Do Catholics believe in hexes and jinxes?

The word “hex”, meaning a spell or curse, derives from a German word for practicing sorcery; the word “jinx”, meaning something that brings bad luck, may derive from the Latin name of a bird used in witchcraft in ancient times. Catholics do not believe in either, nor in the many similar superstitions abounding in popular culture. The idea of a supernatural being who can be called upon by a magic formula to bring harm to another belongs to a medieval world view. Today, we know that the mischief of Satan – the word means “adversary” or “accuser” – happens within. Human beings cause plenty of damage out of our own sinfulness without any outside help. Things like hexes and jinxes exist only on the pages of fantasy novels and in the minds of those who are manipulated for the supposed witch or sorcerer’s financial gain. They don’t exist in real life.

Neela Kale

Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.