Saturday, February 6, 2010

Return to Sender!! Reversing & Mirror Work to Restore Balance

If you've read my articles here or visited the website for my conjure practice, you'll know that I'm a tender-hearted spiritual worker who doesn't deal in crossing work. My personal moral ethic is based in Eastern systems where one tries to take into account the ripples our actions cause on the fabric of Life, and cause as few waves as possible - living lightly and balanced in a compassionate and dispassionate way. I've spent many years working very hard to master my mental/emotional self by being mindful of my reactions and making conscious choices about how to respond without letting myself get drawn into the drama of my (or anyone else's) maya. I'm certainly no Vulcan, and it's an ongoing practice that one never truly masters...unless you attain sainthood. And I'm no saint either. It has helped me gain new levels of health and healing, and I do my best to let it inform every area of my life. For that reason, I simply don't consult on - and certainly do not work - in the realms of Revenge, Crossing, Break-Up, or other such actions.

That fact does NOT mean that I believe in turning the other cheek, or shying away from offensive action when under attack! Karma at it's very core is cause-and-effect. If you cause harm, then you open yourself up for an equally unpleasant effect. I strive for balance in my life and in my magical practice, so I don't desire to call up any additional negativity than what is already going around. (Really - does the world need any more violence and anger??) But sending that mess wheeling right back at the person who sent it...that is right up my alley!

That's where a wonderful little type of trick comes into play - Reversing.

Reversing work sends negativity right back to its source, so an enemy reaps exactly what they've sown. And reversing work isn't just for when someone has been working roots against you or otherwise sending a mess your way through spiritual means. It can also help deflect emotional and mental attacks on one's wellbeing and way of life. The relative that always demeans you and talking negatively about you to the family, for instance. Or a workplace bully that pushes everyone around and glaringly abuses the power they have. Or an ex-lover who had decided to play it dirty and badmouths you all over town trying to get friends and acquaintances to think poorly of you and abandon you. All of that is negativity that can be sent back to whence it came.

Whenever there has been a real effort on an enemies part to make life miserable for you, Reversing is generally a justified response. One could just cleanse away the negativity by doing Uncrossing work on their person, home, and if needed their workplace; that would relieve the pressure the mess was causing and allow for new positivity to begin coming back into one's life. But when the crossing occurred maliciously, it can be part of stepping into one's power and really beginning the healing process to take offensive action against one's persecuteor. Standing up for one's self and saying "NO - I'm not going to allow you to harm me anymore. I reject your attacks, and I send your ugliness right back to your doorstep!" can be extremely therapeutic and necessary in many cases.

However, as with any form of practical magic, it's always a good idea to do a divination (or have one done for you by a professional worker) to determine if Reversing is the best work to get your job done.

It's also worth mentioning that Reversing work is best worked in conjunction with Uncrossing or other spiritual cleansing work, to make sure that the residue of all misfortune or other lingering negativity that you have suffered due to the enemy's actions are cleansed away and your road opened to greater happiness and prosperity. In the case of ongoing Reversing work being necessary, Protection work should also be performed for yourself to maintain a strong shield should any strong work happen to still reach you (such as might happen if the enemy gets someone else to work against you on their behalf). If you are unsure about the best way to deal with your particular situation, please consider having a magical consultation with a professional.


The herbs used in Reversing work are ones that are known for clearing away negativity sent by other people, clearing away long-standing negative conditions, breaking free from negative and evil people, and protecting from negative energy while cleansing it away. Crab shell powder is commonly employed, harnessing a crab's "backwards walk" to walk the mess back to where it came from. Practitioners will often dress Reversing candles that have been named for the enemy with the crab shell powder, or surround the Reversing candle with a circle of it laid down counterclockwise. This ensures the enemy is kept within a barrier that will send back anything that comes out.

Mirrors play a central role in Reversing work for rather obvious reasons - you want to reflect a particular energy back to its source. As I'm sure you've noticed by now in a mirror everything is backwards - reversed - so in Reversing work many things are done backwards and in mirror-writing. This all builds a magical resonance and a strong symbolic link with sending conditions back.

Take a look at this very simple Reversing spell, looking for all the "backwards" elements in play:

You will need:

* small mirror that you have never looked in
* black candle
* crab shell powder
* hyssop herb
* a rag
* knife or other carving implement
* sharp object to inscribe candle

1) Take the black candle and cut the tapered end (the end you normally would light) off. Turn the candle over, and carve a new tapered top onto the bottom, making sure enough wick is carved out so that it can be lit. This is called "butting the candle".

2) Carve your enemy's name onto the candle in backwards mirror-writing (so that it would be legible in the reflection of a mirror, but looks reversed) 3 times. If you do not know the name of your enemy you can write "MY ENEMY", or a similar phrase, in mirror-writing 3 times instead. Pray over the candle your intent for all harm caused to you by the enemy be reversed back onto them.

3) Dress the candle with Reversing oil, stroking the candle in a motion away from you. Continue to pray for harm to be reversed.

4) Affix the dressed candle to the small mirror taking care not to catch your reflection in it. (You can do this by melting a few drops off the bottom of the candle, letting the wax spill onto the center of the mirror, then sticking the candle to that wax and holding it until the wax hardens.)

5) Take the crab shell powder and create a circle around the candle, laying the powder down counter-clockwise. Continue to pray for the harm to be reversed.

6) Light the candle, and allow it to burn all the way out.

7) Repeat this ritual for 3 days.

8) Once the candle has burnt out on the 3rd day, wrap the mirror, any wax remains, the crab shell powder, and any other ritual remains in the rag. Break the mirror once it is wrapped up in the rag.

9) After collecting the ritual remains up in the rag, make a strong tea from the hyssop herb and add this to a bath. Pour the bath water over your head and down your body while you pray the 51st psalm, or pray that you be cleansed of all ties to the Reversing. Collect some of the used bathwater before draining the tub, and take it to a crossroads to dispose of it. Leave both the bathwater, and the rag with the ritual remains in the center of the crossroad. (Try to choose a crossroad where a small broken mirror in the road will not cause any major issues. If you cannot find a suitable crossroad, you can always dispose of the ritual remains in a running body of water - though please keep ecological responsibility in mind.)


Reversing work is great for sending back what's already come your way from a circumstance that has already been dealt with successfully. Sometimes though the attack or negativity coming at you may be ongoing due to a more complicated happenstance that may not be so easy to permanently remedy. Some enemies may be pathologically obsessed with causing you harm, and work against their target, or keep someone on the payroll to work against the target for years and years on end. Other times the negativity may be coming from a vindictive close relative who is difficult to get distance from. Or a company owner who enjoys playing dictator with employees that can little afford to lose their jobs. I'm sure you can imagine a few other scenerios in which ongoing negativity would be difficult to stop permanently. This can be a perfect situation to employ a mirror-box.

A mirror-box is used to contain the enemy, surrounding them with mirrors so that anything negative that they put out into the world, will be immediately reversed back onto them. The box will act in an ongoing manner, unless it is ritually dismantled. This may seem drastic, but I look at it as a great teaching tool - the perpetrator will suffer only as long as they behave poorly. Ideally, they will eventually indulge in some healthy introspection as to the source of their misfortune, and decide to stop treating other people like garbage. As soon as they do, their life will improve drastically. It's sort of a magical shock-collar!

A mirror-box is made by taking a container - a shoe-box, a bottle, a jar, a wooden craft box, etc - and lining it with mirrors or other highly reflective items. Tin foil placed shiny-side inwards can be used in a pinch. A representative of the enemy is then placed inside the box. This can be a doll-baby or poppet stuffed with personal effects, herbs and curios, and named for the enemy, or simply a picture of the person in question that has been strongly ritually linked to them. Reversing herbs, as well as other herbs or curios that may apply to the specific case (for instance adding slippery elm if the enemy has been using gossip or slander against you, or hot foot or banishing powder if you are wanting to get rid of them from your life) may be added to the box to help focus and amplify the intent. Of course prayer is said throughout the creation process.

The mirror box, or mirror bottle, is then sealed and disposed of. I prefer disposal in running water for this particular trick, as the symbolism can be harnessed on several levels depending on your intent. The water can be asked to wash away that person's harmful influence on your life, or it can be asked to wash that person out of your life for good, or it can just be used as a generally neutral disposal place (as opposed to disposal at a graveyard which could have very different connotations). Take a cleansing hyssop bath afterwards is recommended.

I encourage you to visit Lucky Mojo's excellent page, Laying Down Tricks and Disposing of Ritual Remains in the Hoodoo Tradition, to get a solid overview of the various methods of disposal available to practitioners.

Again, performing a divination or having a reading/consultation to determine if it is actually justified &/or necessary before using a mirror box is strongly suggested.

I've run into quite a few cases lately where a mirror-box was indicated, yet people were hesitant because they felt they didn't feel confident in actually making the box itself...even though it is quite simple. But I understand that some people are more crafty than others, and so I decided to put together a Mirror Box & Reversing Spell Kit.

This kit contains everything you need to start getting your relief for your misery:

Mirror Box (3"x3"x5")- to place the name paper or dolly of your enemy in to keep any new negativity sent out from effecting you

(Patterns of mirrors may vary from box to box - the one your receive may look slightly different, but will be equally effective.)

3 Black Candles - when butted, inscribed with the name of your ememy in mirror-writing, and dressed with Reversing oil and herbs, these will work to send past negativity sent your way back to their source

Queen of Pentacles' Reversing Herb Blend - a 5 ingredient blend of traditional hoodoo herbs and curios, including Rue and Crab Shell Powder dressed with Reversing condition oil; this blend can be burned on a charcoal as incense, used for dressing candles, sprinkled around your black Reversing candles to amplify the effect, folded inside your enemy's name paper, and placed within the mirror box

Reversing Oil - a 3mL bottle of Reversing oil to dress candles, and name papers with, made from high-quality essential oils of traditional reversing herbs, and fixed with authentic herbs and curios in the bottle

Parchment Paper - for writing your name paper, if applicable

Hyssop Bath - (not pictured) used to cleanse yourself after working the mirror box, to ensure that no negativity from that conjure will remain with you

Complete Detailed Instructions for Use and Disposal

--> This Mirror Box & Reversing Spell Kit is best suited for those dealing with ongoing negative situations, not only sending back what has already been sent, but also making sure that any future negativity never hits its mark and is turned right back on its source.

--> This kit will also work best in conjuction with Cleansing/Uncrossing work to rid yourself of the lingering effects from the negativity in your aura and around your home.

You can read an in-depth article,
Cleaning Up and Getting Uncrossed, on why and how to work basic cleansing and uncrossing for yourself here on this blog.

--> If you would like personalized advice on Uncrossing and Reversing work, please consider purchasing a
Magical Consultation with Queen of Pentacles.

You can purchase this and other hoodoo spell kits from the Queen of Pentacles Conjure Shop & Village Witchery Etsy storefront.

I hope this article has been enjoyable and enlightening!
Happy Hoodooing!


  1. Awesome work Devi! Very clearly explains the reversing principles. Love your 'dark work' altar.

  2. Finally I don't have to guess! I just want to send it back "from whence it came". I also Like the way you credited Lucky Mojo, this adds to my knowledge base.
    Thanks for sharing

  3. Thanks Devi! Very useful!
    (from PVCC)

  4. so glad i found you girl. your wonderful!!