I am writing this mainly for those who have never done this kind of workings in the past. I am by no means an “expert” nor will these necessarily be new. However, these are things I have learned in the course of my path (many from my mistakes) that could be useful for others. I will not be addressing the morality of this kind of magic, as it is the individual’s choice. Any questions I suggest asking is for the more practical end of things, not based on morality.
Make sure it is an actual offense.
I start off with this because human beings are messy and, especially with the current trend of emphasizing isolation as opposed to community based interactions, many people do not know how to act with eachother. This may be more of an American thing, but it may apply elsewhere. If you want to see the perfect example of this, watch and listen to people try to make small talk. Chances are, everything is awkward as hell. So, before throwing a curse at your boss for giving you some criticism, stop and think if it is an actual attack on you or classify as needing revenge. If you pay attention, the difference between the two is night and day. This will spare you from wasting energy.
Try other methods first.
Once again, this is not based on morality at all. Curses and the such require an immense amount of energy and emotion that may or may not be necessary. A good banishment could solve the problem faster than a curse could.
Know your enemy
There is a common saying that describes this beautifully: “Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer”. The more you know your enemy, the more of their character you can learn. You could learn of personal vices and weaknesses that you could exploit in your working (such as excessive anger or drug use). You could also learn if they also use magic, which could make the working more dangerous.
This applies to all sorts of magic really. Complexity does not always equal power. If fact, I have found it can hinder it if not balanced or broken up. Some of the oldest spells preserved are actually very simple and many are still used because they work. Keep that in mind.
Break up the work
This goes with the last point. A large scale attack can require a lot of energy and time to complete. I have found breaking up the tasks in order to build the impact you wish to create to be more effective. For example, to crush a boss known for sexual harassment, I would start by increasing their workload by bringing in more business, glamour their aura to draw more attention, and amplify their lust. Finish off with an anonymous phone call to corporate.
If you are calling a spirit, do part of the work.
I imagine everyone here has worked with a group of people here at some point. There always seems to be that one guy who does not pull their own weight, getting everyone pissed off. Don’t be that guy. If you are going to call a spirit, play some role in the working. I usually ask for aid in producing the power required for the ritual in exchange for an offering, for example. I am still doing the work, but asking for a helping hand with the load.
- Be patient and do not be devoured by the working.
Curses tend to take time to manifest. Magic tends to flow in the path of least resistance, and often it may take time for the desired results to come. This is why it is important to pour all of your emotion into the actual working. By doing this, you can move on to other aspects of your life, forgetting about the ritual. You could set a time frame, which is especially helpful when experimenting, but remember the least resistance aspect I discussed. A time crunch may not be the best way to go about things.
- Make sure you really want to do this
I saved this one for last as it is the most important to remember. There is nothing that kills a potential curse more than regret (it could even redirect it and it bites hard). So, take time to think things through before doing the work. Make sure that there is no compassion left towards the target and any possible aftermath is something you can live with. While there are methods to lift curses, it should be treated like firing a gun. Once you pull the trigger, there is no taking it back.
These are just my general tips on the subject. I hope this is helpful, and if there is anything I missed or am flat on wrong about, feel free to add by reply.