“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.
Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.”

~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull ~

Friday, September 23, 2011

Practical Magic Blog Party

Welcome to the Practical Magic Blog Party here on 'I Heart the Goddess' and hosted by the lovely Anna over at 'Frosted Petunias'. Many thanks to our hostess for bringing us all together to share in our love of a magical movie! And pop over to the 'Practical Magic Blog Party' blog to find your way around all the lovely bloggers out there who are sharing with us today.

One of the many things I took away with me from the movie was the use of candles. They seemed to be in every room in one way or another, bringing their sultry light to the scene. For me candles conjure up magick, mystery, and a sense of wonder and enlightment. They light the darkness and warm our hearts and minds to the possibilities rising from the smoke.

And so my party post is all about candles and the infinite uses they have in our lives, both mundane and magickal.

Candles in the Mundane World

Candles have been in use for thousands of years, yet little is known about their origin. There is no historical record of the first candles, however clay candle holders dating from the 4th century BC have been found in Eygpt. The earliest people credited with developing the "wicked" candle are the ancient Romans, before 3,000 BC. They used rolled papyrus and dipped it repeatedly in melted tallow (cattle or sheep fat) or beeswax.

Early Chinese candles are said to have been molded in paper tubes, using rolled rice paper for the wick, and wax from an indigenous insect that was combined with seeds. In Japan, candles were made of wax extracted from tree nuts, while in India, candle wax was made by boiling the fruit of the cinnamon tree. The first known candle in America dates to the 1st century AD. Native Americans burned oily fish(candlefish) wedged into a forked stick. Early missionaries in the southwestern United States boiled the bark of the Cerio tree and skimmed the wax.

In the middle ages most western cultures relied primarily on candles made from animal fat(tallow). A major improvement came when beeswax candles were introduced in Europe. Unlike animal-based tallow, beeswax burned pure and cleanly, without producing a smoky flame. It also emitted a pleasant, sweet smell rather than the foul, bitter odor of tallow. Beeswax candles were widely used for church ceremonies, but because they were expensive, few individuals other than the wealthy could afford them in their home. Tallow candles were the common household candle for Europeans, and by the 13th century, candlemaking had become a guild craft in England and France. The candlemakers(chandlers) went from house to house making candles from the kitchen fats saved for that purpose, or made and sold their own candles from small candle shops.

In America colonial women discovered that boiling the grayish-green berries of bayberry bushes produced a sweet-smelling wax that burned cleanly. However, extracting the wax from the berries was extremely tedious. As a result, the popularity of bayberry candles soon diminished. The growth of the whaling industry in the late 18th century brought the first major change in candlemaking since the Middle Ages,when spermaceti, a wax obtained by crystallizing sperm whale oil, became available in quantity. Like beeswax, the spermaceti wax did not elict a repugnant odor when burned, and produced a significantly brighter light. It also was harder than either tallow or beeswax, so it wouldn't soften or bend in the summer. A pure spermaceti candle is the measure for candlepower. Candlepower is a common term for describing light output. It is based on a measurement of the light produced by a pure spermaceti candle weighing one sixth of a pound, burning at a rate of 120 grams per hour.

During the 19th century most of the major contemporary candlemaking developements occurred. In the 1820s, French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul discovered how to extract steric acid from animal fatty acids. This led to the development of stearin wax which was hard, durable and burned cleanly. Stearin candles remain popular in Europe today. In 1834, inventor Joseph Morgan helped to further the modern-day candle industry by developing a machine that allowed for continuous production of molded candles by using a cylinder with a movable piston to eject candles as they solidified. With the introduction of mechanized production, candles became an easily affordable commodity for the masses. Paraffin wax was introduced in the 1850s, after chemists learned how to efficiently separate the naturally-occurring waxy subtance from petroleum and refine it. Odorless and bluish-white in color, paraffin was a boon to candlemaking because it burned cleanly, consistently and was more economical to produce than any other candle fuel.

Candles in Magick

Candle magick is probably one of the simplest forms of magick to perform. All that is needed is a candle and some matches (Witches prefer matches to lighters because sulphur - once known as brimstone - has been believed since the Middle Ages to possess the power of purification). Candle magick can also be seen to be complete within itself as the body of the candle is made up from the elements of Earth and Water. Fire is added by lighting the candle and Spirit is represented by the wick, as the wick is where the potential of the candle lies and will be unfolded with. With the candle lit, the flame of your intent will burn.

Candle magick has been used for centuries for magick and ritual. Candles are lit at the Sabbats and Esbats and is a practice that is used in many different religions, cultures and traditions. Candles invoke the divine, they create a sense of ceremony and they are fascinating to look at. Candles can be purchased anywhere, by anyone, without anyone blinking an eye or suspecting magick and witchcraft!

The flickering flame of a candle can help you to focus on your wishes, making your heart's desire come true. Try using candles the next time you want to make something happen in your life!

Unwittingly, you probably performed your first act of candle magick when you blew out the candles on your birthday cake whilst making a wish. This tradition is based on the three principles of magick; concentration, will power and visualization. You concentrated on the candles, blew them out with all your might and visualized your wish coming true - absolute magick!

Choosing a Candle

1. Choose a plain candle of uniform shape. Having unusual or large candles can be distracting and is therefore not suitable for magickal use.

2. Candles used for magick should always be virgin (unused) at the start of the ritual. Using secondhand candles or other materials in magick can have disastrous results as they might have picked up vibrations from previous use, even if it was just on a dinner table.

3. If at all possible, making your own candles for magickal use will increase the magickal potency of the candle many times. It is very easy to make your own candles. Simply heat the wax until it liquifies and then pour it into a mould which is threaded with a wick. The wax is left to cool after which the mold is removed. Essential oils and colors can be added to the wax for extra effect.

4. Charge your candle before using it in ritual. This can be done by annointing it with oils associated with the ritual or magick you intend on performing or by simply touching it and charging it with your own energy. Whilst charging the candle, visualize the north and south poles - rub the oil into the candle starting at the center and rubbing down towards south; then starting at the center again, rub up towards north.

Below are some charts for astral color, candle color and days of the week correspondences.

Candles in Ritual

In Wicca and related forms of neo-paganism, the candle is frequently used on the altar to represent the presence of the God and Goddess, and in the four corners of a ritual circle to represent the presence of the four elements being Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. When used in this manner, lighting and extinguishing the candle marks the opening and closing of the ritual.

Candle Magick for Mabon

I thought it would be nice to include a Mabon ritual here for those whole celebrate this Sabbatt.

You'll need:
- An unscented candle in a harvest color such as yellow, orange, or brown.
- Your choice of Money Oil or essential oil of cinnamon, orange, or ginger.
- Something to inscribe the candle with such as a pencil, stylus, or athame.
- A pinch of dried basil, sage or dill.

If you normally cast a circle or invoke Deity, do so now. Using the pencil, stylus or athame inscribe your intent upon the candle. For example, if you need money to pay the bills, carve that on the candle. If you just want extra fun money, write that on the candle too. If you're not sure how much you need, you can use symbols of money such as the dollar sign ($) or a runic symbol. In traditional runes, Fehu is the sign of wealth, prosperity and financial gain. And since I'm into runes, I've included the Fehu symbol here.

Once you've completed the inscription, anoint the candle with the Money Oil. If you don't have Money Oil, use another essential oil that brings prosperity; cinnamon, orange or ginger are all good to use. Focus your intent into the candle, drawing abundance to you. Rub a small amount of the dried basil, sage or dill (all herbs connected with money) into the oil. As you do, clearly visualize how you will be using the money that comes your way. Will you use it to pay off debt? Buy a new car? Take a class for personal growth?

Light the candle and meditate on the flame. Continue focusing on your intent and imagine it building, first as a small spark, and then growing into a large ball of light. Maintain this image as long as you can, and then release it into the candle flame. Make sure the candle is in a safe place so as not to be a fire hazard (a bowl of sand is perfect for this) and allow the candle to burn out on its own.


I hope you enjoyed visiting today and remember to keep the 'magick' lit in your life.



Amanda Jillian said...

Very informative post! Loved it =]

Bird said...

Bright and beautiful Mabon blessings to you, Tereza. Thank you so much for putting so much time and work into this amazing post today. You've woven history, magic, entertainment and beauty all together into this one fabulous article and I just love it. And I love your blog, too.

Thank you so much for gifting us all with this today.

Bright blessings,

maddyrose said...

An amazingly informative post. I make candles and have done research but you've included information in this post that I was unaware of. That and the lovely photos from the movie make this a magickal post.

Maggid said...

Always enjoy a visit to your blog -
Filled with Beauty -
love & love,

Sylvia said...

I love candles for all occasions, thank you for the very informative post. I must see more of your blog...will be back for more!


LuLu Kellogg said...

Hi Tereza! So lovely to meet you! Thank you for coming over to visit my Blog.

Candles are something I use every day in my home and I loved reading all the information on them in your post! Well done!


Anonymous said...

You put a lot of work into this. Amazing information. Very interesting.
I know there is something magical about candles just because so many of us are drawn to have them in our lives.

Misty said...

Your blog is beautiful! Candle are so soothing :) I just made a painting with Fehu. Runes are something that calls to me. I should work with them more! Thanks for sharing!

Lizz Clements said...

Very informative. Thanks for the post :)

Celia said...

What a great post!! I have always felt magic from candles!

monkeycstars said...

This post made me feel like I really need to get into candles more :) So beautiful and really relaxing to look at.


AlphaBetsy said...

Thank you for all the amazing information. I love the Mabon candle spell and I may just put it to use tonight.


Magaly Guerrero said...

So much magic behind a candle... and you've selected wonderful pictures!

Andréann said...

I'm glad I found your blog! It feels cozzy in here, I feel like home (must be the Sabbath altar pictures on the sidebar!)
Thanks for the very informative post! It's good to be remembered of the basics sometimes. And the pictures were lovely!

Victoria said...

This was such an interesting post to read, with great pictures! I learned so much about the history of candles, thank you for posting it.


Victoria from Brushstrokes

Elle said...

amazing post!!! i have been out of sync with my spiritual self and now, after reading this post, i know what i must do to 'fix' this! candle magick had always been my 'thing'. i had forgotten this as i had moved on to bigger things. i need to get back to the basics! love this post!


Kiki Howell - Author said...

Great post - so informative :) I just love candles, and I really enjoyed all of your pics - post and sidebar. Wonderful, beautiful blog you have here!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing all this great info with the PM Blog Party!
I've always loved having candles lit in my home, to the point that hubby often arrives home from work to find me either reading or watching TV by candlelight!

Thanks for having me by!

Charlotte :)

Dana Wright said...

I love this post. New follower with the Practical Magic Party.


Dana @ On The Broomstick

B'ham said...

Such a wealth of knowledge you have shared !! And so much I never knew.
Lovely message & post...

Willow said...

I love you post on candles for the blog party. I make candles and love using them also.

victoriantailor said...

Wow! Wow! Love your info, thanks for sharing, and the pictures are great,
Celeste, stop by and visit,

K.Michele said...

I love candles and working with candles. This is a great post full of great information. You're pictures are beautiful as is your blog. Thank you for visiting my blog and PM party.

K. Michele

cmoh said...

Wow what a wonderfuly and informative post. I didn't know half the stuff you mentioned and now I feel the need to fill my house with red (my sign) candles!

What a wonderful PM post

lisa said...

Thank you for such an informative and beautifully photographed post. Come over to the enchanted oven to see my candle cookies!
Magical hugs,

Birgit said...

Hi Tereza,

Oh, it's easy to see how much thought and work went into your party post -- thanks so much for that! I enjoyed reading about candle history as well as how to use candles for rituals.

Magical Times,

Susan said...

Merry meet Tereza!

Gosh I've spent over an hour here today! LOL
WONDERFUL PM post!! I love all the information you have provided. You reminded me that I forgot to charge my candles before I did my Mabon ritual. I am such a NEWB! I hope my intent was clear enough without it.

I am utterly enchanted by your alters as well. (I wish I could afford to built such awesome alters)
My very first REAL alter was for this Mabon, and is still set up, as I am planning on my naming ritual and want to just sit and reflect on health and protection. You can see it on my blog.

I wish I lived near you, I know I could learn much. As I am already receiving wonderful energy from your blog and images. My natural intuition can almost see your aura.

Since being here I am surrounded by orange and warmth.

I do not know for sure which path of divination is the clear one for me yet, and this new sensation is now confusing me further, LOL
I love your blog, did I say that already? :)
I have also FAVed your etsy shop.
Be well and be blessed,

Linda said...

I love candles also...love to watch them slow burn...you can see many things in them...You have taught me new facts..thank you for sharing. Please visit me:

Sandi said...

Fabulous post!! I'm so glad you took part in the Practical Magic Blog Party!! Nice to meet you witch sister!

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•`*SANDI

Anonymous said...

I loved your post! I am a fire baby through and through. Thank you for taking the time to post the history of candles. I learned so much. Brightest Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Your site is beautiful and informative. I'm just in the learning stages of how to create a blog and enjoyed reading through and looking at yours--Galyn

Dragonfly said...

Wonderful post. Loved all the information on the history of candles. Afraid I'm a bit of a wuss where candles are concerned, have a real phobia about fire and flame so hardly ever have any real candles lit here, but I do love the look of them when you see them in pictures, they do give off a magical atmosphere.

J x

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all the wonderful info. It is so great to see that everyone takes something else from the movie. I love candles too and have a lot in my home too.
Have a magical day.

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Gorgeous post Tereza..wow..what a fabulous tribute to candles and magic..shine on!

Tamara said...

What a wonderful idea you had in posting on candles and magic for the party!! I love candles and burn them daily, sometimes for a specific intention or ritual and sometimes just to enchant a room or rooms. Thanks for the visit, truly enjoyed it. :)

rachelsmith133 said...

Wow! Such a great post, thank you so much for sharing all this wonderful information about candles. It really makes me want to gather all my candles up and light them when it starts to get dark.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Hello, I am visiting form the Practical Magic Blog party. :D I enjoyed reading about the history of the candle. Thanks for all the work you put into your post!

Anonymous said...

This is a lovely, informative post. Great job!

Frosted Petunias said...

I have learned so much from your post and I thought I knew a lot about candles. Wow! Thank you so much for putting this information together. I enjoyed not just the history you shared but the candle correspondences and spell. Ahhh...now if we can learn how to light a candle the way Sally can! Thank you so much for participating and sharing with everyone.

I know I always tell you this, I just love your altars!


CuddlyBunny said...

Thank you so much for this illuminating post (and for realizing that I didn't plan that pun just now).

This is a wonderful addition to the Practical Magic blog party!

Melissa said...

What a wonderful and informative party post!! Love it!!

♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Meanderings