Friday, September 11, 2009

Candle Magic

I do a lot of spirit conjuration, as you likely know. Once I've made the talismans of the spirits with their seals and whatnot engraved, and they've been consecrated and the spirit has agreed to come when called, there's not a lot left to do physically. Most of my magic with them becomes oratory and takes place in communication. When I do a major rite, I'll call the spirits to the altar with incense and candles and all the bells and appropriate names of God.

But for most daily magical things that need to be done, I simply stand before my altar with the appropriate talisman in hand, and call the spirit. I explain what I need from the spirit, and I replace the talisman in its appropriate place. And then I light a candle.

My son asked why I light candles on my altar the other day. He has this overbearing urge to blow out candles when he sees them lit. I've learned to keep an eye on him when I've got candles lit on the altar and he's sanding near, because he'll blow ever so gently to make the flames dance. Some of the candles I've used had small flames that were put out by his gentle breath, so I stand ready with a firm "No" just in case he gives in to the temptation.

When he asked, I told him it's like a prayer you can see. I keep things simple because he's not past the stage where he'll go to school and tell everyone, "My Daddy talks to Angels and Demons!" As he grows in cunning, I'll let him in on more details, but for now I stick with language your average religious family will understand if he repeats it. It's much easier than trying to explain things to teachers. I made that mistake early on with my oldest, and I've learned from a long discussion with the principal and my daughter's teacher that things I assume everyone understands aren't really common knowledge, and my specialized research has left me less than normal.

Candle magic is one way to describe the bulk of my Work lately. I go through the oration, and then light a candle near or on the talisman of the Spirit. Candles are fluid, even when solid. Heat and pressure reveal how malleable wax is. I think this malleability absorbs the context of the prayer, and continues to express that prayer as long as it is lit. Sometimes I'll dress the candle, using Abramelin Oil usually because I like the kick it gets, but I've also used Healing oil and Uncrossing oil as necessary.

There are a number of books published on the subject of Candle Magic, and I'm sure they have good information and total crap mixed together. Most things do. I don't think any candle magic can work without some form of spirit conjuration or prayer involved, so if any of the books advocate simple mechanistic approaches, that would be crap. I'm pretty sure most of them would include some form of ritual though.

I have a book of Psalms Candle Magic around here somewhere, and you basically take a candle, some oil, and tie the burning of the candle to the reading of the psalm so that whatever the Psalm is talking about maifests in your life. I haven't used it much, but that's a good explanation of the role of the candle in my magic. It becomes a link to the subject of the rite and continues to represent it and empower it over time, even after the magician has moved on to watching television, hanging out with friends, or whatever.

In Sorceror's Secrets, Jason Miller adds a cautionary note to the section where he talks about lighting candles. It's basic common sense, don't start fires by being careless with your candles. I leave mine lit until they go out, but they're generally in safe conditions. There's nothing under them that can catch fire, and the candles I use most often are tea lights, the ones that have an aluminum base included. They burn about two or three hours, and the wax stays in the base until it burns off.
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