Candle Burning 101

Written by Sherrie Locke on 6 K’at/7 Kan, March 2014

The point of using candles is to focus your attention by looking into the flame.

If you can’t multitask and juggle more than one subject at a time, don’t overlap or use too many candles at once. Keep it simple at first.

Let us begin with a simple white candle….

Set up an area where you are to burn your candles. Make sure it’s in a safe spot. Also always put your candles on a candle runner or as I do, in a fireproof bowl or dish with sand or fine gravel (I prefer sand). Don’t use dirt since it may burn or smoke with organic compounds.

Choose your candles based on what you are doing and the duration or extent of the operation.

You can use anything from a tea light or a votive candle to any size taper candle. For us “professionals,” the three-, five- or seven-day glass-encased candles are our ritual candle of choice, there are even longer duration ones. You need to be a seasoned candle worker to have that many fires in your home or space, going 24/7 for the duration of the operation(s). Not for beginners!

The idea is to light the candle and let it burn for the duration allowing it to go out on it’s own. If it’s a “hot” one, you may use a candle snuffer, but never, ever, blow out a ritual candle and for sure you don’t want someone else to put it out. So watch what you are doing and be mindful.

There are many ways of monitoring candle rituals for the more advanced candle workers. Black and sooty usually means it’s clearing a lot of negativity.

Drips can be interpreted by the adept. If a candle burns especially weird, you may want to “piggyback it” with another ritual of the same sort until you get a clean result.

So choose your candles wisely. If you have a short period of time, or a short attention span, use a smaller candle. If you are doing a larger more elaborate operation, you may want larger tapers or glass-encased candles so you don’t have to light candle after candle without letting the light go out.

I do not use scented candles, choosing to add what I want to use myself. In order to be efficient and effective when using scents, you need to be familiar with planetary rulership and a few other things to optimize, otherwise you might just be working counterproductively.

In the case of an ancestor altar, you can use the favorite scent or color or anything else that connects you to that dead relative, all planetary rulership bets are off, it’s just an offering.

A safe bet for any operation is to use a white candle. White represents purity, is widely available and is also used in most religious ceremonies globally. In native indigenous ceremonies, the candles and colors become quite elaborate from the colors of the four directions to the subdirections, deities, nahuales and ancestors. As I said, keep it simple at first until you are more familiar with the usages. Better to stick with white all the way around rather than use something that is way off from the goal or intention.

I will present an article on traditional use of candles in ceremonies of the Maya, both Ki’che’ and the tradition I first learned, Yucatec, at a later time. I will mention at this juncture that candles used in traditional Maya fire ceremony are usually tossed into the fire in bundles rather than lit and burned individually.

General Guidance on Colors

This will help you get started. First off, let’s go with green. A green candle would most likely be for HEALING, not money. I must say something about this now. We are not just working candle magick in the good ole US where money is green. As a matter of fact, most national currencies globally are NOT green. So drop that correlation. Green is the color of the healing ray, the heart chakra, with both planetary and angelic rulership, so let’s stick with green for Healing.

Money is Power

Red is the color of raw energy and power, and thus money. Quote from a teacher: “Red is raw power, and energy = money. Also note that it’s very difficult to sleep in a house with a red candle ritual going on in the space, so you might choose short duration red candles for your first operations.

A gold or yellow candle may enhance intellect or even higher mind or thought process. It also activates the solar plexus, the center of the will. And it also helps with digestion.

An orange candle may help with concentration and creative stimulation in relation to a project or art form. It is directly related to the second chakra. Keep it in the higher realms.

Most people may want to stay away from blue candles, particularly dark blue ones as they are for deep emotional processing and could enhance depression if one has buried emotional issues that are not yet ready to be addressed and released. The lighter blue and turquoise can stimulate the throat chakra to enhance clear expression, so these can be helpful for public speakers and those learning to express themselves more fully and clearly.

Purple helps meditation.

Black is useful for releasing negative energies, for certain protection or grounding rituals or for a directional color.

You may have a favorite color. Please use what you like! Try beeswax candles if you can find them.  Don’t worry if you only have something basic.

Light is light; the candle flame is the catalyst for your prayers and intentions.

I hope this article assists you in getting a proper start in Candle Magick 101 and candle devotional offerings. Remember have fun, pay attention and keep it light! Always remember…

Everything you do comes back to you several times over.

Blessed Be!
Sherrie Locke, A∴A∴

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