The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Monday, November 1, 2010

What to know about candles before you burn your first candle spell!

 Winter Greetings everyone!

Yes, today marks our official first day of winter. It hasn't disappointed, if you're one to take notice of things like this.  I don't enjoy winter especially, but I do find there's a comfort when the seasons turn and act as they're supposed to.  I don't know if it's the witch in me, or the New England Yankee but when it snows in May, and yes, I've seen it, or its eighty degree in February, it's a bit unsettling.  This year the seasons are turning just as expected and with great enthusiasm.

The weather has me thinking about the upcoming winter holidays and the necessary work to be done.  I've just checked my candle supply, as candles become a more popular item on store shelves this time of year, and its a good time to stock up.  I use candles for simple candle magick, and also tea lights, pillars and jar candles. You may wonder, can a witch have too many candles? No, that's just silly.

There are many types of candles out there and I'm asked frequently about what type to use. As I'm fond of saying, in the end it's really up to you, the practitioner, but here are some ideas regarding candles that you might find helpful when planning on purchasing candles for your magickal use.

Candles were invented independently amongst many cultures throughout the centuries, although its felt the first candles were created and used by the Chinese, using whale fat around 200 B.C.E. Interestingly though candles weren't used in Europe, the Middle East or Egypt until the middle ages, primarily because lamp oil was used and olives provided an inexpensive, easy to obtain, oil source.  When candles were introduced in Europe, they were made of smelly, smoky soft tallow from animal fat.  They cast a dim, wavering light and produced a black, sticky smoke that clung to everything.  A strong reason these candles became popular was the crafting of such candles became cheaper than the cost of lamp oil, or the acquisition of a lamp.

Then waxes from plant sources and bees were introduced and tallow candles went quickly and gratefully out of favor!  Later paraffin was developed, which highly refined today, makes an excellent source for bright and clean burning candles. Paraffin wax is what most 'wax' candles are made of. They are inexpensive, clean to burn and are a tried and true material for candles.

Be careful of candles that have a flat white look, or weigh very little. That's air. There are some inexpensive candles being sold that are heat pressed small air filled beads that are made of a cheap plastic resin wax. Many times they are coated, so the color isn't apparent unless you cut into them, but the weight is a give away. Extremely light weight candles,( the weight doesn't match the size), are not worth the cheap price.They tend to be mostly novelty, very cheap candles,  so if in doubt go mid grade with price and non-coated.

Soy candles are all the rage now.  They burn well and tend to be a bit expensive, but a nice candle if you can find them in pillar form. Most soy seems to come in jars and its just a less green alternative than a pillar candle with no container to discard.  Be careful of burning soy candles if you have any allergies or sensitivities to soy.

Beeswax- A natural by product of the honey making process of bees. Some people I've met have issues with using beeswax, primarily the same philosophical reasons people have for choosing to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet. I do not follow a meat free diet, but any animal product I use, I try to use consciously.  Using beeswax candles allows me to be in touch with the bee goddess, and lately I burn her candles to bring healing and help to the bee population that is quickly dying in this country.

The correspondence (magickal goal) of candle colors: 

Black - to banish, bring protection, to honor & represent the crone if you use a triple goddess candle formation on your altar. 

White - can be an all purpose color, if other colors aren't available. It can be used to connect with Goddess energy, and can represent the maiden in the triple candle formation.

Red - Lust, sex, passion, strength, courage and can represent the mother in the triple candle formation. Represents the element of fire,  the south, when acting as a watch tower candle.

Green - Money, physical healing, abundance, fertility (as in creating a new part of your life, not necessarily children. Really, burning a green candle is not how that happens!) Represents the element of earth, the north, when acting as a watch tower candle.

Yellow - intellect, truth, clarity of mind, (great for studying and preparing for tests and exams) Represents the element of air, the east, when acting as a watch tower candle.

Blue - calming, bringing in a sense of peace, emotional healing, aiding in communication and speech. Represents the element of water, the west, when acting as a watch tower candle.

Pink - romantic love, friendship, reconciliation, forgiveness  and understanding.

Purple -  channeling, divination and working on building your psychic ability

Orange - change, to change the current situation

Gold - to connect with the ultimate God source, gold represents the Sun and the masculine

Silver - to connect with the ultimate Goddess source, silver representing the Moon and the feminine

Brown -  for animal magick. Burn to bring healing and positive energies to surround your pet

This is just a simple list of the magickal properties associated with the candle colors. There are reams that can be written regarding candle magick, but simpler is better. Most of the time and especially when first exploring this world.

Never cast a spell before? Are you sure?  I bet you have, I can almost guarantee it, .  .  .    how?

Have you ever made a wish on your birthday? Right before you blew out your birthday cake candles? If so, and for the sake of your happy childhood, I hope you have!!, you have participated in an ancient candle spell, the oldest on record its said.

The spell is to the ancient Greek Goddess Artemis, goddess of the Moon, the hunt and protector of the young, both humans and animals. Cakes shaped like crescent moons were baked and candles were used to decorate the cakes. These cakes were brought to her temple and under the light of the full moon, the candles lit. Blessings were asked for and then the participants tried to blow out the candles with one breath. According to legend, if you blew them out with one blow Artemis would smile on you and grant your blessings. We perform this same candle spell today, almost 5,000 years later, when we celebrate our birthdays and blow out the candles on our birthday cake.

You see, you're an old hand at magick!  Have you ever asked for something really special on your birthday and your wish came true? Maybe Artemis was listening.

© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see 

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