Itsy Bitsy Spider

This time of year spiders start multiplying in the greenery of our canal, and naturally, spiderwebs soon follow. In no time at all there will be sticky webbing across windows, doorways and pretty much anywhere hospitable to our arachnids’ architectural efforts. And it’s this time of year therefor that the spider's sticky web gets incorporated into various areas of client work.

The spiderweb holds powerful magical sympathies that are especially well suited to tying and trapping magics. Consider for a moment how spiderweb has tensile strength approaching that of steel and you will begin to understand how it is that enchantments wrought with its aid are exceedingly difficult to break.  And by virtue of its metaphorical associations I have found it especially useful for tangling up liars and enemies in their own tricks. Similarly, men and women hoping to snatch a lover (especially if that person is already involved) might find the small eight legged predator’s ancient trap amenable to their questionable desires.


To tangle a manipulator in their own lies proceed by wrapping a black figural candle (baptised and dressed in reversal oil) in a large mess of spiders webbing while calling for their own words to tangle and tie them. Set it facing a mirror and sit back and watch as they get twisted up in their own schemes .


Reversals Without Tears

An issue that many people run into when reading with tarot reversals is the confusion that happens when interpreting distinctly negative or distinctly positive cards when they are reversed. Is the negativity in a difficult card such as the Tower worsened or improved by the reversal, for example? There are a lot of opinions and approaches. Some will read the negativity as diminished while others will increase the negativity in the meaning, and some even have rules for individual cards that are applied on a case by case basis. The same confusion happens with positive cards. Are otherwise happy cards to be read using flipped meanings, or merely weakened?

Add to this the tension of an emotionally charged topic and it becomes all to easy to begin spinning the reversal in a certain way based on what you would like to have it mean.

This is one of the reasons some readers maintain that tarot reversals are unnecessary since the tarot already expresses the whole range of human experience - good and bad. No need to add that additional twist.

Personally, I think reversals can be very useful provided they are approached in the right way.

My Approach

When we decide to use reversals we are inviting the cards to speak in distinctly dualistic terms - and therein lies the key to rationally interpreting reversals. All the cards have so called ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ meanings contained within them; reversals then allow as to clearly define when and where we are going to apply these meanings.

My approach therefor is as simple as it is intuitive. When reading with reversals, upright cards are always read as positive and reversed cards are always read as negative. The Tower, for example, only means "ruin, calamity or destruction" when reversed. When the Tower is upright it is read something along the lines of "breakthrough, inspiration, fertilising jolt, explosive joy" etc.  Like this all negative and positive meanings are parsed by the upright or reversed positions without exception. To give another example; upright the Lovers only talks about unions, relating and harmony and reversed only signifies discord, splitting up and so forth.

You get the idea.



This spell is particularly well suited to conjuring up a material item such as a new car or home. Or a lump sum of money. Something that you can own and touch. This has to do with the secret geometrical properties of the ALL POWERFUL TRIANGLE OF MANIFESTATION. You can however use it to manifest more abstract qualities such as strength or love, should you choose.

You will need:

1 vigil light of appropriate colour
X number of taper candles of appropriate colour
suitable condition oil
magnet oil
petition paper


First you will need to decide on a word that describes what you want to conjure into existence. If you want a new house, for example, your word will be HOUSE. If you need new employment then your word might be JOB. If you need five thousand dollars then your ‘word’ is $5000.

Let us assume for the sake of this example that I intend to manifest a motorcycle. I will opt for the word BIKE. The longer the word the more candles you will need. The ideal range is four or five letters, but as low as 3 and as high as 6 is workable.

You should select a suitable condition oil. If for example you are trying to conjure up a quick sum of money then you might opt for something like Fast Luck, or another money drawing oil. Another approach is to work astrologically and to use a planetary oil. You will also select the colour of your candles based on your goal - green for money etc. Lastly, you will want to select an appropriate herbal component to grind and sprinkle on the candles to add some botanical power.

The Petition Paper


Write your word using the ALL POWERFUL TRIANGLE FORMULA. In order to succesfully call upon the awesome geometrical and occult properties of the ALL POWERFUL TRIANGLE, start on the first line with the first letter of the word adding letters on subsequent lines until at the base of the triangle you have the entire word.

Remember, the full word should be at the base of the triangle.

Beneath this you should write your full name. Dress the paper with oil, place a hair from the crown of your head in the centre of ALL POWERFUL TRIANGLE and fold it towards you.

The Candles

As mentioned the quantity of taper candles is dependent on the length of your word.

3 letters = 6 tapers
4 letters = 10 tapers
5 letters = 15 tapers

Start by dressing and fixing the vigil. Place the petition paper under the vigil light. Next, taking into careful consideration the letters of the ALL POWERFUL TRIANGLE FORMULA, use a pin to carve each letter into a candle. One letter per candle. That means in my example I will have four candles with the letter B; three with I; two with K; and one with E.


Once you have done this you will dress the candles with condition oil, sprinkle with your chosen powdered botanical - and finally arrange the candles standing in the form of the ALL POWERFUL TRIANGLE OF MANIFESTATION; making sure that it corresponds to the formula used in the petition.

The Work

Activate your incense.

Light the vigil in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost and then recite Psalm 23.

Close your eyes and formulate a clear image of the thing you desire. Do not attempt at this point to animate it in your mind yet however. Merely hold it as a still image. When you feel ready light the apex candle declaring: “Through the All Powerful Triangle do I manifest my hearts desire!”

Meditate upon the flame for a while, seeing if you receive any impressions and then leave it to burn.

The following day return to the spell, recite Psalm 23 twice. Visualise your desire but this time begin to animate it. Bring movement into scene. In the case of the example, I might see myself turning the key and starting up the motor of my new bike. When the moment feels right light the next two candles declaring:  Through the All Powerful Triangle do I manifest my hearts desire!”

On the third day return to the spell and recite Psalm 23 three times. Close your eyes and visualise your desire bringing yet more detail into the visualisation. For example I might feel the vibration of the bike and wind in my face as I zoom down the freeway. When the moment feels right light the next three candles declaring:  Through the All Powerful Triangle do manifest my hearts desire!”

Continue like this each day adding an additional recitation of the Psalm and more details to the visualisation - until you feel, see, hear, touch and know it to be manifest. Each time light the next row of increasing number candles declaring:  Through the All Powerful Triangle do manifest my hearts desire!”

Continue like this until all the candles have burned then collect the wax remains, herbal remnants and petition and tie these into a packet to keep until your desire has manifest.

Closing Comments

Those adept in the mysterious geometrical properties of the ALL POWERFUL TRIANGLE will recognise that its formula can, with some modification, be altered so as to produce a TRIANGLE OF VANISHING.

But let us not speak of such things here.


Balthazar’s Heart Card Technique

The following Lenormand technique requires only three cards: the Lord, Lady and Heart. It provides a quick and accurate snapshot of a romantic relationship. I use it as the springboard for a relationship reading.

Where the heart falls in each combination is the key to interpreting the combination.

First find the heart, lord and lady cards - putting the rest of pack aside for moment. You will need to use a deck where the Lord and Lady face opposite directions since their facings form part of the technique.

For this example let us assume we are reading on John’s romantic relationship with Mary. Shuffle the Heart, Lady and Lord cards while focusing on their relationship, and then lay them out in a strip.

There are six possible combinations - each with its own twist:

This is the best combination. The heart connects the Lord and Lady and they are facing. The affection is mutual and they are both interested in the relationship. This bodes well for the relationship since both parties are on board.

The combination is more troubling but holds hope. The heart connects the Lord and Lady but they are not facing as before. The feelings are mutual but there are issues. They do not see eye to eye. Often this indicates a relationship where the couple is fighting but still remain attracted to each another. Otherwise it can show circumstances pulling them apart.

This is somewhat more negative since there is no heart connecting the Lord and Lady. It does however reveal on whose side the problem lies. The Lord and Lady face each other but the heart falls on the side of Lady. Mary and John appear to be trying but Mary is either consciously or unconsciously doing something to mess it up. This can indicate that Mary is emotionally unavailable in some way (her heart is not in it). If Mary is the client I might tell her that this combination is a clue that she is doing something to sabotage the relationship. Playing games, blowing hot and cold, or otherwise withholding in some way are all possibilities. If John were the client I would be concerned that despite Mary's apparent interest in him her affections lay elsewhere.

This is the least fortunate, especially for John. The Lord and Lady are facing apart. The heart does not join them. The lady faces the heart. Mary is pulling away and is withdrawing her love. Mary most probably wants things to end, or is otherwise not interested. She wants out. 

(The final two combinations are the same as the previous two but are of application to the Lord instead of the Lady and are therefor interpreted in the same way.)

Now that you have the snapshot of what is going on your can can use the rest of the pack and lay three cards above and three below to create a 3x3 for details.


The Broken Candle

Considering that candle magic is one of the most popular forms of magic it’s not all that surprising that often spiritual attack takes the form of candle spells.

The following counter spell will break the effect of most garden-variety candle spells. And since the majority of spells done by your average spell-caster involve candles in one way or another - chances are good that you are going to swat a spell using this whether it's an outright attack or some other kind of manipulative spell.

You will need:

black candle
mason jar

The Work

Start by seeing if you can divine which direction the spell is coming from. Divining with a pendulum is one way to discover this. Or, if you already have a clear idea of where your attacker lives then face in their general direction when doing this work.

Urinate in the mason jar. Leave it open. Then, stand facing in the direction of your attacker, black candle in hand. Next, take the (unlit) black candle and ‘clean’ yourself with it. That means you take the candle and briskly wipe yourself down starting with your head and ending at your feet.

Then light the black candle, hold it up and peer into its flame. Do so until you get some sense of your attacker. You may see their face in the flame, or some other scene related to them. It could simply be a feeling in the pit of your stomach if you are not particularly visual. A certain knowingness. The information received like this can be quite enlightening as to the nature of both the spell and enemy. Whatever the case may be, peer into the flame till there is a psychic connection.

In an angry voice say:  their sword shall enter into their own heart and their bow shall be broken!*

As you say "broken" swiftly break the lit candle and drop it in the urine; screw the lid on and immediately dispose of it away from your home. I repeat, do not leave it around the house, or near the house.

Get rid of it.

(If you suspect that you are under spiritual attack but unsure - a reading is a good place to start. Not all misfortune is the result witchcraft)

*Psalm 37:15


Oracle decks I have known and loved

I have been binging on cardboard (more about that in a bit) and I thought I should share some of my favourite oracle decks with a quick seat-of-the-pants review on each pack...


If you have never heard of Psycards then you have most certainly been missing out. This 39 card deck has been around since the 80s and it's seen plenty of use on my reading cloth since I discovered it a few years ago. If you are a Lenormand enthusiast then you will know that Lenormand and Tarot are very different in terms of how they read. Well, Psycards manages to bridge that gap, allowing for some of the precision of Lenormand (in terms of fortune telling) with some of the deeper, more psychological qualities of the tarot. It also gives surprisingly accurate yes/no readings due to the inclusion of "yes" and "no" cards. Sounds too easy? Try it out and see. The art is groovy watercolour and pencil illustration. No ugly photoshop mish-mash on this classic, folks. The author also publishes a short but good interpretation manual that I like.


The mysterious Symbolon. This 78 card oracle is a German creation that fuses astrological symbolism with the author's modality of depth psychology, apparently. It is mysterious because all the books on working with the deck are in German and while the english LWB included with the pack does give a basic set of interpretations it's all pretty opaque. No problem! Just look at some of these cards; a hobbling Hermes, the holy grail, the Virgin emerging from the ocean - and my favourite - the black mass.  It's a no-brainer, really. Astrological glyphs included on each of the cards assist with matters somewhat. Lack of interpretive literature aside - it gives excellent readings if you just look at. Nice consistent colour pencil illustration throughout.

Tao Oracle

I have never seen I Ching derived cards that didn't stink. I think it's probably because the divide between the I Ching text, with all of it's profundity and multivalence, and any one image is simply too great. The Tao Oracle changes all that. It successfully fuses cartomancy and the I Ching, in my opinion. It comes with a tailored version of the I-Ching that works in tandem with the deck. Or simply use it as an oracle deck, if you want. The art is subtle and gorgeous. Natural imagery, rich colours, key words and pictograms give the reader cleverly nuanced visual expressions of the energy of each of the hexagrams. The Tao Oracle somehow manages to bridge the divide between oracular text and image. It manages to stay true to the spirit of the I Ching while being it's own (heavenly) animal. What's more, the card stock and finish is probably the best I have seen on any pack of cards! If you love the I Ching, I can't recommend it highly enough. My only gripe with it is that the fiddly method provided for deriving changing lines seems to rarely actually do so. This produces a locked hexagram, which is kind of frustrating if it happens too often. Certain locked hexagrams also give unlucky auspices (traditionally) which is unwelcome if it's only happening because the math is a bit skewed. I have a simple hack - roll a six sided die (such as found in monopoly) after drawing the primary hexagram to derive the changing line and thus the following hexagram.

Storyworld cards

Not even an oracle deck, technically! These are the Storyworld cards. A storytelling game for kids. The cards are used as storytelling prompts in the game, with a key phrase and prompt questions on the back of each card. Never mind that. These cards are incredible oracle cards! The art is gorgeous, high quality watercolour and pencil for that lush storybook feel - and let me say this again - these are fantastic oracle cards. Characters such as the Weaver of Fate, the Sword of Power, The King (and Queen), the Mother (and Father), Daughter (and son), The Castle, The Endless Forest, The Knight, The Dog, The Cat, the Key, The Ship and the Crystal Cup, leap out at you from these large, deep and detailed cards. It's almost like these cards were meant to be divined with. 

But hold on... the creators of this kids game also publish Tarot and Lenormand decks? That's right. This is no oracular accident, friends! Some lucky kids out there are being groomed for fortunetelling as we speak. What's more - there are expansion packs. This brings a dimension of deck-building into the whole affair which is either wildly exciting or financially perilous, depending on how you look at it. Especially considering some of the out-of-print expansions (such as the Animals expansion) on amazon seem to be going for astronomical sums. I can't get enough of these cards. Lenormand techniques work well with it while the glorious detail on each card makes it possible to use a single card for rich, intuitive readings. Fine tuning my deck by adding or removing cards amuses me no end. The readings it produces are imaginative, playful and usually very insightful. Recommended for diviners of all ages!


Let Him Go with Scissor Magic

There are times when we are simply unable to let go of someone. Often the problem is plainly psychological; yet sometimes it's because there are subtle but persistent energetic links that complicate matters. Clairvoyants describe these as cords attached to the auric field. Resultantly, you may find yourself dwelling on your ex long after the usual mourning period.  Our perpetual hyper-connectivity does not help much either, providing plenty of opportunity for social media torment. Worse yet, the other person may have ended the relationship abruptly by “ghosting” you - unexpectedly blocking all contact, social media and so forth - without so much as a word of explanation. Getting discarded in this way can wreak emotional havoc. In the extreme, clients report recurring dreams, intrusive thoughts and a sense of bondage that friends and family fail to understand.

To this end, scissors are magically useful for severing psychic and emotional ties.

A brief anecdote attests to the power of even the simplest scissor magic: during a reading a client of mine who is a hostess at an establishment in Amsterdam’s red light district described how when a patron overstays his welcome she will lay a pair of open scissors - blades facing in the client’s direction - behind the bar where they can’t see it. Pretty soon the unwanted guest will grow uncomfortable and leave.

It is this ancient potency of the shears' open blades that we will be invoking in the following spell. It will cleanly sever all lingering mental, emotional and sexual ties with a person. With some modification this spell can be used to break contact with a spirit that may have been useful at one time but has become bothersome for whatever reason. The spell is designed to bring a firm but loving severance. It does not harm the other party. It sends them away with a blessing. But send them away it does.

You will need

pair of scissors
photo of you with your ex
blue vigil candle
appropriately gendered pink figural candle to represent the ex
pink figural candle for yourself
holy water (from a church)
clear drinking glass
healing and blessing condition oils

Set Up

You will want to set this up in a fireproof dish or pan of some sort. Dress the blue vigil with healing oil. Take a pin and carve your ex’s name on the appropriately gendered candle and yours on the other. You should proceed to baptize each candle using a few drops of holy water, naming them respectively. Anoint your ex’s candle with blessing oil, as you do so offer a sincere blessing to them. Anoint your candle with healing oil, praying for your own healing. Next, set the two figural candles so that they are facing apart - the ex’s candle facing to the left. Place the glass between the two candles and fill it with holy water. Place the photo somewhere to the side of this arrangement along with the scissors ready for action.

The Work 

Light the blue vigil to watch over the work with a heartfelt prayer for release and healing. Light the two figural candles next; again blessing your ex as you light his candle. Call on divine strength and healing as you light your own. Now, take up the glass of holy water and speak into it everything that you need to say to your ex; everything that went unsaid or otherwise could not be said. Speak from the heart and make it count - the water will be transmitting that to them. If you cry let your tears drip into the holy water. When you are absolutely done and emptied of all that needed to be said, put the glass back between the candles. Take the photo and scissors - cut the two of you apart with a decisive stroke. Place your ex’s half face down under the glass, and yours face up under the blue healing vigil.

Hold the scissors with ceremonial conviction and cut in front of your brow, say firmly: I cut all mental cords to N! 
Then, cut in front of your heart and say: I cut all emotional cords to N!
Following that, cut in front of the groin area and say: I cut all sexual cords to N!

You may want to visualize cords severed and dissolving into dust.

Finally, vigorously snip all around the ex’s candle as you declare: I permanently sever all ties to N! Continue snipping around the candle till you feel that the moment is right and then position the open blades on top of the glass facing the ex's candle between the two figures, like so:

Leave the figurals (and vigil) to burn. The figural candles will burn down within a few hours, the vigil will take 5-7 days. Each day return to the spell, take the scissors and again repeat the words above as you cut in front of your head, heart and groin. Each day, place the scissors back on top of the glass as before. When the blue vigil has finally finished burning dispose of the water and other remains of the spell at a crossroads.


How to NOT let the tarot drive you crazy

Reading the tarot for yourself can be hard at first. It's a practice. Especially when you are upset. This may be why at one time it was common to hear it said that a tarot reader should never read for themselves. While holding to this old idea would have robbed us of the many joys of reading solo, the truth is that the cards can drive you a little crazy if you don’t take care.

I recently had a client come to me, emotionally wrecked. She had woken from a bad dream and deciding to turn to the tarot drew the Nine of Swords. A cloying dread seized her when she saw that anguished figure, swords looming above. Something bad was about to happen. Later that day (hoping to allay her anxiety) she drew another card only to be blasted by the Tower's bolt. This launched a week long jig with the more troubling characters in the pack. The more freaked out she became the worse the cards seemed to get. Naturally, every problem in her life took on a sinister bent as she tried to anticipate what disaster the cards could be predicting. And the tarot  - now a cruel jester - seemed to jeer at her as she flailed in this quicksand of bad dreams, swords and towers. In the end nothing truly bad happened; the world did not end. Well, actually, something bad did happen. She felt like the world was about to end. 

The cards can be a wise guide, but make no mistake, they can also be pitiless.

Looked at from a nuanced angle the cards were accurate in their way. Her question and state of mind were the issue. You see, waking from a bad dream is more or less exactly what is depicted on the Nine of Swords! The cards were being literal. They were saying “this is a bad dream”. Similarly, her world had been turned upside-down as the Tower suggested. However, what followed after that first draw is not unlike what happens when you take a microphone too close to the speaker: a horrible squealing noise erupts from the feedback loop of fear and scary cards.

This means that if you are just getting into the tarot you have to be careful when reading for yourself if you are upset or stressed out. Not because the cards cannot be useful at times like this - they can be exceptionally useful - but for the novice it can be all too easy to make things worse when the cards go into this mantic feedback loop. Similarly, take care when reading for yourself just before a job interview, big presentation, or other high stress situation where your performance could be hampered by a bum reading! You don’t need it.

Here are some tips for keeping it sane at times like these:

Calm Down

Don't whip the cards out straight after that break-up call. Don't wail at the cards asking stuff like "will I be alone forever?!" The tarot is going to be a total bitch. Trust me. Take some time to calm down and reflect. Take a bath. Reading when upset doesn’t work for two principal reasons; you lack the objectivity to interpret the cards constructively and emotional agitation can influence which cards you draw. 

Write it down

This is a good habit anyway but is exceptionally helpful when you are reading on topics that are emotionally difficult. Firstly, when writing the reading out to yourself you should intentionally adopt a gentle, non-sensational, self-supporting voice. This is a conscious stance you take with yourself. Don't bullshit yourself, but be kind - especially if you are feeling depressed, shamed or your self esteem has otherwise been damaged by whatever has prompted the reading. Secondly, writing a reading out helps take that tangled mass out of your head and objectify it on paper, allowing you to get some distance from it. 

Don’t ask for outcomes

Remove all predictive positions from the spread that show the outcome, future etc. Instead, ask what you can do to turn a problem around. Ask how best you should look at the problem. Ask what you should let go of. Divine for solutions, underlying causes and ask for spiritual guidance. Use the cards to motivate positive action.  Essentially, you want to use the cards to gather data to help you to move forward instead of prediction. When you find yourself walking through the valley of the shadow of death, paradoxically, not knowing what is going to happen next sometimes can help you make it through to the other side.

Emphasise positive meanings

All the 'negative' cards have positive aspects. In a stressed out state of mind we are prone to cognitive distortions; twisted ways of thinking that catastrophize, exclude the positive from a situation and see things in absolutes or extremes. This inclination is an evolutionary adaptation that helps us avoid tigers lurking in bushes, but can really screw up a reading. When reading stressed you have to consciously adjust for this negative bias by choosing to emphasise the positive. Remember, you want to make things better not worse. For the most part our fears are exaggerations.

Let the spread rest

Once you have done the initial reading - leave the cards on the table (preferably overnight) and come back to them later. The symbols will ‘stew’ in your heart and when you look at them the next day they will pop with new information and clarity.

Get a reading from someone qualified

Sometimes it is best not to read for yourself at all. Instead, seek out a good reader. A good reader will be able to look at a hard topic and give you an accurate, constructive reading without scaring the living daylights out of you. You should walk away feeling better. This is important because if you think you can drive yourself crazy with the cards - believe me - a clumsy reader, or worse, a reader with bad intentions can make you feel far, far worse. It is entirely possible to receive difficult news in a reading and walk away feeling empowered, enlightened and galvanised by the reading. 

This is the art of a true gifted reader, who is also a healer.