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Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Art of Candle Doctoring

Doctor (Verb) - To treat medically. Synonyms: heal, cure, minister to, care for, nurse. 

As a candle worker, I have ran across many a candle in less than perfect condition. Sometimes candles get broken in transit, sometimes they explode while burning, and something the wick burns all the way down to the bottom and does not melt away any wax at all!

Now I am not always inclined to say that this is a "bad sign" because candles are made by human beings, or by machines built by human beings, and you will sometimes get a bad batch. In addition, I hate waste so I have developed procedures for doctoring a candle that is not always cooperative. 

When a wick burns down to the bottom of the candle and leaves all the wax behind, or the wick gets drowned and I am not able to save it or re-lit it with a splint, or it is not otherwise salvageable then I perform the following procedure.

First, I drive a knife down the center of the candle all the way to the bottom. With a tight grip, I twist the knife in a circle leaving a large hole in  the wax.

The excess wax is then dumped out. This sometimes results in the loss of any herbs / oils that were placed in the candle previously so a little bit of herbs and a few drops of condition oil is placed in this hole to make up for that. 

Next a household taper is marked with the name(s) of the person(s) the vigil light was meant to affect and it is then dressed with an appropriate condition oil.

It may or may not also be rolled in an herbal mixture or sachet powder which sticks to the candle by virtue of the oil with which it was dressed.  The candle is then inserted in the hole which was made in the vigil light and lit with affirmative prayer.

It is important that when you make your hole in the vigil light and insert your fixed candle that the candle go all way down to the bottom of the vigil light otherwise the candle will only burn to the bottom of the inserted candle and then go out.   

As you can see from the photo at the left once the candle burns down it melds with the wax from the vigil light and burns normally until it is spent. Once the candle is spent, it may be read for signs.

Sometimes I take into account having to "doctor" the candle as an negative sign, and sometimes I do not. As I stated earlier, sometimes you simply get a "bad batch" of candle but even getting a bad batch can also be a sign.

You will have to use your own judgement  and intuition to determine if a "bad burn" is a negative reflection on the work or the product of bad workmanship, or low quality materials at the candle factory. 

Carolina Dean


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