March Author Blog

March Author Blog

An Excerpt from “The Marie Laveau Voodoo Grimoire” by Denise Alvarado 

Marie Laveau held her services on Wednesdays and Fridays. Never on Sundays. But people went to see her all the time.” —Mrs. Marie Dede, 1939

People often wonder whether or not there are optimal times—days of the week, phases of the moon, and so forth—when it comes to conjuring. As a practitioner, you can cast a spell at a moment’s notice, but there can be advantages to using certain timing correspondences to optimize power and impact. The association of special times with ritual activities is called magickal timing.

One of the primary things to consider about pairing ritual work with specific timing is intention. People are often driven by emotion and act on impulse; thus, they do not think the work through clearly. As a result, they experience any number of unwanted consequences; the most common is simply an ineffective conjure. We live in an instant gratification society and want what we want when we want it. We don’t like to wait. However, waiting for the right time can sometimes be one of the most important things you can do to render an effective spell. The intricacies of magickal timing are why many folks hire a professional rootworker to perform a spiritual service instead of attempting the work themselves.

Magickal timing can be broken down into several categories, including days of the week, moon phases, sunrise and sunset, planetary hours, time of the year, major life events, hands of the clock, biblical associations, and even a woman’s menstrual cycle. The most commonly considered magickal timing categories are days of the week, phases of the moon, and sunrise and sunset. Which method a worker subscribes to is entirely personal; it boils down to what works.

In Hoodoo, timing is associated with activities of daily living and the days these activities typically occur. For example, people generally get paid on Fridays, so Fridays are associated with prosperity work, getting a job, and getting a raise. In classical traditions, Friday is associated with Venus, the love goddess, and therefore is the ideal day to perform spells related to love and relationships.

While there are other ways to incorporate magickal timing into ritual work, the ones described in this chapter are easy to implement. Try pairing your ritual work with one of the described methods, and you should see an improvement in the power and success of your ritualistic endeavors.


The days of the week are associated with magickal timing in many esoteric and occult traditions, but it was the Babylonians who first created the concept of a seven-day week. They named each day after one of the seven celestial bodies known at the time: the sun, the moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. According to Babylonian beliefs, these heavenly bodies impacted people’s lives on the corresponding day.


Sunday is the sun’s day, and its power can amplify any ritual work. It is a good day for gaining wisdom and seeking assistance with health, wellness, blessings, prosperity, individuality, and power. In New Orleans Voudou and related African-derived religions, Sundays are devoted to God and the orishas Obatala and Orunmila and the loa Gran Bwa.


Monday is the moon’s day, a great day for water rituals, healing, fertility, transformation, intuition, and family matters, particularly those concerning women and children. In New Orleans Voudou and related African-derived religions, Mondays are devoted to the gatekeeper spirits Papa Legba, Ellegua, Eshu, and Exú, the ancestors, and the barons.


Tuesday is ruled by Mars and is appropriate for works involving aggression, offensive battle strategies, enemy work, protection, justice, and manipulating testosterone. In New Orleans Voudou and related African-derived religions, Tuesdays are devoted to Ogun, Erzulie Dantor, and the spirits of the Petro nations.


Wednesday is Mercury’s day, ideal for communication, teaching the arts, transformation, traveling, learning, and luck. In New Orleans Voudou and related African-derived religions, Wednesdays are devoted to Ogun, AnnieChristmas, Oya, Damballah  Wedo, and Babalú-Aye.


Thursday is ruled by Jupiter, and is ideal for conjuring increased wealth, finding treasures, abundance, success, and seeking answers to burning questions. In Catholic Conjure and Laveau Voudou, yellow candles are offered to St. Roche and St. Expedite on Thursdays. In New Orleans Voudou and related African-derived religions, Thursdays are devoted to the spirits Damballah Wedo, Olodumare, Olofin, Oshun, Obatala, Agassou, and Orunmila.


Friday is Venus’s day, and the classical love goddess makes Friday ideal for working on matters of the heart—love, desire, beauty, and romance. Friday is also the day many people get paid for their week’s work, so it is a good day for prosperity work. In New Orleans Voudou and related African-derived religions, Fridays are devoted to Chango, Oya, Babalú Aye, the barons, Erzulie Freda, and Manman Brigitte.


Saturday is Saturn’s day, perfect for conjures related to righteous anger, justified revenge, causing sickness, creating obstacles, banishing, binding, and destroying enemies. In New Orleans Voudou and related African-derived religions, Saturdays are devoted to Yemaya, Oshun, and Baron Samedi, and it is the day to celebrate all spirits.


A moon’s phase refers to the shape of the illuminated portion of the moon as seen from earth. Since the moon and earth are forever locked by the tides, we always see the same lunar surface. Four principal lunar phases hold significance to magickal workers: the first quarter (waxing), full moon, third quarter (waning), and new moon. There is also the period at the end of the waning phase, just before the new moon crescent, that holds significance to workers. This is referred to as the dark moon because the moon is not visible.

The new moon is when the moon officially begins to wax, growing invisibility until it reaches full moon status. The new moon is an excellent time to start new projects and prepare new conjures.

Waxing moons begin after the new moon and visibly grow until the full moon. Rituals designed to draw things to you are best done during this moon phase.

Waning moons begin after the full moon and end the day of the dark moon. Rituals designed to eliminate obstacles, conditions, or people are best worked during this moon phase.

The dark moon is the day before the new moon. Take advantage of the moon’s invisibility to perform clandestine works such as crossings and reversals.


Working by sunrise or sunset is another way to enhance magickal work. Do works designed to draw things to you from dawn until noon, such as love, money, and success. Do works intended to remove or eliminate conditions such as debt or illness from noon until sunset.


When both hands of the clock point upward, it is the ideal time to perform work to draw something to you. When both hands face downward, it is the perfect time to repel negativity.


The traditional time for taking a spiritual bath is at or right before dawn. Some folks pay attention to the moon phases for enhancing the power of their cleansing. For example, when the desired result is removing a condition or obstacles, then cleansing during a waning moon is ideal. A waxing moon is ideal if the goal is drawing something to you. A full moon is perfect for harnessing all the moon’s power towards a desired goal. However, a cleansing can be done any time the need arises, so don’t wait until morning comes if there is an urgent need.

—Denise Alvarado, Chapter 3, Copyright © 2024

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