Thursday, December 19, 2013

December Witch Crafting- Candles

Oh my, do I ever love candles! I have always loved them. That was the best thing when the power went out, we had to light the candles! Even as a child, I had candles in my room. I wasn't allowed to light them, but I thought they were pretty just sitting in their holders. Candles are of course, intensely magical. When I was a newbie Witch I thought every spell needed at least one candle. I bought most of mine at Hobby Lobby because they have every color and most sizes for cheap. They used to have really good candle sales and I would fill up my little shopping basket. The cashier would get tired of ringing up candle after candle after candle. She would whine, "WHAT are these for?!" And I would glare back, "I like candles. You forgot these." Candles lend themselves well to ordinary crafting. I really like the above picture. It looks like a binding spell given the rope around the jar, but the candles are pink so hmmm, maybe it's a love spell or a handfastening spell. But the jars are empty. Air and fire spell? Ah, the possibilities! This would be good for wish spells too, just place your wishes in the jar. I have nearly set the table aflame by putting paper under burning tea lights, and yes, the candle was still in the metal holder. The holder got hot and my paper petition started smoking. The jar seems much safer.

This looks like some kind of advent calendar. You could fill the bottles with almost anything- herbs, coins, beads, charms, and if you filled the bottle with water, there wouldn't be a fire hazard. I have rolled candles in dry herbs and that works very well as long as the candle is in a safe place. Herbs tend to blaze up suddenly. And if you're going to place candles in a window, the window can't have curtains, shades, or blinds. Don't think it's okay if the curtains are open. A very hot flame can start a fire from a few feet away. I try to keep at least a two foot clearance around a live flame. I once turned my closet shelf into an altar. I lit taper candles and now the bottom of the second shelf has black scorch marks.

Because I like to leave candles burning all the time, I use a lot of LED candles. Now all that plastic is not earth-friendly, but I feel the safety and low price more than makes up for the plastic downfall. I use LED candles on my bookshelves. I also have two on my coffee table. Will's sons told me my fake candles were ugly and I should use real ones like on the bookshelves. They did not believe me when I said the bookshelf candles were fake too. When I showed them they laughed. They thought those were real candles burning beside my books and dragons. LED's are great for shrines or places where you want an eternal flame. They make scented ones too. They give off a soft light and most flicker like real flames. I also use LED's in my sewing room when I want to use magick with stitchery. I usually say a spell or chant each time I turn the candle on. Some people think flipping a switch isn't magick, but I say the magick lies more in the intent and actions rather than in the tools.

There are several candle making kits available. Making candles can either be really simple or really complex, depending on who's doing the explaining. Some of the waxes on the market can be melted in the microwave. If the thought of pouring wax scares you, the resin will burn just as easily all by itself. All you need is a wick and a jar. Secure the wick, add the resin, and light. It will burn just like a regular candle.

Actually, you can get by with even less. Oil and water candles require just four items- a jar, water, cooking oil, and a wick. The oil floats on top of the water. When the oil burns off and the flame reaches the water, it will go out. Items can be added to the water. For a Yule theme, you could place small pine cones or sprigs of evergreens in the water. Make sure your items are completely in the water because if something is sticking up in the oil that part will burn. These candles are very versatile, the jar is reusable, and they are very cheap to make.

If you are artistically inclined, consider adding artwork. Seven Day candles (supposedly it takes seven days for the candle to burn all the way down, this may or may not be true depending on the type of wax and how long you leave the candle burning each day) are readily available. Both my local Wal-Mart and grocery stores carry Seven Day candles. Wally World carries plain Seven Days and the grocery store carries a few of the main Saints. Art can be taped directly onto the glass or if you're patient enough, the glass can be painted. Some occult shops will make Seven Day Candles for you. The jar is cleansed, and sometimes ground herbs or glitter is added. The candle is then carved and dressed. A chant is often said as the candle is dropped into the jar. Done correctly, this can be a very moving rite. My favorite part is when they leave a bit of incense smoke in the jar so the smoke puffs up when the candle goes in. You can carve candles yourself, but I have to warn you, it is trickier than it looks. A better option may be writing or drawing a design onto the candle with a marker. Just be careful not to smudge the ink. An ink pen gives you carving, not marking, because the tip of the pen sinks into the wax.

Some Witches save candle stubs. They melt them into new candles. I don't like doing this for two reasons. First, it takes a while to get enough stubs to make a new candle. All those ugly bits have to be stored somewhere. Second, I don't like the idea of mixing spells. I don't want to put the stub from a banishing spell into a love spell candle. That means I have to keep all the stubs sorted and separate which takes up even more space and requires even more time before I have enough stubs to make a new candle. Some Witches cleanse every thing and they say that the melting process removes the prior work. I wouldn't be able to get it out of my head what the other candles were used for and each time I saw the new candle, I'd remember my old spells then I'd wonder if the magick was still working. Just about every spell I saw involving candles says 'use a new candle' There has to be a reason for that.

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