“Looking at everyday human interactions, imagining how many times we cast spells on each other with our word. Over time this interaction has become the worst form of black magic,and we call it gossip.

“Gossip is black magic at its very worst because it is pure poison. We learned how to gossip by agreement. When we were children we heard the adults around us gossip all the time, openly giving their opinions about other people. They even had opinions about people they didn’t know. Emotional poison was transferred along with the opinions, and we learned this as the normal way to communicate.

“Gossiping has become … the way we feel close to each other, because it makes us feel better to see someone else feel as badly as we do.” ~Don Miquel Ruiz

Casting Spells

Ruiz feels that when we tell someone something that isn’t true, even if we believe it is true, we are, in a sense, casting a spell on them. It is casting a spell because if we convince others to believe things that are false, we affect their view of reality. This is true even when we believe that what we are saying is true.

It starts with parents teaching the infant what they believe. Then teachers in school add to the trance. Friends and others add even more. The result is we have a mental landscape within us that is based almost entirely on opinion, not fact.


Ruiz says the worse form of casting spells with our words is gossiping. It makes complete sense to me. When we share things we believe to be true, but are not, we are at least trying to be honest. When it comes to gossip, we know that most of it is false or highly exaggerated. If we share it anyway, even saying that it is just gossip, we are not only programming others with lies, but encouraging them to do the same. When others know that what we are sharing with them is gossiping, we are telling them that gossiping is acceptable. And when kids overhear adults gossiping, they are taught that it is the normal way to behave and communicate.

Positive and Negative Gossip

It is possible for gossip to be positive or negative, although you hear negative gossip far more than positive. You hear far more of the “I heard Sally is pregnant, and her boyfriend has left,” type of gossip then the “I heard Sally applied for the management job. She will probably get it. She is so smart!” type. Why is that? It’s because a part of our training is to try to seem better than others. A lazy way to do that is to make others look bad. Somehow we think that makes us look superior. But to the smart person or the awakened person, it doesn’t make you superior at all.

What is really strange is that if somebody spreads gossip too much, they get a reputation for being a gossip and people will avoid them, or at least avoid talking around them. If occasional gossip is good, then shouldn’t a lot of it be better? Of course, it isn’t. No gossip is good. Even the rare positive gossip is still giving people the idea that gossiping is acceptable behavior. So the best solution is to stop the gossip entirely. That may not end all of the lies and illusions in the world, but it’s a good start.


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