Candle Magic is one of the simplest and longest held forms of spell craft in history. From making a wish and blowing out a candle on a birthday cake to performing seven-day candle spells, there are candles being burnt every day all around the world for multiple purposes, some magickal, some mundane.
A candle, when used in a spell, acts as an amplifier. It takes the intention of the individual, the wish or petition and sends it out into the universe, with the spell culminating when the candle flame extinguishes.
Although it is a fairly simple process, candle spells can have their drawbacks. To burn a candle is to create an environment where there is a naked flame and where there is flame, there is a chance of things catching on fire! You may think it will never happen, but trust me, it does.
So how do you ensure your safety when performing candle spells?
Follow these simple guidelines to maintain a safe environment when performing candle magic:
- Set up your candle properly- by burning your candle for 1 hr per 1 inch diameter on the first burn, your candle will burn to the outer edge of the candle. If you burn it for too brief a period, it will create a wax pool (memory ring). This will cause it to hollow in the centre always, increasing the chances of the flame sputtering.
- Burn your candles in a draught free environment.
- Remove any debris from around the wax pool at the top of your candle- this also applies to the candles that contain herbs etc around the wick.
- Keep your wicks trimmed to approx. 6mm (¼ inch) to avoid the flame rising too much. Keep the wick maintained at this length. This decreases the “mushrooming” effect of the flame and helps your candle last longer.
- If you are dressing a candle with loose herbs and oils, ensure that you do not get oil on the wick.
- Make sure the candle is housed on/in a fireproof container- not a wooden candle holder (reserve these for tealights that are in a metal casing).
- Use a candle snuffer (or wet your fingers and “pinch” out the flame) to extinguish your candles, do not blow them out (unless blowing them out is part of the spell – then ensure you do it away from any flammable objects.
- Only burn candles for the amount of time specified by the candle manufacturer, usually 4 hours max, with 2 hrs between lighting the candle. Burning candles for too long can cause soot to build up on the wick, creating a “mushrooming” of the flame and increasing fire danger.
- Keep all flammable objects away from your candle. This includes robes (including bath robes)- if you wear billowy sleeves, keep them away from the candle whilst lighting it.
- Store your candles in a cool, dry, and dark environment away from dust. This not only helps to protect the fragrance, it also stops them from attracting debris that can catch on fire when burnt.
For those who choose to perform 7 day candle spells/ rituals, make sure that the candles are in an environment that is completely clear of anything flammable. I have heard of people performing these types of spells and putting the candle in their laundry/bathroom tub with nothing around it. I cannot personally attest to this, and I would not recommend burning a candle unattended, so if you wish to try this, please do so mindfully.
When you are burning candles, the element of fire is involved, therefore it is always wise to have either earth (dirt/sand etc) or water (self-explanatory) available in case the candle does somehow ignite another object.
If you do accidentally catch an object on fire- and this is also important when burning petitions/sigils, smother the lit object with the earth or water to put out the fire.
With all of this said, there are instances where, no matter what you do you cannot always predict the outcome. In light of this, I would like to share a personal story regarding candle safety.
I love candles and we burn them every night. I always snuff out my candles using a candle snuffer. The other morning when we were sitting at the table having breakfast, one of my tea light candles that I keep on my wall sconces lit itself. I am not joking! My partner and I could not believe it. Not only was it a very small candle, but it was also not near any source of fire. It was a 9hr tealight and only had a small amount of wax left in it when I lit it the night before, so there is no way it could still have been burning.
This experience, whilst probably the most intriguing thing that has happened to me recently, is also a reminder to keep your candles away from flammable objects- You never know when they will light themselves!
If anyone out there knows why/how this could have happened, please share your thoughts in the comments section below. If you have any tips you would like to share or stories of your own regarding candle safety, let us know!
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