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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Setting Lights

What is Setting Lights?

Setting Lights, or candle-altar service, is a service offered by many spiritual-workers and owners of candle-shops. The setting of lights refers to burning candles with accompanied prayer for various goals. Although virtually any kind of candle can be used, setting lights typically  refers to the burning of a fixed Vigil-Candle on top of a client’s petition for a period of 7 to 9 days, during which the candle will be closely observed.

Generally speaking, the size of the candle that you decide to use should reflect the severity or consistency of your problem. If your issue is a relatively minor one, such as drawing fast money, gaining an interview, etc... you may wish to use a birthday candle, a tea light, or a short taper. If your problem is a major issue, such as long standing bad luck, ill-health, or a strong enemy, then you would definitely want to use a glass-encased Vigil Candle.

Typically, the client will speak with the worker about their issue or problem. Sometimes a reading on the issue will be performed, but not always. The worker will often have the client write out their petition on a piece of paper, however, sometimes the worker will write the petition themselves. The worker will take the petition from the client and set about fixing a vigil light for the client’s goal.

The candle is often ritually lit with appropriate prayers pertaining to the client’s goal. The worker will carefully observe the candle each day making notes regarding how the candle burns. When the candle is spent, the worker will usually prepare a candle-burn report explaining how the candle burned and what that means in relation to the client’s wish.


A written petition often takes the form of a statement describing the client’s wish. In the Hoodoo tradition, one is typically advised to write one's petition on brown paper torn, usually from a grocery type sack, on all four sides by hand. This is thought to make the paper pure.

However, there are instances where the practitioner is allowed to cut the paper with a pair of scissors. The use of scissors is seen as symbolic of using weapons such as swords, knives, and daggers against one's enemies. Some situations in which you would cut your petition paper with scissors can include when driving two people apart, or working enemy tricks.

Once the client’s goal is written down, the paper will often be rotated 90 degrees. The client’s name will then be written a certain number of times (usually 3, 7, 9, or 13) crossing and covering the wish.

Ideally paper torn from brown paper bags are used along with lead pencils or regular ink pens whose colors matches the goal (red for love, green for money) and usually paired with black for contrast. For example a petition for prosperity would have the individual's name written nine times in black ink and crossed nine time with 'prosperity' in green ink. Sometimes symbols such as dollar signs, hearts, astrological symbols, will be incorporated into the petition.

If I am am writing a petition that will have an effect on two people, such as bringing them together or driving them apart; I will cross one name with the other and write what I want to happen in a circle around the names. For example, in the below post, you can see an example of a petition I wrote myself when I wanted a local car dealer to finance me when I went to buy a new car. The dealer's name was written in red ink so that he would be filled with positive thoughts of me and so that he would be inclined to finance me. My own name was written in black to surround me with an aura of prosperity and show me as someone who will make my payments on time. The paper itself was torn from a sack of sugar.

If I am writing a petition that is meant to command or compel another person, I will write their name in all lower case letters and cross and cover their name with my command in all caps (usually with a sharpie). Again, my specific command will be written around the names in a circle.

In addition, I have also used different types of papers for different situations.

* If I am doing any kind of love or sweetener type of spell, I write my petition on the paper torn from a sack of sugar.

* If I am writing a petition for any type of prosperity or financial increase, I use a portion of the envelope in which my monthly bank statement is mailed. I've also used the financial section of the newspaper and write my petition on the paper in black permanent marker. Black being a color associated with profits in accounting.

* I often save the cards, letters, and envelopes that friends send to me. I clip their signature from the card as well as the part that they licked to seal the envelope and save these as personal concerns. I also save parts of the envelope with no writing on it (usually the inside), which I can use to write a petition that is intended to have an effect on that person. I also save handwritten notes that people leave me at work for the same purpose.

Folding Petitions

  • If you are drawing something towards yourself such as love, good health, or money; you will fold the paper towards yourself three times (for manifestation) rotating clockwise one time between each fold.
  • If you are moving something away from yourself, such as poverty, illness, or an enemy; you will fold the paper away from yourself three times rotating it counter-clockwise between each fold.

Typically, petitions are placed under the candle while it is burning. However, sometimes it is taped the the vigil light itself.

What You Can Expect from having Lights Set for You

Before you decide to have lights set for your goal, you should have a realistic expectation of what the process can do for you. First of all having a light set for you is not the same as hiring a worker to do a full-on spell or ritual on your behalf. Spells often take more preparation, time, and energy to perform and will be more expensive.

Many spiritual workers believe that setting a light for your goal is an excellent way to begin work on a particular goal. The process is more economical and once completely burned a divination on the light will give you an indication of your success or failure as well as any additional steps which may need to be taken.

Depending on your situation or problem, a single vigil light may not be enough to get the job done. However, having a light set for your goal will often open doors and get movement on your particular issue. That being said when having a light set, you are making a commitment to achieving a goal. You cannot expect the candle to do all the work for you and you will be expected to do your part. For example, if you have a light set for you to obtain work, you must make an active search for work, apply for jobs, send out resumes, show up for interviews, etc….

Backing Up the Work

This refers to when a person is performing spiritual work on their own behalf and they also hire a spiritual worker to burn a vigil light for their same goal. Sometimes the worker and the client will work in tandem, meaning that they will time the lighting of their candles so that both parties are working at the exact same time depending on their geographical location.

How Often Should Lights Be Set

Often a client will ask to have lights set in runs, which means that they wish the worker to light a new candle for the same goal as soon as, or shortly before, the old one burns out. Before deciding to have lights set in runs for you, you should at least wait for the first candle to burn out and consider what information the divination of the candle tells you.

Many spiritual workers adhere to the adage 3 days for a sign, 3 weeks for movement, 3 months for completion. Therefore, it usually takes about three weeks before you will begin to see movement on your issue, if at all.

If the signs are positive and you see movement on the issue within three weeks, you probably won’t need to have another light set. In some cases, the divination may indicate additional work that may need to be performed such as a ritual bath, or a honey jar.

If the signs are negative and there is a noticed lack of movement on your issue, it could indicate strong obstacles which will have to be dealt with before you can accomplish your goal. However, one must always consider the possibility that one’s goal simply isnt’ meant to be.

Carolina Dean


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