James Duvalier

author, spiritual counselor & paranormal researcher

Bath for Lasting Wealth

, , | Herbal Bath | 8 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!

Hauntings

, , | Paranormal | No Comments »

HauntingsOver the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, I spent time in Massachusetts visiting family.  It was an enjoyable break and I found myself with a lot of free time to relax and watch TV, a rare treat given my normally hectic schedule.  I noticed that on several channels over the course of several hours each day there were shows about hauntings and supernatural manifestations in people’s homes.  Of course I devoured all of these shows for hours on end and I realized that hauntings are something that we have not discussed on this blog and they are actually a very big part of the work I do.  In fact, at least once a month I am contacted by somebody who is experiencing some form of paranormal activity in his or her home.  Usually I offer some spiritual advice which is enough to calm the situation and it more explore cases I have have to travel to the location in question to conduct a more in depth investigation and offer deliverance services to set the haunting spirit free.  The people who contact me do so with a range of emotions, sometimes mere fascination and curiosity other times in sheer terror.  In any case, it’s important to understand the different types of hauntings and how to handle such situations if they ever arise.

The first type of haunting that I would like to discuss, or rather spiritual manifestation since it can’t properly be called a haunting, is an apparition.  An apparition in simple terms is a ghost or the ghost like appearance of a spirit in the image of a person.  While often a fundamental component of a haunting, an apparition differs in that it may occur only once and the spirit in question is not necessarily earthbound or troubled in any way.  Oftentimes the apparition has a message to convey to the person or people to whom it appears.  As a spiritually awakened person, I see and communicate with spirits almost on a daily basis, but witnessing an apparition is different.  In such circumstances you see the spirit in question in solid, or near solid, physical form with your actual eyes and not through psychic perception.  This has happened to me a handful of times in my life, usually during investigations into hauntings or spiritual disturbances, but one instance was particularly memorable as the spirit in question personally sought me out.  I was visiting some friends who lived in a centuries’ old farm house in New England and long after they had gone to bed, I sat watching TV in the living room.  As I stared at the TV screen, I felt a presence in the room and turned to see a woman dressed in Victorian garb standing in the middle of the floor smiling at me.  At first I thought it was one of the people staying at the house who had tried on a costume, but I quickly realized that I did not recognize her face.  In a light, bubbly, friendly voice she said “You have something that belongs to me.”  I sat up, shaken and responded.  “I’m sorry but I don’t know you.  I don’t have anything that belongs to you.”  She put her hands on her hips and said, “Yes, you have my stories.”  Then she vanished into a fine mist.  The following morning I asked my friend if they had ever experienced anything supernatural in the house, and they said they had not and over the years I have tried to use my skills as a medium to establish contact with this woman but I have not been able to and to this day I am still not sure what she was trying to tell me.

In my opinion, a haunting occurs when a spirit is trapped or bound to a certain location or person out of a sense of obligation due to a traumatic event such as a violent death or emotionally taxing incident that occurred at the location in question or because the entity feels a need to warn or possibly exact revenge on living people.  Many times the spirits in questions do not even know they’re dead.  In such cases where a soul remains earthbound and refuses or feels it is impossible to move on to the other side, then what we are dealing with is a ghost.  As I will explain further on, it is easy to perform a deliverance service to help an earthbound spirit or ghost transition to the other side.  It is important to say that there are two main types of hauntings, residual hauntings and active hauntings.  The former usually occurs when a traumatic event happens in any given space and a psychic imprint remains and plays itself over and over again like a recording.  The spirit in question has long since moved on but the event that transpired there tends to repeat itself on an energetic level sometimes with witnesses.  An active haunting simply means that an earthbound spirit or “ghost” is present and able to interact with the living often in frightening or unsettling ways.  Poltergeist activity, a common term in parapsychology, simply means that the entity in question, possibly the ghost of a once living person or an elemental spirit made of raw energy, acts out in physical ways such a breaking household items or physically touching or even throwing living people.  The term comes from German and literally means “noisy ghost.”  I consider demonic possession or infestation to be an issue separate from a haunting so we will not discuss it here other than to say that if you find yourself under demonic attack, you should first pray for deliverance and protection.  Recite the St. Michael the Archangel prayer and seek competent spiritual help immediately from a priest or leader of your particular spiritual tradition.

An example of a residual haunting that happened to me personally occurred one early spring day when I was fourteen.  It was one of the first warm days of the season and I was staying at my grandparents’ house in a rural New England town and I decided to take our dogs out for a long walk.  I walked through forests and down dirt roads until arriving at a historical section of town and found a beautiful church that has been built sometime in the early 1800’s.  I looked through the stained glass planes that served as windows on the front doors and was delighted to see that the church was filled with people wearing period costumes complete with cloaks, capes and bonnets.  I tried to open the church door and enter but it was locked.  I found it odd that the door was locked as I assumed they were having some sort of historical reenactment.  I looked again through the glass trying to get somebody’s attention, but to my amazement the church was entirely empty!  Then I realized that I had looked through a window to another time!  This makes sense as the church in any rural community was the center of people’s lives for centuries and it was a place filled with hope, love, joy, sadness and inspiration so it stands to reasons that psychic imprints would have been left there for the occasional passerby to witness, especially those who are psychically sensitive.

An example of an active haunting happen to my friend Sarah when she moved into a new home in Deerfield, Massachusetts in the early 2000’s.  That area of New England is known to have been the sight of bloody conflicts between the Native-Americans and European settlers in the 18th century and there are many accounts of supernatural activity no doubt unleashed by the senseless and horrific bloodshed during colonial times.  Shortly after moving in, Sarah began to smell wood smoke when there were no fires anywhere around and she would hear voices outside her window speaking in a language unknown to her.  One day she saw and Native-American man dressed in traditional garb standing on the edge of her property for a new moments before vanishing into thin air.  Sarah was not at all shocked, having a solid belief in the supernatural she knew what to do.  She immediately make a large spiritual feast of Indian pudding, cornbread, rice, flour dumplings, coffee, beer and boiled beans and squash and placed them outside on the edge of her property along with a candle.  She told the spirits that she wished to share this land with them in peace and that she would continue to make offerings to them and to respect and care for the land itself.  The Native-American spirits quickly became her personal spirit guides and she has lived in harmony with them ever since.  I hesitate to call this a haunting since in traditional Native-American culture and religion the Earth is sacred so the spirits in question may not have in fact been “earthbound” but instead chose to remain on the land that they loved and that was sacred to them, but it is a beautiful example of how we can live in harmony with the spirit world and how it is important to show respect and kindness to the souls that have walked the Earth before us and to the land on which it is a privilege for us to make our homes.

Hauntings can manifest in many ways.  There is often a feeling of an unseen presence in the home which can progress to physical items being moved.  For example, I have an aunt who often returns home to find her perfume bottles placed in different locations throughout the house when nobody else has been there. Then is more extreme cases an actual ghostly apparition will occur.  I do not recommend trying to communicate with the ghost and under no circumstances should you use a Ouija board or similar device as they can often serve as a portal of entry to all kinds of nasty entities.  I would light a white candle and simply pray for the deliverance of the earthbound spirit in question.  Pray first in your own words and then you can accompany this by prayers from your particular religious tradition for example the Our Father Hail Mary and Glory Be would be helpful or reading a few verses from scripture.  In 99% of cases, this will be enough to help the earthbound spirit move on, but if the ghostly manifestations persist, I would advise seeking the help of a professional.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and if you have had any experiences with hauntings or ghosts I would love to hear about them.  Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and as always I wish you peace, happiness and abundant blessings!

Garden Magic

, | Spells | No Comments »

avocado-grafted-4682Garden magic has always been a favorite aspect of the craft for me.  Herbs, flowers, roots and plants are used in the magical workings of so many spiritual traditions that any witch or spiritual worker should be versed in gardening.  I also find that the herbs we grow ourselves tend to be more powerful due to the love, care and positive energy we pour into them as we grow and tend them.  In the cold winter months, at least in the central European climate in which I live, we are forced to tend only indoor plants and I find myself longing for the warm spring days where I can plant and tend my garden.  Today, I would like to share a garden magic spell that can be done indoors any time of the year in any location.

Ever since I was a young child, I have always loved growing any type of plant I can get my hands on.  I remember once in pre-school, the teacher showed us how to grow an avocado tree by sticking toothpicks in an avocado pit and letting it rest several weeks in a glass of water.  Eventually it sprouts roots and a stem and can be transferred to a pot of dirt and kept as a house plant.  I have done this many times over the years.  I realized that this practice could have magical implications and developed the following spell to achieve any goal.

You will need:

An avocado pit

4 toothpicks

A glass of water

The goal you are trying to manifest written out on paper

 

Stick the toothpicks into the avocado pit so that it rests comfortably on top of a glass with half of the pit submerged in water.

 

Place it on a window sill or similar sunny location on top of the paper on which you’ve written the goal you wish to manifest.

 

Each day hold your hands out over the glass and recite:  As this sacred water brings life to this plant, so may my desires manifest.  So be it.”

 

Do this daily until the avocado sprouts and then transplant it to a pot of dirt.

 

I know several people, myself included, who have used this spell successfully and still keep the avocado plants in their homes years later.

 

 

Chinese New Year: The Year of the Rooster

, , | Asian Traditions, Holidays | 5 Comments »

Chinese New YearNew Year’s Eve and Day have always been fun for me.  I love the idea of ushering in the New Year through a night of celebration that does not have the commercial overtones of Christmas.  I celebrate and love Christmas as well but I feel that it should be a time of deep spiritual reflection, charity and kindness towards others rather than the materialism with which it has become associated in the modern age.  New Year’s is a fun time but also represents a fresh start and a time to work on new goals and make positive changes in life.  I personally do not make New Year’s resolutions as I prefer to set goals for myself regardless of the time of year, but I do perform rituals and spells to assure luck in the New Year as I feel it is very important to establish a vibe of prosperity and success as we enter a new calendar year.  Over the years, I have researched the New Year’s traditions of various cultures, which do not always coincide with the January 1st New Year of the western calendar.  I have found that the particular New Year’s celebration that is most heavily associated with rituals of luck and prosperity is Chinese New Year.  I would like to discuss some of these traditions and rituals today.

chinese-new-year-2015-holiday-hd-wallpaperChinese New Year celebrations begin on the first new moon of the calendar year according to the Gregorian calendar and continue for two weeks with three official days off of work for all employees in the People’s Republic of China.  It is celebrated everywhere in mainland China and throughout the Chinese diaspora.  The New Year is by far the most important observance on the Chinese calendar and people travel great distances to be with family and loved ones at this time.  On the traditional Chinese calendar, there is a twelve year cycle with each year corresponding to a different animal as well as a different element and each year is classified as yin or yang representing female or male energy.  This information is analyzed and taken into account by Chinese astrologers and fortune tellers when compiling charts and offering life advice to clients.  In 2017, Chinese New Year begins on January 28th and it is the year of the rooster.  The rooster represents strength and luck in many cultures and in China it is particularly associated with chasing away potentially harmful spirits.

One of the most visible aspects of Chinese New Year celebrations is the ubiquitous use of the color red in banners, decorations and even clothing.  This is due to the fact that red in Chinese folk religion is believed to ward off bad luck and evil spirits and draw in good luck.  This association dates back to an ancient Chinese legend about an elderly traveling monk who arrived at a remote village around the time of the New Year and found the people to be not at all in a festive mood.  In fact, they were living in a state of fear.  He asked them what the problem was and they told him that there was a monster called the Nian that was terrorizing the village and not letting them live in peace.  The old man confronted the Nian brandishing a red banner which caused the monster to recoil in fear.  He set off firecrackers which sent the Nian running for the hills never to be seen again and the people were left to celebrate the New Year in peace.  The old man credited with frightening off the Nian is Hongjun Laozu who became a venerated figure in Chinese folk religion.  To this day the color red and firecrackers are fundamental parts of Chinese New Year celebrations.  People often give small red envelopes filled with cash to young children at Chinese New Year as a yearly allowance.  Finally, in remembrance of the story of the Nian, the festivities are kicked off by lighting large qualities of fire crackers to frighten off evil spirits and what bad luck might remain from the previous year.

In the weeks preceding the start of the festival period, it is customary for people to immaculately clean and sweep their homes to remove any bad luck that might remain from the previous year and to create a clean space to welcome good luck.  During the two week celebration of the New Year, people do not sweep their home so as not to disrupt any good luck that has come into their lives and for this same reason people often have they hair cut before, and not during or immediately after, Chinese New Year.  Buying new clothes also symbolizes a fresh start and sets the tone of inviting good luck and prosperity into one’s life.   The weeks leading up to Chinese New Year are a time to settle old debts and put to rest arguments among friends and family members to start the New Year on clean and positive terms.  On the first day of the New Year’s festivities it is a tradition to open the door to one’s home as a symbolic gesture of inviting in good luck for the coming year.  Sharing food among family and friends is also an important aspect of the New Year celebration.  Pork stuffed dumpling and oranges are traditionally eaten and shared in great quantities among friends as they lucky foods that symbolize wealth.  The lion and dragon dances in which acrobats dance in colorful costumes depicting lions and dragons is also meant to dispel back luck and summon good fortune.  The idea of setting the tone for a wealthy New Year is so central to the celebration that the traditional greeting for this time of year is “恭喜發財”(Gong Hay Faat Choy) which loosely translates to “may you grow rich.”  This greeting can be heard all over the Chinese speaking world during the two week New Year celebration.

In traditional Taoist circles and among adherents to ancestor veneration, the days preceding Chinese New Year are also a time to fulfill all outstanding promises to the gods and ancestors.  There is a popular belief that at this time of year the lesser gods report back to the Jade Emperor, the supreme ruler of the Celestial Kingdom, and in order to secure a favorable report and blessings and prosperity in the year to come people make abundant offerings at temples and home altars.  In Chinese popular religion, the kitchen god, Zao Jun, in particular is associated with giving a report of the good and bad deeds of each household to the Jade Emperor and people often keep a paper image of him in their kitchens and before Chinese New Year offerings are made to Zao Jun and his image is burned to send him on his journey to the Celestial Kingdom and a new image is placed in the kitchen where it will keep watch throughout the year.

If you wish to bring some luck into your life for Chinese New Year, I would advise to first honor your ancestors by lighting a candle or burning some spirit money.  Also eat some oranges and buy some to share with friends.  Chinese dumplings would be a good choice as they symbolize wealth and also stir fried noodles which symbolize long life.  The act or sharing food with loved ones is in and of itself a ritual and exercise in generosity that will be repaid many fold.  Of course wearing red clothing and hanging red decorations around your home will be helpful as well in setting the tone for luck and prosperity in the New Year.  These are simple ways of observing Chinese New Year that I have seen bring luck to myself and others time and time again.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I would like to comment on the fact that many cultures and faiths celebrate their New Year at different times of the year.  Cambodian New Year is in April, Nowruz (Persian New Year) is in March, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) is in September and there are others.  Even if we are not of these cultures and faiths, we can still approach these celebrations as a new beginning and a time to start over, break with the past and invite prosperity into our lives.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and I wish you peace, happiness and prosperity in the New Year!   Gong Hay Faat Choy!