James Duvalier

author, spiritual counselor & paranormal researcher

Spiritual Techniques for Dealing with Negative People

, , | Spells | No Comments »

honey2It has always been my philosophy and practice to emphasize the positive in life and to tackle and move past uncomfortable situations as quickly as possible, but it is an unpleasant reality that in life we sometimes find ourselves in situations where we are forced to temporarily interact with people that make us absolutely miserable.  For example, we might encounter a nasty coworker who makes our job harder by shirking their own responsibilities and forcing us to pick up the slack or spreading workplace gossip about us that paints us in a less than favorable light.  We also may find ourselves forced to put up with certain annoying or downright infuriating people because of their association with people that we love or care about.  The best remedy for these types of situations is to deal with the people in question head on and remove them from our lives as quickly as possible either by changing our circumstances or calling them out on their hateful, offensive, injurious or possibly downright illegal behaviors.  This may not always be possible immediately as there are times in life when perhaps for financial or personal reasons we cannot rock the boat or cause too much upheaval even when it’s warranted, so today I’ve decided to share two spiritual techniques that can provide instant relief when dealing with the troublemakers that we occasionally encounter in life.

This first simple spell I learned in Spain almost twenty years ago.  It was my first year in college, and as part of the program I was attending I had to live with a Spanish family.  In my case, I was assigned to live with an older woman who I found quite disagreeable at times as well as intrusive and judgmental.  One day at the university, I was talking to a woman who worked in the admissions office who was originally from Cuba and familiar with Santeria and Espiritismo and I was telling her about my frustrating living situation.  She asked, “Have you frozen her yet?”  I asked her what she meant and she shared with me a simple yet highly effective spell that has served me and others incredibly well over the years and which I am happy to share with you now.  Whenever you are forced to interact with someone you find less than desirable, simply write his or her name on a piece of paper and place it in the freezer.  That is all.   I have seen this simple spell stop workplace and neighborhood gossip and get otherwise nasty and intrusive people to back off.  You can leave the name in the freezer as long as you feel the person in question is an issue.  Another version of this spell from southern Hoodoo takes the process one step further and involves writing the person’s name on paper and pacing it in water in an ice cube tray or another container, filling it with water and then freezing it into a block of ice.  You then take the ice to a nearby river, stream or the ocean and toss it in.  The idea is that the flowing body of water will take the unpleasant person out of your life and he or she will no longer be your problem.  I would like to clarify that these spells are not meant to harm, injure or cause pain and tragedy to rain down on the person in question, but simply to remove him or her from your path and put an end to whatever trouble he or she is causing.

The second type of spell is a simple honey sweetening.  Sweetenings are popular in southern Hoodoo and we have discussed the honey jar and its uses in love magic.  The following sweetening is milder than a honey jar and is meant to make a person more polite and kind during the period in which you are obligated to interact with him or her and not be drawn to you as a love interest.  Simply take a piece of paper on which you’ve written the person’s name or a photocopied or printed photo of the person and place it on a dish.  Drizzle honey or molasses over the name or photo and light a yellow candle next to the dish.  This simple spell should provide immediate relief and you should notice the person in question being more polite and courteous during your interactions.  The sweetening may be repeated whenever you feel it’s necessary.

Hopefully you will never be in a position where you need to use these spells and by far the best approach to dealing with negative people is to refuse to have them in your life, although this may not always be possible so the two spiritual life hacks we’ve just discussed will come in handy for such unpleasant situations.  Generally speaking, I find that the more we focus on the positive the more nice, helpful people we attract so it’s always important to make good decisions that build us up and empower us in all aspects of our lives and this will naturally limit our interactions with people that hold us back.

I thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and as always I wish you peace, happiness and abundant blessings!

 

 

The Miraculous Life of Saint Barbara

, , | Saints and Spirits | No Comments »

St-BarbaraAs a spiritual worker, I petition and work with many saints for myself, clients, friends and family.  Many of you who have been following my blog will know that Saint Martha is my personal patron and most beloved saint.  Another saint I greatly admire is the 3rd century martyr Saint Barbara about whom I have blogged before.  Recently, I have been working with her more and more and find her to be a fierce protector and advocate.  I have also been learning about Saint Barbara’s following in Eastern Christianity and the many traditions and devotions associated with her that I find truly fascinating.  I would like to share some interesting examples of the graces, blessings and protection that Saint Barbara bestows on her devotees as well as a prayer to invoke the aid of this beautiful and miraculous saint.

 

stbarbaraThe life of Saint Barbara has long been a source of inspiration for me and a shining example for how a person can stand up and defend all that is good and holy.  Barbara was the daughter of a powerful Pagan chieftain named Dioscuros who had a fierce hatred of Christians.  Barbara began to associate with local Christians who taught her about Jesus and His message of peace, love, hope, charity and eternal life.  In secret, she accepted the faith and was baptized.  Upon hearing of his daughter’s conversion, Disocuros was enraged and ordered that she be imprisoned in a tower until she returned to her Pagan roots.  While imprisoned, Barbara held tightly to the Christian faith and even converted her father’s workers and asked them to build three windows into the tower representing the Holy Trinity-The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  This was the final offense for Dioscuros and he sentenced his daughter to death, himself carrying out the sentence taking a sword to her neck.  Up her execution a lightning bolt came down from the heavens and struck Dioscuros dead and for that reason Saint Barbara is associated with storms and invoked for protection against them.

 

04224dccfb9efc2b826268b71c4d9f69Even more than the amazing supernatural occurrences that are associated with Saint Barbara’s life, her example of charity and absolute dedication to her ardent faith are what touch me on a deep level.  Many miracles are brought about through the intercession of Saint Barbara in the lives of her devotees.  Recently I have learned of an icon owned by a Greek family with roots in Egypt that now lives in London.  There are at least two documented cases of spontaneous cures of cancer associated with the veneration of this particular icon and there is an account of a girl from Greece who received great spiritual blessings after she came to venerate the icon after receiving a personal vision of Saint Barbara.  On December 4th, the feast day of Saint Barbara, the family that owes the icon invites the faithful into their home to venerate the icon and a priest blesses Saint Barbara’s devotees with the oil from the lamp that is burning constantly before the icon.  I am definitely very interested in making a pilgrimage to see this miraculous icon in London.  I’m going to research when and how this will be possible, and of course if I do go, I will document the experience here.

 

Saint Barbara remains a popular saint among Arab Christians in Lebanon, Syria, Israel and parts of Turkey.  Her feast day, December 4th, known in Arabic as Eid il-Bubara, is celebrated much in the same way as Halloween is in Western countries.  Children wear costumes and go door to door seeking treats singing songs about St. Barbara fleeing from her father Dioscuros.  This tradition has its roots in the legend of Saint Barbara donning several different disguises to preserve her anonymity while she fled persecution.  A traditional treat served of Saint Barbara’s day is called Bubara, named after the saint herself, and consists of boiled wheat flavored with dried fruits and sugar.  This treat commemorates another legend surrounding Saint Barbara that states that she ran through a freshly planted wheat field while fleeing her captors and the wheat grew instantly to cover her tracks.  In remembrance of this miracle, it is a custom to plant wheat or similar grains and legumes indoors on St. Barbara’s Day that are used later in the month to decorate Christmas nativity scenes.  Upon hearing of these traditions, I was so happy to learn that devotion to St. Barbara remains so strong in the Eastern Church.

 

Throughout much of history Saint Barbara has been known as a great protector of her devotees.  There have been accounts of her stopping plagues and various natural disasters.  In Ukraine, where devotion to Saint Barbara is strong and her relics are housed, it was a common practice to wear a blessed Saint Barbara ring as protection against witchcraft.  In the west, she is commonly invoked for protection against storms.  There is no doubt that this miraculous saint is kind, loving and protective to those who are devoted to her.  I am happy to share the following prayer that may be used to see the blessing and protection of Saint Barbara.

 

St Barbara,

You are stronger than the tower of a fortress and the fury of hurricanes. Do not let lightning hit me, thunder frighten me or the roar of canons jolt my courage or bravery. Stay always by my side so that I may confront all the storms and battles of my life with my head held high and a serene countenance. Winning all the struggles, may I, aware of doing my duty, be grateful to you, my protector, and render thanks to God, the Creator of heaven, Earth and nature who has the power to dominate the fury of the storm and to mitigate the cruelty of war.


St Barbara, pray for us.


Amen.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this post and I hope that you include Saint Barbara in your spiritual devotions.  If you have any experiences involving this saint’s workings in your life, I would love to hear them.  As always, I wish you peace, happiness and abundant blessings!

Nowruz and the Spring Equinox

, , , | Holidays | No Comments »

Nowruz1Anybody who knows me or who has been following my blog long enough will know the autumn is my favorite season with its crisp breezes and cool air perfumed by the colorful falling leaves, but as a spiritual person I do understand the importance of being in touch with all the seasons.  I do in fact enjoy the spring when the cold sharpness of February melts into the milder days of March and April and Earth once again becomes green.  It is a season of rebirth.  In ancient times, in Germanic lands, it was a time to honor the goddess Eostre or Ostara who was associated with rebirth and renewal.  From the name of this ancient goddess and her festivities we get the name of Easter which is itself a celebration of resurrection and new life.  By the 8th century in the British Isles, Ostara had been almost completely replaced by the Christian celebration of Easter which retained much pagan imagery related to spring and rebirth such as eggs, rabbits and flowers that are present in modern day Easter celebrations.  Today Wiccans and other Pagans still celebrate the vernal (spring) equinox as Ostara which ushers in the fullness of the spring season.  I have a Wiccan friend who gives chocolate eggs to her coworkers, family and friends on Ostara to symbolize rebirth and the coming warmth of spring and summer.  I have blogged before about Easter and the Pagan rites of spring, but today I would like to talk about an ancient Persian observance marking the beginning of a new year which is celebrated even today in modern Iran and neighboring countries.  This is the beautiful and fascinating holiday of Nowruz.

Nowruz 2What I find most fascinating and befitting about Nowruz is that it falls exactly on the spring equinox symbolizing the beginning of the New Year when visible signs of life and fertility return to the earth as opposed to western New Year and Chinese New Year which fall during the bitter cold months of the year.  It makes perfect sense that the New Year be a time of rebirth that is visible in nature. Nowruz is celebrated in Iran and surrounding central Asian countries such as Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.  The name literally means “New Day” and is an ancient holiday dating back 3000 years to ancient Persia before the Islamization of the region in the 5th century AD.  The symbolism of fire, the sun and warmth returning to the Earth was very important in the ancient Zoroastrian faith, the religion of ancient Persia, and still figures into the modern celebration of Nowruz.  Modern day Zoroastrians still observe Nowruz as a religion holiday, but it is mostly regarded as a secular celebration by the Shia Muslim majority of Iran.  After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, manly clerics moved to ban the celebration of Nowruz as they viewed it as pagan and un-Islamic, but this was met with great resistance by the vast majority of Iranians for who Nowruz is a very special celebration that connects them to their ancient culture and glorious past. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the celebration of Nowruz has spread widely across the central Asian republics that have historical and cultural ties to ancient Persia.

Nowruz 3In Iran and many surrounding countries, Nowruz is a national public holiday when most businesses and all government offices shut down for the day of the spring equinox and schools and universities have a full two weeks of vacation which allows people to travel and spend time with family.  The Nowruz festivities officially last two weeks.  The celebration of the coming New Year officially gets underway on the night of Charshanbe Suri which falls on the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowruz.  This night is similar to New Year’s Eve on which there are fireworks and large bonfires over which it is customary to jump for good luck and purification.  Jumping over fire is common in many spiritual observances around the world, for example in Hungary on the eve of St. John’s Night.  I’m sure this is due the fact that spiritually speaking, fire is a purifying agent.  On Charshanbe Suri, there exists a custom called Gasog Zani or “spoon hitting” which involves young people wearing disguises and going from door to door banging spoons on pots and dishes and begging for treats.  Gasog Zani bears a striking resemblance to the western practice of trick-or-treating which I find fascinating since Halloween of course is my favorite holiday.  It is customary to perform a thorough spring cleansing before Nowruz as is customary in the west before Easter and in China before Chinese New Year in order to begin the New Year with a fresh start and cleanse away any bad luck that might remain from the previous year.  Many people in Iran buy new clothes before Nowruz and decorate their homes with roses, jasmine and images of fish and other symbols that are known to draw luck in order to the start the New Year on a note of prosperity and good fortune.

Nowruz haft seenBefore ending our discussion of Nowruz, it is necessary to discuss the Haft Seen, which is perhaps the most visible and iconic element of Nowruz celebrations.  Literally meaning the “seven S’s” and haft seen is a home altar erected for the celebration of Nowruz and is thusly named as it contains seven items that all begin with the letter “Seen,” the equivalent of “S” in the Farsi language.  These items are wheat sprouts, samanu pudding, dried fruits, garlic, apples, sumac and vinegar.  Each of these items corresponds to certain planets and stars according to ancient Zoroastrian astrology.  In addition to the indispensable items mentioned, a haft seen may also contain flowers, rose water, goldfish in a bowl, decorated eggs much in the style of Easter eggs and a copy of the Quran.  The building of a haft seen in the home is believed to bring good luck, good health and prosperity in the year to come.

I hope you have enjoyed this discussion of Nowruz and the spring equinox.  Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I wish you a happy spring.  May your life be filled with happiness and abundant blessings during this season of rebirth and always!

 

 

 

 

Bath for Lasting Wealth

, , | Herbal Bath | 6 Comments »

Bath for Lasting WealthIn the past I have shared money drawing baths on this blog to help draw quick money.  I have developed the following bath to help drawn a steady stream of lasting income into your life.  I have seen people get new jobs or have their businesses become successful after using this bath.   The herbs included are for steady and progressive wealth as opposed to instant money that soon fizzles out.

 

 

 

You will need:

 Handful of dried rue

Handful of dried sunflower petals

Seven bay leaves

 

Bring all the ingredients to a boil and simmer of exactly 7 minutes.

 

Allow the mixture to cool and strain.

 

Add the liquid to your bath water and bathe as you normally would.

 

As you bathe, imagine money flowing into your life and creating the lifestyle you would like to live.

 

Meditate for as long as you’d like and once you’ve finished soaking simply get out of the tub and continue about the rest of your day and allow lasting wealth to manifest in your life.

 

As side note, if you have sensitive skin, you may wish to brew a smaller quantity of this liquid and sprinkle it around your home or place of business as opposed to using it as a bath.  The spiritual effects will be the same.

 

I thank you for taking the time to read my blog and as always I wish you peace, happiness and abundant blessings!

 

 

 

 

Candlemas

, , , | Holidays | No Comments »

candlemasAbout fifteen years ago I happened to hear about an Eastern Rite Ukrainian Catholic Church a few towns over from where I was living at the time and I decided to attend Divine Liturgy one Sunday morning.  I have always loved Eastern Rite Christianity with its beautiful sung liturgies, generous use of incense, holy water and continuous making of the Sign of the Cross throughout the service not to mention the churches themselves decorated from wall to wall with icons of Jesus and the saints which truly are windows into Heaven.  This Sunday in particular happened to be the 2nd of February, the Feast of the Presentation, which commemorates when the child Jesus was presented at the temple in Jerusalem.  At the service, the priest blessed a large basket of beeswax candles which the congregants then took to light in their homes and bring a blessing and dispel darkness from their lives.  I found this tradition truly fascinating and it prompted me to do more research into this holy day popularly known as Candlemas observed by many denominations and dating back to the early days of Christianity yet containing symbolism borrowed from pagan religions.  Today I would like to explore the rich folklore and wide variety of popular traditions associated with Candlemas.

 

bellinipresentationCandlemas has been celebrated in the Christian church since as far back as the 3rd century AD.  By the Middle Ages the day also came to celebrate the purification of the Virgin Mary after giving birth to Jesus as was the Jewish custom of the day.  Candlemas shares much in common with pre-existing Pagan observances that were celebrated at the same time of year.  In Rome, mid-February marked the feast of Lupercalia celebrating Lupercus the Roman god of fertility.  Curiously, elements of Lupercalia also became part of Valentine’s Day celebrations in later centuries.  In Celtic lands, in early February they observed Imbolc which celebrated the lengthening days and heralded the coming spring season.  On this day, farmers would carry torches across their fields in honor of the goddess Brigid and ask her to bless and purify the land before spring planting.  The symbolism of light surrounding this day carried over into Christian observances and the blessing and lighting of candles became intrinsically linked to the Feast of the Presentation as can be seen in its popularly known name: Candlemas.  The lighting of candles during this feast came to symbolize the victory of light over darkness and the drawing in of peace and blessings to our lives.

 

candlemas crepesIn various parts of the Christian word there are many popular traditions associated with Candlemas.  Perhaps nowhere it is more a part of the popular culture than in the Brittany region of France where it is known as la Chandeleur.  This day is associated with the preparation of crêpes, the light thin pancakes often filled with both sweet and savory fillings for which Brittany is famous and by extension are popular in all of France.  This tradition likely has its origins in the fact that the crêpe resembles the sun and Candlemas is a celebration of light which heralds the coming spring.  Also, Pope Gelasius I gave pilgrims arriving in Rome for Candlemas pancakes to welcome them, a tradition which may have carried over to modern times in Brittany.  A popular practice states that if you flip a crêpe with your right hand while holding a coin in your left, you will have good luck for the year to come.  Also a crêpe is often kept inside an armoire all year round for protection, good luck and prosperity.  Mysteriously, this crêpe is said to never get moldy and remain perfectly preserved until the next Candlemas.  In addition to these ancient traditions, Candlemas is an occasion to spend time with family and loved ones and pause to enjoy the lengthening of days and anticipate the coming of spring.

 

CandlesThere are also many traditions surrounding the weather that are associated with Candlemas dating back to the Middle Ages.  In central Europe, especially in Germanic lands, bears traditionally come of out hibernation in early February to test the weather and forage for food.  If they are particularly active and visible, people took it as a sign that there would be an early spring.  This this is the origin of the modern Groundhog Day traditions brought to Pennsylvania by German immigrants where it is believe that if the groundhog sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter and if there is no shadow then spring will come early.  Groundhog Day coincides with Candlemas falling on February 2nd.  In Poland, as elsewhere in the Christian world, candles are blessed on Candlemas and a popular folk belief holds that if these candles are burned during a storm the blessing that they impart will help ward off misfortune and prevent damage bought about by the storm.

 

Anyone who has been following my blog and my facebook page will know that Halloween is by far my favorite holiday so it will come as no surprise that my favorite tradition associated with Candlemas is Liichtmëssdag which comes from Luxemburg and bears a striking resemblance to trick-or-treating.  On the night of February 2nd costumed children go door to door carrying lanterns and asking for treats while singing songs celebrating this day.  This tradition, especially with the symbolism of the lanterns, no doubt has its origin in an ancient ritual celebrating the lengthening of the days.

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading about this special holiday and I thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I wish you peace, happiness and abundant blessings in these days of lengthening daylight and always!