Curses and karma in different cultures.
It was William Shakespeare who wrote about a curse on both the Montague and the Capulet households in his play Romeo and Juliet. Curses and such go back to Biblical times. Look at the Ten Plagues of Egypt where the Lord threatened to send epidemics such as frogs, insects and boils if his people weren’t freed.
Then there is the story of The Tower of Babel where the people tried to act against God and build a tower to reach the heavens. The result being they were scattered and made to speak in different tongues. Those trying to build their way up to Heaven on their own merits were divided and ruled. The Great Flood is another example of the punishment of man by divine forces.
Many cultures have their ideas about vengeance. However, Hinduism and Buddhism do not call it punishment, but the natural working out of things – cause and effect, action and reaction. In Greek mythology Nemesis is the Goddess of retribution and her name translates as ‘to give what is due.’
‘Nine Night’ is a Caribbean funerary custom, a nine day wake, the spirits of the dead are believed to walk the earth and become malevolent to those who did not respect them or whom caused their death or suffering. It is believed that the dead can do harm. On ‘Nine Night’ the deceased person’s room is moved around so that the returning spirit may not recognise the place and thus go to their grave.
In witchcraft a Voodoo doll or poppet is used for sympathetic magic. In other words actions done on poppet would be transferred to the person whom that doll represents. There is a lot written about such practices in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ when Mary Warren the housekeeper makes a poppet for Elizabeth Proctor and stores the needle inside it.