New Year's Day Prosperity Ritual

All over the South people eat a meal of collard greens, cornbread, and black-eyed peas to ensure their prosperity and protection in the coming year. Symbolically, the greens are said to represent green paper money; the corn, being yellow, represents gold or coins; and the black-eyed peas, each possessing an eye, is said to protect you from negativity and bad luck (especially in the form of the evil eye).

Interestingly, a silver dime is often placed in the black-eyed peas, and the person who by chance is served the dime is said to be especially lucky that year, and he or she will keep the dime as a lucky token throughout the year. On a personal note, growing up in the South our grandmother's often told us that "what you do on New Year's Day, you'll be doing all year," therefore, we were never to wash clothes, do housework, or anything else we wouldn’t want to be doing on a daily basis.

Hoppin' John for Good Luck

Dose black-eyed peas is lucky,
When e’t on New Year’s Day,
You allus has sweet ‘taters,
An’ ‘possum come yore way.
~African American folk rhyme
On New Year’s Day many people make the dish called Hoppin' John along with collard greens to insure prosperity and abundance for the New Year. Because black-eyed peas swell when soaked in water, they represent abundance, magically speaking. Reportedly a favorite of Marie Laveau’s, Hoppin' John is a traditional Southern food prepared on New Year’s Day for it’s luck drawing qualities. The name Hoppin' John is thought to refer to the Southern folk hero, High John the Conqueror.

  • 1 lb. Black-Eyed Peas
  • 8 slices Bacon, cut into fourths
  • 1 1/2 cups Onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • ½ cup bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 quarts water
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon Maison Louisianne Creole Spice Blend
  • 1/8 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/8 teaspoon Rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 cups raw Rice


Soak black-eyed peas overnight in water. Fry bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp. Add 1 1/2 cups onions, and cook until the onions are transparent. Add 2 1/2 quarts water, bring to boil. Add garlic cloves, Maison Louisianne Creole Spice Blend, thyme, bay leaf, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Drain peas and add the boiling mixture. Barely simmer mixture, partially covered, for 1 1/2 hour. Add 2 cups raw rice. Serve with crisp French bread. Enjoy!


  1. Denise:I'm Jason: (1) what people really want to know is do you and your books, especially, "Voodoo Doll Spellbook" have integrity? We are real people with real PROBLEMS. And it is so impossible for those of us who are smart- to just have blind faith and blind belief in things. Blind faith equates to blind stupidity! How could anyone just instantly believe in a book or what a stranger says if they never had any experience with the so-called magician or magic before. Not only that but there's been stuff written over the years from flaky or questionable sources saying that voodoo or magic only works if you believe in it. That is the most lying crap I have ever heard. It is just a "con job"- and shame on those EVIL - trashy people who say such dog poop! Magic, if it really works, should work whether one believes in it or not! If it is truly a universal power or source- it would not discriminate against any person, regardless so, I'm hoping that you are an honest person unlike so many other dirtbag authors out there who lie just to get money and commit fraud. (A) How do we communicate with you - I want to write you a letter and (B) Why don't you have a question and answer blog like other writers? My address is: Jason Maylinger 1207 Lujan St., Santa Fe, N.M. 87505

  2. Voodoo is a religion and as such does require faith... Faith in the pantheon of Spirits that they will assist when called upon, just as any other religion. Magic, on the other hand is not religion, yet it also requires a belief in the skill of the practitioner. Would you want to be treated by a doctor who doesn't believe in his skill? Or see an attorney who doesn't believe in their ability to apply their knowledge to defend you? Magic is no different in that regard. Sometimes doctors heal, other times they don't. Sometimes attorneys win and other times they don't. Does my book have integrity? I believe it does. It is a compendium of doll magic spells that have been used by cultures all over the world. I provide citations for my sources and anecdotal reports, something other authors do not provide. I do not expect anyone to have blind faith in anything or "believe in" my book. It is a book that reports on a human phenomenon found for thousands of years across cultures. As far as a question-answer blog, that is not required by authors and in fact most authors do not have those types of blogs. I appreciate your comments but as I get literally hundreds of emails every day, and my blogs are inundated with spam, I do not have time to sift through it all and answer everyone personally. That said, I hope my comments answer some of your questions. If you are having trouble believing in magic, then perhaps a different kind of solution would be in order for you.


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