Hoodoo How We Do: Bay Leaf

Hoodoo How We Do: Bay Leaf November 21, 2023

Bay Leaf photo. Licensed under CC 0.0

Bay leaf is one of those marvelously magical ingredients that can be found in almost every kitchen cabinet. Bay can be used for protection, cleansing, money, healing, success, financial gain, and anxiety relief. Hoodoo is a series of practices based on what works. This herb works in a whole variety of situations, I hope you try it out.

Bay is a Mediterranean plant, but it can be grown indoors in colder climates. The botanical name of this plant is Laurus nobilis and it has been cultivated as both a culinary and magical herb for many centuries. The Royal Horticultural Society recommends that gardeners “Choose a warm, sheltered planting site, protected from strong winds and in full sun or light shade. Bay needs free-draining soil that doesn’t get waterlogged.” In cold climates it is frequently placed in pots and grown outdoors during the summer, and then brought inside as a houseplant before chance of frost.

This plant is quite literally the stuff of legend, Greek legend to be specific. It is said to have been named after the river nymph Daphne. Daphne is said to have been turned into the tree in order to shield her from the unwanted advances of the God Apollo. More detail about this can be found on the site hellenicgods.org .

One of the beautiful things about bay is that you can add it to your magick in many different ways. You can burn it. You can add it to your food. Your spells and magicks will be customized for your intent. The plant is thought to be associated with fire and ruled by the sun. Consequently it is said to be especially useful for those with strong Leo placements. This plants fiery energy is probably the reason it gets added to so many ritual burns and bonfires. However Kitchen Witches know that bay leaves floating in soups and stews are how most of us were introduced to this magickal treasure. The following spell working uses both fire and water to bring success when needed.

Bay Success Spell Working – Success spells are the go to workings in my spiritual arsenal.


3 Bay Leaves

1 cup rain water

3 new coins (with the current year’s date)

1 small white votive candle

glass bowl


Instructions: Gather all your ingredients together on your ritual altar or shrine. If you don’t have an altar or shrine, you can simply place them on a table where they will be undisturbed for the time of the working. Place the bowl in the center of the space. Add the rain water, bay leaves and coins. Place the white votive in the center of the bowl and light it. Repeat the following three times, “vision and action come to me, grant me all the success that will be.” Remember to never leave a burning candle unattended. As the candle burns down, think about all the ways success can and will come to you. Pay attention to any unusual thoughts you may have. Bay is a prophetic herb and may be guiding you towards some interesting and new avenues for success. When the candle has burned down take the items out of the water. Dump the water at a crossroads. Take the coins and place them in your purse or wallet. Bury the bay leaves as close to your front door as possible, if you do not have open ground there consider placing them in a flower pot. The used wax from the candle can be placed in the trash.


About Lilith Dorsey
Lilith Dorsey M.A., hails from many magickal traditions, including Afro-Caribbean, Celtic, and Indigenous American spirituality. Their traditional education focused on Plant Science, Anthropology, and Film at the University of R.I, New York University, and the University of London, and their magickal training includes numerous initiations in Santeria also known as Lucumi, Haitian Vodoun, and New Orleans Voodoo. Lilith Dorsey is also a Voodoo Priestess and in that capacity has been doing successful magick since 1991 for patrons, is editor/publisher of Oshun-African Magickal Quarterly, filmmaker of the experimental documentary Bodies of Water :Voodoo Identity and Tranceformation,’ and choreographer/performer for jazz legend Dr. John’s “Night Tripper” Voodoo Show. They have long been committed to providing accurate and respectful information about the African Traditional Religions and are proud to be a published Black author of such titles as Voodoo and African Traditional Religion, 55 Ways to Connect to Goddess, The African-American Ritual Cookbook, Love Magic, the bestselling Orishas, Goddesses and Voodoo Queens and the award winning Water Magic. You can read more about the author here.
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