It sounds like a hoax, but Silicon Valley is taking her seriously.
Talley. Photo courtesy Reverand Joey Talley
When nasty viruses infect the computers of folks up in Northern California, Reverend Joey Talley is on it.
The Wiccan witch—who is also an ordained minister through the State of California—not only offers services for people struggling with romantic heartache, depression, and other ailments, she also exorcises viruses from computers.
"No problem is too small, too big, or too weird" is Talley's motto. Sure, she can do a love spell, but she'd rather face off with ghosts and demons.
To excise such entities out of a machine, she uses a variety of techniques—she might place stones on top of the computer, clear the dark energy by setting an intention with her mind, or cleanse the area around the computer by burning sage. The time it takes to clear these viruses depends on the nefariousness of the entity, she says: sometimes it takes just an hour, other times it can take up to four.
I spoke with Talley to learn more about how she's used Wiccan witchcraft to build a client base of professionals who want alternative tech support in and around Silicon Valley, and how she silences her critics.
MOTHERBOARD: What was one of your first experience using witchcraft to solve a tech issue?
Talley: I had a client who I had worked with doing success spells and business spells, and he had a burglar alarm problem. The company that installed it came and tried to fix it, and no one could figure out what was wrong. So he called me in. I just went into the office and I went into a trance and I felt everything, and, as I recall, I remember feeling a block inside the wall and clearing out the block. He didn't have any problems after that.
How, specifically, do you use witchcraft to rid viruses of computers?
Again, I just go in and work the energy. And there are different stones that work really well on computers, fluoride is one of them. Also, some people really like amethyst for computers. It doesn't really work for me, but I'm psychic. So when I go into the room where somebody's computer is, I go in fresh, I step in like a fresh sheet, and I'm open to feel what's going on with the computer. Everything's unique, which is why my spell work changes, because each project I do is unique.
Sometimes I do a magic spell or tape a magic charm onto the computer somewhere. Sometimes I have a potion for the worker to spray on the chair before they sit down to work. Jet is a stone I use a lot to protect computers.
Tell me about a time when you successfully cleared a virus.
I got contacted by a small business owner in Marin county. She had a couple of different viruses and she called me in. First, I cast a circle and called in earth, air, fire and water, and then I called in Mercury, the messenger and communicator. Then I went into a trance state, and all I was doing was feeling. I literally feel [the virus] in my body. I can feel the smoothness where the energy's running, and then I feel a snag. That's where the virus got in.
"When I go into the room where somebody's computer is, I go in fresh, I step in like a fresh sheet, and I'm open to feel what's going on with the computer."
Then I performed a banishing ceremony. I used a black bowl with a magnet and water to draw [the virus] out. Then I saged the whole computer to chase the negativity back into the bowl, and then I flushed that down the toilet. After this I did a purification ceremony. Then I made a protection spell out of chloride, amethyst, and jet. I left these on the computer at the base where she works.
Did the virus clear out immediately once you were finished?
Yes, it cleared out immediately. They usually do.
What companies approach you for services?
The individuals will approach me themselves, not as a company. They're afraid. They don't want to be accused of being ridiculous or stoned or devil worshippers or something. They've got to be cautious.
Have you ever been stumped by a virus or other computer or tech problem and not been able to resolve the issue?
Not yet. But that doesn't mean I think I'm a perfect person or that there's nothing more powerful than me out there.
When something like a virus attacks, is it a ghost or some demons getting in there?
There's all different kinds of energies, including entities that may or may not be noticeable to human beings. You might want to call them ghosts or angels or spirits or demons.
Think of demons as entities—they eat, they absorb energy, and they want to be fed. Computers are a vast store of electromagnetic energy, as well as messages. Sometimes when a demon is in a computer system, it's just like a roach in a kitchen. It just eats and stays out of the way. But some demons are working for someone's who's trying to hurt you, and those are the really hard ones.
So, to get rid of these kinds of demons would you do any kind of specific spell?
Yes, that involves a much more intense cleaning ceremony and a much more intensive trap. Clearing out a demon, meaning a conscious entity that takes pleasure out of hurting, are far harder to clear out. Then you have to have a trap for them so when they come out they have someplace to go, instead of leaving them out there to hurt someone else.
You've mentioned you've been mocked for your practice. What do you say to those who discount your work?
Most times when people are ornery or nasty or attacking, they'll ask incredibly stupid questions. They'll say incredibly stupid things. And I've learned to say "Read The Spiral Dance. Then, if you have any questions, you can call me. Right now, you don't have enough information to ask logical questions or to understand the answers to the questions. So read this book," which, of course, they're not interested in doing—they're just interested in hating.