Answer - I can see how you believe this object to have gained power as anything closely associated with strong emotions can act as a magnet for retaining those emotions. But I think such an item would be more a vessel for tapping into potential power than actually alive with a power of its own. There is a distinct difference. Unless an object has been deliberately endowed with magical power by a magical practitioner then I don’t subscribe to the idea that it can have a bias toward good/bad. It can be infused with energy but energy as with all power is merely a force that can be manipulated for the purpose of your own will. That is not to say that this item cannot be of immense use in your craft but what it is very unlikely to be is an object with the inherent ability to harm you.
Before I continue though, let’s just examine what you would do it you did happen to end up the recipient of a cursed item. An object can be cursed in the sense that it is intended to cause harm to the owner or equally it could be cursed to command protective damage if it fell into the hands of the unintended. If you do believe this might be the case I would advise you not to use the item. If you know a local witch with experience in such matters he/she may be the best person to dispose of it for you. Failing that I would suggest burying the item some distance from your house. There are various procedures that can be invoked to remove a curse from an object but given your level of experience these might be best left well alone. Bury it and forget it if you think it may hold a curse.
Cursed objects are rare (a waste of energy if there is no purpose to doing it) and it is far more likely that what this object has actually done is to pick up on the energies involved in the love between your grandmother and the sailor and possibly also your mother’s link to her mother who gave it to her. As a taglock to connect you to your ancestors this object could be incredibly powerful. The fact that you feel such a draw to it is important as is the fact that you sense something of power in the item itself. With regard to how to use it I would suggest you use it as a focus to draw down the powers of those who have gone before and call upon their energies to lend themselves to your workings. You could use it as a focus of calling upon the spirits of your departed relations and seek their wisdom to help you on the path you have started to follow. As the object is so intrinsically linked to those who will wish you well I doubt it has anything malign attached to it and I would feel safe suggesting it is something you explore working with. You’ll notice I am suggesting not so much that you ask the object to reveal its potential but that you decide and determine the usage for yourself. Don’t make the mistake of seeing the object as the main source of the power – that’s you - an object, even a powerful one is only ever the servant of the witch.
On another note, you sound very uncomfortable moving beyond what you term “the good.” Objectively I have no issued with using magic for any purpose approved by the castor but I will warn you not to act against your own instincts. If you feel something is wrong for you, back away. You sound more than a little nervous that you might be moving into deeper waters than you yet feel ready for with this. If that is the case there is nothing to stop you putting the object safely away until you feel ready to work with it. The motto here is – If in doubt…wait.
Interesting that males in your family have no real interest in the craft but not all that surprising. The volume of female witches outstrips male witches by a huge margin. Males can be every bit as much effective at the craft as women but for some reason there is still a bias toward the female. The stereotypes passed down through history have yet to be entirely overridden.
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