I spent my high school years in York, PA. One of the rare, interesting places in the area is Rehmeyer's hollow. In the early 20th century, Rehmeyer, who was a hex magician, was killed by another magician, Blymire, who claimed that Rehmeyer had cursed him. Killing Rehmeyer didn't seem to do Blymire much good, given that he ended up in jail for his efforts, but if you visit Rehmeyer's Hollow you can tell that whatever happened there left a permanent mark on the land, because it's a pretty spooky place. I remember driving there late at night, and doing a lot of my early formative ritual work in the hollow. It was and still is a place that I have fond memories of and on the exceedingly rare occasions I happen to be in York, I make a point to visit the hollow.
When I was an angst ridden teenager, I did the occasional curse, really as a way to feel empowered in situations where I didn't feel I had much power otherwise. However in more recent years I haven't performed a curse and I find it interesting to encounter the occasional occult book, which discusses curses in a manner where it's clear that the writer is pretty serious about actually using them. My own response to reading this has also been enlightening, because I consider the idea of doing a curse to be a waste of time and effort. This is in part because something I've come to realize about people in general, myself included, is that we are our own worst enemies. The way I figure it, someone I genuinely dislike is someone who is already cursed by just being them and having to deal with their own issues (or not deal with them as the case may be). I realize that this attitude is also reflective of a lot of the internal work I've done, especially around the dissolving practice, which has allowed me to strip away a lot of the dysfunction and consequently also makes me re-evaluate where I want to put my energy and time.
A couple of years ago, I decided to do a banishing ritual that involved some people from my past. Even though I hadn't been in touch with any of those people for a while, they brought up such feelings of anger and hurt and I realized they likely would've been thrilled to know they'd continued to push my buttons. And I knew that if I did a curse, it would really just be feeding the anger and hurt. I'd be cursing myself as much as them and I just didn't see the point. So I did this banishing working, where I vomited up those feelings and released what I was feeling. Since then I've felt much happier and focused on what really matters, which is doing my own work and experiments and also helping people out, which is something I find a lot more empowering.
I look at cursing and what I see is an ego game. I'm pissed off at so and so for saying or doing something I didn't like, so I'm going to mess that person up. That's what it boils down to. And all that said I've been the occasional recipient of a curse as well, and what I've taken away in those cases is that I have more power over that person than anything they could do to me, because I've gotten them so worked up that they feel the need to try and do something to me...and by doing they are really giving me their sense of power. Actually that's true in any situation where a person gets worked up enough to try and do something. Of course you take appropriate pre-cautions. I do my daily work each day and part of doing that daily work is making sure I've got my bases covered, but even so in that situation where they are trying to do something to me, who really has the power? The person who is throwing the curse might feel like they've got the power, but they're giving it all away instead of taking a moment to really examine their own perspectives and roles and why they are so invested in a situation that they let it get to them like that. As for me, I'd rather just walk away and focus on doing what's important. I'd rather focus my time and energy on what calls to me then wasting it on someone else.