Breaking a Curse or Hex

Handmade doll used as pin cushion or voodoo doll
Handmade doll used as pin cushion or voodoo doll.

Michele Constantini / Getty Images

In this piece, we discuss how to know if you are cursed or hexed, and ways of protecting yourself to keep such things from taking place from the get-go. However, you may at some point be just positive you’re under magical attack already and want to know how to break or lift the curse, hex, or spell that is causing you harm. Although the Magical Self-Defense article touches on this briefly, we’re going to expand on the techniques mentioned, since it’s such a popular topic.

Are You Really Cursed?

Be sure to read the Magical Self-Defense article before you continue on this one because it does detail ways to determine if you are, in fact, under magical attack. In general, though, you should be able to answer all three of the following questions with a yes:

  • Is there someone in your life that you have angered or offended in some way?
  • Is that person someone who has the magical knowledge to place a harmful spell on you?
  • Is a hex or curse the only possible explanation for what is happening to you?

If the answer to all three is "yes", then it's possible you've been cursed or hexed. If that's the case, then you may need to take protective measures.

There are a number of different ways to break a spell that is causing you harm, and those will vary depending on the guidelines and tenets of your tradition. However, the methods we're going to discuss now are some of the most popular means of breaking a curse or hex.

Magic Mirrors

magic mirrors
Mirrors come in handy for magical self-defense. Kei Uesugi / Getty Images

Remember when you were a child and you figured out that you could reflect sunlight at people with your mom’s hand mirror? A “magic mirror” works on the principle that anything reflected in it - including hostile intent - will be bounced back to the sender. This is especially effective if you know the identity of the person who is sending bad mojo your way.

There are several methods of creating a magic mirror. The first, and simplest, is to use a single mirror. First, consecrate the mirror like you would any other of your magical tools. Place the mirror, standing up, in a bowl of black salt, which is used in many hoodoo traditions to provide protection and repel negativity.

In the bowl, facing the mirror, place something that represents your target - the person who is cursing you. This can be a photo, a business card, a small doll, an item that they own, or even their name written on a piece of paper. This will reflect that individual’s negative energy back to them.

DeAwnah is a practitioner of traditional folk magic in north Georgia, and says, "I use mirrors a lot. It comes in handy to break curses and hexes, especially if I'm not exactly sure who the source is. It bounces everything back to the person who originally cast it."

A similar technique is to create a mirror box. It works on the same principle as the single mirror, only you’ll use several mirrors to line the inside of a box, gluing them in place so they don’t move around. Once you’ve done so, place a magical link to the person inside the box, and then seal the box. You may use black salt if you wish to add a little more magical oomph.

In some folk magic traditions, the mirror box is created using shards of a mirror you’ve smashed with a hammer while chanting the person’s name. This is a great method to use - and smashing anything with a hammer is pretty therapeutic - but be careful you don’t cut yourself. Wear safety glasses if you opt for this approach.

Protective Decoy Poppets

magic poppet
Create a poppet to take the hits for you.

Jim Corwin / Getty Images

Many people use poppets, or magical dolls, in spellwork as a tool of offense. You can create a poppet to represent people you’d like to heal or bring good fortune to, help find a job, or to protect. However, the poppet can also be used as a defensive tool.

Create a poppet to represent yourself - or whoever the victim of the curse is - and charge the poppet with the task of taking on the damage in your place. This is actually pretty simple because the poppet acts as a decoy of sorts. Follow the instructions on Poppet Construction, and once your poppet is done, tell it what it’s for.

I have made you, and your name is ______. You shall receive the negative energy sent by ______ in my place.”

Place the poppet someplace out of the way, and once you believe the curse’s effects are no longer affecting you, get rid of your poppet. The best way to get rid of it? Take it someplace far from your home to dispose of it!

Author Denise Alvarado recommends using a poppet to represent the person who has cast a curse against you. She says, "Place the poppet in a box and bury it under a thin layer of soil. Directly above where you buried the poppet, light a bonfire and chant your wish that the curse cast against you will be consumed along with the flames that burn the poppet lying in the shallow grave below."

Folk Magic, Binding, and Talismans

Talismans and Amulets
Talismans and Amulets.

Marco Baldinazzo / Getty Images

There are a number of different methods of curse-breaking found in folk magic.

  • Take a purifying bath that includes a blend of hyssop, rue, salt, and other protective herbs. Some people believe this will wash away the curse.
  • In some forms of rootwork, an “uncrossing” spell is performed and often involves the recitation of the 37th Psalm. If you don’t feel comfortable saying a Psalm during spellwork, you can burn uncrossing incense, which is typically a blend of rue, hyssop, salt, sage, and frankincense.
  • Create a spell-breaking talisman or amulet. This can be an existing item that you consecrate and charge, and ritually assign the task of repelling the curse, or it can be a piece of jewelry that you create specifically for this purpose.
  • Binding is a method of magically tying the hands of someone who is causing harm and discontent. Some popular methods of binding include creating a poppet in the person’s likeness and wrapping it with cord, creating a rune or sigil specifically to bind them from causing further harm, or a spell tablet restricting them from performing negative actions towards their victim.
  • Blogger and author Tess Whitehurst has some great suggestions, recommending, "On the morning of a full moon, between sunrise and one hour after sunrise, cut a lemon in half and sprinkle the top of each half with sea salt. Sweep your aura with one half and then the other half (sort of like you’re using an energetic lint brush about 6-12 inches away from your skin) and then place both halves face up on your altar. The next morning, again between sunrise and an hour after sunrise, discard the halves in yard waste, trash, or compost bin. Then repeat the entire process with a new lemon. Repeat for 12 days straight."
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Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "Breaking a Curse or Hex." Learn Religions, Aug. 27, 2020, Wigington, Patti. (2020, August 27). Breaking a Curse or Hex. Retrieved from Wigington, Patti. "Breaking a Curse or Hex." Learn Religions. (accessed May 30, 2023).