Candle Burning

 

There is very little known about the origin of candles. Although it is often written that the first candles were developed by the Ancient Egyptians who used rushlights, or torches, made by soaking the pithy core of reeds in molten tallow, the rushlights had no wick like a candle. It is the Romans who are credited with developing the wick candle, using it to aid travelers at dark, and lighting homes and places of worship at night.


Like the early Egyptians, the Romans relied on tallow, gathered from cattle or sheep suet, as the principal ingredient of candles. It was not until the Middle Ages when beeswax, a substance secreted by honey bees to make their honeycombs, was introduced. Beeswax candles were a marked improvement over those made with tallow, for they did not produce a smoky flame, or emit an acrid odor when burned. Instead, beeswax candles burned pure and clean. However, they were expensive, and, therefore, only the wealthy could afford them.

 

Further developments in candlemaking occurred in 1850 with the production of paraffin wax made from oil and coal shales. Today most candles are made from paraffin.

 

Candle-burning as a magickal system has been around for at least 500 years. Candles are used in almost all ceremonial rituals in church. One candle-burning ritual everyone has participated in is the making of a wish and then blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. Though traditional lore says that it is bad luck to blow out a candle - they are supposed to be snuffed out with fingers or a candle-snuffer.

 

Light has always been symbolical of spiritual truth and the flame of the candle is light.

 

Various sources teach that the candle represents the body - the wick is the soul and the flame the spirit or divinity.

 

The candle can also be the representation of the male organ with the light representing the life force (semen).

 

Candles are often used in meditation. To use a candle in meditation, one sits about four to five feet from the flame. Stare at the flame for a few minutes, they close the eyes and visualize the flame in the mind. Watch what happens then.

 

A candle-burning ritual can be as simple as making a wish and burning a single candle, or it can be a complex spell that may involve dozes of candles with oils, incense, herbs and the reciting of formulae. As a general rule, the more effort you put into a ritual the more successful it is likely to be.

 

However complex the ritual, what is required for success is determination, a purpose and a concentration of energy toward that purpose. The intent and the prescribed ritual determine the color of the candle(s), and sometimes the shape of the candle.

 

Candles should always be anointed with oil before being used in a magick ritual. It is believed that “dressing” the candles gives the ritual its power. There is a particular way that a candle should be anointed:

 

Holding the candle in your left hand with the top (the wick) pointing North, put a few drops of oil on the candle. If the purpose of the ritual is to attract something toward you, the top of the candle should be pointing toward you. If the purpose of the ritual is to remove something from you, the candle should be pointing away from you. Be sure to rub the oil all over the entire candle.

 

Many people feel that the material from which the candle is made is important.

 

The first choice, of course, is natural beeswax, the material from which candles have been made for nearly a thousand years. It is also an ecologically sound material. Beeswax candle come in plain rolled cylinders in all colors.

 

The second choice is a tallow candle. The very first candles were made from tallow or animal fat. The use of animal products is distasteful to some. Further tallow candles are very hard to find and come in very few colors.

 

The least expensive candles are the “regular” wax candles which are actually made from a petroleum-based product. Because of their price, the are by far the most commonly used. Because they are solid, they can be easily carved or inscribed with words or symbols - all ways of personalizing a candle and making it more effective in a ritual.

 

“Loading” or “fixing” a candle consists of carving out a space in the base of the candle, filling it with herbs and oils and sealing it. Some candles are “fixed” during manufacture. A beeswax candle is “loaded” by inserting the herbs and oils between the lay~s while it is being rolled.

 

Another popular and effective way of using a candle in ritual is to “drip” it with color from other candles. The colors are selected according to the purpose of the ritual. This produces a beautiful candle that burns with some interesting results.

 

There are many systems of color correlations for candles. The one in this book is based on the oldest systems.

 

CANDLE COLORS AND THEIR USES

WHITE - CANCER - MONDAY - MOON -

Use for protection, peace, sincerity, purity, spiritual strength, peaceful home, consecration, to banish negative energies, represents spiritual love in its highest forms.

 

YELLOW - GEMINI /VIRGO - WEDNESDAY - MERCURY -

Use for intellectual pursuits, detailed work, memory, charm, persuasion, cheer(ulness, adaptability, youth, luck, writing and all mental endeavors.

 

ORANGE (GOLD) - LEO - SUNDAY - SUN -

Use to obtain happiness, encouragement, confidence, stimulation, attraction, warmth, gold, artistic endeavors.

 

RED - ARIES/SCORPIO - TUESDAY - MARS/PLUTO -

Use for love, sexual attraction, energy, well-being, strength, courage, new projects

.

PINK - PISCES - THURSDAY - NEPTUNE -

 Use for spiritual purposes, love, friendship, peace, dreams, tranquility, harmony.

 

PURPLE - SAGITTARIOUS/AQUARIUS - THURSDAY - JUPITER/URANUS -

Use for spiritual purposes, protection, expansion, ambition, power, business, spirit guides, overcoming obstacles

 

BLUE - LIBRA - FRIDAY - VENUS -

A secondary healing color, for understanding, friendship, patience, serenity, calm, meditation.

 

GREEN - TAURUS - FRIDAY - VENUS -

Primary healing color, use for prosperity, money, success, fertility, growth and circumstances you don’t control.

 

GRAY -

For eliminating or creating confusion, cancellation, neutrality, victory of good over evil, stalemate.

 

BROWN -

Use for special favors, to neutralize unwanted influence, to repel, untangle, hesitation.

 

BLACK - CAPRICORN - SATURDAY - SATURN -

Black is not an evil color. It is used to banish negative influences. To overcome fear, jealousy, confusion, negativity though it can also be used to create these conditions.

 

For candles of all kinds, or books on candle burning]', go to the alpha book center