It is safe to say that the Krepostnoi household is going through something of a rocky patch, just now. We have suddenly and fairly unexpectedly gone from having an idyllic existence in Malaysia to being destitute and without regular employment. We have had a major rupture with my other half's mother, which has had knock-on effects on our relationships with other family members (we have had to cancel our planned visit to my newly-born nephew and namesake, for example) and we have had our suspicions over our younger daughter's behavioural issues confirmed by expert diagnosis (we obviously still love her as much as ever, but it is new information to digest). Meanwhile, my other half's business partner, with whom she was in the process of parting ways, has suddenly and unexpectedly made large financial demands. It is, as they say, all happening. Now, a week or so ago, my mother-in-law was babysitting for my other half while she was working in Russia, and, without going into detail, things happened. In the aftermath, my mother-in-law roundly cursed my other half, in the literal sense of the word: invoking specific misfortunes upon her. Aside from our Malaysian misfortunes, the other tribulations have happened since (and that week was the immediate cause of the family rupture). It should be noted that my mother-in-law has an idiosyncratic grasp on reality, and manages to balance a belief in magic with her up-and-down professions of faith in the Orthodox Church. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that she might also have sought, prior to this, ways of bringing our South-East Asian sojourn to a premature end: you may remember on the whinge thread I bemoaned the arbitrary nature of Malaysian immigration decisions - the decision in question occurred on a date of significance to my other half and her mother. The interesting thing is that I would not have described myself as much of a believer in curses. And yet, this seems to be a particularly emphatic run of bad luck. Yes, it could just be how the dice rolled this turn, or the consequences of decisions we took in the past that weren't perhaps optimal. But the verbal cursing as described to me carried force, and venom, and ill intent, and I see no harm in attempting to do something ourselves to counteract that and reclaim our own luck and freedom of action. So can anyone suggest courses of action or rituals or people that might be successful in lifting curses, or shifting luck, or bringing better fortune our way? In short, how can we restore some balance to our lives just now? In addition, if any of you might be inclined to do so, any positive thoughts or blessings or prayers you may wish to direct our way would be very gratefully received.