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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Candle Burning Part Three: Tips and Tricks

In part one of this series we talked about the basic procedure to choose and prepare a candle for candle-burning spells. In part two,  we learned more about the different kinds of candles, their symbolism, and how they are burned to bring about love, success, prosperity, as well as to hex, wreak vengeance, and keep your enemies down. 

Today, in part three of my Candle Burning Series, I'd like to share some tips and tricks that you can try in order to be more successful in your candle-burning activities.

Some of the topics we will cover today include:
  1. Hiding Your Activities
  2. Hedging Your Bets
  3. Some Practical Tips 
  4. Fire Safety 
 Hiding Your Activities 

  • Due to privacy reasons, many people find that they cannot openly burn candles on an altar or shelf. They may live with those disagree with their beliefs, and who may actively attempt to sabotage them. They may live in a situation where they have very little privacy, even sharing a bedroom with another individual as in a dorm room environment. In order to get around this obstacle, some workers have learned to 'dedicate' candle holders to certain magickal goals. Dedicating a candle-holder allows you to burn candles openly for magickal purposes without raising suspicions.To dedicate a holder you will need one whose bottom is lined with felt. Carefully peel back one section of the felt. Write your petition and fold is as per your usual practice. Fold it up and place it in the base of the holder behind the felt and then glue the felt back. When you are done, you will then use the candle for only the purpose for which you wrote your petition. 
  • You can find candles that have a hollow base but which are not lined with felt. In these cases you can simply tape your petition, herbs, personal concerns, the inside base of the candle and then glue your own piece of felt to the candle. If you have many of these disguised candle holders, you may want to choose a candle holder that speaks to the nature of the work do you don't confuse your hexing candle-holder for your landlord with the love candle-holder for the cute boy at the supermarket. For example, I have a candle holder that incorporates a heart into its design that I use for a specific kind of love work. Alternately, you can mark each candle-holder in some way, perhaps my matching the color of the felt you glue to its base to the goal of the spell (red for love, green for money, yellow for success, etc..)
  • Another option for those who feel the need to hide their candle-burning activities is to  make use of  scented candles like those you find in the supermarket.  Most everyone burns these types of candles in their home so it would not be surprising to find one burning in your environment. To use a scented candle try to choose a scent that matches your goal. For example, the scent of jasmine is believed to assist in bringing psychic dreams so you can purchase a jasmine-scented candle and put a few drops of Psychic Vision Oil in the candle and burn it while you sleep. As the wax melts the oil will mix with the liquid wax and no one will be the wiser.
  • Perhaps you're burning a reversing type candle but you think that burning the candle on a mirror would raise too many suspicions? If this is the case you have two choices. 1) Place a piece of tin foil (shiny side up) under the candle as it burns. If anyone asks, you can just tell them that the tin foil is to protect the surface underneath from any wax that may dribble down the candle or 2) Burn the candle on the ledge of a window at night. The window will act like a black mirror reflecting the negative energy back to the individual as represented by the candle. 

 Hedging Your Bets

  • No one ever became successful without making enemies. As a magical practitioner you will eventually come across another magickal practitioner who will oppose your work for some reason or another and who will actively work against you. They may have the same goal as you (i.e. they may be your competition for the same promotion or you may have the love interest) or they may have been hired by another individual to do so. Non-magickal people with strong wills can interfere with your work with their thoughts.   Even in the best situations there are those around us who often don't want you to get your wishes "for your own good". For this reason, it is wise to place a ring of salt around any spell-candle that you are burning to prevent interference and opposition. 
  • As a candle burns down it will sometimes form a well near the wick. When this occurs you can 'feed' the candle by filling the well with your condition oil. This will ensure that the candle remains strong as it works for you. 
  • Just as strong-willed people can often interfere with your candle-burning activities with their thoughts,  you can enhance your spells with your own thoughts! It is your responsibility to monitor your thoughts as your candle burns by shutting out all doubt about the work or any thoughts of failure and to let your mind dwell only on a successful outcome of the work.
  • Many people labor under the belief that a spell is complete once the candle is spent, but this is not the case. I often tell my students that a spell is not complete until they have properly disposed of any left over wax or other ritual remains. This is especially true in the folk-magic tradition of Hoodoo where disposal of ritual remains has a direct symbolical bearing on the work at hand. I'll touch more on this subject in Part Five but generally speaking if the work was done to draw something to you, the remains are buried on your property, often near your front door to draw in those influences and conditions; if the work was done to move something away from you the remains are buried off of your property, often in a graveyard or at a crossroads (but not always).
Practical Tips

  • Perhaps you're on a budget and need to make what supplies you have last. A lot of people will not agree with me on this one, but there were times when I purchased 12 inch candles and cut them into halves or thirds so that I got two or three spells for the price of one. 
  • Another option is to invest in a bag of 50 count tea lights and use these for your spell casting. Some of the reasons people fail to utilize tea lights in candle spells may include 1) They believe that the un-familiar size and shape of the candle is counter-productive to casting spells in the same manner that they are accustomed to.  2) They may believe that because tea lights are small and do not burn as long as larger candles that they lack a certain degree of power.  3)The thought may have not occurred to them. You can cast candle-spells with tea lights by gathering all your equipment and materials before you. Next, remove the tea light from the little tin cup that it comes in, and using a pin or needle carve your wish around the candle. Put a very tiny bit of your chosen herb(s) inside the bottom of the tin cup and add one to three drops of oil. If you have a hair, nail pairing, small scrap of cloth belonging to the person the spell is to effect, then place that in the cup too. Place the tea light back in the tin cup. Then place some of your chosen oil on the tip of your finger. You will then place your finger on the top of the candle and run it on the top of the candle around the wick three times. If you are drawing something towards yourself, move your finger clockwise; if you are moving something away from yourself, move your finger counter clockwise. Charge your candle with your prayer or petition and finally, light the candle and let the magick do its work.
  • As mentioned in part one of this series there are traditionally three ways to extinguish your candles they are: 1) Blowing them out 2) Pinching them out and 3) Snuffing them out. Many people prefer not to blow out their candles because of the belief that it 'blows out their wish' or that using the element of air to kill the power of fire upsets the balance of the work. There are those who do not wish to 'pinch' out a flame, out of a fear of burning or otherwise hurting themselves. For these reasons, many people choose to 'snuff' out their candles using a candle-snuffer. However, a candle snuffer isn't always available to everyone. In these cases I've often advised the individual to make use of the concave part of a metal spoon, which works just as well. 
  •  As a magickal practitioner it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the proper tools you need to perform your work. I have seen practitioners use long screwdrivers to bore holes in Vigil Lights for the insertion of oils, herbs, etc..., I have seen nails, large sewing -needles, the tip of a knife,  and even a drill bit used to scratch names on candles, I have seen salad tongs used to hold a match in order to re-light a Vigil Light which has become extinguished. I have seen candles being cut up and carved on with a pairing knife. As you can see, your tools need not be fancy or expensive and many of the things that you will need can be found in your home right now or are easily available. Once you have your tools, it is important to respect them by keeping them clean and in working order as well as to only use them for magical purposes. You wouldn't want to peel potatoes with the same knife you used to cut up a candle. 
Fire Safety

  • As far as possible NEVER leave a candle burning unattended, that's just common sense. However, there are some time-tested tricks that we can do during those times when we need to leave a candle burning while we are away. Some of these tricks include 1) Placing the candle in your stove. 2) Burning the candle on a dish filled with clean sand. 3) Placing your burning candle in your bath-tub or sink (away from anything that is liable to catch fire such as curtains). 
  • As far as possible, burn you candles out of any drafts. A draft can cause a candle to burn un-evenly and result in a lots of drippings. Furthermore, he movement of a candle that is in the direct path of a draft can be misinterpreted as signs of spirit activity. 
  • A candle which loosely fits into a candle holder can be made to fit more snugly by wrapping the base in tin foil. NEVER use a flammable material to wrap a candle in this manner. 
  • ALWAYS keep your candles away from anything flammable or which can get hurt or injured if it comes into contact with the flame such as curtains, photographs, children, pets,  etc...

Carolina Dean 

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