The Moon, Hoodoo, and Me

January 19, 2018 Musings

For years I lived on a houseboat, tethered to a dock, that rose and fell with the tide in Richardson Bay. When the tide went out we called it mud time and when the saltwater returned the houseboat lifted and gently rocked us. The movement was so slight it was almost imperceptible. Living in the water, one becomes acutely aware of the moon and its cycles.

After moving to Savannah, one night, leading up to my brother’s death, I found myself planting a fig tree beneath the moon. It was an activity that could have waited until morning, but I had an overwhelming need to turn the earth and get dirt under my nails while the moon crested overhead.

There are better photographs of the moon than the one I’ve posted, but, I chose it because its reality was stunning. We were driving at night in Maine and had to stop the car so I could take a photo of the double moon; the one in the sky and the one reflected in the water.

As women, we experience that powerful connection to the moon and its cycles.

As a writer, the moon often appears in my work. Yes, it creates an atmosphere, but often it does more; bearing witness to magic that occurs, to character arcs, and sometimes it stimulates the timing of events.

Hoodoo came to Savannah and the low country when slaves were brought here, and it’s still practiced today. Because hoodoo plays a part in my fiction, I’ve researched the role of the moon. Practitioners of hoodoo are clear that many aspects of moon spells that we may be familiar with from movies and books are not hoodoo. Instead, many practices relating to the moon are derived from paganism and European witchcraft.

The role of the moon in hoodoo relates to power and timing. Full moons elicit the most power, so if you want to work a spell, or set an intention, the best time to do so is during a full moon.

However, for hexes and curses, there are those who say a dark moon — that time when there is no visible moon — is best.

But when a spell is being worked by the most powerful root worker or conjurer, their power supersedes any moon phase. As a writer of fiction, I appreciate having this leeway.

Does the moon effect you, and if so, how?