Saturday, July 31, 2010
How to Anoint Candles with Magick Oils
Before a candle is used for candle magick or for a spell, it should be dedicated to the purpose for which it will be used. This is sometimes called “fixing” the candle, and there are a number of ways to do this properly, according to different traditions.
It is ideal to use a magick oil that is specific to the purpose on a candle of the appropriate color. So you might use Money or Jupiter oil on a green candle for a money spell, Love oil on a red or pink candle, or Peace oil on a blue candle to bring serenity to a troubled home. When this is not possible, ordinary olive oil can be used on a white candle or colored candles if you have them. Alternatively, you can keep an all-purpose oil, like Altar, Temple, Abramelin, or High John the Conqueror oil on a white candle or appropriately colored candles.
Most Southern or HooDoo tradition practitioners will pray over a candle, or use some sort of blessing or purification incantation to cleanse the candle before it is fixed. Wax, by its nature, is gooey sticky stuff that intentions easily adhere to, even if they are not intentional intentions, so it is a good idea to purify candles of any contamination they might have been exposed to, for example, some lady's "to do list" that she was thinking of while shopping the candles at Hobby Lobby. And that's a best case scenario!
Then, to fix the candle for any positive or invoking magick of your choosing, you hold it in the middle with your weak hand (left hand if you are right handed), and anoint the candle with the fingers of your strong hand to rub the magick (or “condition”) oil onto the top half, stroking from the center towards the wick, until the candle is completely covered with oil. If you pour a bit of the oil into the palm of your weak hand, you will have plenty to cover the candle. Then you rub the oil onto the bottom half of the candle, rubbing from the middle to the bottom.
The reasoning here is that the first half of the candle is taking your petition up towards the Heavens, and then the second half brings the prayer back down into the material planes towards manifestation. You will also have the oil on your hands to dedicate your hands as agent to your will towards manifesting your intention.
For negative or banishing magick, like exorcisms, binding, hexing, or releasing, the pattern would be opposite, first you would stroke from the middle down, then from the middle to the wick.
I have found some references to a way of anointing from the top towards the middle, then the bottom towards the middle, but I think this is just a confusion of the above process. That is, unless your Grandma or Mambo taught you to do it that way, then, by all means!
The Wiccan or western Witchcraft tradition favors a different method of anointing candles. Most of us would also do a blessing or cleansing of a candle before dedicating it to its magickal purpose. Quite simply, for any positive or creative purpose, the oil is applied with the fingers of your strong hand from the bottom of the candle upwards towards the wick. For any negative or banishing purpose, you apply the oil from the wick towards the bottom of the candle. I personally prefer this technique because it works well combined with inscribing a candle with words or symbols. So I can use my New Moon Agave Thorn to write “Prosperity” in my magick alphabet from the bottom of the candle upwards to the top, and then anoint the candle with Money or Prosperity oil in the same direction as the writing. Or I can write “Forgiveness” onto a blue or black candle from the wick end towards the bottom, and then anoint it with Dark Moon oil in the same direction.
When you are using glass cased candles, like the very popular and useful seven-day candles, there are two ways to use magick oils. Before you light the candle, you can use a nail or some other tool to make a deep hole next to the wick. Then, best as you can, dribble the magick oil into the hole. Or you can dab a bit of oil on top of the wax, drawing a circle around the wick prior to lighting. Once the candle is lit and going well, and there is a molten pool of wax around the wick, you can add more oil without messing up the wick. Repeating this process will give your candle a good smell from the oil. I like to use these candles for more long-term purpose intentions, and they work really well with silver and gold paint markers if you want to draw sigils onto the glass jar. Don't be afraid of the craft in Witchcraft!
Whichever technique calls to you, just settle on one methodology that is in alignment with your tradition, or makes sense to you, and use that technique always. That way your spirits and angels and guides and your own subconscious can understand the message you are trying to send out with your candles and magick oils.