Something has lately been coming to my attention, which, curiously, bothers me. I hang around on some forums, I give magical and spell advice to folks, and it seems that a lot of people only want to use screened glass encased candles in magical working.
It's actually to the point where people have been shocked to learn that you can use REGULAR CANDLES in magic.
Glass encased candles are nice, I use them a lot, but I certainly don't use them for everything. The main thing that's useful about glass-encased candles is they can burn, in relative safety, for days at a time. Thus, they are good when you're doing something where it suits you just be able to just 'set it and forget it.' If you need a lot of help in a relative hurry, or want to be able to leave something burning as a 'backup' then a glass-encased candle is perfect for you; they are big, often temperamental and thus give clear signs about how your work is going, and easy to dress once you get the hang of it. They also come frequently screened with suitable images relating to the work at hand, and give an extra little boost in that regard.
However, this reliance on the screened or pasted-on images is part of the problem I am seeing, that has me a little worried. The kind of glass-encased candle one is probably most likely to find outside of a botanica or magic shop is a saint candle. Lately, I've been observing an awful lot of folks turning, often inappropriately, to saints (and some other entities who get their own candle like the Intranquil Spirit) for help in magical matters just because that's the candle that's most commonly available. Folks seem to just see that the prayer on the back matches their need so they buy it, often with no idea how you treat that saint or what kind of work they excel at or won't help with, and sometimes even combine the things in rather poor matches -- for example, buying a Santa Muerte, St. Martha and an Intranquil Spirit candle and burning them all together for help in love matters. (For reference: Santa Muerte doesn't like sharing the spotlight with other saints, St. Martha will only help if you have legitimately good intentions, and the Intranquil Spirit is not one would consider "holy." Burn these three together for the same goal and you're probably going to just cancel everything out.)
Standalone candles like tapers, votives, pilar candles, chime candles, are not only much more traditional but also much more versatile. The overreliance on screened candles has some folks fretting about what to do when your exact circumstance isn't covered by a standard make of novena light; when really a plain white candle (even a glass-encased one) will do for any job where a candle is appropriate. Freestanding candles are also easier to snuff and relight for multi-day spells, and to maneuver for Gamache-style candle rites.
Don't forget our friend the freestanding candle! In honor of this device I provide the following Uncrossing spell which can only be done with such a device.
A petition paper or a photo of the person to be uncrossed
- Begin by cutting off the tip of the candle on the red side. Flip the candle around, and on the black side, shave off enough of the wax from the base to expose the wick. This reversing of the candle is the first step towards reversing your unwanted circumstance.
- Carve into the black side of the candle the person or problem you want to be rid of.
- Carve into the the red side of the candle the new happy situation you want. A word like "contentment" or "success" or whatever has been interfered with will do.
- Dress the candle, from the center up on both sides, with the oil. Also dot the corners of your photo or paper with the oil.
- Set the candle in a holder over the paper, and light it on the exposed black side. State your prayers/requests while so doing.
- Leave the candle to burn 1/3rd of the way, then snuff it out (don't ever blow out magical candles.)
- The next day, light your candle again, while repeating your prayers or requests, and let it burn down another 1/3rd. This will burn from the black into the red side. Snuff the candle again.
- On the final day, light the final portion of the candle, again with your requests and prayers, and let it burn itself all out.
- When the candle is done, take the leftover paper and any wax or candle debris that remains to a crossroads and leave it there.