Candle burning, for meditation and magic, can be a very valuable tool to any witch/wiccan/magician/occultist. The light of a candle is hypnotic...it allows us to concentrate our attention on the flame, or on the melting dripping wax and the images it makes, both in the real world and in our magical collective memory..or 'imagination'. Scented or shaped candles can be used for special intentions. The red male/female molded candles are often used for love magic, the wonderfully fey black cat candles are used for house magic...in many traditions, cats were the 'guardian' spirits of the home, and worked protectively to keep the home safe. They were also used as protection for pregnant women and to safeguard children, as cats are considered excellent mothers. Candles with certain scents may also help or influence magical works. The essence of pine as it floats through the air in a small apartment or magical space may harken us back to a more natural state, it may relax us, help us to direct our earth based energy toward the right mark. A scent of myrrh as it fills the air may remind us of the mystical place inside ourselves, giving us the freedom to leave this earthly form and 'astral'.
The colors of candles can also play a big part in candle magic...color is symbolic to us, but also may be
influenced by the human aura, which are perceived by us in human form as color, and carry us onto another
Some examples of candle color correspondences are:
Love/sexual attraction - red or pink
Purity/devotion - white
Luck/fertility/money - green
Health/tranquility - blue
Revenge/harm - black
I myself use a great deal of candle magic, both formal and informal. I've found candles exceedingly helpful in meditation, and in most spell-work I do. For a simple candle spell, I will take a candle, choosing the color for the intention desired, and 'dress it' For me, this means rubbing it with a special oil, though any earth/vegetable based oil can be used. I will rub the candle, first from the middle down, then from the middle up, concentrating on my intention. Then, I will carve the intention gently into the wax itself with a pin. I have found this very helpful. Then, I will begin the ritual proper.
There are many wonderful books on candle burning. The best I've found are by Raymond Buckland; his 'Practical Candle burning Rituals' and his 'Advanced Candle burning Rituals'. I like Buckland's work, its interesting, informative, and of value to the experienced and beginner alike. Buckland also give's rituals to follow for those who would like something to follow as opposed to creating their own, and he gives two forms for each-one for the more Christian based traditions, and one pagan oriented. Buckland is a fun and easy read, and one may easily read along as one conducts the ritual.
Like any magic, Candle burning can be quite a powerful link to the Universal power we invoke when we work magic. I remember one ritual I was conducting some time ago for a friend, who was having trouble 'letting go' of a departed love one. She had requested we participate in a ritual to be able to say goodbye to this person. Shortly after the anointed candles were lit, the flames rose quite high and a gentle breeze filled the closed room, as the smell of roses filled the air. My friend felt the enveloping presence of her lover, who seemed to make the candles sizzle with a fiery intensity before leaving her with a feeling of warmth, love, and completion.
It should be pointed out to those who are new to candle magic, that this is a magical tool, not a toy, and should be used wisely and with care. But if one follows good common sense , and meditates and uses creative visualization for protection, nothing is to be feared for even the beginning student.
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