A Navajo Hex and Giveaway

When I was nine years old, I lived on the Navajo Indian Reservation. My dad, who has long had a deep and abiding respect for Native Americans, saw this as a chance to give back with his life, so he took a job as an accountant with an arts and crafts store in Window Rock, Arizona—capital of the Navajo Nation. We obtained a house just across the border in New Mexico, in a small town aptly called “Navajo,” supported by a local sawmill. It was 1975.

Navajo, New Mexico (photo taken by author)

One day at one of the stores that employed my father a worker found a Styrofoam cup tucked away on a shelf. Inside were various items that included a torn corner of a $5, $10 and $20 bill. It was immediately clear to those who discovered it that a hex had been placed. Soon thereafter, a medicine man was called. Since it involved all the employees, my dad was allowed, despite being a white man, to participate in the ceremonies conducted.


Window Rock, Arizona (photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

At the first ritual, the medicine man found a buried pot outside the building at the base of the famous local landmark, the window rock. This was accomplished when his hand trembled over the exact location. On the outside of the pot, stick figures represented the employees, and lightning bolts painted above indicated death by lightning strike. At the time, we were having terrible storms every day. Inside were pieces of coral, turquoise, and silver, and a section of human skull.

At the second ceremony, a bowl filled with some type of tea was passed around to ingest, and then each employee was asked to look into a crystal to identify who had placed the hex. My dad says he saw nothing, but it was generally agreed that the perpetrator was a former employee who had been fired. She was part of a major Navajo clan, and her dismissal had possibly angered the wrong people. But the curse spoke of deeper problems within the Navajo and their way of life. The crafts people—those who made Indian jewelry and the iconic Navajo weavings—were at odds with the administration, which included my dad. There were those who wanted progress, and those who didn’t. At the conclusion of the ceremony, after a sand painting was created, the piece of skull inside the pot was burned. Two female employees reported instant relief from a terrible headache that had plagued them all evening. Back at home, at the same time, my mother said I’d been distraught and crying for hours from pains in my head, which immediately stopped when the bone was destroyed. It seemed family members had also been included in the hex.

My dad never attended the third, and final, observance—the Blessing Way—because we had moved back to Phoenix. He has always joked that the hex was never fully removed. As evidence, he cites various mishaps that occur whenever he and my mother return to the Navajo Reservation: car breakdowns, money stolen, and in one instance missing a critical turnoff because five Indians stood in front of a directional sign.

In my recently re-released standalone historical western novel INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS, I included the hex in the story. Leave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy.

It’s been five years since a woman came between Ethan Barstow and his brother, Charley, and it’s high time they buried the hatchet. When Ethan travels to Arizona Territory to make amends, he learns that Charley has abruptly disappeared after breaking more than one heart in town. And an indignant fiancée is hot on his trail.

When Charley Barstow abandons a local girl after getting her pregnant, Kate Kinsella pursues him without a second thought. She’s determined he set things right, and even more determined to end her own engagement to him, a sham from the beginning. But an ill-timed encounter with a group of ruffians lands her in the company of Charley’s brother, Ethan, who suggests they search together.

As Ethan and Kate move deeper INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS, family tensions and past tragedies threaten to destroy a love neither of them expected.

A sensuous historical western romance set in 1893 Arizona Territory. Into The Land Of Shadows is a stand-alone, full-length novel with paranormal elements.

This book was previously published in 2013 under the same title. While the text and cover have been updated, the story remains the same.

Read Chapter One and find buy links at https://kmccaffrey.com/into-the-land-of-shadows/

So, have you or anyone you know ever had any experience with hexes? Ever read about any in books?

Kristy McCaffrey writes contemporary adventure stories packed with smoldering romance and spine-tingling suspense, as well as award-winning historical western romances brimming with grit and emotion. Her work is filled with compelling heroes, determined heroines, and her trademark mysticism. An Arizona native, she resides in the desert north of Phoenix.

Website:  https://kmccaffrey.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristyMcCaffre




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40 thoughts on “A Navajo Hex and Giveaway”

  1. No. I have not had any situations that have involved a hex. I have read and seen shows with hex’s used. Thank you for the opportunity.

  2. No hexes but my maternal grandfather worked on some of the same reservations but for the government. He was half native american would never talk about his experience though.

  3. Happy Memorial Day Kristy. What an amazing story. I do believe In Hexes and things of this nature. Your book sounds as amazing as your Dad’s story.
    Have a Blessed Holiday weekend.

  4. Fascinating story about your life.

    I’ve never experienced a hex.

    I’ve read about them in cozy mysteries.

    I have some barn-style, Pennsylvania-German hex signs in my kitchen. But, those are more for luck.

  5. yes my Grandmother talked about HEXs and how to do them! I do not think I have ever had one placed on me – but have wished them on others!

  6. Great story. I don’t know anyone that had hexes put on them. I have read about them, but never been around one. Sometimes when things are going bad you might think you have had a hex put on you though.

  7. That was interesting and a bit scary too. I’m glad the medicine man was able to remove the majority of the hex. I have never known anyone who had a hex put on them.

  8. Welcome to P&P, Kristy!! Wow- what a fascinating story. No doubt there are supernatural things that happen among us that we don’t recognize let alone understand. The current UFO sightings/reports are baffling and I’m often skeptical, but now, with modern technology, there are photos as supposed proof. And the fact that our military are sighting strange phenomena in the skies does make one wonder what’s happening out there?!?

    Good luck with the re-release. Love the cover!!

    • Hi Pam,
      Thanks so much!! The UFO stuff is fascinating, although I’m a bit skeptical too. However, when my mother was 6 years old she saw a UFO over her house in Phoenix. That year (1953) there were many sightings in the PHX area. She stands by her story :-). You just never know.

  9. Kristy! So good to have you with us today! Of course, you KNOW I love this story. I have it on my “keeper” shelf. I really enjoyed the way you wove the supernatural elements into the story, but I didn’t know it was from a real experience. Best of luck with your re-release–this is just a wonderful tale! XO

    • Hi Cheryl,
      I definitely have you to thank for the initial publication of this book!! It had a wonderful home at Prairie Rose Publications for many years. Many thanks for giving the story a chance!!!

  10. No experiences with hexes here. Have read about them in books though.
    Love book cover and excerpt
    Would love to read and review in print format
    Sounds like a great book
    Good Luck With Your books.

  11. Hi, wow, how very interesting, thank you for sharing your story with us. I am so very happy to hear that your book is also available in print as I do not read ebooks at all, I am not tech savvy at all. No hexes here either. My husband did work in a Uranium mine hear Gallup NM, we lived in Gallup for almost 2 years and there were American Natives Navajos that lived there and some also worked at the mine. We were fortunate to be able to go see Window Rock,it is really something to see. Have a Great long weekend and stay safe. God Bless you and your family.

    • Hi Alicia,
      You know the Navajo area well! We lived about 2 hours from Gallup. And Window Rock (and the entire area really) is very beautiful. Something mysterious and powerful about it. Yes, the book is available in print. You can find all the info at my website. Thanks so much for reading.

  12. No I have not. I’ve lived a simple life on a dirt back road with no worries to think of. Thank you for sharing your time. Hugs ?

  13. Wow, this was an interesting post! I loved reading it and I think your dad was actually brave at the time. Your book sounds great and something I think I would enjoy reading. No, I have never been around anyone with hex’s and I don’t think I have ever read a book with them. Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. Hi Kristy,

    Love that area of the country. So much history and definitely filled with spiritual elements. My ex has native lineage so my sons do as well. We visit the Cherokee tribal lands yearly when they open to public. Fascinating cultures. I learn something new each time we go. I don’t know anyone who has been hexed, but I suspect some have. It’s either a hex or really bad karma catching up to them.

    Your story looks really good. Thanks for sharing your post. Very interesting to read.


  15. Not much belief or involvement with hexes when I was growing up. The three years I was in the Peace Corps in the Philippines, there was undercurrent of belief in such things. Nothing ever came of it. However, I traveled to Bali on my way home and had an experience I will never forget. Their religious belief (very abbreviated) is that at midnight the good gods take over the world and are dominant. During the day the balance of good and evil shifts and by evening the evil gods are dominant until midnight. They believe that curses are put on families and will follow them for generations. These curses usually manifest in the young women (teens and twenties) of the cursed family. I was staying in a guest house with the window of my room opening on the courtyard of the house. I would watch the women making flower offerings for all the little shrines, something they do every day. One evening about 6, I heard a commotion. There was a young teen crying and screaming in the courtyard. They tied her to a pallet. She screamed for hours. I finally left and went into the town because it was so nerve-racking. I talked with the man who ran the guest house and he explained about the curse on the family and that this happened every month or so. The evil spirits would posses her body and be in control until the good spirits took over at midnight. She screamed and thrashed for hours and right at midnight it all stopped. They untied her and everyone went about their business as usual. There were no clocks, no one had a watch, and she was so hysterical she certainly wasn’t aware of the time. It was a rather disconcerting experience, and certainly convinced me there is more to this world than what we see.

    Thank you for an interesting post on the Navajo hexes that your family had an experience with.

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