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Monday, December 30, 2013

Mailbag Monday: Burial of Ritual Remains

Today's question comes from M.B. who writes...

Hi Carolina, I've been spending lots of time on your site and have been getting a lot of information too. Thanks for this site. I however am wondering about the candle disposal. If I don't have a yard at all and live in an apartment, can I dispose of my remains in running water? Or to the east? 

Merry Meet,

Thanks for your question. First, let's review the theory and purpose behind the proper disposal of ritual remains. Many people think that a spell is complete once the candle is spent, but this is not the case. A spell is not complete until  its magical remains (i.e. candle wax, petition, herbs, etc...) have been properly disposed of. This is especially true in the folk-magic tradition of Hoodoo where disposal of magical remains has a direct symbolical bearing on the work at hand. 

The intention of your spell often has a direct correlation on how you dispose of magical remains. Below you will find a general guide-line grouped by intention/goal to help you determine how best to dispose of magickal leftovers. 

  • To Attract Influences- If the work was done to draw something to you such as prosperity, a new lover, or good health,  the remains are buried on your property, often near your front door or under your front doorstep. 
  • To Keep and Maintain- If the work was done to keep something with you indefinitely such as a straying lover, the remains are buried in your backyard.
  • To Move Away- If the work was done to move something away from you such as a jinx, an enemy, or a negative condition, the remains would be buried off of your property. Choices for burial include 1) tossing in running water  or 2) burying at a crossroads.
  • To Increase- If the work was done to create or increase a condition such as prosperity or good health, bury or throw it toward the East so that its strengthen with the rising Sun. 
  • To Decrease- If the work was done to end or weaken a condition such as an enemy's good luck, ill-health, etc.. bury or throw it towards the West so that it will diminish with the setting Sun. 
As for your original question, I have no idea what option would be proper in your situation as you failed to explain the goal/intention of your spell. Disposing of ritual remains in running water is done to move something away from you that you wish to be free of, whereas disposing of something towards the East would be symbolic of drawing something to you or to manifest some type of increase in a condition (as in the rising sun).

However, I can tell you that I too live in an apartment. My apartment is on the ground floor and I have a row of bushes along the front of my apartment and a good piece of a backyard including two trees where I am able to bury items. If your apartment isn't on the ground floor, like mine, you have a few options to consider. 

  • Potted Plants- If you don't have a yard connected to your apartment you may want to place potted plants in your home and use them to dispose of ritual remains. However, you will have to make sure that those remains are such that they will naturally break-down in the soil or they will just build up over time.  (Note: Soy, Paraffin, and Beeswax candles are biodegradable).
  • Adopting Land- Find a place which is 1) easily accessible to you and 2) reasonably private which you can adopt to be your special place for disposal of ritual remains.
  • Storage-  This option may be considered unorthodox, but it is one that I have used myself at certain times in my life.  Obtain some decorative jars which can be placed on a shelf in an inconspicuous manner.  Dedicate each jar to a specific condition (prosperity, love, protection, health). Store your magical remains in its corresponding jar until such time as you feel it is no longer needed or can be disposed of in a more traditional manner.
 I hope that you have found this information helpful to you along your spiritual journey.

Blessed Be!

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