The ancients created magical systems with varying degrees of complexity. One
area in which they excelled was the art of timing ritual acts in accordance with
astronomical phenomena. Some of these systems were rigidly controlled by
the phases of the Moon; others took the seasons into account, and in others
still, the stars and their positions were all-important.
Some of these systems are still in use today, with good results. But any system
can kill off spontaneity and hinder the effects of magic—even its very
performance. Timing is important, true, but there should be only one inviolable
rule: magic is used when needed.
If I have a headache which disturbs my sleep or work, I cannot wait for
the Moon to enter the proper sign, or until Ursa Major rises; I need relief
This is a trifling example but it holds true for all magic. It is no use waiting
three weeks to perform a money spell if your bills must be paid by the end of
the week. I am not arguing that timing with the planets, stars, seasons, Lunar
phases and so on does not provide extra power to spells: I am simply arguing
against the necessity for such extra power. If the magic works it will work at
any time of the day or night.
I can hear ghostly complaints from Magicians: “You can’t perform love
spells during the waning Moon”; “Money spells fail unless performed on a
Thursday during Spring while the Moon is in Taurus, at the third or tenth
hour of the night.”
Such pronouncements are common in magic—usually from people who
do little or no practical work. Spells need not have ideal astronomical, seasonal,
and weather conditions to be successful.
Those who wish to follow the old ways of timing magic with the Sun,
Moon, and stars can find this information in any good magical textbook, but
it is by no means a necessity.
If you need courage before facing a job interview, don’t look at the phase of
the Moon—grab some thyme and get on with it!
Though some instances of magical timing are mentioned in this book,
especially regarding the collection of specific plants, they may be followed, or
not, as you please, with almost identical results.