James Duvalier

author, spiritual counselor & paranormal researcher

The Mother of all Spiritual Cleansings

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CandlesToday I would like to share something that I have come to call the “The Mother of All Spiritual Cleansings.” It comes from Romania and is deeply rooted in the Orthodox Christian faith that is the predominant religion of Eastern Europe.  I first learned of this cleansing, which is in fact a fast combined with a daily regimen of prayers, from two Romanian women in 2012 who would prefer to remain anonymous but who are devout believers not only in Orthodoxy but in all aspects of the supernatural.  This fast is attributed to Fr. Ilarion Argatu, a famous Romanian Orthodox monk known for his piety and whose life was reportedly filled with many miraculous occurrences.  As a spiritual worker, I have dealt with many types of spiritual cleansing involving herbs, prayer, special baths and even transferring a person’s negativity into other objects such as eggs or dolls.  All of these work and I use and recommend them, but I have to say that by far the cleansing fast that I will present here is the strongest and most thorough but also one of the hardest to perform.  Not only will this cleansing break and rid you of all spells, charms, hexes and curses done against you, but it will also expel any evil spirits that may have attached themselves to you and expose the people who have done witchcraft on you and give you the chance to bind them from doing further harm.  Also, the fast unbinds anything that may be stuck, for example if you are experiencing financial or relationship difficulties or just feel stuck in life, this fasting cleanse can unbind all of that and help get your life flowing in the right direction again.  The fast even removes curses and spiritual debts going back nine generations in your family history that may still affect you on a personal level.  You can ask for specific favors or blessings.  After doing this fast, a person emerges spiritually clean and free of all negativity and blockages and it truly blessed with power and protection.


Fasting is an important part of almost all the religions of the world and therefore is an important spiritual discipline that keeps our minds, bodies and souls focused on all that is good.  Fasting, the act of abstaining from all food or certain types of food for a given amount of time is in and of itself a form of prayer.  For maximum spiritual benefit, fasting should be accompanied by prayer and acts of charity.  In Orthodox Christianity, fasting has an important place in the spiritual lives of all believers and the truly devout will fast more than half of the year.  In the case of Orthodox Christianity, fasting involves abstaining from all animal products, alcohol and olive oil during certain periods of the year preceding important holy days and on most Wednesdays and Fridays.  There are exceptions and certain days entail stricter or less strict fasts, but the general idea is to eat only a vegan diet and exercise moderation with what one chooses to consume among the permitted foods.  The following fast is incredibly strict, but the rewards and graces obtained there through are well worth the effort.  I would advise you to seek the advice of a doctor before embarking on such a rigorous fast and to always follow medical advice and also follow the dictates of your own conscious as with any spiritual exercise it is the faith, trust and love that you put into it that matter far more than adhering to the actual rules.


I have translated the rules of the fast and the prayers from Romanian to English and while the original Romanian is more poetic, the translations are perfectly adequate in expressing the original intentions and sentiments for this devout spiritual exercise.


Rules of the Cleansing and Unbinding Fast


You are to keep the fast for 9 days starting on a Monday.


One Monday, Wednesday and Friday you keep a complete fast taking no food at all.  If this is too rigorous, you may eat one full Vegan meal each day.  Water may be drunk as you need it.


On all other days you are to consume no animal products or alcohol.  All vegetables and plant products are permitted.


Start each day by taking a small sip of Holy Water taken from an Orthodox church.  If you cannot find Orthodox holy water, you may omit this step as holy water from Catholic churches is not meant to be drunk.  If you have Catholic holy water, you may simply bless yourself with it each morning making the Sign of the Cross.


You are to perform your daily prayers as usual but also through the course of the day make 40 prostrations while making the Sign of the Cross.  Recite three Our Fathers between each prostration.


Pray daily the Litany of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Acatistul Domnului Isus Christos or Acatistul Mantuitorului in Romanian) If you cannot find the litany, simply recite the Our Father several times throughout the day.


At 10 pm each evening, or at midnight if possible, place 9 candles in the form of a cross and light them.  The candles must be allowed to burn out on their own.  This is important.  Once the candles are lit, recite the following prayer:


Undo, Oh Lord, all spells, curses and witchcraft done on me by my known and unknown enemies.  Undo them and may they have no power over me.  Send away all unclean spirits and send them to the wastelands when man does not live never to return to me.  May those who wish me evil appear to me, (say your name) a slave of God.  Amen.


After reciting this prayer you will notice that those who wish you harm will start to feel uneasy and come to you.  Simply ignore them and don’t let them know that you have knowledge of their workings.  Simply pray for them and ask that they be forgiven and recite the following prayer to bind them from doing further harm:


Undo, Oh Lord, all workings with which my enemy (say the person’s name) has bound me.  Undo them and may they have no power over me.  Send away all unclean spirits, send them to the wastelands where man does no live never to return to me again.  Forgive the sins of your slave (say your name) and grant me peace.  Amen.


Each night when you say your prayers and the candles burn, recite the following prayer asking that all blockages that hold you back from prosperity, good health and progress in life be removed.


Bless me God with the gift of money, the ability to work and keep a good Christian home with food, clothing and the power to work and gain prosperity in my life.  (Ask for the freeing of anything you feel is blocked in your life-marriage, relationship, job issues etc.)  Amen.


Recite each night the following prayer to the Archangels Michael and Gabriel asking for the removal of all generational curses that may have been passed down to you and for their help in making a successful fast:


Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, carry my unworthy prayer and my unworthy fast to Almighty God for the forgiveness of my sins and those of my parents, grandparents and all those in my family lineage who have fallen asleep in the Lord up to the ninth generation and grant this petition that I make with faith and trust (make your request) Amen.


This is a very intense and in depth cleansing that I would only advise you to take when you are in dire need of spiritual help or are ready to make a fresh start in your life.  Also, due to the rigorousness of the fast, it’s best to do it at a time when you are on vacation or at least not obliged to do any heavy or emotionally taxing work.  After the nine days you will truly feel reborn and empowered to a level you never thought possible.  It’s an experience that is truly life changing.


I hope you have enjoyed this blog post and as always I wish you peace, happiness and abundant blessings!



Spring Garden Magic

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It is no coincidence that mMarigolds Garden Magicany witches and other spiritually attuned people are also master gardeners.  This comes as a natural and blessed consequence of being in touch with the seasons and the Earth’s cycle.  Not to mention the fact that herbs, flowers and roots make up the vast majority of the ingredients used in our spells and rituals and there is no denying that the plants grown or gathered by oneself are much more economical and several times more powerful than those bought at a grocery store or spiritual supply shop.  Plants that are started from seed, tended all season with patience and love and harvested with the intention of spiritual use are charged with such incredibly energy that makes for the most powerful and impactful of spells.  I have also noticed that witches’ and voodoo practioners’ gardens tend to be more fertile and lavish than those tended by non-magical people because we are in the habit of infusing our plants with magic during every stage of their development.  I have briefly blogged about garden magic in the past, but today I would like to discuss more in depth the types of plants I grow and their spiritual uses.  I have also shared some photos today of plants that I’ve started from seed and I will post updates periodically throughout the growing season.

IMG_2432In early spring, I start my herbs inside in flower pots and seed trays and as the weather warms I place them outside in the sun.  I keep the herbs and flowers that I grow in the room and on the balcony where I do my daily prayers and rituals and they definitely soak up the spiritual energy and grow at a faster rate and in a more abundant way than is typical of most plants.  I grow several herbs such as thyme, basil, abre camino, yerba bruja, rompe zaraguey that I use to prepare spiritual baths and gris gris charms as well as flowers that I burn as offerings in dried form at my annual Halloween and All Saints’ Day service.  In addition to growing plants myself, I also gather several herbs and flowers of Saint John’s Night (June 23rd-24th) for spiritual uses.  In various spiritual traditions, Saint John’s Night is the most powerful night of the year for doing spiritual work and the herbs, flowers and water gathered from natural sources on that night are extra powerful.  I currently live in a city apartment, so I’m limited to what I can grow on my balcony, but in years past when I lived in a more rural setting my favorite thing to grow was pumpkins which I would tend with care all summer and then carve at Halloween to light the way for visiting good spirits and ancestors and frighten away all negative spirits and energies.  This year I have decided to grow sunflowers in the communal garden space of my building and use the petals in a new spiritual bath I’ve developed and present the seeds as an offering to the earth and ancestors at this fall.  I have the sunflower seeds started already indoors and will be transferring them outside soon. This is definitely a very exciting time of year when everything starts to grow and bloom as spring gets into full swing and heads into summer.

IMG_2425I hope you have enjoyed this brief discussion on garden magic and as always I wish you peace, happiness and abundant blessings!


Spiritual Techniques for Dealing with Negative People

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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

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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.



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

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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!