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Candles 101

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Candles 101

Postby Heartsong » Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:53 am

Candles 101 Guide

Hi everyone! :fairy:

Most witches will tell you right up front that candles are one of the most essential tools in their practice, if not THE most essential. Not only are they one of the hallmarks of many altars, they are also exceptionally versatile in their potential functions.

However, many fledgling witches taking their first steps onto their prospective paths find themselves unsure just how they should or could use candles in their spellwork, rituals, or even daily worship. I’ve structured this post as a guide for their basic uses in the craft, as well as a way to provide a little background information about why they may be used in certain ways. :)

Why We Use Candles

Image
Source: https://www.pinterest.com/

As I’ve already said, candles are a highly versatile item in the witchy tool kit. But why do we use them, and why so frequently?

Fire is the element of the will, and candles are widely considered to be one of its greatest representations. Lighting a candle, bringing the flame to life on the physical plane, is to call Fire into our circle, and therefore a symbol of us igniting and focusing our will, our intent, on a goal.

Candles have also been used to set the mood for many a romantic evening, and with good reason. They lend a certain ambiance to a room, cloaking it in flickering shadow while still lending just enough light to make things glow. Candlelight softens sharp edges, and can make even the most ordinary moment suddenly seem mysterious and full of possibility, magical and otherwise. In order to successfully perform a spell, witches need to be in the right mindset. We need to shift our awareness from the mundane to the spiritual, and candles are wonderful at helping us do that.

Secondly, wax is a highly absorbent medium of energy. Magic is all about energy, and the exchange of it, and it comes in many forms. Candles are great for channeling our energy into the physical world to affect change in spellwork. Wax is one of the most conductive materials for energy that we know of, and is also quite malleable. We can easily carve runes, symbols, and words into its surface, further imbuing it with our magical intent. It’s smooth surface quickly absorbs oils for anointing and empowerment. You can roll the candle in powdered herbs to achieve the same effect.Therefore, candle magic is one of the simplest and most broadly useful that a new witch can learn.

Thirdly, staring into the flame of a candle is an excellent method of practicing meditation, divination and trance work. Flames have been used for centuries as a means to lull the mind into relaxation, and the slow melting of the candle wax gives us both time to work within a trance as well as become an indicator that we've spent enough time there when the flame goes out.

There are of course, other reasons, but these are the ones most frequently associated with the use of candles. :)

The Significance of Candle Colors


Image

This is without a doubt one of the most common topics new members will ask about, and rightly so. There are so many interpretations and suggestions out there that it can be well and truly confusing to determine which candle to use for what kind of spell. A key question to ask yourself when you’re choosing what color to use is: what does each color mean to you?

For example, let’s say you want to cast a healing spell for an injury you sustained while playing with your kids. What colors do you associate with healing? Maybe it’s green, the color of plants and Earth and its dark, quiet healing. That would be a good choice. Or maybe you think of the color blue, which is the color of Water, soothing and cool rejuvenation. Also a good choice. Or perhaps you think of red, the color of blood, the physical body, sinew and muscle and the Red Cross sign on the side of every hospital.

All of these colors would be appropriate, depending on your point of view. In short, there is no right or wrong answer. You can use whatever color you desire, as long as it resonates in your mind with your intent.

Store Bought Vs. Hand-Made

Image
Source: http://www.ruthsartgallery.com

There is some debate within the magical community about the effectiveness of store bought candles versus candles that are made by hand. The root of the conversation lies, I think, in how well either type of candle responds and conducts energy.

There can be no denial that items that are hand-crafted carry within them not only the personal touch of the one who made them, their effort, their accomplishment, and their creativity, but is also imbued with their energy. It's true that this can increase the amount of intent and energy when casting a spell. However, I've personally used candles bought from online in the majority of my spells, and have usually still been quite successful.

I believe this to be the case because candles, like any other item used in spellwork and in ritual, remain only tools through which to channel our intent and will. While they can be great assets, the only thing truly needed is yourself.


Candles, the Quarters, and the Traditional Wiccan Altar

Another common use for candles is to have one in each Quarter (North, East, South, and West) to represent the elements, or energy forces, we invoke to cast the circle. With the act of lighting each candle in turn, we are calling these forces to the physical plane, again, manifesting our desire. Hence, the Quarter candles both help us reinforce our intent as well as serving as a focus for bringing the elemental energies to us, to strengthen and protect us. Typically, these candles are in colors associated with each element and its corresponding direction.

Image
Source: picslist.com

A large majority of traditional Wiccan altars will have at least two candles, one to represent the goddess and one to represent the god, usually in different colors (white, silver, or blue for the goddess and gold, yellow, or red for the god). These can be pillars candles, tapers, candles in the actual shape of the god and goddess, or even tea lights. A third candle (or more than one, sometimes its a candelabra) will be placed between them, to symbolize both the unity of the god and goddess, and to represent the universal energy that many Wiccans refer to as the ‘all’.

Image
Source: everythingunderthemoon.net/spells/candle-money-spell.htm

Another popular set-up is to simply have three candles to represent the Triple Goddess (Maiden, Matron, Crone), in three different colors symbolizing the three aspects.

As you light each candle (in much the same way as invoking the Quarters) you are calling on divine energy to be present in your circle and your ritual. Visualizing the candle’s flame as a beacon in a dark room can be helpful in establishing a deeper connection with this energy, further enhancing your intent and perhaps even helping you really, truly feel your gods presence with you.

While I've suggested these traditional set-ups, that by no means indicates that this is the only way to properly set up your altar. In my opinion, there is no proper way, and you're free to decorate and imbue it with whatever you chose, however you chose. There's no right or wrong. An altar, if anything, must be a reflection of you and your beliefs, and the candles, if any, you select should be the same.

Please do add anything you think would be useful to the guide, and thanks for taking the time to read! smileylove

Brightest Blessings,
~Heartsong
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Re: Candles 101

Postby Xiao Rong » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:08 am

This is a brilliant article, Heartsong, thanks for writing it! I will be sure to add this to the Witchcraft 101 Table of Contents immediately!
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Re: Candles 101

Postby Heartsong » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:13 am

Cool! Thanks, Xiao. :)

I enjoyed putting it together, hehe.
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Re: Candles 101

Postby Starwitch » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:45 pm

Really nice article, Heartsong. This is another one I need to put on the main site.
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Re: Candles 101

Postby SnowCat » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:46 pm

Some of us just have a fascination with fire, that stops short of pyromania. Apprpriate use of candles is a good outlet for that.

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Re: Candles 101

Postby Heartsong » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:57 pm

Really nice article, Heartsong. This is another one I need to put on the main site.


Thank you! :)

Some of us just have a fascination with fire, that stops short of pyromania. Appropriate use of candles is a good outlet for that.


Hehe, this is true. My mom is one of those people, though it mostly stems from a love of the smell of burning matches. :P
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Re: Candles 101

Postby Pinkpower_80 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:42 am

SnowCat wrote:Some of us just have a fascination with fire, that stops short of pyromania. Apprpriate use of candles is a good outlet for that.

Snow

I am guilty of this lol. I am absolutely terrfied of fire due to nearly dying in one and watching someone else actually die in one, but I get so drawn into it when I see a flame of any kind.
Heartsong, I love the smell of matches too. Most people think im nuts lol.
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Re: Candles 101

Postby Echo_of_shadows » Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:46 pm

Wonderful post Heartsong! :) I also like your choice in candle pictures. The colorful pair with ribbons look like they're from Etsy. I'd like to look them up when I'm done on here. They look perfect for working with fae. :fairy: Thanks for the good post and eye candy.
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Re: Candles 101

Postby Lillady » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:59 am

This is beautiful thank you for putting it together for everyone!!
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Re: Candles 101

Postby Seraphin_npocampo » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:19 am

WONDERFUL post Heartsong! Kudos to you!
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Re: Candles 101

Postby Heartsong » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:21 am

Thnak you all very much! :)
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