer Dust is often labeled as a magical poison, which is true. However it is never added to food, it is unlikely that ingesting a small amount Goofer Dust would actually do you any physical harm (unlike some magical poisons), its use is purely ritualistic.
Goofer Dust can be used in foot track magic, the mixture can be spread over a persons doorway in certain rituals for the person to step in and trek into their life.
One vicious little ritual involves mixing equal parts of goofer dust with equal parts of dirt ritualistically taken from a specific type of grave in a cemetery, this mixture is then spread in a certain shape over the persons doorstep again with certain prayers, incantations and ritual gestures, the sorcerer then walks backwards from the victims house leaving a little pile of the mixture at each crossroads he passes through until he reaches the cemetery gates, there he leaves another certain shape identical to the one on the victims doorstep.
The idea is that the person is quite literally "led to the cemetery through the crossroads" i.e he dies.
Another curse that employs goofer dust to kill involves a sorcerer taking the photograph of his victim, he then places some blood, hair and fingernail clippings from his victim on the photo and covers it with a little pile of goofer dust. He folds it up into a tight little package and wraps it in a leaf from a certain secret plant (that shall remain nameless!), he then binds it all tightly with black thread knotting it 9 times.
The sorcerer then goes out and buys a snake, he takes the snake and his little package to the cemetery in the dead of night, he finds a suitable grave and does a certain ritual to invoke the spirit inhabitant of the grave, he then force feeds the package to the snake by ramming it down the reptiles throat. He then buries the snake alive in the grave along with offerings to the inhabitant of the grave. He does further rituals over the grave for the next 9 nights.
The victim will then die and rot as the snake did, in the fashion that the inhabitant of the grave died, for example if the inhabitant of the grave died of cancer then the victim will get sick and die, if the inhabitant of the grave died of suicide then the victim will kill himself, if the inhabitant of the grave was a murder victim.....well, you get the idea.
It can also be used by women on men in aggressive love magic, where a john the conquerer root is defaced by sawing a slit in it, turing from a male symbol (a testicle) into a female symbol (a vagina), this is then stuffed with goffer dust and personal concerns and wound into a jack ball. This is called a "love me or die spell" the man cannot stand to be without the woman, he gets sick everytime he leaves her, if he stays away too long, he dies.
A pungent oil, its smell is very distinct, a good quality crossing oil should have an acrid scent that burns the nostrils, crossing oil is anything from a pale brownish yellow to a murky green colour depending on the individual consistency, as people like to add their own twists on a pretty much uniform recipe. It has lots of uses it can be used for dressing objects like fetishes, anointing candles used in cursing or it can even be applied directly to the victim, some people dress the victims doorknob with it so the victim unwittingly carries it into their house and inadvertently dresses all their personal belongings with it.
Quite literally dirt from a grave. Graveyard dirt is often employed in left handed works, though not always, it has many positive uses too. The folklore and traditions surrounding Graveyard dirt are numerous and deserve a blog post of their own, what type of dirt, whose grave to get it from, how to gather it, what part of the grave to get it from etc, etc all form a rich tradition surrounding this magical ingredient.
Depending on the specific work in question, dirt taken from the graves of murderers, executed criminals and even still born babies are among the favoured types of dirt employed in various curses.
There are literally hundreds of hexing rituals that call for the use of graveyard dirt.
This stands for Death Unto My Enemies. D.U.M.E products are readily available in the form of incense, oils and sprinkling powders. All variations on the same recipe.
Sulphur can be used in very intense cleansing rites however since its foul odour is reputed to be what hell and demons smell like it is often used in black magic. Red sulphur is particularly prized as a hexing agent.
HELL AND HARM
This oil is usually dark brown to reddish in colour and has a rich savoury almost chocolaty smell.
used for raising hell and causing harm.
It is arguable whether this oil is actually a cursing agent or not, many view it as an oil that is employed in rituals that dispense swift and fierce justice unto wrongdoers, seeing it as an agent of justice rather than an all out cursing agent.
Still I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of it.
Some people believe this oil can be used in a ritual to literal bring damnation on someone. I personally do not believe anyone can visit damnation on another individual.
I believe only an individual can condemn themselves to hell.
Traditionally quite literally the blood out of a bat, nowadays a mixture of resins and essential oils, it is a deep crimson colour and looks very much like blood, it has a musty yet slightly peppery smell.
Bats blood is used for writing out names, seals and sigils in order to curse someone.
A sorcerer may write the name of a victim across a piece of paper that depicts the 6th seal of Saturn in bats blood and dress it in 9 drops of voodoo oil later burning it in a crossroads as part of a larger magical rite to bring someone misfortune.
VANDAL ROOT (AKA Valerian Root)
I can only liken the smell of this root to the smell of sweaty gym socks. It is vile (though admittedly not as rancid as Asofoetida). Reputed to be a root associated with evil as legend says it was the only plant to bare flower on Golgotha when Jesus was crucified.
Sold in health food shops and herbalists, it can be used to make a nice relaxing tea to soothe your nerves or put it in a bag for your kitty and use it as an alternative to catnip.
Alternatively it can be used in magical rituals to cause car crashes.
A tablespoon of the root is tied up in a gris-gris with other magical ingredients and hidden under the victims car seat.
Other uses for it include a general hexing agent where it used along with candle burning to bring misfortune and misery to the victim.
It is also an ingredient in some crossing oils, powders and incenses. It can also added to a certain incense then used in a 13 day ritual to destroy an enemy.
DEVILS DUNG (AKA Asofetida.)
Devil dung is readily available in the Asian food aisle of your local supermarket in powder form under its name asofetida as an ingredient for certain curries....God knows why, The stench of this stuff is utterly unbearable, I cant imagine why anyone would want to put it in food, ever.
As its name suggests, it reeks as though it was produced by the very arse of Beelzebub himself.
Local witch annoying you? Then go round and sprinkle some of this stuff on her tools, its unholy stench desecrates consecrated objects, stripping them of their power.
There is a million different uses for this spice, most of them dark, everything from stopping up a woman's period so she dies in screaming agony to more light hearted comical mischief involving toilet humour.
Can be used for all manner of nasty things from carving victims names into black candles to making witch bottles.
DATURA STROMIUM (Aka Devil Weed, Hells Bells, Devils Trumpet.)
In Haiti this plant is known as Kokomb Zombi (The Zombies Cucumber) and is an ingredient used for turning people into zombies.
A poison since ancient times, both magical and non-magical. Used to be sacred to some Hindu followers of Shiva but they gave it up in favour of marijuana, due to its potentially lethal nature and hellish effects.
Don't even mess about with this plant, feeding just one leaf of this plant to someone could land you on a murder charge. In fact, depending on your country, even keeping dried leaves of this plant in your house could land you in trouble with the law.
If datura doesn't kill you it could render you permanently insane. Datura is immensely toxic, despite some sources saying it is a hallucinogen, it isn't, it is a delirient which causes the victim to fall into a delirium and lose all sense of reality and control.
Datura poisoning is unmistakable, the victim crawls round in circles on all fours like an animal shrieking and bellowing, often losing the ability to speak, if they can speak then they don't make any sense, they sweat, shake and tremble in terror, when confronted they fly into violent fits of panic and rage, they lose all sense of time, space and their surroundings, their temperature soars and they lose the ability to urinate. Death usually occurs due to heart, liver or kidney failure, if the victim survives then delirium can last anything up to 4 days, permanent damage to internal organs may also occur.
Leave zombies to Hollywood movies and horror novels, this plant is poison, pure and simple.
Used in certain rituals to cause confusion to a victim. The seeds of the opium poppy (papaver somniferum) are particularly prized for this work. Contrary to popular belief the opium poppy is perfectly legal to cultivate in most countries (so long no attempt to harvest opium from them is made), seeds are inexpensive and can usually be found in your local garden centre.
LICORICE, CALLAMUS & TOBACCO
Not cursing ingredients per se, but can be used in certain rituals and spellwork that involves bending another person to your will, sometimes in an aggressive way. Therefore worth a brief mention.
Used for visiting neurological complaints on the victim.
I could go on, there are literally hundreds of nasty things people use, but I think this gives a brief overview to some of the more popular ones.
Stay safe and be good.