There are endless ways to time your spells in Hoodoo, Rootwork & Conjure, with origins in all sorts of different cultures:
The Kongo people of Central Africa were one of the largest tribal groups brought to the Americas with the slave trade so their ideas about nature and the spirit world had a massive impact (if not the biggest) on the practice of hoodoo – this one is pretty simple and commonsense:
- Start works to grow or attract things to you as the moon is waxing (getting larger)
- Start works to push things away from you or diminish them as the moon is waning (growing smaller)
Time of Day
Also with origins in Kongo metaphysical beliefs:
- Start works to grow or attract things to you at DAWN (as the sun is being “reborn” into the world of the living)
- Start works to push things away from you or diminish them at TWILIGHT (as the sun is “dying” and passing into the underworld)
Time of the Hour
In a pinch, some modern practitioners have even been known to time their spells to the minute hand on a clock:
- Start works to grow or attract things to you as the minute hand is traveling UP (e.g., from 11:30 AM to Noon)
- Start works to push things away from you or diminish them as the minute hand is traveling DOWN (e.g., from Noon to 12:30 PM)
Days of the Week
Astrological concepts are a relatively modern addition to Hoodoo, introduced via religious supply shops in the 1930s and 1940s; I’m not sure I buy into this overlay completely but (like the use of colored candles) it has such a strong archetypal resonance I usually go with it anyway, why not?
- Sunday (the Sun / Yellow candles): Spells for Growth & Success
- Monday (the Moon / White candles): Dreams & Intuition
- Tuesday (Mars / Red candles): War & Male Power
- Wednesday (Mercury / Orange candles): Communication & Business
- Thursday (Jupiter / Purple candles): Abundance & Majesty
- Friday (Venus / Green candles): Love, Money & Female Power
- Saturday (Saturn / Black candles): Boundaries, Wisdom & Death
If you really want to get fancy with astrological timing, you can also time your spells to the planetary times of the day; the easiest way to this is just to keep in mind that the first hour or so after sunrise on a Sunday is “Sun Time,” the first hour or so after sunrise on Monday is “Moon time,” the first hour or so after sunrise on a Tuesday is “Mars time,” etc.
If you are lazy and oversleep, you’re still safe since all the planetary hours repeat again throughout the day – but unless you feel like looking up headache-inducing charts on the internet, the easiest way to plan for these is just to install a “planetary hours” app on your phone.
Neither Equatorial Africa nor the “Deep South” have the same dramatic contrast between winter and summer that (for example) Celtic Ireland did, so to the extent that the calendar features in Hoodoo, it’s important only if you’re planning to honor a certain Saint (or ancestor) on their birthday.
When the Spirit Moves You
You might notice I haven’t said anything about:
- Full moons
- New moons
- Solar Eclipses
- Lunar Eclipses
That’s not because these aren’t also factors you might want to consider, but in the interest of keeping things as simple as possible – and because every person you talk to will give you some completely different answer about how to time your spells (never mind the correspondence of the days of the week with the Orishas of Cuban Santeria!) – it’s worth a reminder that when :
- an idea has been riding your head all day long
- the hair is standing up on the back of your neck
- ingredients are flying into your hands as though inspired by a will of their own
- and you are feeling slightly giddy
…is always when your spell will work the very best, no matter what time of the day, night, month, or year it is!