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7 Signs of a Family Curse: How to Break Generational Curses

Man with Children thinking about Family Curse

Do you feel like there’s a looming dark cloud following your family, passing down through the generations?  You may have questioned, “is my family cursed?”  The thought that one may be experiencing a “family curse” or a “generational curse” is a belief of many cultures around the world. More significantly, we actually witness and experience these unwanted negative patterns or recurring events through multiple generations but can’t seem to lift this jinx.  

In this article, we take a closer look at what a generational curse is to see if you can determine if your family is caught in its dark web.  We discuss the meaning of generational curses, the signs that your family may be experiencing one, and offer approaches for releasing you and your family from their affects.

What is a Family Curse?

A generational curse or a family curse, is the idea that negative patterns of behavior or adverse consequences are passed down and relived throughout a family lineage.  If we look from the perspective that we are interconnected with those who came before us in our family, we can see that the lives our ancestors lived- of joy and pain, success and hardship, leaves an imprint on our family soul.  These imprints flow through time passing down the generations impacting our relationships, limitations, loyalties, beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors. 

Unresolved issues from our lineage can manifest over the generations in various forms, such as illness or dis-ease, addiction, financial problems, victim/perpetrator circumstances, abuse, or repeating unusual events or tragedies.  While the wording of having a “family curse” may seem woo-woo or superstitious, one cannot deny the observed and experienced resurfacing of unresolved issues and trauma from our family’s past. 

Ever heard of this one???

7 Signs of a Family Curse

1. Patterns of Misfortune: A frustrating pattern that can leave one feeling powerless and not in control of their fate is repeating “bad luck” or misfortune that reappears over the generations. Some may see patterns of being a victim, loss of money or financial struggle, accidents, and even premature accidents or deaths over the generations. This misfortune can have one exclaiming, “why me?”

2. Unexplained Health Issues:  Both physical and mental health issues that passes through the family may also be related to generational curses, such as mysterious pain, unexplained health issues, and chronic illnesses.  One may identify they are entangled with a family curse when traditional medical practice and psychological therapy fail to bring explanation, relief, or cure despite treatment.  

3. Psychological & Emotional Affects:  Emotional or psychological struggles can be identified as a family curse when passed through generations manifesting in depression, anxiety, trauma, abuse, or psychological disorders.  Intense emotions like sadness, anger, or fear may be traced back to an unresolved trauma or pain in the family lineage, creating ongoing pattern of suffering. Often times the psychological and emotional affects can perpetuate the cycle of addiction and unhealthy behaviors. A person may discover that generations back a family member was “sent away” to the mental institution and thus excluded from the family- the exclusion leaving a impact of grief, betrayal, pain, and suffering passed down through the family soul, manifested as a family curse.

4. Toxic Relationships: Unhealthy relationship patterns in family curses can show up as verbal, emotional, or mental abuse, exclusion, betrayal, withholding, codependency, isolation, or abandonment. These dynamics may be easily seen in one’s immediate family, further back the abuse and painful trauma of relationships may have been hidden or not talked about, yet the cycle of separation and pain continued.

5. Financial Difficulties: Financial problems in the family, such as owing debt, poverty, being a victim and losing money, and financial barriers and limitations can be manifestations of those entangled with a generational curse.  One may effort to improve their financial circumstances yet find themselves stuck in a web of lack, limitations, and debt.  

6. Unusual Accidents or Tragedies: Some families may feel like they are being struck by lightening twice under the grips of a family curse as they experience unexplained or unusual accidents, tragedies, or early deaths. The accidents, deaths, or tragedies may skip a generation or show up a different way, but the underlying theme remains.  For example, a person may have a great-grandfather who died in a war at age 33, grandfather and father may also experience an accident or be involved in a tragedy around the same age of 33.  

7. Sense of Doom & Powerlessness: Being in the thralls of a family curse can feel overwhelming and frustrating, not knowing what caused the curse or how to get out of the trap. The family may feel powerless with the lived sense of not being about to control their own fate, always falling back to the repeating cycles passed down in the family.  Often times, a family curse can feel like a dark cloud looming over, or that at any moment the rug will be pull out from underneath, or just as soon as you get ahead- debilitating bad luck will appear.   

How to Break Free from the Family Curse

It is possible to release yourself from a family curse by being open, brave, with a willingness to acknowledge and honor the past.  By finding supportive resources and doing the inner work, you can break free from the repeating unwanted and unhealthy patterns passed down in your family lineage and release your family from the perpetual cursed fate. 

Here are some steps to support you:

1. Look and Acknowledge: Start by looking. Seeing and acknowledging generational curses and unresolved passed down trauma is the first step to freedom.  Be honest and willing to see the unhealthy patterns, issues, pain, suffering, and problems that have plagued your family.

2. Seek Healing: Breaking free is a healing journey, as you heal yourself and your family lineage.  Seek guidance and support from others trained in addressing both physical and emotional components, including therapy and counseling, spiritual practices, and wholeness modalities.  While traditional therapists may not specialize in generational curses, Family Constellations Therapy is a modality that specifically addresses identifying and releasing family curses.

3. Forgive and Release: Forgiving yourself and others is a foundational and necessary step in releasing from the grips of family entanglement and generational curses.  A new perspective of understanding and empathy of your ancestors’ pain and suffering can help you naturally let go of anger, resentment, and release the ties and bonds that have been keeping the curse activated. 

4. Create Healthy Boundaries: Defining and setting energetic and physical boundaries is necessary for creating a healthy space and protecting yourself and future generations from the negative impact of generational trauma and curses. This may include setting firm boundaries and shifting your relationship with family members who are displaying toxic or unhealthy behaviors and also setting new healthy boundaries with your self.

5. Freeing Future Generations: Releasing the family curse means “holding space” for future generations to heal and also break free.  Consider that the curse “ends with you.” The healing work you do for yourself to release the curse creates new possibilities for loved ones who come after you.  Be open, honest, and discuss your choice to consciously break the negative cycle showing empathy for your family members, including all family members who have equal right to belong to the family, and loving your family members through strong, healthy boundaries. 

6. Seek Spiritual Guidance:  Breaking the curse through the inner journey of healing can be greatly supported by spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, or ritual.  Seeking support and guidance from spiritual healers, spiritual coaches, or spiritual groups can deepen your healing journey and provide you with healthy mentoring.

7. Stay on the Path: Healing generational trauma and breaking the family curse doesn’t happen overnight; it requires intention, attention, patience, and time.  Many have healed and broken free from family curses, thinking that you won’t be able to – may actually be part of the curse.  Be committed, find the right support, trust, and over time, you too can free yourself and your family from the grips of generational pain and suffering.   


A family curse is a powerful and real problem that can impact the lives and fate of generations.  When we look at family curses as the passed down, unresolved generational trauma that they are, we can begin to see the origins of the curse and can take steps to release ourselves. Through inner work and healing, you can un-entangle yourself and future generations from the fate of the past and create new healthy possibilities and a clear future.  With bravery, honest, empathy, and trust, today you can take the first step to break free from unhealthy patterns of the past and create a new life of freedom, love, passion, abundance, and possibility.


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