Here’s another of Marie Brennan’s posts at Book View Cafe: New Worlds: Curse You!
I don’t mean profanity (though there’s a degree of overlap there). I mean actual malevolent attempts to cause someone harm by supernatural means. Sometimes people do this deliberately, out of a desire for power or revenge; other times it’s a subconscious process, the metaphysical consequence of negative emotions like anger, jealousy, or fear. … Many curses amount to codified ill-wishing, with a profoundly fuzzy boundary between religion and magic.
Interesting post, lots of great ideas for worldbuilding, and if in the future I have someone put up a horse’s head on a pole, facing their enemy, you can definitely blame Brennan.