Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
-William Congreve, “The Mourning Bride”
Vengeance appears throughout global culture, all over the place, from ancient mythology to modern fiction (and news, for that matter). Desire for vengeance is a part of human existence. Even noble Boudica, with her brazen stride through herstory, has her own dark side: desire for vengeance for her raped daughters fueled her attacks to bring Rome to its knees and Londinium to a pile of ashes. I personally have noted the energy of vengeance as residing in a low frequency: something that comes up for humanity but which is not necessarily noble, or justified, or anything that helps us make progress on our spiritual path. Maybe it’s from my Christian upbringing, or my Buddhist leanings, but Compassion and Service to me are the highest virtues humanity can pursue.
Commonly tied up with people’s concept of Witches, I have noticed, plays out in a fear of vengeful attacks from the hypothetical Witch. People are still suspicious of Witchery for the fear of being hexed. Voodoo/Hoodoo lore (and all branches of Euro-Afro-Indo-American folk magick) holds countless instructions for exacting vengeance on a person. The black coffin is possibly the ultimate example, the death hex. A person could probably without too much effort hire a practitioner in New Orleans to issue such a spell for a significant fee. Many European folk customs describe gestures like crossing the fingers to ward off the Evil Eye. Accusations abound in written records of the Burning Times blaming Witches of blighted crops, barren cattle, sometimes even deceased family members. Whether or not the accused was even a Witch, whether or not the accused was capable to perform any ‘curse’ as the accusers perceived it, the fear itself was there.
If a Witch, or practitioner of any kind of the Arcane Arts, engages in vengeful behavior, it not only rebounds in Karma, tying that person more tightly to the one they are hexing, but it also sends vibrations out into the human collective consciousness and affects how people think of Witches. I personally am one of those who claim the title Witch in attempt to reclaim it, like the beautiful Sumerian nomer, kunta.
Vengeance is not to be confused with Hexing. Hexing is banishing, binding, releasing, and can enacts penalties on the person being hexed. It is not to be taken lightly, and I have noticed much more success if I am willing to undertake the consequences that come to me as a result of egoic assertion (I hexed some neighbors to get them to move away from us, once, and ended up moving myself, but it was to a better apartment, so it was all good, but an important lesson in discernment, as our neighbors in the new apartment proved a bit difficult, too). I’ll save the rest of my rant on Hexing for that “H” post I haven’t gotten around to yet.
Vengeance is wanting to hurt someone because they once hurt you. It’s insisting on getting your way all the time because the target of your wrath insisted on their way for so long. It’s wanting what you want, regardless of the consequences.
I’ve noticed that vengeance frequently ends in tragedy, most often because the person seeking vengeance is so consumed by it, once they are finished carrying out their target’s sentencing, they have no other soul’s purpose (the one exception I can think of being the Bride in Kill Bill, but that has to do with passing on life, defending a child, and in the Bride’s and Boudica’s case, daughters… I’m sensing a pattern here).
This is why I refrain from vengeance magick. I am allowed by my own ethos, however, to pursue justice, self-protection, and the protection of those who entrust themselves into my care, via magick.
And so I do. Binding and banishing spells are my friends.
Beware of vengeful acts. If you are thinking of a response to someone else’s psychic or magickal attack (whether intentional or ignorant), sit in meditation for at least ten minutes, three days in a row, before following through on the response you would like to enact. Ask any divination tool you use, “What karma am I inviting into my life in taking this path?” It bears repeating: vengeance simply attracts more of the energy you are trying to repel. Hate is not the opposite of love, but its twin flame. Calm yourself to protect yourself. Walk in peace. Sometimes, the best “revenge” is simply letting go.
This blog was created for Faye Dancing-Cloud’s participation in The Pagan Blog Project.