Curses...

Curses are almost illicit in the general pagan community, and let’s face it, it’s not too hard to see why. Pop culture influences our views on what they are and what they are not, lends them a cliched feeling, and makes us conjure up the image of badly worded (or perhaps simply nonsensical) Latin spells. It’s not just that that taints our views on things, though. So many modern pagans attend to the idea of “love and light”, which is definitely not a bad thing. Somewhere along the lines, though, misinformation was spread about curses, and now when they’re mentioned they’re often met with a huge gasp and a scolding at the least. This simply shouldn’t be the case.

Keep your own moral codes in mind as we continue here. It’s up to you to decide what is right and wrong, and it’s up for you to do it for yourself. This is mostly opinion and general knowledge, and may not ring true for you. Questions/comments/concerns are welcome.


  • Curses aren’t inherently a bad thing?: This can be hard for many people to wrap their heads around, but it’s the truth. Of course, there are different kinds of curses, and different moral codes. Cursing a book (ie. If someone touches this book, they will feel an intense pain in their arm) is different than cursing a person (ie. This person is going to feel an intense pain in their arm for a week/month/year). There’s a difference between cursing a book simply, and making it more extreme (ie. if someone touches this book, they will become violently ill for an extended period). It’s up to you to decide where it becomes too much/too far.
  • I’ve heard of people using curses as protection?: Yep! Some people will curse themselves to avoid certain actions (ie. if I smoke, I will have an uncontrollable twitch for an hour), and others will curse themselves as a form of a ward (ie. If someone harms me, they themselves will feel intense pain). Also, you can protect objects with a curse– see that book example above.
  • “But the law of three–”: Not everyone is Wiccan. I’m not. While I’m not judging your path, you have to remember that not everyone follows it. Saying this to someone who is not Wiccan is the pagan equivalent of that one person who screams bible passages from street corners. Please don’t judge non-Wiccans that don’t believe in or follow this rule. Also, don’t judge other people on your path for cursing! You could create a curse that causes a twitch, or a tick. You could create a curse that makes someone’s mouth dry. Not all curses hurt. Since I’m not a member of your path, I won’t say more.
  • Let’s be honest with ourselves: I have seen far too many people who do practice cursing claiming that they can kill someone with a curse. I just want to say this– what deity is going to carry that out for you? What entity? What spirits? Even if you could figure that part out (and you won’t), how would it weigh on your psyche? These people are mostly bluffing, or people who think that they’re all-powerful and are clearly not. Don’t let these people scare you away/think that all people who lay curses on things are awful.
  • In conclusion: Hey, let’s not be jerks! Everyone walks a different path, and those who do practice witchcraft are going to do it in different ways. There’s no reason to be judgmental. On the flip side of the coin from those who are judgmental, there’s no reason to be cocky. You look stupid and give us a bad name.

Something besides drama about dom or terts for once - the current way of arranging your lair is awful. I’m tired of having to play musical dragons and having ONE dragon fuck up the entire arrangement I’ve got going on if I mess up. Backtacking and trying to game it so that just the right dragon ends up being shoved to another page in just the right way is ridiculous. Give me a way of seeing all my lair pages at once and arranging that way (like, list them vertically or something) or…or well, I’ll still play, but I’ll be giving the admins some side-eye.

Don’t Want to Curse Anyone?

Some witches feel like it’s morally wrong to curse people.  And hey, that’s their right to feel that way.  But what happens when you feel the urge to curse someone?  What should you do?  I got some alternatives for you…

  1. Bless everyone around them - No seriously.  You know that “Passive Aggressive Witch” post floating around where you bless everyone else around the person you wish to curse?  Make everyone else happy BUT them.
  2. Glamour yourself - Make yourself irresistible.  Make yourself project the image of complete perfection and confidence that your enemy will either want to date you, be you, or befriend you.  Obviously you would reject their advances.  Everyone else will surround you, and they will be left out
  3. Casual curses - Check out this post for casual curses that are minor inconveniences rather than serious harm done to your enemy
  4. Casual blessings - Kill them with kindness
  5. Ask your Deity for help - If you don’t want to extract revenge on your enemy, maybe ask your deity for help in smiting your enemy? 

If anyone can think of anymore, feel free to add on to this post.

A look at Eridan’s cursing

Eridan speaks a modest 4,540 words, but his cursing rate is more unusual at 2.18%, about 1 in 46 words. This is the seventh most for non-mind controlled characters whose cursing can be accurately determined (I’m looking at you, Damara), less than Dave and more than Roxy.

This is a concordance plot of his cursing by the order of his conversations in the comic. For the sake of consistency, the order of the dialogs in the Alterniabound segments were taken from the transcripts on readmspa.org. Each thin bar means one curse word, while thicker bars mean more of them.

We see that there is variability in the cursing, and that his cursing rate decreases over time as he becomes more serious, grave, and desperate. This is easier to see by taking the cursing rates for each quarter of his dialog.

There’s actually a spike in the second quarter, but we need to look at the data by character to gain a better understanding of why this is. The following is similar to the concordance plot at the start of this post, except it is much larger (each pixel is about 3 words), there is white instead of black for each curse word, and the background color is according to what character he is talking to. The color key is obvious except for the narrow violet band at the very end of the final part: that is actually when he talks to Cronus during Ministrife (I have chosen to include Ministrife because his dialog maintains the same patterns and he stays in character). I had to break it up into parts so I could preserve the horizontal scale so the white lines would be obvious. The black lines indicate a separate conversation or response.

In order, we see conversations with Kanaya, Feferi, Gamzee, Vriska, Terezi, Rose, Jade, Karkat, Kanaya, and a series of exchanges in one conversation between him and Sollux and Feferi where he addresses them separately each time, plus the tiny strip of Cronus at the end.

His conversations with Gamzee, Karkat, and Vriska on line two are what cause the quarter two spike. With Gamzee, Eridan bugs him to get him in contact with Karkat and then criticizes his juggalo practices. With Karkat, he critizes Gamzee’s exposed horn pile and says that at least his wand pile is hidden. With Vriska, he criticizes the former black relationship and then tells how rude Rose was to him; note that his conversation with Rose actually occurs a little later in the comic. In summary, in these segments he is ticked off by a highblood’s behavior that does not suit his caste, the lack of romance, and being shown that his weaponry/violence is not supreme.

Now let’s look at a character-by-character break-down.

Observe that he did not curse to Cronus or Terezi at all, although this is mostly because he spoke to each of them just once. Also note that his use of cursing is not connected to his irritation with the person in question; see how he curses more to Kanaya than he does to Sollux. I would recommend to Eridan roleplayers that they should weigh their amount of swearing based on whether Eridan is more comically annoyed or desperately serious. He does not curse in every line.

Let us now look at what specific curse words he uses. The below chart graphs them by the specific form of the word.

“Fuckin” is by far his most favorite curse word. Simple “damn” is about as half as popular as “shit”. However, his most unusual curse word is “bloody”, which is used twice as in “you are slingin around such a bloody mess of slander”
and “theyre [the angels of LOWAA] not gettin any less bloody piss is the thing”. This word is indexed with Britishness or foreigness, as both Calliope and Jake use it as an intensifying curse word roughly equal to “damn” in intensity. Don’t overuse it, though. “Fuckin” is used as an adjective while “fuck” is used as an exclamation like “oh fuck”. “Shit” is used a noun and “damn” as an adjective.

Here is the cursing by the roots (stems) of the words.

Fuck is the true winner followed by shit. As Homestuck characters go, this is an unusually high “fuck” to “shit” ratio; this suggests that Eridan mostly curses in order to suggest the intensity of his emotions or intents rather than for comedic effect.

A look at Gamzee’s cursing

Gamzee speaks an ok 4,328 words, but his cursing rate is incredible at 6.68%, about 1 in 15 words, which is the second highest of any character after Mituna and the highest of any major character.

Let’s first look at a concordance plot of all of his cursing which shows single hits over time. One band represents a curse word, while thicker bands mean more curse words.

Particular conversations are very obvious in their variation in cursing. Broader trends are harder to make out but it appears that cursing decreases towards the end a little bit.

This post is long, so the rest is under the cut.

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